CHICAGO — Trash or treasure? Illinoisans can decide as the state is currently auctioning off unclaimed items.
“We have all types of interesting items out there,” said state Treasurer Michael Frerichs on the more than 200 unclaimed property items now up for auction.
When someone dies in Illinois and their personal items go unclaimed, the state steps in.
“It’s frequently because they passed away and they didn’t tell her love ones about it,” Frerichs said. “If they don’t know where to claim it, it gets turned over to us and we love to reunite people with this property, their children or grandchildren. But after about 10 years, if we can’t track them down, we need to create space in our vault.”
Occasionally, that rare sports item comes up.
“That Mickey Mantle baseball card that your father had in the safe deposit box, it might be sold. We can’t give you that card but we can give you the full value of what it sold for at auction, plus interest,” Frerichs said.
The Treasurer’s Office is the custodian of unclaimed property, including lost bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds, unpaid rebate cards and safe deposit boxes.
“There is something for every collector out there,” Frerich said.
Frerichs adds that the auction is not a revenue generator for the state of Illinois.
“This is turning physical items into cash, which is much easier for us to store,” he said. “But we think these items deserve the warm embrace in someone’s home, rather than a cold vault.”
Anyone interested in placing a bid may click here.
The auction ends Friday.