Thousands of names will be published in local newspapers across the
42-county central Illinois region between Aug. 17 and 21. The
listings feature residents and businesses that have lost at least
$100 in cash, any value of stock or safe deposit box contents turned
over to the state treasurer's office since February.
The new names
bring the state's database of unclaimed property owners to more than
10.2 million people and businesses owed upwards of $1.4 billion.
More than $90 million of that is waiting to be claimed by residents
of central Illinois, according to the state's database that tracks
lost money dating back to the 1960s.
"You could have money coming to you and not even realize it,"
said Giannoulias, who recently surprised an Illinois family with
nearly $600,000 in lost cash on "Dateline NBC."
The list will appear next week in newspapers in the following
central Illinois counties: Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian,
Clark, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Fulton,
Greene, Hancock, Henderson, Iroquois, Knox, Livingston, Logan,
Macon, Macoupin, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Menard,
Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon,
Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren and
The new names are also available to search for at no charge on
the state's online database at
you follow the
Cash Dash link.
Mary and John Schnell, a retired couple from Springfield, credit
their niece for locating their names on the Cash Dash site and
sending them the claim forms. They held on to the documents for some
time before deciding to file. When they did, they were surprised
with almost $1,600 in dividends from a paid-up Met Life insurance
"We thought we'd get $10 or $12 and figured it could be worth it
-- money's money," Mary Schnell said. "When we brought our claim in,
we were dumbfounded at the amount. Within a month we had our
A mailing from the treasurer's office notified Ron Epperly that
he had unclaimed property. The Schaumburg CPA acts as power of
attorney for his disabled cousin in Peoria and filed a claim on her
behalf. They received more than $24,000 from an abandoned but
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"The postcard saved us a lot of aggravation when it came tracking
down the CD and consolidating her accounts," Epperly said. "This had
a happy ending."
Unclaimed property consists of money and other assets that are
held by banks and other businesses and considered lost or abandoned
after an owner cannot be located for more than five years. Common
forms of unclaimed property are paid-up life insurance policies,
forgotten bank accounts and safe deposit box contents.
Property owners' names are published in the county that
corresponds to the last known address provided by the bank or
business that turns over the property. In many cases, cash and
assets become lost because their owners move and forget to furnish
their broker, bank, employer or insurance company with a forwarding
address. Eventually, the money makes its way to the treasurer's
office for distribution.
Giannoulias returned nearly $82 million to Illinois residents and
businesses in fiscal 2008 and a record $92 million the prior fiscal
There are many ways for residents to find out if the treasurer is
holding unclaimed property for them. Along with checking the local
newspaper in February and August of each year, residents can search
the treasurer's entire database by visiting
Cash Dash link and typing in a name.
Throughout the year, the state treasurer sponsors outreach
activities to help residents who are unfamiliar with unclaimed
property or who do not have Internet access to search the database
for the property. In addition, state legislators are provided with
list of new property owners in their districts twice a year and are
asked to contact the individuals.
Residents who want more information on unclaimed property should
contact the treasurer's office at 217-782-2211 or 312-814-1700.
[Text from file received from
the Illinois State