Texas Returning Unclaimed Property

10-13-05 - Oklahoma may have kicked off their lottery Wednesday, but Texas is giving money away this weekend. KXII has already found local viewers who are due some cash, and you could be next!

The state of Texas has millions of dollars in unclaimed property including funds left in old bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, or even old payroll checks.

Every year, the state prints out a list, and if you look closely, a few unlikely names are printed here as well.

At Denison schools, every penny counts. That's why superintendent Dr. Henry Scott was surprised when KXII told him Denison ISD was on the comptrollers list, and he made a call to Austin

Turns out that Denison ISD does have a claim. Last year the state returned more than $87 million, and this year $184,000 have unclaimed money or property. Among them, Denison ISD and also the city of Sherman.

Sherman's finance department is responsible for tracking down checks that citizens don't' cash. On average, that amounts to less than a dozen people who are owed anywhere from $500 to $600 a year.

This time, however, the city of Sherman is on the list. The city is owed $4,800.

A check from the state of Missouri written in 2001 was never cashed, and it is money the city never knew they had.

"It's not the city of Sherman's money, it's the taxpayers money and we would definitely try to collect that," Sherman Director of Finance Juan Guerra said.

The city is still researching where that money came from. If a claim needs to be filed, a resolution would have to be passed through the city council.

It's worth mentioning that regular citizens are on the list. You can look for it this Sunday printed in major newspapers across the state including the Dallas Morning News. The state only reports property worth at least $100.

You can log onto the website http://www.window.state.tx.us/up for more information.