I-Cash seeks to reunite $3.2 million with DeKalb residents


Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs talks to 16 NIU and DeKalb leaders during a round table discussion in 2015 in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room. Frerichs says one-in-four adults in Illinois have the ability to find unclaimed property through the I-Cash program.

By Evan Mellon, News Reporter

DeKALB DeKalb County residents might have unclaimed money in their name, and a program from the Illinois State Treasurer is looking to reunite millions to the residents they belong to.

I-Cash is a program run by the office of Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs that holds unclaimed property such as life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards until they are reclaimed by their owner.

According to a press release from the office, DeKalb County has more than $143,170 in unclaimed cash and properties amounting to more than $3.2 million with an average claim of $1,000 for residents. 

Frerichs said that it is very common for people to have unclaimed property without knowing it themselves, with an estimated one-in-four adults in Illinois finding unclaimed property through the I-Cash program.

“It’s often a surprise for people to find out they have an overlooked investment account or final paycheck through no fault of their own,” Frerichs said in the press release.

Associate Professor of economics and Director of Graduate Studies Jeremy R. Groves said that there can be many reasons why someone would have unclaimed property.

“The most common things are some sort of an asset held at a bank that could be a checking account, a savings account, a safe deposit box,” Groves said. “Another common source of these are going to be deceased individuals where there are examples of either past paychecks or bank accounts we didn’t know they had.”

According to Groves, residents may want to check states other than Illinois to see if they have unclaimed property in their name.

“My advice would be to not only check Illinois, but any state you’ve ever lived in,” Groves said. “You’d be surprised what might be out there, and it’s really easy to check.”

The office encourages residents to check the unclaimed property database twice each year in order to ensure that they know when property or cash has been found by the office.

Residents who want to know if they have unclaimed property available to them can visit the Illinois Treasurer website and enter their name, city and zip code to find out.

For more questions, residents can call The Office of Illinois State Treasurer at 800-961-8303 or email [email protected] to get answers or assistance with the I-Cash program.