According to Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, more than $21.4 million in cash and unclaimed property is tied to La Salle County residents, and his office is working to reunite those funds with their owners.
Money and goods can be claimed through the I-Cash program operated by the Treasurer’s Office. The program protects unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused discount cards until they can be returned to their owners. The Treasurer’s Office reports that La Salle County residents are linked to more than 142,000 unclaimed properties.
Frerichs is making a statewide effort in digital media, newspapers and direct mail to remind Illinois residents that there is more than $3.5 billion in unclaimed property statewide. State law requires the Illinois Treasurer’s Office to post newspaper advertisements in all 102 counties of Illinois every six months and send letters to residents who have recently reported unclaimed property from 100 $ or more.
“It’s often a surprise to people to find they have a forgotten investment account or a final paycheck they forgot to enter. We aim to rectify this oversight, and it’s easier than ever to do so,” Frerichs said in a press release. “This money and property belongs to the people of Illinois. It should be in their wallets rather than in the state vault.
It is estimated that one in four adults in Illinois who search I-Cash find unclaimed property, and the average claim is $1,000. Frerichs returned a record $1.3 billion in unclaimed property from nearly one million claims during his tenure. He prioritized changes in technology, efficiency and state law to streamline the process, according to a press release from his office.
Thousands of items are reported and turned over to the state each year, and residents are encouraged to check the Unclaimed Property Database twice a year. To search for unclaimed property, visit www.illinoistreasurer.gov/ICASH.