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Unclaimed property is just a click away

I-Cash program seeks to find rightful owners

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 7:00 a.m. CDT

The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office is currently holding about $2.1 million worth of unclaimed property from Grundy County and is looking for its rightful owners. In total, the office has about $1.5 billion worth of property from throughout the state.

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford explained after something happens, maybe a relative passes away or a person moves out of town, things get left behind and finding the owner of the money or tangible items can be difficult.

“Let’s say grandma opened up a safety deposit box at a bank, put in a gold coin and grandpa’s stamp collection,” Rutherford explained. “Grandma moved to a nursing home and a number of years later, Grandma passed away. If the family didn’t know about the lock box and the bank couldn’t find the family, after 5 years, the law of Illinois requires them to turn it over to me, the state treasurer.”

The items never become the property of the state. After the property is handed over to the state, Rutherford and his staff take it upon themselves to find the rightful owners through I-Cash.

“I-Cash is a program I have in the Treasurer’s Office where I try to bring unclaimed property back to the rightful owners,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford is encouraging Illinois residents, those in Grundy County in particular, to visit, type in their name in the search bar and discover if they have any unclaimed property waiting for them.

Once the search is complete, the site will inform the person if they have any claims. Claims will be categorized by $10 or less, between $10 and $100 and $100 and above.

“Last year, 2011, I was able to return over $100 million,” Rutherford said. “$101 million went back into the hands of people that didn’t even know they had it.”

If the Treasurer’s Office has the property for another five years, the tangible items are auctioned off on the I-Cash website.

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