FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly $2.5 billion in property has gone unclaimed in Texas, and state officials estimate nearly one in four of us have money we don’t even know about.

Under state law, banks, credit unions, businesses and government agencies are required to report to the state about any personal property they are holding that is considered abandoned or unclaimed – typically after a one-to-five year waiting period.

“In fiscal 2011, Texas returned more than $165 million to its rightful owners, $18 million more than in fiscal 2009 when the grassroots outreach efforts started,” the state comptroller’s office said in a press release touting the program.  “The average claim is more than $1,000.”

A website established by the state – – allows people to search under their name or the name of their business.  The initial search process takes only a minute to complete, the state said.  In addition to the website, Texans can also call 1-800-654-FIND (3463).

Texas has no statute of limitations on unclaimed property.  It will always belong to its owners or their heirs.

Amy Redmond, a state unclaimed property specialist, will be a guest on CBS 11 News this Wednesday to discuss how viewers can check to see if they have money.

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