|Bank accounts are considered abandoned if a deposit or
withdrawal is not made over a period of time, generally from one to five
years. This may be true even in cases where CD's (Certificates of
Deposit) automatically roll-over, because this is not considered to be
Even in the event the bank failed and closed its doors, do not necessarily assume your funds are lost forever. For those who owned accounts at a branch no longer in existence, the funds may well have been transferred to a successor bank after a merger or acquisition.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), created by the Banking Act of 1933, administers insurance funds to protect depositors from losing money when banks fail. Participating banks pay premiums to the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF). If a bank fails, the FDIC pays depositors directly, or transfers insured funds to a successor bank.
There has been at least one bank failure every year since operations began, with more than 1,400 banks and 700 savings institutions closing between 1982 and 1992 alone. There have been over 400 bank failures since 2008, including the largest ever, Washington Mutual, with $182 billion in deposits.
Unclaimed credit union shares are handled by a separate federal agency, the National Credit Union Administration. NCUA is an independent agency that supervises and insures over 7,329 federal credit unions and 4,538 state-chartered credit unions. When a federally-insured credit union is liquidated, the NCUA assumes responsibility for paying share accounts to members up to a $100,000 limit. Since 1990, more than $331 million has been paid out to well over 100,000 account owners.
For assistance tracking
down funds from closed banks and credit unions, or to trace an unclaimed
account or safe deposit box lost after a merger or acquisition go to:
|Special Note: Each year, thousands of safe deposit boxes go unclaimed after the death of the owner. Upon non-payment of rent due, banks open abandoned boxes and remit contents to state custody. Claims should be made promptly, as contents may be sold at auction after a period of time. Go to: Safe Deposit Search|
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