Searching for Unclaimed Property


Do you remember how you felt when you were young and you checked the vending machine coin return and perhaps found a quarter? Or maybe you were even lucky enough to find a dollar lying in the street with no one in sight? Well, you may be able to rekindle that warm and fuzzy feeling . . . and if you are lucky, you may find more than $1!


Each state is responsible for the custody of lost, outstanding and dormant accounts reported to them by businesses that have lost contact with the rightful owner. It may be forgotten bank accounts, un-cashed checks, security deposits, utility refunds or other unclaimed monies. Since online computer searches are now possible, it is much easier for rightful owners or their heirs to find and claim their forgotten property.


Unclaimed Property – Texas and Other States


One in four Texans has unclaimed property for a total of more than $2 billion in unclaimed assets! Try your luck by visiting the Texas State Comptroller website and click on Search Unclaimed Property. From here you can enter your name, or even the name of your parents, children, siblings, friends and businesses to find funds that were long forgotten. And don’t forget to check under maiden names as well. Documentation is required to be submitted by the rightful owner to make a claim.


Remember to search each state in which you have ever lived as they may also be holding unclaimed money for you. This website has links to the state agency handling unclaimed property for each state. The laws and methods for reclaiming lost property are state specific.


Property - Federal


The federal government doesn’t have a centralized unclaimed property site like the states do, so it is harder to check for unclaimed property. But if you or your parents were Treasury Series E Bond buyers, you can check the Treasury Hunt site to look for unclaimed bonds issued in 1974 and after. Click Start Search in the box near the bottom of the page. You will need to know the social security number of the bond purchaser.


Good luck and happy hunting!