More than 142,000 unclaimed property owners who have lost track of $71 million in cash and other valuable assets could find their names in Texas newspapers on Sunday, October 19th, when Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn publishes the annual Unclaimed Property List.
"This is unclaimed property owned by Texans that has been reported to the state within the last year alone," Strayhorn said. "When you add up the money that remains unclaimed from previous years, the unclaimed property fund has now reached an incredible $1 billion. That's money that rightfully belongs to hardworking Texans. "With so much money waiting to be claimed, it is important to take a few minutes to check the Unclaimed Property List every year," Strayhorn said. "As one tough grandma, I know that no Texan can afford to walk away from their hard earned dollars. "While the state is holding this money, it is put to good use to educate our children and provide other essential state services, but I would much rather give it back to its rightful owners, especially in these tough economic times."
In addition to checking the Unclaimed Property List in the newspaper, Strayhorn urges Texans to visit her Unclaimed Property Web site . The site contains the names of unclaimed property owners on this year's list and from previous years. The online database also includes unclaimed property owners who have less than $100 in unclaimed property, whose names are not published on the newspaper list.
Unclaimed property can be anything from a forgotten rent or utility deposit, to an un-cashed check, a dormant bank account or an abandoned safe deposit box. Banks and businesses turn these assets over to the state after three to five years if the owners cannot be found, but unclaimed property continues to belong to its rightful owners. There is no time limit to claim the money.
Since Strayhorn took office, she has returned more than $300 million in unclaimed property to its owners.