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Giannoulias to return millions in lost money

Posted by Admin On August - 26 - 2010

You can check local Cash Dash listings for name; new online process makes filing claims easier

 Residents who find their names in Cash Dash lists published in Cook and collar county newspapers on Aug. 28 and 29 now have an easier way to claim their lost money and assets, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias said.

 Giannoulias’ office has revamped its Cash Dash website to offer online filing and tracking of Cash Dash claims. Visitors to www.cashdash.net now have the option of setting up an online account which quickly allows them to learn if their claim has been received, processed or approved. 

“With better technology in place, it’s easier for Illinois residents to file claims and to be reunited with their property faster than ever before,” Giannoulias said. “In these tough economic times, it’s important that we do everything we can to return this money to Illinois families that could really use it.”

 Twice a year in February and August, the Treasurer’s Office is required by law to publish the names of individuals who were reported to the state in the last six months and whose claims are worth more than $100.  

During the week of Aug. 29, more than 62,000 names of newly reported unclaimed property owners will be published in the Sun-Times, Daily Herald, Herald-News and Kendall County Record. The claimants are owed a total of more than $35 million. 

Ken Smith of Chicago was shocked to see his name listed this year in a February publication. It turned out that his late father had left him stock in McDonalds and money in two bank accounts totaling more than $17,000.  

“It’s been a rough last couple of years and it helped out a lot,” Smith said of the unexpected windfall. “I got one charge card all the way paid off and another paid down quite a bit.”

The State Treasurer’s Office currently holds $1.4 billion dollars in unclaimed property belonging to more than 10 million Illinois residents and businesses.

 In 2009, the Treasurer’s office returned nearly $83 million in lost assets to more than 39,000 Illinois residents and businesses. Thanks to expansive outreach efforts, $255 million has been returned to claimants under the Giannoulias administration – more than was returned in the first 39 years of the program.  

Unclaimed property consists of money and other assets held by banks and other businesses that are considered lost or abandoned after an owner cannot be located for more than five years. This typically includes forgotten bank accounts, safe deposit box contents or paid-up life insurance policies. When such items go unclaimed, they are sent to the Treasurer’s Office for distribution. 

Residents who want more information on unclaimed property should contact the Treasurer’s Office by visiting www.treasurer.il.gov and following the Cash Dash link or calling (866) 458-7327.

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