I’m not someone who expects to win the lottery or to have free money magically show up in my mailbox. And despite my best intentions at organization – I feel that I am above average in this department – things have managed to fall through the cracks. I’ve moved a LOT in my 40ish years living in Illinois, and I’ve had a couple of last names. So when I recently discovered the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program – a way to find and claim old bank accounts, uncashed paychecks, unpaid insurance benefits and other unclaimed property – my heart skipped a beat!
Here’s what the I-Cash program is all about:
- The Illinois Treasurer’s Office safeguards the recovered property of Illinois residents for as long as it takes to return it to its rightful owners.
- They secure unclaimed property from banks, insurance companies, utilities, and other institutions across the country that have been unable to return it to their rightful owners.
- Some common examples of unclaimed property include: inactive bank accounts, unclaimed life insurance benefits, utility refunds, stocks, matured CD’s and other investments.
- Under the law, the Illinois Treasurer is legally required to hold property until it is claimed by the owner or heir, no matter how long that takes.
- The Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash database includes 17 million properties, including $2.5 billion in cash, 28 million shares of stock and mutual funds, and the contents of thousands of safe deposit boxes.
- Most unclaimed property belongs to individuals, but the Illinois Treasurer’s Office also returns millions of dollars each year to nonprofits, small businesses, corporations and government entities.
It is SUPER EASY to see if you have unclaimed property:
Step One: Visit IllinoisTreasurer.gov/ICASH and click on the I-Cash link. Then, enter your name and city in the search fields to find out if you have property to claim.
Step Two: See something? Identify your properties and provide your contact information online.
Step Three: Within minutes, I-Cash will email you a claim form to sign and mail along with proof of ownership to claim your assets.
Step Four: Mail back your signed claim form and ownership proof, and you will receive your cash within weeks.
Lastly: Check back every six months because hundreds of thousands of new properties are added to the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program throughout each year.
While this isn’t the thousands of dollars that I was hoping to find, it will certainly enable me to take my family out to a great dinner. Or to add it to my Christmas fund for my girls.
Or maybe just buy myself a really awesome pair of shoes.
Either way, it’s MY money that I didn’t know I’d been missing, and I am really excited that the Illinois Treasurer has been keeping it safe. I now know that I will be checking the website every six months to see if there is any more “forgotten” money waiting for me!
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program. All opinions are my own.