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State treasurer, Rep. Davis return missing money to Homewood Fire Department

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and state Rep. Will Davis,D-Homewood, announced on Thursday, Feb. 8, the return of more than $13,700 in missing money to the Homewood Fire Department.

The returned funds were from a claim the Homewood Fire Department filed for money from a vendor, Motorola Solutions. The unclaimed property ended up at the Illinois Treasurer’s Office, which administers the I-CASH program.

Helping the Homewood Fire Department had special meaning for Frerichs, a former volunteer firefighter in Gifford, the central Illinois town where he grew up.

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“Firefighters are vital to the communities they serve, and we’re happy to return this money where it can be put to good use,” Frerichs said. “We encourage residents of the South Suburbs, and the rest of Illinois, to search our unclaimed property database to see if we have missing money waiting for them.”

“We are happy to be able to reunite the Village of Homewood with this money,” Davis said. His district includes Homewood. “We help the communities of the 30th District work with state government on cases like this.”

“We’re appreciative getting the money back from the State Treasurer’s Office and we’ll put it to good use for the general fund,” Homewood Mayor Rich Hofeld said.

The State Treasurer’s Office is responsible for reuniting people with unclaimed property, including rebate checks, uncashed vendor checks, stocks, unpaid life insurance claims, the contents of safe deposit boxes and the like.

Last year, the Treasurer’s Office returned $276 million in unclaimed property. Frerichs prioritized changes in technology, efficiency, and state law to streamline the unclaimed property process. The number of successful claims for unclaimed property per year has more than tripled.

Frerichs has added a Friends and Family “share” feature. When visitors to the I-CASH website come across the name of someone they know, they can select the “share” icon and provide the email address of their friend or relative. Frerichs’ office then notifies the individual via email, then the person can start the process of retrieving it.

It is estimated one in four people in Illinois find unclaimed property and the average claim is $1,000.

To find out if you have unclaimed property in Illinois, visit icash.illinoistreasurer.gov. Unclaimed property is reported to the treasurer’s office twice a year, so it is recommended individuals check the database every six months. Illinois holds more than $5 billion in unclaimed property.

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