Press Room

Comptroller Rylander Returns Unclaimed Funds to Three Retired Education Employees

Press Release Oct 15, 1999

Dallas, Texas -- Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander today returned more than $10,000 to three retired education employees whose money ended up on the state's Unclaimed Property List.

The list in 39 Texas newspapers will contain 114,351 names of unclaimed property owners for whom the Comptroller is holding $61 million. The Comptroller returned $3,677 to Billie McCauley of Galveston. The retired employee of the University of Texas Medical Branch didn't cash a paycheck.

Arthur Thomson, a retired appraiser for the San Antonio School District, got $3,850 back from the Comptroller for a matured bond that was turned over to the state, when he neglected to file up-to-date paper work.

Englantina Pena, a former public school teacher in Austin and San Antonio retrieved $2,644 from the Comptroller for a forgotten savings account "I want Texans to keep more of their hard-earned money. Unclaimed money belongs in the hands of its rightful owners, and I want to return it as quickly as possible," Comptroller Rylander said.

Unclaimed property can be anything from a forgotten bank account, to an uncashed check, or an unclaimed rent or utility deposit. Banks and businesses turn unclaimed assets over to the state after three to five years, if the owners cannot be located.

"This year for the first time, we attempted to locate unclaimed property owners by using technology to cross-check the unclaimed property list with a list of retirees receiving benefits from the Texas Teacher Retirement system. We found 11,000 matches, representing more than $1 million in unclaimed property. We will contact those retired education workers as we verify their addresses," Comptroller Rylander said.

The Unclaimed Property List that will appear in newspapers this Sunday contains only the names of unclaimed property owners who have at least $100 dollars coming to them, who have been reported to the state in the last 12 months. A more extensive list containing approximately 1.5 million names reported to the state in the last seven years is on the Comptroller's Internet site at www.window.state.tx.us. Anyone whose name does not appear in the newspaper or on the Internet, but who believes he or she may have lost track of some money may call the Comptroller's office at 1-800-654-3463 for a free search of the Unclaimed Property data base.

Overall, Comptroller Rylander is holding more than $7822 million in unclaimed property, including $111 million from forgotten bank accounts, $131.6 million in uncashed checks, $83.1 million in insurance proceeds, $49.4 million in mineral royalties, $123 million in uncashed payroll checks, $36.9 million in utility refunds, and more than $176 million in other types of unclaimed funds.

"While the state holds this money, it is used to help pay for state services, such as public education. But the money continues to belong to its rightful owners forever. I want to give it back," Comptroller Rylander said.

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