"I couldn't believe it. I
was surprised and very happy," said Hill, of Dawson, who claimed the
money from an insurance policy on a former business. "It was a very
good experience. I filled out the form and sent it in, and in a
short time I got my money. It was very easy."
During the week of
Feb. 28, Illinois residents can search for their names -- and the
names of their neighbors, friends and family -- in 43 newspapers
across central Illinois, including Lincoln Daily News. People who
find their names can then complete a form to verify their identity
and submit it to process a claim.
Showing up on an unclaimed property list is more common than
people think, said state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, whose office
administers the state's Cash Dash program. The state treasurer's
office currently holds $1.4 billion in unclaimed property belonging
to more than 10 million Illinois residents and businesses.
Twice a year, in an attempt to put these assets in the hands of
the rightful owners, the office publishes the names of individuals
who were reported to the state in the last six months and whose
claims are worth more than $100. A complete list of names is
searchable on the state's online database 365 days a year.
In 2009, the treasurer's office returned nearly $83 million in
lost assets to more than 39,000 Illinois residents and businesses.
Thanks to expansive outreach efforts, $255 million has been returned
to claimants under the Giannoulias administration -- more than was
returned in the first 39 years of the program.
"In these challenging economic times when every little bit helps,
we have money that could provide a lot of help to Illinois
families," Giannoulias said.
[to top of second column]
Unclaimed property consists of money and other assets held by
banks and other businesses and considered lost or abandoned after an
owner cannot be located for more than five years. This typically
includes paid-up life insurance policies, forgotten bank accounts
and safe deposit box contents. When such items go unclaimed, they
are sent to the treasurer's office for distribution.
Residents who want more information on unclaimed property should
contact the treasurer's office by visiting
www.treasurer.il.gov and following the
Cash Dash link or by
[Text from the
Office of the llinois State Treasurer]