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Why would a bank send me a notice stating that my account may be turned over to the state treasurer as abandoned property?

The bank may be trying to alert you that your account is inactive. If the account remains inactive, it may be classified as abandoned, and your funds may be turned over to the state. This practice may also be referred to as escheatment.

The notice usually explains the actions that you may take to confirm your account has not been abandoned to prevent the transfer of the balance to the state.

Generally, an abandoned account is one for which there has been no customer-initiated activity or contact for a period of three to five years. States' abandoned-property programs require banks to turn over the funds of such bank accounts to the custody of the state treasurer.

Some states require the bank to attempt to notify the account holder before they transfer the funds to the state. The bank may charge a recurring inactive account fee or escheatment fee as outlined the deposit account agreement.

If you wish to find out if your account funds were sent to the state treasurer, contact your applicable state treasurer/unclaimed property office. You can also start your search by visiting National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators or your state's unclaimed property office.

Last Reviewed: October 2020

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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