► Unclaimed funds held by banks and government agencies Every year billions of dollars in bank and credit union checking and savings accounts, CDs, IRAs and safe deposit boxes are lost, forgotten or unclaimed.
By statute, bank accounts are considered dormant and abandoned after the owner - or heirs - fail to 'communicate an interest' in them. This occurs when you do not make a deposit or withdrawal over an extended period, allow a CD to automatically rollover, even when a statement or other official bank correspondence is returned by the post office as undeliverable.
Frequently this happens after the death of a family member, name changes following marriage or divorce, and the expiration of a mail forwarding order after a move.
► Missing accounts owed deceased family members Did you or a family member have unclaimed money at a bank that moved, changed its name or closed? Don't assume that because your bank, savings and loan or credit union no longer exists that unclaimed funds are lost forever.
The funds may have been transferred to a another bank a merger or acquisition. Even if your bank or credit union failed and closed its doors, you may still be entitled to collect insurance proceeds up to $250,000 per account. Unclaimed cash may be recovered after years of inactivity, even if a passbook is lost or destroyed. ... MORE
► FDIC insured accounts at closed banks The FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - created by the Banking Act of 1933, administers insurance funds to protect depositors from losing money when banks fail. When a bank is closed by government regulators, the FDIC is appointed receiver and given responsibility for the payout of insured deposits and liquidation of the institution's assets.
During the Savings & Loan Crisis of the 1980s, 2,100 banks closed. Since the start of the Great Recession in 2008, there have been nearly 500 bank failures including the largest ever, Washington Mutual, with $182 billion in deposits. ... MORE
► NCUA insured accounts at closed credit unions The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) supervises and insures federal and state-chartered credit unions. Nearly one hundred credit unions have closed their doors in the last five years.
When a federally-insured credit union is liquidated, the NCUA assumes responsibility for paying share account to members. NCUSIF, the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, currently insures member deposits up to a $250,000 limit. Accounts claimed within an 18-month insurance period are paid the full insured amount. ... MORE
► Find a lost or unclaimed safe deposit box Confidentiality concerns, both on the part of owners and the institutions where safe deposit boxes are located, make this type of asset one that commonly goes unclaimed by family members and heirs.
If you where the box was held but the branch no longer exists, don't assume the contents are lost forever, they may have been transferred to a successor institution. Even if you don't know, it's still possible to find and claim its contents, as boxes with expired leases and delinquent rental payments are transferred to a government custodian. ... MORE
► Lost or uncashed checks Checks often go uncashed after they are lost or destroyed, returned by the post office as undeliverable, or because the payee simply forgets to present them for payment.
Failure to cash or deposit a check does not terminate your right to the funds and the issuer's responsibility to pay. This is generally true even if a check specifies a 'void-after' date. If you never received a check you can obtain a replacement. If you did receive a check, but for one reason or another never cashed it or deposited it to your bank account, you are still entitled to the funds. ... MORE
► Unclaimed IRA - Individual Retirement Account 50 million Americans own IRAs. About half are invested in various mutual funds. one-third are held in brokerage accounts, with bank deposits and life insurance annuities accounting for the remainder.
A Traditional IRA is considered abandoned if a distribution is not made by age 70½; the age at which non-withdrawal triggers a 50% tax penalty. Both Traditional and Roth IRAs are deemed abandoned if one or more distribution checks are not cashed, which can occur as soon as the owner reaches age 59½. ... MORE
► Missing CD - Certificate of Deposit Allowing a CD to automatically roll over may result in the presumption of abandonment, assuming there is no other owner-directed activity. In most cases dormant and unclaimed bank Certificate of Deposits come under the purview of state unclaimed property statutes.
Additionally, under the terms of the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery & Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), the government has taken custody of several hundred million dollars worth of insured accounts from failed banks and credit unions, including IRAs and CDs. ... MORE
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