The state requires a background check of all unclaimed money finders with the States Treasury Department.
This is great because once you pass the registration process you will be assigned a certificate from the State that you will be able to present to potential clients.
You can read more about the registration process here.
The state sells a list of people that are owed unclaimed money for $300.
Even though this sounds high and it seems that the state is making money off of unclaimed money, don’t be discouraged. Look at it as the cost of doing business.
Besides the fact that you can deduct it as a business expense, this fee probably separates the people that are really serious about becoming a Pennsylvania unclaimed money finder from the ones that are just looking.
The fact that you only need to find $2000 in unclaimed money to get your fee back ($2000 x 15% = $300) should make things easy. With 450,000 people on the list, helping recover $2000 should be a breeze.
Pennsylvania is currently holding more than $1.8 billion dollars!
Take a look at this video:
The below information is taking from the Pennsylvania Treasury’s frequently asked questions page.
Q: What if someone offers to help me locate my unclaimed money for a fee?
A: “Property locators” or “finders” frequently send letters to residents of Pennsylvania and other states informing them that they are owed money by the Commonwealth and that, for a fee or a percentage of the recovered property, the firms and/or individuals can help them get it. In some cases, these “finders” charge a fee just to send prospective claimants a claim form.
You can contact BUP directly to obtain unclaimed property information and you NEVER have to pay a fee to claim what is yours from our Bureau of Unclaimed Property!
Q: What if I would like to go through a Pennsylvania unclaimed money finder to claim my property?
A: If you do use a “finder” or any third party to help locate or claim your property, please make sure the identity of the “finder” is included on or with the claim form. By law, “finders” can charge a fee of NO MORE THAN 15% of the amount of the claim. A signed Power of Attorney must be submitted prior to the claim forms being issued that includes the following information:
- The agreement must be in writing and include a notarized signature of the owner.
- The fee or compensation to be paid to a third party in relation to the recovery of the property must be expressly stated in the agreement. The fee or compensation cannot exceed 15% of the value of the claimed property.
- The agreement must disclose the nature and value of the property.
- The agreement must disclose the holder’s name and address.
- The agreement must state whether or not the property has been paid or delivered to the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania.
The Bureau of Unclaimed Property requires all powers of attorney submitted to comply with 20 Pa C.S.A. Section 5601. Therefore, each power of attorney will need the required notice signed by the principal and required acknowledgement executed by the agent. Please note that this is a generic, general notice required to appear on all powers of attorney authorizing a fiduciary relationship. The notice is simply a method of providing general information and protection to the principal, and does not convey a power to the agent; only the language in the actual power of attorney can convey power. For example, a power of attorney may convey only a limited power for one specific purpose, to recover unclaimed property for the principal. The statutory notice does not broaden the limited power conveyed in the power of attorney.
Q: How do I become a Pennsylvania unclaimed money finder and receive information from the Treasury Department? Who should I contact and can I purchase a list of owners?
A: All finders must undergo a background check by the Treasury Department. The Bureau of Unclaimed Property continues to make a list of unclaimed property owners available for purchase. The price is $300.00 plus sales tax (6%) for Pennsylvania residents only. This list contains the name, last known address, nature and value of the property and the name of the reporting entity for more than 450,000 owners. Along with payment, individuals requesting the finders’ disk must complete a Finder’s Disk Request Form. To request the forms, contact Sue Yingst at (717) 783-1811, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Bureau of Unclaimed Property, PO Box 1837, Harrisburg, PA 17105.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an Unclaimed Money Finder please click here.