SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office returned more than $11.5 million in unclaimed property during July, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced today.

Illinois Treasurer Michael FrerichsThe total includes nearly $11.5 million in cash and interest and almost $45,000 in stock value. All told, 12,554 claims were paid.

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“My office helps the Illinois economy by putting money back in people’s pockets,” Frerichs said. “I have taken numerous steps to make the system of reuniting people with their unclaimed property more efficient.”

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Illinois’ unclaimed property program — also known as I-CASH — is one of the state’s oldest consumer protection initiatives. The State Treasurer is tasked with safeguarding unclaimed property, such as the contents of overlooked safe deposit boxes, unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards. Illinois holds more than $5 billion in unclaimed property.

The Treasurer’s Office has returned more than $1.8 billion since Frerichs took office in January 2015. When Frerichs first became treasurer, there were 60,000 claims paid in a year. Today, more than 200,000 claims are paid each year.

So far this year, the Treasurer’s Office has returned nearly $120 million through more than 103,400 claims.

The record-setting performance is the result of a complete restructuring of the unclaimed property process under Frerichs. The state treasurer’s office has added electronic claims, eliminated red-tape that slowed small-money claims, and leveraged technology to allow payments to be made without a claim even needing to be filed.

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