Texas Unclaimed Property - Texas has Returned More Than $3 Billion

Texas unclaimed property is an asset or fund without an active owner or proprietor. The rightful owner abandoned their financial assets over a long period and was categorized as unclaimed.
Unclaimed properties were being held by the local state government. The government has the right to handle unclaimed properties also known as escheatment.
This process will be done after the dormancy period of the asset. The dormancy period refers to the time allotment for the owners to claim their assets or funds.

Texas Unclaimed Property Dormancy Period

The dormancy period starts when a holder reports an unclaimed property and will last if the government approves the property to be unclaimed. Each asset has its respective dormancy period depending on the local state.
In Texas, the dormancy period of financial assets or funds lasts from one to fifteen years. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is in charge of the state's unclaimed property.
The executive branch is in charge of everything from reporting unclaimed property to reclaiming it. The rules and regulations governing unclaimed property in Texas are discussed in Title 6 of the Texas Property Code.
Unclaimed Property Holder
Holders are businesses, companies, or financial institutions that owe property to an individual. They are the ones who report the property that is being unclaimed.
Holders can be insurance companies, oil and gas companies, security brokers, local government entities, utility providers, institutions of higher education, mortgage and title companies, or any business that owes money from an individual.
Common Texas Unclaimed Property
There are different unclaimed properties in Texas, here are some of the most common:

1. Abandoned bank accounts
2. Uncashed checks
3. Overpayments
4. Payroll and vendor checks
5. Unredeemed gift cards
6. Insurance proceeds
7. Dividends
8. Mineral interests
9. Unclaimed tax refund

Dormancy Periods for Each Unclaimed

As each local state of the United States has its own rules and regulations for unclaimed properties, there are also different dormancy periods. Financial assets in Texas have a dormancy period ranging from one year to fifteen years.
The length of dormancy varies depending on the type of unclaimed property. Each unclaimed property in Texas has a dormancy period that can be found below.
For unclaimed properties under Financial Institutions
With 3 years dormancy period:

• Savings and checking accounts
• Unidentified deposits
• Matured certificates of deposit
With 5 year dormancy period:

• Other deposit accounts
For unclaimed properties under General Business, Intangible Personal Property, and Miscellaneous Checks:
With 1 year dormancy period:

• Wages
• Payroll
• Salary
With 3 years of dormancy period:

• Commissions
• Discount and refund/rebates due
• Unidentified remittances
• Customer overpayments
• Worker’s compensation and benefits
• Accounts that are payable and receivable credit balances
• Payment for goods and services
• Unrefunded overcharges
• Cash loan collateral
For unclaimed properties under checks
With 3 years of dormancy period:

• Registered, cashier, certified, expense, pension, vendor, and CD interest check
• Credit checks or memos
• Money orders
• Warrant
• Drafts
With 15 years of dormancy period:

• Traveler’s check
For unclaimed properties under Educational Savings Account
With 3 years of dormancy period:

• Educational saving accounts
• Educational saving accounts securities
• Educational saving accounts mutual funds
For unclaimed properties under Courts or Legal
With 3 years of dormancy period:

• Escrow and missing heir’s funds
• Condemnation awards
• Suspense accounts
For unclaimed properties under Health Savings Account
With 3 years of dormancy period:

• Health savings accounts
• Health savings account the investment
With 3 years of dormancy period:

• Proceeds from matured policies, endowments, or annuities
• Unidentified remittances
• Agent credit balances
• Individual policy benefits
• Group policy benefits
• Death benefits due to beneficiaries
• Premium refunds on individual policies
• Other amounts due under policy terms
For unclaimed properties under Mineral Interests
with 3 years of dormancy period:

• Net revenue interests
• Royalties
• Working interests
• Bonuses
• Production payments
• Overriding, shut-in, and minimum royalties
For unclaimed properties under Utilities
With 1 year dormancy period:

• Utility deposits
With 3 years of dormancy period:

• Membership fees
• Capital credit distributions
• Membership fees

How to File a Report for Unclaimed Property in Texas?

A holder's primary obligation is to ensure that any unclaimed property is returned to its rightful owner.
Therefore, the holder must file a report for the unclaimed property to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The reporting process consists of five steps to appropriately report the unclaimed asset.
1. Determine the dormancy of the financial asset – This is the first step in filing a report. You need to have the last communication with the rightful owner. After that, check whether the property reaches its respective dormancy period.

2. Notify the rightful owner of the financial asset – For the second step, the holder must inform the owner regarding his/her property. They need to send an email to each owner. The holder must state that they hold the property and need to deliver it to the Comptroller's office if it will not be claimed before July 1. Holders need to include these emails in their annual reports.
3. Prepare the report of the financial asset – The holder must prepare the report of the financial asset that was being unclaimed. They must include the contact date, Social Security Number, last known addresses, relationship code, and property description of the owner. This is required for the verification process of reclamation.

4. Pay and deliver the financial asset – Holders need to remit the unclaimed property to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Payments can be done through check or electronically with the State of Texas Financial Network (TEXT). Those who remit unclaimed property with more than $100,000 are required to pay electronically.
5. Penalty and interest for the late payments of the financial asset – Holders who were not able to have paid for unclaimed property at the given time can have a charge. Interest and penalties are based on the Comptroller’s office.
How to Claim Property?
For the reclamation process, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has its website for it. Simply visit the official website and search for your unclaimed property for an easier process.
Deadlines of various processes related to unclaimed property in Texas
March 1 – Cut off date for required unclaimed periods
June 30 – Life insurance cut off
July 1 – Cut off for submitting and payment of reports except for life insurance
November 1 – Cut off for submitting and payment of reports for life insurance
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