Springfield, IL - The Illinois Treasurer's Office has returned $1 billion in unclaimed property to families and businesses over the last five years. This property includes unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, and even unused rebate cards.
Treasurer Michael Frerichs says this is a new record for the state and shows the unclaimed property program has become more efficient. Frerichs explained he inherited a paper-driven system when he came into office in 2015. That motivated him to make significant changes with technology and state laws to create the I-Cash system.
"These small, incremental steps are evidence of how government can work when we focus on public service rather than partisan politics," Frerichs said Wednesday.
He also thanked lawmakers for helping him pass meaningful legislation in recent years.
"We were able to build the best unclaimed property system in the history of Illinois because we focused on cooperation, getting results, and goal setting."
Lawmakers helped enact Money Match, which automatically returns claims of up to $2,000 after matching state records with individuals and their unclaimed property. Frerichs says there is currently over $3.5 billion in the state's unclaimed property fund. His office estimates one in four people in Illinois has unclaimed property.
You can search the state's I-Cash database by clicking here. Frerichs suggests families check the database twice each year.