Texas May Owe You Some Money

by Randy Watson

You might just be owed $17 or maybe millions of dollars and just not know that your money is being held in the Texas State Treasury. Texas has $2 billion dollars of unclaimed money held by the Texas Comptroller's office.

"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," says Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

Dallas resident Winston D. Johnson claimed and received nearly $4.3 million in 1996. Many claims by individuals average about $1000. Unfortunately, I only was able to claim about $535 for myself. About $135 was from a savings account that went dormant for non-activity. The other $400 was from the sale of some San Antonio real estate a few years ago. (Never have figured out exactly why I was owed that money, though.)

Unclaimed property is any financial asset that has been abandoned for 1 year or more. Examples of abandoned property are:

  • Dividend, payroll or cashier's checks
  • Stocks, mutual fund accounts, bonds
  • Utility deposits and other refunds
  • Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Insurance proceeds
  • Mineral interest or royalty payments
  • Court deposits, trust funds, escrow accounts

The unclaimed property law requires financial institutions, businesses, and government entities to report to the state, personal property they are holding that is considered abandoned or unclaimed. Unclaimed property must be turn over to the Texas Comptroller office for safe keeping until the rightful owner claims the abandoned property. It's not just individuals that have money being held at the Texas Comptrollers office, corporations and even county and local governments are owed money by the State, too.

How can you find out if the State of Texas is holding abandoned property on your behalf? Just check the Official State of Texas website at: Texas Official Unclaimed Property Website

It's kind of fun to find out if the State of Texas owes you any money. I also checked for my friends and family. I found about $100 for my sister and even $270 for my insurance broker.