Unclaimed Money in Texas
According to the Texas state comptroller there is currently nearly $2 billion in unclaimed money in Texas. Estimates indicate there are approximately 200,000 residents who are owed Texas unclaimed money and assets and most of them are not even aware of it.
One of the reasons why there may be so much property and assets waiting to be claimed in Texas is that many people often forget to collect insurance checks or salary checks when they relocate quickly. Whenever someone moves without leaving a forwarding address they may be leaving behind more than they realize.
In the event a financial establishment or business is not able to find the rightful owner of money and other financial assets for a period of five years in the state of Texas, those assets are issued to the state according to the Texas Unclaimed Funds Law. This is based on the escheat laws in the State of Texas. It then becomes the responsibility of the state comptroller’s office to handle the assets until the rightful owner makes a claim.
Texas unclaimed funds for many reasons
Unclaimed money in Texas can comprise a variety of different assets including unclaimed tax refunds, forgotten bank accounts, stock and cash dividends, savings accounts, uncollected insurance benefits, uncashed checks, money orders, gift certificates and even the contents of safety deposit boxes that have long since been abandoned. If assets are not claimed within a period of two years of being turned over to the comptroller’s office they will then be auctioned.
If you are interested in finding out whether you may be the rightful owner of family heirlooms, antiques or other assets or even money that may have been lost over the years it is important to make sure you check on the matter. If tangible assets are auctioned by the comptroller’s office, the proceeds will be turned back over to the comptroller’s office and may still be claimed by the rightful owners.
Where to find Texas unclaimed money
Overall it is thought that perhaps one in every four people residing in the state may have unclaimed money in Texas that is currently being held by the state. In 2010 Texas returned in excess of $163 million. If you would like to find out whether you may be the rightful owner of unclaimed property or money in Texas it is easy to find out. You can conduct a search at www.window.state.tx.us/up.
If you are contacted by a private company claiming they have found Texas unclaimed money for you it is important to exercise caution. In many cases you can usually make a claim on your own without the need to hire a private search firm.
Making a claim for unclaimed funds in Texas
To make a claim for unclaimed money in Texas you will need to complete a claim form and submit documentation. For all types of claims you will need to submit a standard form of identification for both the claimant as well as the owner in the event you are not the original owner.
If your address differs from the reported address you will also need to provide address verification. If the original owner of the money or assets is deceased you should be prepared to submit a copy of the probated will, death certificate or other heirship documents. In some instances, specific documentation may be required based on the type of property being claimed such as an insurance policy, bank statement, an original uncashed check, etc.
Once you have completed the form, signed it and returned it with proper identification and documentation your claim will be reviewed and claims should be paid within 60 to 90 days.
If your claim is approved there will be a handling fee that will be deducted from the amount that is returned to you. The handling fee is 1.5% for claims that exceed $100. There is no fee for claims that are less than $100. If you need to supply additional documentation, you will be contacted by the comptroller’s office regarding your claim for unclaimed money in Texas.