“My hope is that by publishing these lists, people will realize that they now have unclaimed property, which might be money or family heirlooms, just waiting for them to claim,” said Rutherford.
The treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division has $1.5 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois bank safety deposit boxes that have been abandoned for at least five years.
The Cash Dash program helps reunite owners with their unclaimed property. On average, the Cash Dash program returns about $80 million dollars 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 in inactive savings and checking accounts
• Unpaid wages or commissions
• Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
• Money orders and bill overpayments
• Paid-up life insurance policies
• Safety deposit box contents.
By law, these lists of new unclaimed property owners with cash, more than $100; stocks; bonds; funds; or other items from safety deposit boxes are required to be printed twice a year in one newspaper of general circulation in each Illinois county.
These publications follow two annual reporting cycles.
The first reporting deadline is May 1 of each year, and the second deadline is Nov. 1.
All names that match the publication criteria and are received by May 1 must be published by Nov. 1. Then, all names received in the November 1 period must be published by May 1.
The claimants will not know the specific type of property based on the published lists in newspapers.
“If you see your name on the list of new unclaimed property owners in your local newspaper, you can go to the Illinois treasurer’s website or contact the office to get information about starting a claim on the unclaimed property we’re holding for you,” said Rutherford.
However, these lists will only contain names of unclaimed property owners who have just been added to the state database in recent months; it will not list the entire database of unclaimed property owners.
To get more details on the unclaimed property the treasurer’s office may be holding, visit the treasurer’s website www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the Cash Dash link. The website is updated weekly to reflect new properties remitted to the office.
Additionally, the Cash Dash teams conduct regular outreach across the state and send direct mail to new single-owner claimants over $100.
Residents can contact the Unclaimed Property Division by calling 217-785-6998 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.