A makeover and an awareness campaign have helped increase the return of state held property to rightful owners. Re-branded as I-Cash earlier this year, the treasurer’s unclaimed property program is on track to return $100 million in unclaimed property to rightful owners.

The first three weeks after the public launch of the I-Cash website have resulted in a 185 percent increase in visits to the unclaimed property website and a 383 percent increase in the number of property claims filed. Exact dollar amounts of cash returned to its rightful owners will be calculated after the claims are paid, but State Treasurer Dan Rutherford estimates returned property will likely be near $110 million.

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I-Cash, formerly known as Cash Dash, is part of the state treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division. The goal is to connect rightful owners or their heirs with unclaimed property that has ended up in state hands. It’s common for people to lose track of their assets when they move or when family members die, and businesses and banks are required to turn over inactive, unclaimed accounts to the treasurer’s office.

One in eight Illinois residents has an asset to be claimed through I-Cash. The state currently has $1.5 billion in cash, plus contents from safe deposit boxes, which it will attempt to return to owners.

 Some examples of unclaimed property:

- Money from inactive savings and checking accounts

-  Unpaid wages or commissions

-  Stocks, bonds and mutual funds

-  Money orders and bill overpayments

-  Paid-up life insurance policies

-  Safe deposit box contents.


(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com)