Comptroller’s office holding $4.5 billion in unclaimed property

by Cristin Parker

Want to search for some buried treasure this summer?

It’s easy, thanks to the Texas State Comptroller’s unclaimed property list.

“Over the entire state of Texas there is currently $4.5 billion just waiting to be claimed,” Comptroller spokesperson Kevin Lyons said.
“Last year we returned a record $281 million to Texas residents, which beat our previous record of $270 million in 2016. In fact, we’ve managed to increase claims every year for the last five years.”

Lyons said the Comptroller’s office is currently holding an estimated $4.2 million in unclaimed property for Cherokee County residents alone.

“It’s your money,” Lyons said. “Come claim it.”

Since 1963, the state has mandated institutions, businesses and governmental entities to report any personal property that’s been unclaimed for up to five years, depending on the property.

“The Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Division works diligently to give Texas citizens back what is truly theirs,” Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) said in his column in today’s Cherokeean.

The Comptroller’s office offers a simple internet search at that Texas residents can use to find out if they have any unclaimed property on the list. Texans can also call (800) 654-FIND (3463) to search for unclaimed property.

“I found out about the unclaimed property list while playing around on the internet,” said Rusk resident Chuck Reece, who recently made a claim for his unclaimed property. “I did a search just for fun and much to my surprise, I was on the list. The website really makes claiming easy, too.”

According to the Texas State Comptroller’s website, unclaimed property can be abandoned assets including dividend, payroll or cashier’s checks; stocks, bonds or mutual fund accounts; utility deposits and other refunds; bank accounts and safe deposit box contents; insurance proceeds; mineral interest or royalty payments; court deposits, trust funds or escrow accounts; and overpayments on insurance, utilities and other bills. Unclaimed property does not include real estate or vehicles.
“There is no statute of limitations for unclaimed property,” the Comptroller’s website states. “Funds reported will remain (on the list) indefinitely until returned to their rightful owner.”

Unclaimed property searches are free, although the Comptroller’s office will deduct a 1.5 percent handling fee from claims over $100.