The NBC 5/Telemundo Chicago Investigative & Responds teams have been investigating billions of dollars owed by millions of Chicagoans, mostly from places people don’t know about: unpaid wages, bankruptcy refunds, insurance refunds, and Chicago’s trove of uncashed checks.

Are you eligible for money? You can check each resource below. We will add to these lists in the coming weeks and months.


unclaimed money in chicago

You may be entitled to a refund of insurance premiums if you have ever paid off a Federal Housing Authority mortgage. Telemundo Responds and NBC5 have discovered that more than 30,000 Chicago families paid insurance premiums for FHA loans.

WHERE TO LOOK. We have created an exclusive search engine for all money owed in the Chicago area. This includes northwest Indiana and southeast Wisconsin. You can find your name in this list and then use the online HUD search tool to start the process of claiming a refund.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY. HUD’S search tool only works for one name. While other mortgagees may appear in the search results, they are not searchable by themselves. HUD recommends that you call 1-800-697-6967 to request a refund or send an email to if you do not find one. The next step is to complete an application and provide documentation.


It’s possible that your wages are being withheld by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). WHD seeks out employers that violate labour laws and often recover wages unpaid by employees. WHD holds back wages for three years if they can’t find an employee. The money is then sent to the U.S. Treasury.

WHERE TO LOOK? Start with the page on USDOL’s site, which explains how to recover lost wages. Click “begin here”, then search for the employer. Search by all possible variations of the employer name.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY. Fill out the USDOL search site with your contact information, and DOL will email you a Form to Claim Your Back Wage. Please fill out the form, sign it and attach any supporting documents. Then log in to to upload your materials. According to the Wage and Hour Division, it can take eight to ten weeks to process a claim.


Maria Pappas, Cook County Treasurer, wants to know if you owe her money. The office of Pappas claims it has more than $72million. It wants to reimburse property owners and $43 million in unclaimed exemptions.

WHERE TO LOOK? If you are a Cook County homeowner, the Pappas office has a search engine that you can use to check if there is a refund on your account.

HOW TO RECOVER YOUR MONEY? Search for your address or Property Index Number (PIN) to search. Look for the section that asks, “Are there any overpayments on your Property Index Number (PIN)?”. If so, fill out the online application.


Telemundo Investiga and NBC 5 Investigates discovered that Chicago has more than $12 Million in uncashed checks due to over 19,000 individuals and businesses throughout the Chicago area. This includes many current city employees. Checks dating back to 1987 were found with amounts that ranged from just a few pennies up to over half a million dollars.

WHERE TO LOOK? There is no way to tell if you are due these checks. The city doesn’t make its list public unless someone asks. To get the information, we had to submit a Freedom of Information Request. Chicago doesn’t follow the Illinois Treasurer’s state law, which requires that cities turn over uncashed checks. People can’t find these checks on the state ICash website.

Telemundo Investiga and NBC 5 Investigates created a search tool that allows you to check for uncashed checks in the city.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY. The Chicago Department of Finance has two forms that you can use to claim your money. For individuals, this form is for you to complete and for businesses. The city also says you can email with any questions about making a claim for your money.


Telemundo Investiga and NBC 5 Investigates have discovered a total of $16,434,927.20 worth of unclaimed funds in bankruptcy cases in Illinois. These funds are currently due to over 70,000 creditors. This includes unclaimed amounts up to $24,305.92 in local cases dating back to 1966. NBC 5 Investigates nationwide has discovered unclaimed bankruptcy money due to more than 915,000 creditors.

WHERE TO LOOK: This search tool is unique and allows you to check for funds that have not been claimed in local bankruptcy cases. This tool contains all unclaimed funds in five areas: Illinois’ Northern District, Central District (ILCB), and Southern Districts (ILSB); Indiana’s Northern District and INNB; and Wisconsin’s Eastern District.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY. Follow these instructions if you find the money.

State Of Illinois Unclaimed Funds


Although you may be familiar with Illinois’ ICash search website, you should still review it. The Illinois State Treasurer currently holds more than $3.5 Billion in unclaimed funds, which could be used by you, your family, or your friends.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR MONEY. Telemundo Chicago Investigate and NBC 5 Investigates have discovered that names and addresses can be misspelt. Many people are listed at homes they haven’t occupied in decades. You may also find additional money if you look for old addresses or try new spellings. You can claim the money by pressing the “claim” button on each unclaimed property. Then fill out the online form. You will receive an email from the state with a second form detailing the exact amount due to you.

You may now be able to get even more money. The State of Illinois must now pay interest on a lot of its unclaimed property depending on the date it was claimed and when it was handed over to it. Details can be found on the treasurer’s website.

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