On December 28th, State Senator Rachel Ventura helped a couple from Shorewood, IL recover a sizeable amount of unclaimed property. Karen and Paul Pastell didn’t know that a deceased relative had left them money, and because of the increased levels of fraud and unwanted solicitations, they didn’t respond to initial letters in the mail or the calls from Ventura’s office. It took a knock on the door from one of Ventura’s staff members to convince them that this unclaimed property was real.
The Pastell family was thrilled to hear the news. They explained that the day after Christmas they had to replace their old furnace, and the reclaimed money will be used to cover this costly expense. “This was a pleasant surprise, and the money will come in handy,” said Karen Pastell. “I hope more people respond to the letters for unclaimed property or visit the unclaimed property website.”
In early December, State Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced that the state had over $47 million in unclaimed property. As part of the effort to put that money back in the hands of the rightful owners, Frerichs engaged the help of other state elected officials. Senator Ventura’s office has assisted with a number of lost property claims since she was elected. “When people receive a call from my office, they know it is not a scam because my name is one that they know and trust,” said Ventura. “Delivering good news like this to constituents is one of the most rewarding aspects of this job.”
So far this year, the Treasurer’s Office has returned $267 million through more than 305,600 claims. The Treasurer has returned a record-breaking $1.8 billion through the I-Cash program since Frerichs was elected.
Residents can see if they have unclaimed property by visiting icash.illinoistreasurer.gov and entering their name. Unclaimed property is a broad category consisting of forgotten paychecks, inheritances, expired term life insurance policies, settlement checks, and returned municipal fees or taxes. If citizens want help searching for unclaimed forms of property, they can stop by or reach out to Senator Ventura’s district office at 331-290-0443.