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Valley residents appreciate chance to claim some cash

Dan Rutherford Illinois state treasurer

Dan Rutherford, Illinois state treasurer

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To find cash

To find out if you have unclaimed property through I-Cash, visit the treasurer’s website at and follow the I-Cash link.

People also can contact the Unclaimed Property Division by calling 217-785-6998 or e-mailing

Updated: March 20, 2013 6:16AM

AURORA — Judy Silvius was pleasantly surprised Monday to find a little extra cash.

Silvius, an Oswego resident, found unclaimed money of $10 to $100 from three life insurance policies left in the estate of her late mother and father that had been held by the Illinois State Treasurer’s office.

“I’ll shoot the moon for $300,” the Oswego woman said.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford was at the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora Monday to help Fox Valley residents search the treasurer’s records to see if the state is holding money or unclaimed property entitled to them.

Silvius said her father died two decades ago and her mother has been deceased for 25 years.

“It’s a nice little gift from my parents with no tax on it. I had no idea there would be anything from the estate and it took them one minute to find it,” she said of the treasurer’s I-Cash program.

“My parents would be thinking ‘Way to go – you finally got it,’” Silvius said.

Silvius said she originally came with her husband to find out if there was unclaimed money from his mother’s estate, and they did find funds from an inactive bank account and a refund owed from a medical office.

“It’s almost like playing the Lottery. I came here and got tax free money from the state – we usually don’t get anything from the government,” she said.

Rutherford said his office’s Unclaimed Property Division has $1.7 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois safe deposit boxes that have been inactive for at least five years.

“We have probably 100,000 items in the vault that came from safety deposit boxes – gold coins, jewelry, baseball cards and stamp collections,” he said.

Rutherford said searches can easily be done on the I-Cash website, but having staff available helps for those with questions.

In 2012, the treasurer’s office returned a record $129 million to people who had no idea the state was holding money or unclaimed property. The office rebranded and conducted a marketing campaign that helped to increase the number of searches on the I-Cash website.

Most of the people who turned out on Monday were instructed to complete an I-Cash claim form with the pertinent documentation, which includes a clear copy of a Social Security card number of the claimant, proof of the original owner’s address and a notarized signature.

“I have known of unclaimed funds from my father’s life insurance policy taken out 50 years ago,” said Paul Klespitz of Aurora. “I started the process two years ago but never heard back.”

“I remember a man coming to the door to collect 50 cents a week for the insurance, so I don’t imagine it can be very much, but I know my dad took out the policy for his kids,” he said.

Carol Szilage said a relative helped her find unclaimed dividends over $100 from her late mother’s estate, so she filled out the paperwork to file a claim and last week she received a letter requesting additional information.

“I am here to double check the information,” Szilage said. “Obviously there is something in the estate we didn’t close out.”

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