Champaign couple among those helped by Frerichs' 'lost money' program

Champaign couple among those helped by Frerichs' 'lost money' program

CHAMPAIGN — After Carl Hill saw a News-Gazette article about unclaimed cash in state government coffers, he decided to check to see if he was among those owed some of this "lost money."

"I got online and looked it up," said Hill, of Champaign, owner of Hillshire Realty for the last 42 years. "I found my name and learned there was a $50 rebate that was owed to me."

That prompted his wife, Jane, to go online to see if she was owed any money.

"She found there was a life insurance dividend for $664," Carl Hill said. "Apparently, the money was originally sent to an address where we used to live and was never received."

The Hills are two local beneficiaries of Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs' "Money Match" program, which uses existing technology and state records to match unclaimed cash with qualifying taxpayers. The amount must be $2,000 or less and have only one owner.

"The goal is to return more money, more quickly, and without the need of paper, to Illinois taxpayers," Frerichs said.

Frerichs visited the Illinois Terminal on Tuesday to tout the program. He said there are 1,077 properties available to Champaign County residents with an estimated value of $210,755.

"The treasurer's office has over $2 billion in lost money and unclaimed property," Frerichs said. "This new matching process makes it even easier for us to return money to people here in Illinois so they can use it as they see fit."

He said a record-breaking $180 million in forgotten cash and stock was returned to individuals, employers and nonprofits over the past year.

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