A record-breaking $180 million in forgotten cash and the stock was returned to individuals, employers, and non-profits by the state treasurer’s office this past fiscal year, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today. It is the largest amount in the program’s 57-year history.
More than 116,000 claims were fulfilled with an average value of $1,552 during Fiscal Year 2018, which is July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. Approximately 58,000 claims were fulfilled in Fiscal Year 2017.
The new Fast Track and EClaiming processes unveiled earlier this year made claiming property faster and easier and directly led to this record-breaking number of fulfilled claims. More than 49,000 of the 116,000 claims were paperless, online claims using the new Fast Track process.
“We are proud to double the number of successful claims in the past twelve months,” Frerichs said. “With new processes in place and our new data matching authority, we anticipate returning even more unclaimed property to its rightful owners in the next twelve months.”
Under the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act that became law earlier this year, the state treasurer’s office will share data with the Illinois Department of Revenue to match unclaimed property records with Illinois residents who filed tax returns in the last year. Because of this change in the law championed by Frerichs, the state treasurer’s office soon will be able to return cash to some Illinois taxpayers without a claim ever having to be filed.
In Illinois, the state treasurer is tasked with safeguarding unclaimed property, such as unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, and unused rebate cards. Illinois holds more than $2 billion in unclaimed property. The state treasurer is legally required to get the property to the rightful owners no matter how long it takes for them to come forward.
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. The Treasurer’s office never charges money to search the database or return unclaimed property.