Treasurer reports record return of unclaimed property

Posed smiling photo of Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois treasurer’s office is reporting the return of a billion dollars of unclaimed property to rightful owners or their survivors in the past five years. Treasurer Michael Frerichs on Wednesday said the amount set a record for any five-year period in the 58 years his office has made the returning of property in state custody to owners a priority. The property being returned can include inactive back accounts, unpaid insurance benefits, or the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes. Frerichs says the increased reuniting of unclaimed property with owners is due to a more streamlined process. He says before the process changed, people often became frustrated and gave up.