It might sound too good to be true, but you could have money you didn’t even know about. Just ask Billie Buck of Burnet, Texas. She and her husband had no idea they had $113 waiting to be claimed through the Texas Unclaimed Property Program.
“I didn’t know I had any money or anything to claim out there until a friend found out about it by checking online,” said Buck. “My husband and I didn’t even dream we had anything out there. We were so surprised!”
Texas requires institutions, businesses and governmental entities to report to the state any personal property that has been abandoned or unclaimed for as many as five years, depending on the property in question. Returning that property to its rightful owners is one of the duties of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The Comptroller’s office estimates one in four Texans has money waiting to be claimed.
“Texas has $4 billion in unclaimed property, and as Comptroller, one of my jobs is to get that money back in the hands of those who earned it,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “I encourage Texans to ‘Come and get it!’ and search for their money online at ClaimItTexas.org or contact my office to claim their rightful property.”
Unclaimed property can represent dividends, payroll or cashier’s checks, abandoned bank accounts and safety deposit box contents, insurance proceeds, mineral interests, rebates, overpayment of utility bills and more.
Since the program’s inception 54 years ago, the Comptroller’s office has returned more than $2 billion in unclaimed property to its rightful owners.
“As part of our renewed focus on customer service, my office is working hard to return more unclaimed property than ever before,” said Comptroller Hegar. “This fiscal year alone we have already reunited approximately $266 million dollars with rightful owners all over Texas and around the country.”
To search for unclaimed property, visit ClaimItTexas.org or call 1-800-654-FIND (3463). Search online and start a claim in only a few minutes. Need help searching the database? Videos on the website will show you how to locate and claim your unclaimed property.
The greater Austin area has more than $178 million dollars waiting to be claimed. Check for yourself, friends and family. You could claim property under a nickname or maiden name, for a deceased loved one or even a business.
ClaimItTexas.org is updated frequently, so unclaimed property can surface at any time. The Comptroller’s office encourages Texans to search for unclaimed property at least once a year.
Even though the Buck’s unclaimed property claim of $113 was smaller than the average claim of $1,000, Buck says she was happy to hear about the unexpected windfall, and pleased about the bragging rights it offered.
“It was a fun little thing to find out,” said Buck. “I put it right toward the groceries, and got a few little special things. And I kind of bragged on it with my sisters.”