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Dormant Bank Accounts

Did you know...

  • Insured accounts from closed banks and
    unions may be held by the FDIC or NCUA.

  • A wave of bank mergers resulting in name changes and branch closings has resulted in millions of lost accounts nationwide.

credit union shares
minor child accounts
Christmas Club & layaway programs
insured accounts at failed institutions, including S&Ls
matured but unredeemed Certificates of Deposit
credit balances from loans
Checks not cashed
  • Travelers checks that are not cashed are generally not considered legally abandoned until 15 years after the date of issue.

  • The Social Security Administration has a
     "suspense file" of uncredited earnings and unpaid benefits totaling more than $250 billion.

payroll / travelers / cashiers
money orders
stock dividends
bond coupons
refunds and rebates
Social Security and Veteran's Administration benefits
foreign exchange drafts
Missing life insurance policy benefits
  • 25% of all life insurance polices go unpaid on
    death of the insured.

  • Often overlooked are union benefits that include group life insurance policies.

  • Many credit cards include insurance to pay off outstanding balances upon the cardholder's death.

policies on which you may have been named a beneficiary
credit card and mortgage payment policies
group life insurance policies
accident & health payments
loss of income payments
experience rating refunds
worker compensation benefits
Social Security & VA death & disability benefits
Unrefunded Deposits and overpayments
  • Each year hundreds of thousands fail to collect
    tens of millions of dollars in security and utility deposits (phone, cable television, water, sewer,
    and electric) after a move.

miscellaneous service providers
credit memos
rental companies
credit and debit cards
Unpaid Wages and Uncollected Benefits
  • Back military pay may be subject to a statute of limitations, so prompt action is necessary.

  • Unclaimed final paychecks and severance benefits
    are a substantial source of unclaimed funds, especially among part-time workers and those who switch jobs frequently.

pension & profit sharing
unused sick or vacation time
expense account reimbursements
employee savings & medical accounts
death benefits
unpaid wages
military pay and benefits
Gambling Proceeds
  • "Outs" - winning bets at the racetrack that go uncollected - total millions of dollars each year.

Winning pari-mutuel wagers
unredeemed casinos markers
funds left on account
HUD Mortgage Refunds
  • HUD had to be "specifically encouraged" by
    Congress to return hundreds of millions of
    dollars in overpayments owed homeowners.

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium overpayments
Private mortgage insurance premium refunds
HUD Distributive Shares
Unused Gift Certificates
  • Each year $4-600 million in gift certificates go unused. By law most never expire, despite the fact many have "good until" or "must use by" verbiage printed on them.

retail stores
miscellaneous service providers
credit memos
Lost Retirement Accounts
  • The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. insures over 55,000 private pensions covering 42 million workers.

  • OPM, the Office of Personnel Management, stores personnel records in a cave 268 below ground.

  • IRA's may be considered abandoned if withdrawals do not start by age 70.


undistributed proceeds from IRA & Keogh Retirement Plans 401(k)
employee savings
profit sharing and medical savings accounts
terminated private pensions guaranteed by the PBGC
Civil Service / Federal Employment Retirement System benefits
Thrift Savings Plan accounts
Railroad Retirement Board
Property held by Police Departments
  • You may be able to claim cash to offset losses from theft and burglary.

recovered but unclaimed property sold at auction
Unclaimed Employee Benefits
  • Often overlooked by departing employees are year-end bonuses and reimbursements.

credits for unused personal leave, sick and vacation time
undistributed profit sharing and bonus checks
expense account reimbursements
Proceeds from Bankruptcies
  • 1.2 million Chapter 7 bankruptcies were filed in 1998. Less than one-in-ten creditors entitled to collect distributions does so.

amounts held by courts due creditors
refundable court fees
Lost Safe Deposit Box contents
  • Box contents are often sold at auction, but
    owners or heirs can claim the funds received.

expired leases on bank and private boxes
Judgments from class action lawsuits
  • A huge source of unclaimed funds rarely
    claimed by those entitled - nearly everyone.

settlements to which you are entitled as a member of a prevailing class
Unclaimed Union Benefits
  • Unions, service and special interest clubs and
    groups often offer life insurance to members.

supplemental unemployment
death benefits
Credit balances, layaways and overpayments
  • Shoppers leave behind tens of millions each year in unclaimed credit balances and unrefunded layaway deposits.

co-op shares
charge cards
Oil / Gas / Mineral Royalties
  • Easily overlooked, especially by those who are due lease payments as a birthright, i.e. Native Americans.

amounts due from land leases and easements granted
Lost or forgotten securities
  • The Securities & Exchange Commission estimates three million lost securities holders nationwide.

  • Failure to cash a dividend check, exchange stock after a merger, or the return of a statement or
    annual report by the post office as undeliverable, establishes abandonment.

misplaced certificates
interest and dividend check not deposited or cashed
shares resulting from stock splits
matured or called but unredeemed bearer and registered bonds
unredeemed savings bonds and other government securities
unexchanged shares from mergers
stock and mutual fund shares arising from dividend reinvestment
Amounts distributable from trusts
  • In many instances beneficiaries don't know they're entitled to receive payments.

amounts due heirs from unknown or forgotten trust accounts
Unused airline miles and credits
  • In some cases bonus awards and credits may be recoverable.
free tickets or other bonuses
frequent flier mileage credit
Estate proceeds and unclaimed inheritances
  • Unclaimed legacies from distant relatives are a huge source of abandoned funds.

undistributed proceeds from estate sales
undistributed assets owed heirs
Account balances at nursing homes and hospitals
  • Nursing homes and hospitals are frequently are left with money and property after the death of a patient.

credit balances on house accounts
proceeds from the sale of personal property
refunds on prepaid but unused services
Unclaimed bail bonds and amounts held at prisons
  • Earnings can reach a substantial sum after a long incarceration.

personal property
amounts held on account
unpaid earnings
Unclaimed and undelivered tax refunds
  • Most states do not include their own stale drafts and warrants in missing owner databases.
uncashed government checks and warrants
undelivered income and property tax refunds
undistributed property tax refunds
Unused phone and gift cards
  • Pre-paid but unused amounts on telephone and gift cards are one of the fastest growing types of abandoned property.
gift cards
pre-paid telephone cards
merchandise cards
Unclaimed Funds
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