programsUnclaimed Property

Asset Recovery Companies (Heirfinders)

Does Texas require search firms to be licensed?

Yes. The Texas Occupations Code defines what constitutes an investigator. Whether you call your business a locator, finder, tracer, heirfinder, collector, investigator, researcher, broker, etc., if you are going to charge a fee for locating missing owners in Texas, you must be licensed or registered with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Private Security Bureau.

You must also have a current Texas sales tax permit.

Does Texas have a limitation on finder fees?

Yes. Section 74.507 of the Texas Property Code limits fees – including expenses – to 10% of the value of the abandoned property recovered. There are also restrictions on mineral proceeds. Read the law.

How do I handle the claim process for my clients?

To request a claim form, you may contact the Comptroller's office at 800-654-3463 or by mail at:

Unclaimed Property
P.O. Box 12019
Austin, Texas 78711-2019

The claim form will be mailed directly to the claimant and must be signed by the claimant.

With a Limited Authorization Form on file with our office, you may facilitate the processing of the claim for your client. A separate authorization form must be submitted with each claim.

Download the appropriate form and mail it with the claim form.

Or you can contact our office at 800-321-2274 or 512-936-4125.

All documentation requested on the claim instructions must be provided to prove ownership and mailed to the address shown on the claim form. If we need additional documentation, the claimant will be contacted by phone or mail.

Once we receive the documentation necessary to prove ownership, the claim will be paid or the property released to the owner. We generally process and pay claims within 2 to 3 months. Claims that involve minerals, stocks, estates or other complex issues may take longer.

You may contact our office to check on the status of your client's claim.

Collecting your fee is dependent on the agreement between you and your client, and is your responsibility. We only approve payment and send checks directly to the claimant.

How can I find out if my client’s claim has been paid?

If you have the claim number, you can check the status of a claim using the Unclaimed Property Search tool.

The Comptroller's office will also respond to written inquiries from you. Furnish the following information in your request:

  • name and claim number of the owner as it appears on the Comptroller's unclaimed property listing
  • name of claimant
  • reporting institution
  • amount remitted