Unclaimed Money in Texas now totals over $4 billion. Since 1963 the state of Texas has been collecting and reuniting over $2 billion in unclaimed money and unclaimed property. In 2016 alone the state of Texas paid out over $281 million in missing money. According to the Texas State Comptroller’s website, unclaimed money is:
Unclaimed property can be abandoned assets. Some examples:
- 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
- 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. Funds reported will remain here indefinitely until returned to their rightful owner.
According to an Article on Dallas Patch, there is no statute of limitations on claiming:
There is no statute of limitations for unclaimed property the state holds, which means there’s no time limit for owners to file a claim — one can do so at any time.
The unclaimed property division processes online claims within two weeks while paper claims take longer to process. Some of the types of unclaimed funds accounts include:
The Texas Comptroller’s office also has some helpful tips on how to keep your money from becoming unclaimed property:
How can I prevent my assets from becoming unclaimed money?
- Keep accurate financial records.
You may want to keep a copy of statements for all of your accounts and policies in a secured location.
- Always open correspondence from financial institutions.
Your bank may be notifying you that they are closing your account. All accounts are subject to abandonment laws.
- Check on all of your open bank accounts.
Make a manual transaction at least once a year. Autodraft and interest payments are not considered manual transactions.
- Cash or deposit checks as soon as possible.
All checks expire, even when there is no printed expiration date.
- When you move:
- Contact your financial institutions directly about any change of address; most do not forward mail.
- Update your address with any company with which you have regular business dealings, including those issuing mineral interest and/or dividend checks.
- If you leave a job:
- Confirm that your employer has your current address for any additional payroll or reimbursement checks.
- Make sure you have information on how to collect any benefits or future pension payments.
- Keep a current list of all these financial accounts:
- open bank accounts
- insurance policies
- safe deposit boxes (with the box number and a copy of the key)
- oil and gas royalties
- other assets
- List all of your assets in your estate.
- Make sure your beneficiary information is up to date, including insurance policies.