(The Center Square) – Rare coins, watches and sports memorabilia are among the unclaimed property that will be auctioned off at the Illinois State Fair this month in Springfield.
More than 15,000 items worth around $150,000 will be divided into 250 lots and will hit the auction block.
State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said the program, also known as I-Cash, attempts to reunite people with their belongings.
“We look for 10 years to return the property to its rightful owners and after 10 years we can’t track them down, we start running out of space in our vault,” Frerichs said. “The state doesn’t take possession of this, we don’t take the money, we safeguard it and hold it forever for the rightful owners or their heirs.”
Illinois holds more than $3.5 billion in unclaimed property and the state treasurer is legally required to return the property to the rightful owners no matter how long it takes.
“Unclaimed property is a consumer protection law that was passed back in the 1960s,” Frerichs said. “I get to fight on behalf of Illinois consumers and get money that belongs to them.”
Illinois lawmakers assigned unclaimed property duties to the state treasurer’s office beginning in July 1999.
People can check the state treasurer’s website to see if there is any unclaimed property being held in their name.
The auction will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Lincoln Stage at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
A list of the items up for auction is here.