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Treasurer returns record $155 million in ‘forgotten cash’


SPRINGFIELD – The state treasurer’s office returned a record $155 million in forgotten cash and stock this past fiscal year, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said. It is the largest amount in the program’s 55-year history.

More than 53,000 claims were fulfilled despite the budget impasse because unclaimed property funds are not encumbered by the state’s general revenue spending. The state’s fiscal year is July 1 to June 30.

“I meet many people who are surprised to see their names on our unclaimed property list,” Frerichs said. “Checking the list is easy and the money certainly will be put to better use in the hands of its owners rather than the state’s vault in Springfield.”

The average return was $2,900. One estate bequeathed $1.5 million to six non-profits. The individual’s will was not immediately executed and the amounts were surrendered to the treasurer’s office. Frerichs’ staff successfully worked to fulfill the man’s wishes.

In Illinois, the state treasurer is tasked with safeguarding unclaimed property, such as life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards. Illinois holds approximately $2 billion in unclaimed property. Individuals can search a database for their name or the name of their business or non-profit at Frerichs said his office never charges money to search the database or return unclaimed property.

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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