Does Illinois have your money?

April 20, 2011
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You may be among the millions of people, businesses and heirs who have cash or valuables owed to you in the state of Illinois.

The state has collected more than $1 billion worth of lost or abandoned property. The unclaimed property includes money or assets that have been “separated” from their owner for at least five years. Often, the owner doesn’t know the property exists.

Examples include:

  • 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

Unclaimed property ends up at the treasurer’s office usually because people lose track of their assets when they move or loved ones die. Businesses and banks are required by law to turn over the unclaimed accounts to the state if they can’t be returned to their rightful owners.

To determine if you have unclaimed property, search your name in Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s “cash dash” database.

This site is updated several times a year.

By law, the treasurer’s office must publish twice a year the names of all names added to the list with claims worth at least $100 in local newspapers. (The Chicago Sun-Times recently published the latest batch of names.) You may also receive a letter and a claim form directly from the treasurer informing you that you have unclaimed property.

Each year, the treasurer’s office receives the contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned for five years. The names of owners of the safety deposit box contents are published beforehand. If the owners or their heirs do not come forward to claim the contents,  the items are sold on eBay, with the state holding the proceeds for the rightful owner. Auction items include jewelry, coins, stamps and other collectibles.

Medals earned in military service and combat are not sold at auction.

If you find your name in the state’s unclaimed database, print out a claim form and mail it to the Unclaimed Property Division. To expedite service, follow the instructions attached to the claim form, and submit the requested documentation along with your completed claim form.

austintalks.org@gmail.com

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