Treasurer's Note from Michael Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer.
A record-breaking $239 million in forgotten cash and securities has been returned to its owners during the past fiscal year, which was July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019. It is the largest amount in the program’s 58-year history.
This is the fourth consecutive year we have shattered the previous year’s record. We also set records in fiscal years 2018, 2017, and 2016.
In the past 12 months, 236,000 claims were fulfilled with an average value of $1,000. By comparison, approximately 116,000 claims were fulfilled in Fiscal Year 2018 ($180 million returned), 58,000 claims in Fiscal Year 2017 ($159 million returned), and 53,000 claims in Fiscal Year 2016 ($155 million returned).
The increases in the number of fulfilled claims is a direct result of leveraging technology to make it easier for individuals, businesses, and non‑profits to recover their money. Paperless claims now are used when possible. Additionally, a change in state law that we pursued allows the treasury to send checks directly to qualifying individuals without initiating a claim.
In Illinois, the state treasurer is tasked with safeguarding more than $3 billion in unclaimed property, such as unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, and unused rebate cards. We are legally required to return the property to the rightful owners no matter how long it takes. Individuals can search the state treasurer’s database for their name or the name of their business or non‑profit at www.illinoistreasurer.gov/ICASH.
Please check our database. Your money should be in your pocket rather than the state’s safe.
Michael W. Frerichs
Illinois State Treasurer