By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – How many times have you thought to yourself, ‘I just wish I had some extra money?’ Well, today might be your lucky day. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan is here to help you claim your cash.

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It’s hard to believe but in our area, $8 billion dollars in cash and property is sitting, just waiting for the rightful owner to show up and claim it. Today, 3 On Your Side is going to do our best to help get it back into your hands.

A new car! A Caribbean cruise! Designer clothes! What would you buy if you came into some unexpected cash? Well, you could be owed money and not even know about it.

“This is one of the oldest consumer protection laws in the country but one that’s the least known about,” says Michael Fedor, Director of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

In Pennsylvania alone, $2.3 billion dollars is being held in cash and unclaimed property. It could be a utility deposit that you never got back, a check that got lost in the mail or jewels, collectibles and memorabilia of every shape and size. When the owner can’t be found, it ends up with your state’s treasury department. According to Fedor, “We literally receive new property every month at the bureau and at least once a year, April 15th, companies are required to report unclaimed property. Folks may search one time and think they don’t have to search again.”

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In fact, in Pennsylvania nearly 1 in 10 people are estimated to have some sort of unclaimed property. State government sites, or state authorized websites make it easy to search for what’s yours. Fedor says, “Search in your name or the name of a spouse or even a church, Girl Scout troop or anything like that.”

3 On Your Side found $435 for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Elaine Grobman, of Komen Philadelphia, says, “I’m thrilled to accept that dollar amount to help us with our mission. Those dollars will have a great opportunity to help even more women.”

And the Mazzoni Health Center was thrilled to learn $1,242 was owed to them. Racquel Assaye, of Mazzoni, says, “We are always happy to receive more funding because most of our services are free to the users.”

So, what are waiting for? It’s time to claim your cash. Take this advice from Raquel Assaye: check the list, you just never know money could be there waiting for you.

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