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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
December 3, 2009

Combs Returns Unclaimed Property to El Paso Officials, Urges Area Residents to Check the Unclaimed Property List

(EL PASO) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says the city of El Paso has reclaimed $37,894 in unclaimed property and El Paso County has reclaimed $57,377. In El Paso today, Combs presented city and county officials with checks representing the money they have reclaimed.

In addition, El Paso Independent School District has retrieved $3,689 in unclaimed funds, Ysleta ISD has reclaimed $6,041 and Socorro ISD has received $2,849 back from the state.

“Cities, counties and school districts face challenges in this tough economy,” Combs said. “Our office has expanded its efforts to quickly contact local government entities that have money on the state’s unclaimed property list and help them reclaim it, and I applaud the taxing entities in this area for taking the initiative to get this money back and put it to work for the taxpayers.”

Combs also urged all El Paso area residents to check the unclaimed property list to see if they have money waiting to be claimed.

The state is holding nearly $27.5 million dollars in unclaimed property for owners in El Paso County. The Comptroller’s office returned $1.14 million to El Paso owners last year, averaging more than $900 per claim.

The Comptroller’s office has re-invented the annual statewide unclaimed property newspaper insert, breaking it into six regional unclaimed property lists published on an extended schedule through Feb. 7, 2010.

“By focusing on one region at a time, we can provide better customer service and reunite people with their money faster because claims will be spread out over several months, rather than a single peak period,” Combs said.

El Paso County unclaimed property owners’ names appeared on the West Texas regional list, published Oct. 18. The West Texas regional list contains the names of 4,500 unclaimed property owners who have had at least $250 in forgotten funds reported to the state within the last year.

“If you missed the newspaper list back in October, you can still find out if the state is holding forgotten cash or other valuables in your name,” Combs said. “The unclaimed property Web site at www.ClaimItTexas.org is available year-round and contains the complete list of all owners of any amount of unclaimed property, from any year.”

You may also inquire about unclaimed property by phone at (800) 654-FIND (3463).

The state is holding about $2 billion in unclaimed property for missing owners statewide. The Comptroller estimates one in four Texans has money waiting to be claimed. In El Paso, one in five people could find their names in the unclaimed property data base. Examples of unclaimed property include dividend, payroll or cashier’s checks; stocks, bonds and mutual fund accounts; utility deposits and other refunds; insurance proceeds; mineral interest or royalty payments; dormant bank accounts; and abandoned safe deposit box contents.

“In these challenging economic times, Texas families are trying to make every dollar count,” Combs said. “Now more than ever, it is crucial that we reunite Texans with their unclaimed property.”

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