The treasurer's office handles abandoned property that banks and
business turn over to the state, whether it's an unused checking
account or a forgotten paycheck.
The state then invests the money while looking for its rightful
"It was not supposed to be an investment enhancement," said Catie
Sheehan, a spokeswoman for Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office. "The
idea was just to be able to notify people in a more timely fashion
that they have this unclaimed paycheck."
Until recently, the state didn't consider unused checking accounts
or forgotten paychecks abandoned until they were untouched for five
years, and that's still the case for everything except for deserted
The state receives about 37,000 unclaimed payroll checks every year
that add up to about $5 million. Currently, the state has about $1.5
billion of abandoned property, including uncashed paychecks.
On average, about $80 million in unclaimed property is returned to
the rightful owner every year, Sheehan said.
[to top of second column]
For businesses, the new law is more of a mosquito than a wasp, said
David Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association,
a lobbying group for businesses.
"It just speeds up the process. Do we like it? Probably not. Is it a
big deal? No," Vite said.
People can see if the state has any of their unclaimed property by
Statehouse News; By ANDREW THOMASON]