State Removes Some Unclaimed Property From Website

Twenty-five dollars will buy a nice lunch for two or a few movie tickets, but, as of September, you won't find unclaimed property for less than that amount on the state's website.

Forensic accountant Mark Rambin searches the state's unclaimed funds website — ClaimItTexas.org — all the time.

"Until recently, it showed all the money that the state had for people," he said. "Now they've redacted that to where they don't show any amounts under $25."

When Rambin called the comptroller's office, he said they confirmed his suspicions. His next call was to our partner, the Dallas Morning News.

"I think it's kind of counterintuitive if they're really trying to give people their money back," Rambin said. "It sounds like it's small dollars, but it can really add up."

Unclaimed funds include unreturned utility deposits, a closed bank account that had money left over or even oil and gas royalties or unclaimed gift cards.

The state says there's a good reason why unclaimed funds under $25 are no longer on the website.

"On average, these claims were about $10," Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts spokesman Chris Bryan said. "It cost the state somewhere around $13 and that's just in staff time. That does not include printing or mailing or any of the other things that go into turning a claim."

The comptrollers office said, since they've made the change, they've been able to pay out more money and cut response times by four days.

"The 34,000 claims that were for under $25 represented about $350,000," Bryan said. "That's less than 1/10 of 1 percent of what we pay back."

That said, those 34,000 claims make up about 12 percent of the overall number of individual claims filed.

Rambin said he thinks the system should be switched back to allow everyone to search for their money, even small claims.

"If it's costing them too much money to administer the small claims, then maybe they could find a simpler way to deal with it," he said.

You can still check to see if you have that money coming to you by calling 800-654-FIND (3463) or submitting an online request to search for funds.

You never need to pay money to search for or claim your unclaimed property. You can also search national website MissingMoney.com, which contains information from multiple states.

If you have a consumer problem, call our hotline at 844-5-RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out the complaint form on the NBC 5 Responds page.

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