Pending Legislation: One Word Makes A Big, Big Difference

A bill currently pending before the Illinois state legislature makes a seemingly simple change that could have an expensive impact on holders of unclaimed property belonging to Illinois residents.  Illinois House Bill 19 would amend the Illinois Unclaimed Property Act to provide that due diligence letters must be sent via certified (rather than first-class) mail. 

While the bill's intentions are sensible (generally, people are more likely to open and respond to certified mail) this legislation, if passed, would substantially increase the cost of doing due diligence.  Pursuant to the Illinois Unclaimed Property Act, holders are responsible for sending due diligence mailings to all potential owners, regardless of the value of the property.  If the legislation goes through, the cost of sending due diligence mailings to all owners will raise from 44 cents to $ 3.24 (an increase of almost 750%).  Perhaps a due diligence threshold is in order.

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