CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County officials are looking for nearly 2,000 former property owners who are due money after a foreclosure.

Newsradio WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the county’s Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus Fund holds $16 million–money that belongs to the owners of foreclosed property.

If the property is sold for more than the lender is owed, the extra money goes to the former owner, but Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown says the owners often can’t be found.

LISTEN: Newsradio WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

In 2009 for example, she says on 27,000 properties sold, only 2,000 of the foreclosed owners came to court.

“25,000 never came to court therefore their property was sold by default,” he said. “So if they have already disappeared, then there is no way to get the check to them.”

County assessor Joseph Berrios says it’s a simple process to claim your money.

Go on the website. See if your name is on there and if your name is on there, call Dorothy Brown’s office.”

Some of the money in the fund dates back to the 1990s and the amounts average around $2,000, although the former owner of one commercial property is owed $460,000.

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