|Some school districts have over $5,000 in unclaimed cash.|
Unclaimed money belonging to districts might be a vendor payment filled out to the wrong name, such as to the school board of a named town, or it could be a refund from a rental deposit, or a lost bank account, or one of many other types of cash that has simply been misdirected or forgotten. It is the job of State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs to hold on to all these unclaimed funds and try to reunite them with their owners.
“We safeguard about $2 billion,” Frerichs said. “That includes more than 14 million properties. And it’s my job to get that money into the hands of Illinois residents.”
The treasurer’s office becomes the custodian of unclaimed property after private entities such as banks try for at least five years to locate the owner. Much of the money has been left behind or forgotten in a bank account. Some school districts could even have rightful ownership of cash in other states if they’ve done business there and somehow lost connections.
“Recently, we’ve notified several school districts that had more than $5,000 in unclaimed funds,” Frerichs said. “And we are encouraging all schools to check the I-CASH website to see if there are funds in the name of your district or individual schools.
“Please let your board and staff know that they too might have funds to claim. One in four Illinoisans discover property to claim through the Treasurer’s I-Cash program; with an average payout of $2900, they could be in for a big surprise,” he said.
For additional information on promoting I-CASH through your schools to staff and parents, or if you have questions about claiming property for your school, contact Dave Clarkin, Deputy Chief-of-Staff, dclarkin@IllinoisTreasurer.gov.