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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
July 23, 2010

Combs Plans Unprecedented Effort to
Return Unclaimed Money to Polk County

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs urges residents of Polk County to take advantage of a unique opportunity to find and reclaim forgotten money.

On Sunday, Aug. 1, the Polk County Enterprise will publish the names of 18,807 Polk County unclaimed property owners dating back to 1986.

“I like to call unclaimed property a do-it-yourself economic stimulus program,” Combs said. “People can put money in their pockets by simply checking the unclaimed property list and claiming the money that is rightfully theirs.”

In fiscal 2009, Combs returned $209,383 to Polk County residents, but the state is still holding more than $3.5 million in unclaimed property for people and businesses in the county. The Comptroller estimates 36 out of 100 Polk County residents have unclaimed property, which is why Combs is conducting an unprecedented, targeted outreach.

“Printing our database of Polk County unclaimed property owners is an extraordinary event,” Combs said. “We hope people will search for their own names and, in the process, discover names of friends and family who have money waiting to be claimed. Since some of this property has gone unclaimed for decades, there is a strong possibility that the owners have closed old businesses, left the county or passed away. It is important to search the list for names from the past.”

The average property in the Polk County database is about $113.

The special publication of the Polk County Unclaimed Property List goes above and beyond the Comptroller’s annual regional listing of unclaimed property owners in newspapers across the state. Each year, Combs publishes regional lists of unclaimed property owners who have been reported to the state within the past year and have at least $250 in unclaimed assets. To look for smaller amounts of unclaimed property and property reported in previous years, searchers must use the state’s unclaimed property website at www.ClaimItTexas.org or call (800) 654-FIND (3463).

Unclaimed property includes utility deposits or other refunds, insurance proceeds, mineral interest or royalty payments, dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks and abandoned safe deposit box contents. The state is holding about $2 billion dollars in unclaimed property for owners statewide.

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