More Than $2 Billion In Unclaimed Property In Texas

Just in time for Christmas, you may have some extra cash you don't even know about.

The state of Texas is holding on to more than $2 billion of unclaimed money and Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers found out they're pushing to get it back to you and into the economy.

Each year the State Comptroller releases the names of hundreds of thousands of Texans who have money just waiting to be claimed.

This money can come from a number of places.

"It can come from bank accounts, utility deposits, travelers checks, cashiers checks, stocks, bonds, so there are a variety of types of unclaimed property that's turned over to the state," Comptroller spokesperson R.J. DeSilva said.

We searched friends, family, co-workers, even public officials.

"It is [a surprise], because I thought I had cleared all these out a few years ago and so, it looked like about $100 which won't hurt anybody," Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said.

Judge Gossom had unclaimed money from back in 2003 dealing with his late father's estate.

He said he'll either share the money with his siblings or put it to good use.

"Probably just put it toward Christmas expense or donate to something. So many things in need this time of year and it was not money we were counting on so, it may have a better purpose," Judge Gossom said.

Judge Gossom may only be entitled to a little less than $100 but, DeSilva said he's seen people who are owed combined property totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"You can claim the property anytime. There is no limit to how long the state will hold it," DeSilva said.

He said the Comptrollers office is stepping up efforts to inform people, companies and entities about their unclaimed funds. Just last year, the state put $163 million back into Texans' pockets.

"If people see this, they ought to take the time to see if it is enough money to make it worth it. If they don't need it, maybe they could donate it to a worthy cause," Judge Gossom said.

You can check to see if you have any unclaimed property anytime at claimittexasdot.org.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6