Unclaimed Property can be any financial asset that has been abandoned by the owner for one or more years. Some examples of property that can become abandoned are:
“Escheat” is a term often used incorrectly, when a company has transferred custody of funds from their own books to the state. In fact, the company has only “reported” funds to the state. The state has not taken ownership of the funds, and will continue to hold them until the rightful owner comes forward. Actual escheatment of property is very rare, and only done by government offices.
This site is legitimate. For more information go to the Texas Legislature Online and select Property Code. Chapters 72 through 75 apply to the reporting, delivery and claims process for abandoned property.
If you have concerns about the legitimacy of Texas Unclaimed Property, call the Better Business Bureau or your state representative to confirm our history.
Individuals and businesses are welcome to deal directly with Texas Unclaimed Property. You do not have to sign a contract with a private company to collect your money.
Heirfinders, asset recovery companies, locators, finders, tracers, collectors, investigators, researchers, brokers, etc. must be licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Private Security Bureau, and their fee cannot be more than 10% of the value of the abandoned property recovered - including all expenses incurred.
If the property involved is mineral proceeds, the fee may not include a portion of the underlying minerals or any production payment, overriding royalty or similar payment.
This office does not charge for the inquiry process. If you are able to locate any properties and collect them, the office will deduct a 1.5% handling fee from claims over $100.
Depending on how recently the company sent the money, it may not be visible yet. Every July, thousands of companies send unclaimed property to our agency at the same time, and it takes several months to put it all in to our system!
If you believe your property was sent at least a year ago, confirm with the company how your name was spelled when it was sent. If you are still unable to locate what you’re looking for, fill out our search form. Our Research Department will try to locate the property for you.
Some companies use the option of leaving your name off the funds if the total amount is under $50. (Starting with the 2015 reporting year, the limit is $25.) Instead of reporting thousands of tiny accounts worth only a few dollars each, they bundle them all together and turn it over as one lump sum. If this is your case, your name will not appear on our site.
To claim funds that were part of an aggregate lump sum, complete the Search Form and send it to us with a copy of the last statement and/or letter from the institution. This statement and/or letter should show the dollar amount and year reported. We will use that information to pay you the correct amount.
If a company didn’t report an address, this office may not be able to prove ownership. It will be up to you to prove dealings with the reporting institution related to the transaction, in order to claim these funds.
There is no liability in only starting a claim. If the office disproves ownership, we will simply notify you in a letter and continue to display the funds on our public website.
The state of Texas has no statute of limitations for unclaimed property. Funds reported to us will remain here indefinitely until the rightful owner claims them.
We do not provide blank unclaimed property forms. Find the funds that you wish to claim in Search Unclaimed Property, and select them by checking each small box. Answer the required questions, and the claim form will assemble itself. You can either print it yourself, or request that we mail it to you.
If you cannot locate the name you’re looking for, use our search form to get started.
If you are seeking to claim money that is listed under:
If your name is listed, then you are considered the owner. This has nothing to do with who owned the house at the reported address. This is only about the unclaimed property (example: paycheck, dividends, stocks).
We've created a video on how to identify additional owners. Watch the video.
Look at the Property Information boxes underneath the signature line. Each box will list a Reported Property Owner on the left side, and Additional Owner on the right.
If there is no name in that box, there is probably no additional owner.
If there is a name in the box, that person must sign the claim form and return a copy of identification along with yours.
If the Additional Owner box states one name “+ others”, then there are multiple owners and the form did not have enough room to list all of them. Contact us or call (800) 531-5441 ext. 6-4125 to find out what the unseen names are.
If you want to claim all the funds, refer to the information on Check Assignments.
If our site informed you that you did not need to mail a claim, just make a note of the claim number for your records and wait for payment.
Otherwise, you need to sign the form and return it with the required documentation to begin. No action is taken when the claimant orders a form from the site; we only begin when we receive the signed and completed form.
Use certified mail if you are sending something original and irreplaceable, such as uncashed checks or stocks and bonds. Otherwise, first class mail is fine. Keep a copy of everything you send, since mail delivery is not guaranteed. Send mail to:Unclaimed Property
You are welcome to visit our office in Austin. Our hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, and no appointment is necessary. We may not be able to process your claim while you wait, depending on the circumstances of your claim. We do not print checks on site. Your check will be mailed to you. We are located at:Unclaimed Property
We do not return documents. Most documents (originals and photocopies) are electronically scanned, then shredded immediately after they are received.
We do not recommend sending original documents, unless it is specifically required for your claim type and amount. Any original documents you send will not be returned to you.
Our office scans all incoming mail, faxes and paperwork. This allows us to store documents electronically. Please allow at least ten business days for us to scan your documents.
The reporting company sent the property to us with two or more names listed as owners. We cannot release the full amount to you without the permission of all parties. You must have the other party sign the Check Assignment form before a notary, then return it to our office.
You, the claimant, are the Assignee. The other party may be an individual person or a company, and is called the Assignor.
The Assignor must submit a copy of their ID with the completed Check Assignment form to our office.
If there are multiple Assignors, we require a completed Check Assignment form from each party.
If the Assignor is a company, the representative must also include proof that they are authorized to make such a decision on behalf of their organization.
The reporting institution sent us Earnest Money with both parties listed. We cannot release the money without the consent of both parties. If you are unable to locate the other party for a signature, you can present your real estate contract to Small Claims Court and convince a judge that the money is rightfully yours. We will accept a judge’s signature for full release of the money.
You may be required to submit an original check or other negotiable instrument. If you cannot provide it, you may need to purchase a Lost Instrument Bond. A Lost Instrument Bond is a guarantee that if the original check is found, it will be returned for official destruction and that the Texas Comptroller will not be held responsible for its value.
Pending claims will be suspended after 30 days of inactivity, but the suspension can be undone at any time by submitting the requested documentation. If you are assigned a claim number but we never receive any paperwork for it, the claim number will be eliminated after one year. Funds and properties that have not been successfully claimed will continue to remain available for future claim submission.
After your claim has been approved, allow 7-10 business days for your check to arrive in the mail.
The properties and the companies that submitted the money were listed on your claim form. If you no longer have a copy of your claim form, contact us. We will need the DOC number from the check stub.
We deduct a 1.5% handling fee from claims over $100.
If your check is substantially less than the original claim, it is possible that some properties were removed because it was determined they belonged to someone else.
If you are a co-heir for properties originally belonging to someone else, this office divides the properties and mails separate portions. You may have received only your portion of the total claim.
If part of your claim included active stock shares, this check does not include them. We may have mailed you the cash portion of your claim, but the shares are sent to you through electronic registration. You will be informed of this in greater detail in a separate letter.
If your property was related to mineral royalties or stocks, the companies may have been sending us additional revenue that was not made publicly visible on the website. It is standard practice to add these additional payments to your check before completing the claim.
No, we do not issue IRS 1099 forms. If you have concerns about tax reporting, consult an expert on tax preparation.