If a bank or business has been is in possession of your unclaimed cash or property for over five years, then chances are your assets have already been turned over to the Illinois state treasurer’s office.
That is why dozens of people turned out to the south suburban Homewood village hall Friday – braving the snow storm – to find out if they had unclaimed property being held by the state.
Cash Dash, sponsored by the state treasurer’s office, seeks to reunite unclaimed property with its rightful owner.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford was at the Homewood Cash Dash event answering questions for would-be claimants. According to Rutherford, last year his office reunited over $101 million to owners after they had been separated from their belongings for more than five years, paying out more than 53,000 claims.
The program’s process was simple.
One-by-one hopeful claimants sat down with Alan Banks, a representative from Rutherford’s office on hand with his laptop chockfull of names associated with unclaimed property data. Individuals gave their name and even the names of the others they knew, and Banks searched the database for a match.
If a name match was found, Banks then completed a claim form which in some cases had to be
notarized before mailing back to the unclaimed property division of the treasurer’s office.
Banks explained that the unclaimed money or other assets could come from such sources as a banksafe deposit box, a deposit refund from a utility company, unpaid wages or commissions or even paid-up life insurance policies.
“They tried to give it back to you but were unable, for whatever reason, to reach you,” Banks told the Chicago Citizen.
After five years of going unclaimed, the property is turned over to the state treasurer’s office.
Rutherford boasts that the Cash Dash program isn’t paid for through taxpayer dollars, but rather from the interest earned on the property waiting to be claimed by its owner.
“Upon taking office, I made it a priority to get unclaimed property I was holding back in the hands of the rightful owners,” said Rutherford.
For more information on the Cash Dash program, or to search online for unclaimed property you think you may have, visit www.treasurer.il.gov.
By Rhonda Gillespie