(AUSTIN) â€” For the first time in the history of the Texas Comptroller, more than $200 million in unclaimed property were returned to rightful owners in a fiscal year, Comptroller Susan Combs announced this week.
During fiscal year 2014, which ended Aug. 31, Combsâ€™ agency returned $205,341,447 in unclaimed property. The previous high water mark for unclaimed property returned by the agency was $177.6 million in fiscal 2013.
“As Comptroller I have always been committed to returning as much unclaimed property as possible to rightful owners,â€ Combs said. “This is why weâ€™ve worked hard to become not only more efficient in our outreach and processing but also more effective.â€
Unclaimed property payments began in 1962, and approximately $900.8 million was returned in the 45 years prior to Combs taking office in 2007. Since then nearly $1.25 billion has been returned to rightful owners by Combsâ€™ agencyâ€” more than all other prior Texas comptrollers combined.
In fiscal 2014, claims were paid as far north as Booker and as far south as Brownsville; as far east as Burkeville and as far west as El Paso.
The more than $200 million in unclaimed property for this fiscal year includes forgotten utility deposits or other refunds, insurance proceeds, payroll checks, cashierâ€™s checks, dividends, mineral royalties, dormant bank accounts and abandoned safe deposit box contents. Businesses turn over property to the unclaimed property program after the property theyâ€™re holding has been dormant for generally between one to five years.
There is no statute of limitations for unclaimed property the state is holding, which means there is no time limit for owners to file a claim â€“ they can do so at any time.