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You and your money: A perfect Match

State rolls out new program to reunite people with long-lost money

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs is promoting the state's "Money Match" program, which seeks to reunite billions of dollars worth of unclaimed properties with the rightful owners.
Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs is promoting the state's "Money Match" program, which seeks to reunite billions of dollars worth of unclaimed properties with the rightful owners.

PRINCETON – It could be a last paycheck that was never picked up.

Or perhaps an insurance benefit the family doesn’t know about.

Maybe it’s a forgotten rebate, safe deposit box or savings account.

Whatever the circumstance, thousands of residents are being reunited with what is rightfully theirs because of a new program from the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office.

“Money Match” is designed to automatically reunite lost assets with their owners without the need to hunt for documents or file complicated claims. It’s an updated and streamlined addition to the state’s popular I-Cash program.

“One of the charges of the treasurer’s office is to return unclaimed property, and we have more than $2 billion in lost money and unclaimed property,” state Treasurer Michael Frerichs said this week during a tour to promote the program.

“This new matching process makes it even easier for us to return money to people here in Illinois so they can use it as they see fit,” Frerichs said.

During the past fiscal year, Frerichs’ office successfully returned a record-setting $180 million to individuals, employers, municipalities and non-profit organizations through the I-Cash program.

More than 116,000 claims were settled, 49,000 of which were paperless, and the average value of each was $1,552.

Frerichs said each of those required the individual to initiate the claim; “Money Match” is different in that the state will now do that for residents. Under the “Money Match” program, more than 830,000 unclaimed property files were reviewed to identify 63,000 recipients.

Another difference: The treasurer’s office and the Illinois Department of Revenue didn’t share information, but Frerichs said the General Assembly passed legislation in 2017 allowing them to work together to identify properties meeting the one-owner, $2,000 cash criteria.

“It’s common sense. You’re already sending in all of your information that can be used to identify unclaimed property,” he said.

Once a mailing address is identified and confirmed, the owner is notified by mail announcing the amount and source and to encourage them to be looking for an upcoming check in the mail. A person will receive a separate letter for each claim.

Frerichs said the program is based on similarly successful programs in Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

“I like this part of the job. We’re returning lots of money. If we get this money into our citizens’ hands, they spend it at local businesses, and it does more good for the community than it does sitting in a bank account in Springfield,” Frerichs said.

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