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Free Texas Unclaimed Money Lookup
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Learn how to get your valuable money and property in our ultimate guide to unclaimed money in Texas that goes over the steps.
The chances are good that you heard about unclaimed money and property but didn’t bother looking because you assumed that none of the funds belonged to you. As of April of 2021, the Lone Star State returned more than $3 billion to those who had assets held by the state. Texas requires that holders of all types of accounts and assets contact the State Comptroller when they lose contact with an owner for a period of one to three years or longer. The comptroller then gives the owner the right to claim their abandoned property through the online database.
It’s helpful to look at some examples of unclaimed money to get an idea of what type of property you might find. You’ll also want to look at the information needed to file a claim in Texas and what steps the state asks that you follow. You don’t need to live in a big city such as Houston or Dallas. Through our ultimate guide to unclaimed money in Texas, anyone who lives or lived in the Lone Star State can learn how to claim their property.
The Texas State Comptroller started demanding that holders report abandoned and unclaimed assets in 1963. This led to the creation of the Texas Unclaimed Property Division, which oversees the property. The division works with both government agencies as well as banks and other organizations. Payroll checks are one example of the money that you might find. These checks come from employers who owe money to their workers for any reason such as an expense check they earned during a business trip or a final paycheck for someone who changed jobs.
All utility companies in Texas have the right to charge a new customer deposit when setting up an account. Those most will apply the deposit to your account after around a year, you may have the chance to request a refund. Some companies also issue a refund if you turn off your service. A refund check that you never got should appear in the Texas system as long as the utility provider offered service in the state.
Royalty payments that belong to a sole owner or a family are also available. Anyone who owns land in your family may work out a royalty agreement with a company that gets gas or another type of natural resource from the land. Many of these deals remain with the land, which allows future owners to get the money that they deserve. Texas makes it easy for you to find royalty agreements online and change the name of the listed owner.
You even have the right to claim agreements that someone who passed away owns, which you can use when settling their estate.
The Texas system can help you find other types of accounts, too. Let’s say that you bought a home and added more money to your escrow account than you needed before selling the property. The lender will attempt to send the balance on the account back to you before sending it to the comptroller. If you paid a court deposit and didn’t get it back, you’ll find it in the Texas system. The Lone Star State often requires court deposits in cases where the court holds an expensive piece of property until the judge makes a decision. Some need to make a deposit with the court known as bail when they face criminal charges.
All it takes is one simple search to see the assets that Texas holds for you. You can search for assets that your close friends and loved ones lost as well as different types of property owned by deceased people. Not only can you find checking and savings accounts, but you may find safe deposit boxes also. Texas can help you track down insurance payments and thousands of dollars in other types of assets. Use our guide to see how you can search the comptroller database in just a few minutes.
As the Texas State Comptroller is responsible for the Unclaimed Property Division, you should start your search on the site.
Step 1: Visit the official website of the Texas Unclaimed Property Division. Find the “Claiming Property” box that asks for your information.
Step 2: Enter both your first and last names or just your last name in the search box. You can also click on the “Get Started” button and enter your information on the new page that loads.
Step 3: Check out all the assets that the site lists to find ones that you can claim. Texas shows both the owner’s name and address along with the name of the holder and the property type such as insurance premium refund or a payroll check. You can also see the exact value of the asset, which tells you how much the account is worth.
Step 4: To claim property, click on the black “Claim” button. If you click on the wrong one, you can click it again to remove it. We recommend looking through all assets and claim each one that you can. This allows you to enter your information just one time and use it on all of your forms. You will also need to click on the “Claim” button at the bottom of the page to continue with the process.
Step 1: View all the assets that you claimed. As the owner, you need to make sure that your name and current/former address match the information on the property.
Step 2: Use the “Claimant Relationship” box to show whether you plan to file as the owner or one of the other relationships listed. Click on the “Next” button to continue with your claim.
Step 3: Fill out all the marked boxes on the claim form. If you do not have a social security number, the Lone Star State lets you click a box to skip this step. Click on the “Next” button after you fill out each box. The site will stop you from moving on it if it finds that you missed any box.
Step 4: Preview your Texas claim, making sure that you shared the right information and that you completed all the required steps. You can then click on the red “Submit” button to send your claim to the Unclaimed Property Division.
Step 5: Take photos or make copies of all the documents and information that you need for your claim. Visit the Texas upload page to upload the documents. You will first enter the claim number and your email address. The website then lets you search your device to select the documents that you want to add and upload them.
Step 6: Wait for the Texas Comptroller to send an email that shows the division received your claim. You may get an email that lets you know that the state received all of your required information and will process your claim or that you need to supply some more information.
The listed owner is not the only person who can file a claim for an abandoned asset. Texas also accepts claims filed by someone who has power of attorney over another as well as a trustee filing for an estate asset. During the probate process after someone passes away, Texas allows their relatives and others to file if they are the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate. You can also file as an official officer of a business or the parent of a child. Texas will often fulfill claims filed by the heirs of deceased individuals, too.
Other Places to Find Unclaimed Property on the Web
By the spring of 2021, the Texas Comptroller and Unclaimed Property Division returned more than $3 billion to current and former residents. This includes more than $300 million claimed by owners in the previous fiscal year. Texas estimates that it had more than $5 billion in unclaimed assets, which is significantly more than some states hold. As the entire country has $42 billion in unclaimed assets, this means that Texas holds more than 5% of the total unclaimed money in the whole nation. One out of every four people in Texas has unclaimed property in the state database.
Most of the unclaimed property laws in Texas that you need to know are available online if you want to look over them. The laws cover what happens to abandoned physical property such as property that someone left behind in a hospital or jail. You may want to check out how long holders have to report abandoned property and what banks do with accounts that the owners no longer use.
The Texas Match the Promise Foundation is a program that gives money to local students in the form of scholarships. Students and their parents need to sign up and put money back for their college costs. The foundation supplies students with scholarships that match the money their families saved for them. When you claim property through the database, the site will ask if you want to donate to the foundation. You can donate as little as you want up to the total amount that you can claim.
It usually takes 10 minutes or less to file a claim in Texas. You just need to find the asset in the database and complete the steps to claim it. It may take a little longer to upload your documents, especially if you have a slow internet connection. The process also takes longer if the comptroller finds that it needs more information. Texas can take up to eight weeks to release your funds and send a check to your listed address. The state’s status checker lets you check daily and see how long the process will take. You just need your claim number, which you will find on your original claim form. The comptroller can send a claim number to you via email or give it to you over the phone.
The Texas Comptroller allows banks to hand over the contents of safe deposit boxes after only one year of no contact with the owner. Banks can only start the countdown when the owner makes their last rental payment. If both the bank and the state cannot locate the owner or anyone else with a claim to the property, Texas will sell the contents of the abandoned boxes. Not all contents go up for sale though. Anything with a value of $50 or less as well as papers and documents with no real value will not go up for sale. Texas does not sell most types of weapons either. Anyone with an eBay account can bid on the abandoned property. The money raised from the auctions will go into trusts for the listed owners and their heirs.
When you search the Texas system, you’ll see a value amount attached to each property. Some assets may show no value or $0 next to them. This means that the state has some type of physical property that belongs to you such as a stock or bond. In the case of a security, the comptroller receives the property from a trader or a similar organization. If you file a claim and the state still has the security, you need to go through a trader. The trader can transfer the money into your stock account and make sure that you get it back. Texas will sell some stocks and bonds through traders and set aside the money that they made. You can file a claim for the full value of the stocks sold for as well as any dividends that they earned before the sale. In cases where heirs file for stocks or bonds, the state will evenly split them among all of them.
Texas will hold all of the property that it receives until it finds someone who can claim it. Though this often refers to the original owner, it can refer to their children or other heirs such as a spouse. Holders can turn over some property to the Lone Star State after one year but may need to keep the property for up to five years. Once you file a claim through the comptroller’s website, you have 30 days to submit all of your required documents and respond to any mailings sent to you. If you do not finish your claim within 30 days, it will revert back to the online database.
Yes, Texas makes several attempts to find property owners every year. The comptroller releases a new list at least once a year that includes the names of everyone who has property in the system along with any new names added in the past 12 months. You may see a few notices posted in local newspapers that let you know a new list is available. In most cases, you will not get a letter or notice directly from the comptroller. Companies that have assets for others will send notices to the last known address that they have on file. If you act quickly, you may have the chance to claim your property before it goes to the comptroller.
When a loved one passes away, you can expect to get letters from fee finders who work in the Lone Star State. Working with one is helpful if you have limited time and don’t mind losing some of your money. Though Texas does not require that fee finders sign a contract with a property owner, they require that finders charge fees of no more than 10% of what the owner can claim. If you have $5,000 worth of property held by the state, the finder can charge up to $500 for their services. Texas does not charge you to use the online system and offers some resources for free, too. You can also contact the comptroller for more help.
If you need to move for any reason, notify all of the organizations and companies that hold your property. You also want to visit the UPS and fill out a change of address form. The UPS also lets you fill out this form online but charges a small fee for online users. It will forward any mail sent to your old home to your new address. Texas recommends that you open any letters or notices that you get as soon as possible and that you manually check on your financial accounts at least once a year. Make sure that you write down all of your account numbers and passwords for your loved ones in case they need them, too.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time or waste tons of effort to find the assets that Texas has for you. All it takes is one visit to the Unclaimed Property Division to search for your name. Texas lets you upload any of the documents that it requires online and allows you to check on the status of a filed claim. Use our ultimate guide to unclaimed money in Texas along with other resources to find all of your money.
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