'Treasury Hunt' yields cash for local residents

— As some res­id­ents in the 169th dis­trict are find­ing out, it pays to check your mail and be well-read.

Bri­an Ed­dis (left), an aide to State Rep­res­ent­at­ive Ed Neilson, hands Mr. Wal­ter Debes (right) in­form­a­tion that he is owed money from the Treas­ury De­part­ment on Monday, Au­gust 20 at Academy Plaza Shop­ping Cen­ter. (Donna Di Paolo)


There is money in read­ing.

A Mor­rell Park man read a North­east Times story about a loc­al le­gis­lat­or re­unit­ing his con­stitu­ents with their cash, talked to the law­maker and now is await­ing a check for a few hun­dred bucks.

But first, the man had to go to his re­cyc­ling bin, ac­cord­ing to State Rep. Ed Neilson (D-169th dist.), who re­layed the story his con­stitu­ent told him.

Neilson had sent out let­ters to thou­sands of his con­stitu­ents, telling them he had learned that the Pennsylvania Treas­ury De­part­ment was hold­ing $11 mil­lion in un­claimed as­sets for people who live in his Far North­east le­gis­lat­ive dis­trict, and that he would help them find that dough at a “Treas­ury Hunt” event at his of­fice last week.

The Mor­rell Park man told Neilson he had dis­missed the let­ter as worth­less, tore it in two and tossed it in­to his re­cyc­ling bin. Then he saw a story in the news­pa­per’s Aug. 22 is­sue about how Neilson and his staff had found nearly $100,000 of that money for res­id­ents, fetched the torn let­ter and went over to the le­gis­lat­or’s of­fice.

Now, he’s a few hun­dred bucks to the good.

It is the man’s money and al­ways was. The state takes cus­tody of money in dormant bank ac­counts, un­cashed paychecks, aban­doned or for­got­ten safety de­pos­it boxes, un­cashed or un­claimed di­vidends or trav­el­ers checks and holds them for their own­ers.

The total of what the state is hold­ing is about $2 bil­lion. The num­ber was re­duced by $111 mil­lion last year as suc­cess­ful claims were made, but the num­ber still grew be­cause the state took in about $200 mil­lion.

When Neilson took of­fice after a spe­cial elec­tion in the spring, he heard about all that money, made some in­quir­ies with the Treas­ury De­part­ment and got a re­port — and a CD — about the un­claimed money that be­longs to res­id­ents in his dis­trict. He ar­ranged for staff and a rep­res­ent­at­ive of the treas­ury de­part­ment to be at his of­fice last week to help people find out if any be­longed to them.

By the end of this week, Neilson ex­pects he and his staff will have found about $200,000 for in­di­vidu­als. His ad­dress is 3256 Red Li­on Road. The of­fice num­ber is 215-281-3414.

He said he also has heard from sev­er­al people who have done the work them­selves by vis­it­ing www.patreas­ury.gov, click­ing on Un­claimed Prop­erty and fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions. Do-it-your-selfers can also search oth­er states and Ca­na­dian provinces by vis­it­ing www.miss­ing­money.com

Neilson said he found money that be­longs to loc­al churches and schools. He also dis­covered the Treas­ury De­part­ment is hold­ing some as­sets for a com­munity news­pa­per called the North­east Times.

See, there is money in read­ing.

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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