About Texas Unclaimed Property
You may have unclaimed property if you ever:
- Had a bank account, safe deposit box, trust fund or escrow account
- Received dividend, payroll or cashier’s checks
- Made court deposits
- Had mineral interests or royalty payments
- Overpaid on insurance, utility or other bills
- Received rebates on purchases, such as a cell phone or computer
- Held stocks, bonds or mutual funds
- Made utility deposits
Getting Back Your Green
You — yes, you — may own part of about $3 billion in unclaimed property held by the Texas Comptroller’s office that has not been claimed and approximately $800 million in shared property that has been partially claimed and paid to some of the owners. One in four Texans has money and items from old bank accounts, royalty and payroll checks, insurance policies, safe-deposit boxes and other sources.
Banks and companies make every effort to unite these assets with their owners, but if they cannot after a one to five year period, state law requires the assets to be turned over to the Comptroller’s office. Then, the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Division works diligently to give Texas citizens back what is rightfully theirs.
“Many folks could use some extra cash right now, and we want to give Texans back their property, whether it is personal property or money that could save taxpayer dollars by going back to city and county treasuries,” says Comptroller Susan Combs.
In fiscal 2011, the Comptroller’s office returned more than $165 million to its owners. We want that figure to continue to rise, and we're working harder than ever to reunite Texans with their unclaimed property.
The average claim paid out to individuals is about $1,000. Many claims are much higher, although no one has come close to a Dallas resident who claimed and received nearly $4.3 million in 1996.
How to Find Money
Nearly a decade ago, the Comptroller’s unclaimed property listings went online, in a database allowing anyone to search for their names and file a claim to have their funds returned. Search for yourself, your family and your friends today. See what may be owed to you. Our database is updated regularly with new property received by the Comptroller’s office.
Notices may be mailed to owners reported with complete last known addresses.
You can also request searches by:
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Unclaimed Property Claims Section
P.O. Box 12046
Austin, Texas 78711-2046
Include the following in your request:
- the name you would like searched,
- addresses in the Texas cities in which that person has lived,
- a social security number and
- current mailing address for claim purposes.
Claim Processing Time
It takes approximately 3 to 4 months to review and process an Original Owner claim once it is received at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Claims that involve minerals, stocks, estates or other complex issues may take longer. Check your claim status online.
Deadline to Claim
Technically, there is no deadline for claiming forgotten money or items. In fact, if the owner has passed away, heirs can legally claim their family’s assets.
Going, going — but not gone… Texas was the first state to sell unclaimed property online — specifically, safe deposit box contents whose owners have been unreachable for more than six years. The auctions began in 1999 on the popular auction website eBay.com. The Unclaimed Property division now holds weekly auctions, and the Comptroller’s office is a “Top-rated seller” with 99.9 percent positive feedback.
But rest assured that, even if your long-forgotten necklace was sold, the proceeds are and always will be yours. Proceeds from the eBay.com auctions are “liquid” unclaimed assets; belong to the owner (not the state); and have no claim deadline.
To view our current auctions, go to the “tx.unclaimed.property” eBay seller site and view current listings.
If you have need additional assistance, please contact us.