CHICAGO (WIFR) -- Imagine finding out that you have more than $600,000 in unclaimed cash. Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says that’s exactly what is happening to one Chicago-area man, who will soon enjoy a nearly $662,000 check because stock companies and insurance companies transferred unclaimed property to the treasurer’s office in this person’s name. This claimant found the property through the I-Cash program. The claimant is choosing not to be identified, and the treasurer’s office cannot legally release the man’s name without permission.
In late September, Rutherford delivered an $8.1 million check to Tenneco, Inc. “That check was the largest in the history of the treasurer’s office’s Unclaimed Property Division,” said Rutherford. “I’m pleased to see another large check go out to an individual because it was his property, and now he can use it to further stimulate the
The treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division’s costs, including staff, computers and travel, are paid for through the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, and not by tax dollars.
The I-Cash program helps reunite owners with their unclaimed property. The Unclaimed Property Division has more than $1.6 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois safe deposit boxes that have been inactive for at least five years.
During Rutherford’s first year in office, the program marked the first time in history that the treasurer’s office returned more than $100 million to the people who owned those assets. The total for 2011 was $101,679,655, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. In the past, the I-Cash program returned about $80 million annually to owners.
It’s common for people to lose track of their assets when they move or when loved
ones pass away. Businesses and banks are required to turn over unclaimed accounts to the treasurer’s office.
Some examples of unclaimed property currently held by the treasurer’s office include the following:
• Money from inactive savings and checking accounts
• Unpaid wages or commissions
• Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
• Money orders and bill overpayments
• Paid-up life insurance policies
• Safe deposit box contents.
To find out if you have unclaimed property through I-Cash, you can visit the treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the I-Cash link. The website is updated weekly to reflect new properties remitted to the office. Additionally, our I-Cash teams conduct regular outreach across the state, place twice annual notices in newspapers and send direct mail to new single-owner claimants with property worth more than $100. You can contact the Unclaimed Property Division by calling 217-785-6998 or emailing
info@Icash.Illinois.gov, although searches cannot be completed by telephone.