AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the 2022 fiscal year, 160,000 Texans got checks totaling $309 million for unclaimed property. The money comes from things like forgotten utility deposits, insurance proceeds, payroll checks, cashier’s checks, dividends, mineral royalties and abandoned safe-deposit box contents.
In the past, to get the money, Texans would have to go to ClaimItTexas.org to see if they were owed money and file a claim. Thanks to a new law now in effect in Texas, many people won’t even have to go through those steps.
According to the Texas Comptroller’s office, it will now send checks to people without requiring them to file a claim. That’s because of Texas House Bill 1514, which was passed by lawmakers in 2021. It directs the agency to send checks for unclaimed properties under $5,000, if the agency believes it can link the owed money to the correct owner. People who don’t want to wait can still make claims by going to ClaimItTexas.org.
The Comptroller’s office has returned more than $4 billion in unclaimed property since this program began in 1962. The state is currently holding more than $7 billion in cash and other valuables.
Businesses generally turn property over to the unclaimed property program after it has been considered dormant for one to five years.
There is generally no statute of limitations for unclaimed property the state holds, which means there’s no time limit for owners to file a claim; they can do so at any time.