2009 Texas Code
PROPERTY CODE
TITLE 6. UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
CHAPTER 76. REPORT, DELIVERY, AND CLAIMS PROCESS FOR CERTAIN PROPERTY  

PROPERTY CODE

TITLE 6. UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

CHAPTER 76. REPORT, DELIVERY, AND CLAIMS PROCESS FOR CERTAIN

PROPERTY

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 76.001. APPLICABILITY. This chapter applies only to the

holder of property if:

(1) the holder is a school district, municipality, or county;

and

(2) the property is:

(A) presumed abandoned under Chapter 72 or 75; and

(B) valued at $100 or less.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 2000.

Sec. 76.002. OFFICERS AND REPRESENTATIVES. In this chapter:

(1) a reference to the treasurer of a holder includes a person

performing the duties of the treasurer of a holder in a school

district, municipality, or county in which the office of

treasurer does not exist;

(2) a reference to the chief fiscal officer of a holder includes

a person performing the duties of the chief fiscal officer of a

holder in a school district, municipality, or county in which the

office of chief fiscal officer does not exist; and

(3) a reference to the attorney for a holder includes an

attorney designated by the governing body of the holder to

represent the holder.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 2, eff.

Sept. 1, 2000.

SUBCHAPTER B. PROPERTY REPORT

Sec. 76.101. PROPERTY REPORT. (a) Each holder who on June 30

holds property subject to this chapter shall file a report of

that property on or before the following November 1. Each report

shall be filed with the treasurer of the holder as provided by

this section and on forms prescribed by the treasurer of the

holder.

(b) A holder required by Subsection (a) to file a report shall

file a report each successive year regardless of whether the

holder has any reportable property on June 30 of the year in

which the report is filed.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.102. VERIFICATION. (a) The person preparing a property

report shall place at the end of each copy of the report a

verification made under oath and executed by the chief fiscal

officer of the holder, as designated by the holder.

(b) The verification must include the following sentence: "This

report contains a full and complete list of all property held by

the undersigned that, from the knowledge and records of the

undersigned, is abandoned under the laws of the State of Texas."

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.103. RETENTION OF RECORDS. (a) The holder required to

file a property report shall keep a record of:

(1) the name and last known address of each person who, from the

records of the holder, appears to be the owner of the property;

(2) a brief description of the property, including the

identification number of the account, if any; and

(3) the balance of each account, if appropriate.

(b) The record must be kept until the 10th anniversary of the

date on which the property is reportable.

(c) The treasurer of the holder may provide for a shorter period

for keeping a record required by this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.104. CONFIDENTIALITY OF PROPERTY REPORT. (a) Except as

provided by this chapter, a property report filed with the

treasurer of the holder is confidential until the second

anniversary of the date the report is filed.

(b) Notwithstanding other law, the social security number of an

owner that is reported to the treasurer of the holder is

confidential.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

SUBCHAPTER C. NOTICE

Sec. 76.201. PUBLISHED NOTICE. (a) Except as provided by

Subsections (b) and (e), the treasurer of a holder shall publish

a notice in a newspaper in the calendar year immediately

following the year in which the property report is filed. The

newspaper must be a newspaper of general circulation in the

jurisdiction of the holder.

(b) The treasurer of the holder may use a method of publishing

notice that is different from that prescribed by Subsection (a)

if the treasurer determines that the different method would be as

likely as the prescribed method to give actual notice to the

person required to be named in the notice.

(c) The published notice must state that the reported property

is presumed abandoned and subject to this chapter and must

contain:

(1) a statement that, by addressing an inquiry to the treasurer

of the holder, any person possessing a legal or beneficial

interest in the reported property may obtain information

concerning the amount of the property; and

(2) a statement that the owner may present proof of the claim to

the treasurer of the holder and establish the owner's right to

receive the property.

(d) The treasurer of a holder may offer for sale space for

suitable advertisements in a notice published under this section.

Proceeds from the sale of the advertising space shall be used to

defray the cost of publishing the notices, with the remaining

amount, if any, to be deposited to the credit of the unclaimed

money fund.

(e) In the notice required by this section, the treasurer of the

holder may publish other information regarding property if the

treasurer determines that publication of that information is in

the public interest.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.202. NOTICE TO OWNER. (a) During the calendar year

immediately following the year in which the property report is

filed, the treasurer of the holder may mail a notice to each

person who has an address in this state and appears to be

entitled to the reported property.

(b) The notice must contain:

(1) a statement that property is being held by the treasurer of

the holder to which the addressee appears to be entitled; and

(2) a statement that the owner may present proof of the claim to

the treasurer of the holder and establish the owner's right to

receive the property.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.203. NOTICE THAT ACCOUNTS ARE SUBJECT TO THIS CHAPTER.

Publication of notice in accordance with Section 76.201 is notice

to the owner by the holder that the reported property is subject

to this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.204. CHARGE FOR NOTICE. The treasurer of the holder may

charge the following against the property delivered under this

chapter:

(1) expenses incurred for the publication of notice required by

Section 76.201; and

(2) the amount paid in postage for the notice to the owner

required by Section 76.202.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

SUBCHAPTER D. DELIVERY

Sec. 76.301. DELIVERY OF PROPERTY TO TREASURER. (a) Each

holder who on June 30 holds property that is subject to this

chapter shall deliver the property to the treasurer of the holder

on or before the following November 1 accompanied by the property

report.

(b) If the property subject to delivery under Subsection (a) is

stock or some other intangible ownership interest in a business

association for which there is no evidence of ownership, the

holder shall issue a duplicate certificate or other evidence of

ownership to the treasurer of the holder at the time delivery is

required under this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.302. VERIFICATION OF DELIVERED PROPERTY. (a) Property

delivered under Section 76.301 must be accompanied by a

verification under oath that:

(1) the property delivered is a complete and correct remittance

of all accounts subject to this chapter in the holder's

possession;

(2) the existence and location of the listed owners are unknown

to the holder; and

(3) the listed owners have not asserted a claim or exercised an

act of ownership with respect to the owner's reported property.

(b) The verification required by Subsection (a) shall be signed

by the chief fiscal officer of the holder, as designated by the

holder.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.303. LIST OF OWNERS. (a) The treasurer of the holder

shall compile and revise each year an alphabetical list of names

and last known addresses of the owners listed in the reports and

the amount credited to each account.

(b) The treasurer of the holder shall make the list available

for public inspection during all reasonable business hours.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.304. PERIOD OF LIMITATION NOT A BAR. The expiration of

any period specified by statute or court order, during which an

action or proceeding may be initiated or entered to obtain

payment of a claim for money, does not prevent the money from

being presumed abandoned property and does not affect any duty to

file a report required by this chapter or to deliver abandoned

property to the treasurer of the holder.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

SUBCHAPTER E. DISPOSITION OF DELIVERED PROPERTY

Sec. 76.401. SALE OF PROPERTY. (a) Except as provided by

Subsection (c), the treasurer of the holder shall sell at public

sale all personal property, other than money and marketable

securities, delivered to the treasurer of the holder in

accordance with Section 76.301. The treasurer of the holder shall

conduct the sale in the holder's jurisdiction.

(b) The treasurer of the holder shall sell the property to the

highest bidder. If the treasurer of the holder determines that

the highest bid is insufficient, the treasurer of the holder may

decline that bid and offer the property for public or private

sale.

(c) The treasurer of the holder is not required to offer

property for sale if the property belongs to a person with an

address outside this state or the treasurer of the holder

determines that the probable cost of the sale of the property

exceeds its value.

(d) If after investigation the treasurer of the holder

determines that property delivered has insubstantial commercial

value, the treasurer of the holder may destroy or otherwise

dispose of the property at any time.

(e) A person may not maintain any action or proceeding against

the state, an officer of the state, or the holder of property

because of an action taken by the treasurer of the holder under

this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.402. NOTICE OF SALE. Before the 21st day before the day

on which a public sale is held under Section 76.401, the

treasurer of the holder shall publish notice of the sale in a

newspaper of general circulation in the county where the sale is

to be held.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.403. PURCHASER'S TITLE. (a) At a sale, public or

private, of property that is held under this subchapter, the

purchaser receives title to the purchased property free from all

claims of the prior owner and prior holder of the property and

all persons claiming through or under the owner or holder.

(b) The treasurer of the holder shall execute all documents

necessary to complete the transfer of title.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

SUBCHAPTER F. CLAIM FOR DELIVERED PROPERTY

Sec. 76.501. FILING OF CLAIM. (a) A claim for property

delivered to the treasurer of the holder under this chapter must

be filed with the treasurer of the holder.

(b) All claims to which this section applies must be filed in

accordance with procedures and on forms prescribed by the

treasurer of the holder.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.502. CONSIDERATION OF CLAIM. The treasurer of the

holder shall consider the validity of each claim filed under this

subchapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.503. HEARING. (a) The treasurer of the holder may hold

a hearing and receive evidence concerning a claim filed under

this subchapter.

(b) If the treasurer of the holder considers that a hearing is

necessary to determine the validity of a claim, the treasurer of

the holder shall sign the statement of the findings and the

decision on the claim. The statement shall report the substance

of the evidence heard and the reasons for the decision. The

statement is a public record.

(c) If the treasurer of the holder determines that a claim is

valid, the treasurer of the holder shall approve and sign the

claim.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.504. PAYMENT OF CLAIM. (a) If a claim has been

approved under this subchapter, the treasurer of the holder shall

pay the claim.

(b) If a claim is for personal property other than money and has

been approved under this subchapter, the treasurer of the holder

promptly shall deliver the property to the claimant unless the

treasurer of the holder has sold the property. If the property

has been sold under Section 76.401, the treasurer of the holder

shall pay to the claimant the proceeds from the sale.

(c) Costs of publication and postage shall be deducted from the

amounts paid under this section, but deductions for any costs of

administration or service charges may not be made.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.505. APPEAL. (a) A person aggrieved by the decision on

a claim filed under this subchapter may appeal the decision

before the 61st day after the date the decision was rendered.

(b) If a claim has not been decided before the 91st day after

the date the claim was filed, the claimant may appeal within the

60-day period beginning on the 91st day after the date of filing.

(c) An appeal under this section must be made by filing suit

against the holder in a district court in the county in which the

claimed property is located. The holder's immunity from suit

without consent is waived with respect to a suit under this

section.

(d) A court shall try an action filed under this section de novo

and shall apply the rules of practice of the court.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.506. FEE FOR RECOVERY. A person who informs a potential

claimant that the claimant may be entitled to claim property that

is reportable to the treasurer of the holder under this chapter,

that has been reported to the treasurer of the holder, or that is

in the possession of the treasurer of the holder may not contract

for or receive from the claimant for services an amount that

exceeds 10 percent of the value of the property recovered. If the

property involved is mineral proceeds, the amount for services

may not include a portion of the underlying minerals or any

production payment, overriding royalty, or similar payment.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.507. CLAIM OF ANOTHER STATE TO RECOVER PROPERTY;

PROCEDURE. (a) At any time after property has been paid or

delivered to the treasurer of the holder under this chapter,

another state may recover the property if:

(1) the property was subjected to custody by the holder because

the records of the holder did not reflect the last known address

of the apparent owner when the property was presumed abandoned

under this chapter, and the other state establishes that the last

known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to

the property was in that state and under the laws of that state

the property escheated to or was subject to a claim of

abandonment by that state;

(2) the last known address of the apparent owner or other person

entitled to the property, as reflected by the records of the

holder, is in the other state and under the laws of that state

the property has escheated to or become subject to a claim of

abandonment by that state; or

(3) the records of the holder were erroneous in that the records

did not accurately reflect the actual owner of the property and

the last known address of the actual owner is in the other state

and under the laws of that state the property escheated to or was

subject to a claim of abandonment by that state.

(b) The claim of another state to recover escheated or abandoned

property must be presented in a form prescribed by the treasurer

of the holder, who shall decide the claim within 90 days after

the date it is presented. The treasurer of the holder shall allow

the claim if the treasurer of the holder determines that the

other state is entitled to the abandoned property under

Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

SUBCHAPTER G. UNCLAIMED MONEY FUND

Sec. 76.601. FUND. (a) The treasurer of the holder shall

maintain a fund known as the unclaimed money fund.

(b) The treasurer of the holder shall deposit to the credit of

the fund:

(1) all funds, including marketable securities, delivered to the

treasurer of the holder under this chapter or any other statute

requiring the delivery of unclaimed property to the treasurer of

the holder;

(2) all proceeds from the sale of any property, including

marketable securities, under this chapter; and

(3) any income derived from investments of the fund.

(c) The treasurer of the holder shall keep a separate record and

accounting for delivered unclaimed property, other than money,

before its sale.

(d) The treasurer of the holder shall from time to time invest

the amount in the unclaimed money fund in investments approved by

law for the investment of funds by the holder.

(e) The treasurer of the holder may from time to time sell

securities in the fund, including stocks, bonds, and mutual

funds, and use the proceeds to buy, exchange, invest, or reinvest

in marketable securities. When making the investments, the

treasurer of the holder shall exercise the judgment and care of a

prudent person.

(f) The treasurer of the holder shall keep a separate record and

accounting for securities delivered, sold, purchased, or

exchanged and the proceeds and earnings from the securities.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.602. USE OF FUND. (a) The treasurer of the holder

shall use the unclaimed money fund to pay the claims of persons

establishing ownership of property in the possession of the

treasurer of the holder under this chapter or under any other

unclaimed property or escheat statute.

(b) Each fiscal year after deducting funds sufficient to pay

anticipated expenses and claims of the unclaimed money fund, the

treasurer of the holder shall transfer the remainder to the

general fund of the holder.

(c) The treasurer of the holder and the attorney for the holder

may use the unclaimed money fund generally for the enforcement

and administration of this chapter, including the expenses of

forms, notices, examinations, travel, court costs, supplies,

equipment, and employment of necessary personnel and other

necessary expenses.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.603. AUDIT; BUDGET. The unclaimed money fund is subject

to:

(1) audit by the auditor of the holder or an independent auditor

if the holder does not have an auditor; and

(2) budgetary procedures adopted by the governing body of the

holder.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

SUBCHAPTER H. ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 76.701. RULES. The treasurer of the holder may adopt rules

necessary to carry out this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.702. EXAMINATION OF RECORDS. (a) To enforce this

chapter and to determine whether reports have been made as

required by this chapter, the treasurer of the holder, at any

reasonable time, may examine the books and records of the holder.

(b) The treasurer of the holder, attorney for the holder, or an

agent of either person may not make public any information

obtained by an examination made under this section and may not

disclose that information except:

(1) in the course of a judicial proceeding authorized by this

chapter in which the holder is a party; or

(2) under an agreement with another state allowing joint audits

or the exchange of information obtained under this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.703. ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL. (a) The treasurer of the

holder and the attorney for the holder may employ, in the office

of either person, additional personnel necessary to enforce this

chapter.

(b) The salary rate of additional personnel may not exceed the

rate paid to other employees of the holder for similar services.

(c) The salaries of additional personnel shall be paid in

accordance with Section 76.602.

(d) The provisions of this section are subject to the budgetary

procedures adopted by the governing body of the holder.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

Sec. 76.704. OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the

person:

(1) wilfully fails to file a report required by this chapter;

(2) refuses to permit examination of records in accordance with

this chapter;

(3) makes a deduction from or a service charge against a dormant

account or dormant deposit of funds; or

(4) violates any other provision of this chapter.

(b) An offense under this section is punishable by:

(1) a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000;

(2) confinement in jail for a term not to exceed six months; or

(3) both the fine and confinement.

(c) In addition to a criminal penalty, a person who commits an

offense under Subsection (a) is subject to a civil penalty not to

exceed $100 for each day of the violation. The attorney for the

holder shall collect the civil penalty by bringing suit in a

district court of the county in which the holder is located.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1037, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1,

1997.

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