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How to check if you have unclaimed money owed to you in Illinois

The Illinois State Treasurer’s office is currently holding over $5 billion in unclaimed funds, a substantial amount that many Illinois residents may not realize they are entitled to. This money is waiting to be claimed by thousands of people who might be unaware of its existence.

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs explained that the Treasurer’s office holds these unclaimed funds indefinitely until the rightful owners or their heirs come forward to claim them. Claiming the funds is a straightforward process, and individuals can receive their property or money at no cost, provided they present proper identification.

The types of unclaimed property managed by the Treasurer’s office are diverse and include checking and savings accounts, uncashed wage and payroll checks, unclaimed stock dividends and certificates, as well as money orders and traveler’s checks. However, it is important to note that real estate and vehicles do not fall under the state’s unclaimed property program.

Property typically becomes “unclaimed” or “abandoned” after a period of inactivity, which, for most types of property, is three years. This inactivity can result from a variety of situations, such as the owner moving without updating their address or simply forgetting about the account.

To avoid having accounts or funds become unclaimed, the Treasurer’s office advises residents to keep their accounts active by making deposits or withdrawals and updating their contact information at least once a year. This proactive approach ensures that property remains with its rightful owner and does not fall into the category of unclaimed assets.

For those who might be curious about whether they have unclaimed property, the Treasurer’s office provides resources and tools to search for and claim any funds they might be entitled to. This ongoing effort by the Illinois State Treasurer’s office underscores the importance of awareness and proactive management of personal finances to ensure that assets do not go unclaimed.

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