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The Chicago area governments might owe you money. How to Find It – NBC Chicago

NBC 5 Investigates and Telemundo Investiga have researched millions of dollars owed millions of people in the greater Chicago area, mostly from places people don’t know: for example, bankruptcy refunds or Chicago’s treasure trove of bad checks, among many others.

Are you entitled to money? Check the following four places. We’ll be adding more lists of unclaimed funds in the coming weeks.


Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas wants to see if she owes you any money. Pappas’ office says it has more than $ 72 million in total that it plans to return to property owners and another $ 43 million in missing exemptions.

WHERE TO LOOK: If you’re a Cook County homeowner, the Pappas office has one Search tool where you can check if you are getting a refund.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY: Look for your address or Property Index Number (PIN). Then look for the section “Are you overpaying for your PIN?” and – if available – complete the online application to start the refund process.


NBC 5 Investigates and Telemundo Investiga found that the city of Chicago holds more than $ 12 million in unpaid checks from more than 19,000 people and companies across the Chicago area, including many who are currently employees of the city. We found checks from 1987 for amounts ranging from a few cents to more than half a million dollars.

WHERE TO LOOK: There’s no easy way to find out if you have one of these checks due because the city doesn’t publish their list unless someone knows they ask. We had to file a Freedom of Information request to get it. And Chicago doesn’t obey any state law requiring cities to hand their un cashed checks to the Illinois Treasurer so people can’t find them on the state’s ICash website.

So NBC 5 Investigates and Telemundo Investiga have developed our own search tool so that you can look up any unpaid checks the city may have in store for you:

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY: When you find money, the Chicago Treasury Department publishes two application forms to get it: this one for individuals to fill out and this one for businesses. The city also says that if you have any questions about how to claim your money, you can email them [email protected]


NBC 5 Investigates and Telemundo Investiga have found a total of $ 16,434,927.20 in unclaimed funds from bankruptcy proceedings in Illinois and the Chicago area currently owed to more than 70,000 creditors, including unclaimed amounts up to 24,305.92 US dollars in local cases dating back to 1966 Nationwide, NBC 5 Investigates found unclaimed bankruptcy funds from more than 915,000 creditors.

WHERE TO LOOK: We created this exclusive search tool to help you search for unclaimed funds from local bankruptcy cases. Our tool includes all unclaimed funds held in five bankruptcy courts in the area: Illinois’ Northern District (ILNB); Central District (ILCB) and Southern District (ILSB); Indiana’s Northern District (INNB) and Wisconsin Eastern District (WIEB) from November 2021.

You can also search for unclaimed bankruptcy funds nationwide using the US Courts Unclaimed Funds Locator.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY: If you do find any money, follow the instructions from the court where your unclaimed funds are being held:

  • Use this form with instructions here to claim money from the Northern District of Illinois Bankruptcy court;
  • For money owned by the Northern District of Indiana Bankruptcy Court, call the main court phone number at (574) 968-2100.
  • For money owned by the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Court, call the main court phone number at (414) 297-3291.
  • Use this form with instructions here to claim money from the Central District of Illinois Bankruptcy court;
  • And use this form in conjunction with these instructions to get the information out of the Southern District of Illinois Bankruptcy court.


You may already know the Illinois ICash search page, but even if so, you should check it again. The Illinois State Treasurer currently holds more than $ 3.5 billion in unclaimed funds for tens of millions of people – and that could include you, your family, or your friends.

WHERE TO LOOK: The state of Illinois is constantly adding new properties to the list, which means that even if you’ve previously requested money from the state, new money may now be waiting for you. You can search for any unclaimed funds here.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY: NBC 5 Investigates and Telemundo Chicago Investiga found that names and addresses are often misspelled on this list, listing many people at addresses that they have not lived in in decades. When you find money, hit the claim button for each unclaimed property and fill out the online form. The state will then send you an email that contains another form detailing the exact amounts to which you are entitled.

And now you can get even more money: The State of Illinois now has to pay interest on much of its unclaimed property based on when someone claimed it and when it was given to the state. Details can be found on the treasurer FAQ page.

**Editor’s Note: Did you find money from the City of Chicago, Cook County Tax Office, Illinois unclaimed funds, or a bankruptcy filing? We want to know when you will receive your money or if you have long-term problems collecting it. Fill out our form here!

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