Bizzarro’s unclaimed property, first-time homebuyers bills advanced by committees

House Bills 126 and 2092 move to House floor for consideration

HARRISBURG, May 21 – A pair of bills, including one that would allow the creation of first-time homebuyers savings accounts and another to modernize the recovery of unclaimed property from the state Treasury, advanced out of their respective committees with unanimous support for consideration by the full House, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced Tuesday.

The House Housing and Community Development Committee unanimously approved Bizzarro’s H.B. 126 Tuesday morning. The bill would allow first-time homebuyers to deposit money into a savings account held in the state Treasury, for the exclusive purpose of purchasing a first home. The money could be deducted from their state income tax, and family or friends can also contribute. Money deposited into these accounts can be used to pay the down payment and closing costs for the purchase of a single-family home in Pennsylvania.

“The number of first-time homebuyers has decreased significantly over the past few years thanks to barriers like a housing shortage and skyrocketing mortgage rates. But this is a tool we can provide to help people overcome these financial obstacles,” said Bizzarro. “A savings account program like this could result in an annual increase of up to 4,000 home purchases in Pennsylvania, resulting in a great economic impact across the state.”

Additionally, the House Finance Committee Tuesday unanimously approved Bizzarro’s H.B. 2092. It would require the PA Treasury to automatically return up to $10,000 in unclaimed property to any person whose ownership and identity can be verified. The bill directs the Treasurer to establish data sharing procedures with state agencies that have updated contact information for property holders.  Unclaimed property currently held by the PA Treasury can include money from old bank accounts, savings bonds, coins, jewelry, military medals and other physical items.

“The Pennsylvania Treasury currently has $4.5 billion in unclaimed property stuck in limbo waiting to be returned to its rightful owners. But the current unclaimed property process is cumbersome and antiquated,” said Bizzarro. “Thanks to today’s vote, we’re one step closer to making it easier and quicker for people to reunite with what’s rightfully theirs.”

Both H.B. 126 and H.B. 2092 advance for consideration from the full House.