Trying To Track Old CD

Gailrc75
Gailrc75   |     |   4 posts since 2015

I ran across 2 CD's that Matured in 1995 totaling $35K ( invested amount).  Originally deposited at Barnett Bank, Jacksonville, FL.  Barnett Bank was bought out by Nations Bank which was bought out by Bank of America.  These certificates are the originals in the plastic sleeve and it says on the face "automatic renewal."  Depositor died in 2002, my mother in law was the administrator of the estate as well as the sole beneficiary.  In that era you normally had to bring in the certificate to cash it out.  Went with my mother in law to the bank today and they could not find a record of these CD's...not that they tried very hard!  I'm sure they have been through several computer systems since then and the two sales/mergers probably does not help matters.  Are they required to produce evidence that they were cashed out at some point?  I already checked with the state and money was not turned over to them.  Any help would be most appreciated!  They have opened a research ticket to try to locate the funds.  If they come back and say they have no record of the accounts what should we do next?  This is not an insufficient amount of money to my mother-in-law.  Thanks!



Answers
Ally6770
Ally6770   |     |   2,778 posts since 2010
You do not have to turn in the paper CD while cashing in a CD. I have had several that I have cashed in while keeping the paper copy. I put each new one in the same plastic envelope as the old one. With IRA's this was helpful.  Having purchased IRA CD's annually from 1978 thru 2008 for both my husband and myself we, at one time, had several envelopes before we were able to combine or disclaim them.  I have been shredding many the last few months.

I have never heard of a state taking the name off the list. In Michigan I  recently contacted a friend that had a check on the list that were dated in 1990.  

Having on-line banking, I believe, can and will be an considerable obstacle for beneficiaries on the death of a single person or with a person who has diminished capacity. 
Encourage your elders to print a copy of at least one statement and put them in a file, along with a hard copy of the signature card naming beneficiaries, and also to keep a ledger for easy tracking. 
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,571 posts since 2011
Maybe the banks you deal with do not need the paper copy of the CDs and we never did either until we moved to our new state and are using new banks.  It seems "certain" banks we deal with tell us from the get go that on the maturity date we cannot withdraw the funds unless we return the original paper copy of the CD to them.  It can't be a copy either.  It must be the original one.  I do not like this practice and only use these banks if they have a better rate than others.  I keep the original paper copies in a special envelope to remind us it has to be returned since we are not used to this practice.  I cannot see a reason for it since all their info is supposed to be on the computer anyway.
Gailrc75
Gailrc75   |     |   4 posts since 2015
I worked in a bank  (not the one in question) for15 years and our bank required the presentation of the original certificate to cash it out.  Now I'm sure there are procedures for lost certificates so you don't just lose the money.  There certificates state on the back that the original must be submitted at maturity to cash out.  I guess some banks do and others don't. Ally6770, I was not suggesting that the state removed  the name from the list but rather that the bank did not remit the funds to the state. I have read articles online about Bank of America doing some pretty unscrupulous things to avoid paying out money on old CD's & bonds.  That's for your responses.
paoli2
paoli2   |     |   2,571 posts since 2011
Gailrc75:  We were told by our banks that if we ever lost the original CDs, we would not forfeit the funds.  We would just have to fill out certain forms stating they were lost for the bank and we could still get the money involved.  In your case, if the bank is not cooperating with you, you may have to go the the organization which oversees the banks and let them know what is going on.  They can probably help you get the money.  Best of luck.
me1004
me1004   |     |   864 posts since 2010
I don't have answers for you, just some input.

What really seems perplexing is that the state says the bank never turned over any of the money to the state. I don't now the time frame for that in Florida, but in California it is seven years of no contact from the account holder. Once California gets the money, they put the name on a list that can be checked. At some point thereafter, the money is simply lost to the state. Presuming Florida does something similar, perhaps when the money is lost to the state, the record of it all goes away, is moved to some other location or destroyed as over and done?

Any way I look at it, the money should have gone to the state at some point. But the state says no. I have to think the state maybe faield t check wherever it is they put the old records. Of course if the bank did turn it over to the state, they certainly should have a record to show that, but they don't. Everybody is dropping the ball here.

Yes, wait on the bank to respond again, but go at the state again and demand a deeper look, suggest that the time frame finally passed for the state to take over the money and that the record might have been disposed of in some other place at that time than where they are now looking.

You might also look at all other bank records you have for the depositor and see if perhaps that money was put into another bank around that time. Who knows why the withdrawal was not have been marked in the book. If the depositor got the moeny, they had to do something with it - and that kind of amount would have to show up somewhere.

What to do next? I don't know if this is the kind of matter for filing a complaint with the government agency overseeing that bank. Other than that, alI can think of is getting a lawyer. The bank has to account for that money.
Gailrc75
Gailrc75   |     |   4 posts since 2015
It is my understanding that only California & Arizona eventually absorb and use the money turned in if no one files a claim.  In other states heirs can file a claim for it into perpetuity.  I'm in another state (Georgia) trying to help my 90 year old MIL with this and if the bank does not come up with a good explanation then I do intend to make a trip to review whatever records exist & see if I can figure out if it was transferred to another bank account.  Because of the expense, getting an attorney will be my last resort but if that is the only way then we will do it.  Thanks for the advice. 
Ally6770
Ally6770   |     |   2,778 posts since 2010
Another avenue would be to check IRS records. Interest earned had to be listed. You can get copies for a small fee from IRS. 
FAR
FAR   |     |   113 posts since 2013
Couple questions to the original poster; Are these IRA cds or regular cds and what were the terms of the cds? I think closing out an IRA cd from a deceased would be a little more difficult. I am a little surprised that this was not caught when the estate was finalized but curious how did you happen to run across them 13 years later? No end of year statements were mailed?  You noted your mother in law was the beneficiary of the estate but wondering if someone else may have been listed as a beneficiary on the cd’s. Like others have said, there has to be a paper trail but may take a little time and leg work for you and the banks to recreate since it has been 20 years.

I would be curious to have a follow up to see how this ends up. Good luck.
Gailrc75
Gailrc75   |     |   4 posts since 2015
These are regular CD's, terms were I year to maturity and automatically renewing.  Original depositor of the CD's died in 2002.  He had no family and my MIL had helped take care of him and was also the administrator of his estate.  She is now 90 and I have no idea how this didn't arise when the estate was finalized.  She ran across the CD's recently while cleaning out an old file cabinet belonging to the deceased.  I can't answer the question about rather or not year end statements were mailed and even if so, the deceased was in a nursing home for several years prior to death and I'm not sure what his mental state was during that time span.  I will definitely post the final results of this but I have a feeling it is not going to be something that happens quickly.  Thanks! 
Linda Brinson
Linda Brinson   |     |   1 posts since 2017
Gailrc75, what ever happened? I have a mirror situation and it's with Barnett Bank too (Bank of America). Where should I start?
Gail Rodgers Chandler
Gail Rodgers Chandler   |     |   1 posts since 2017
Linda, we hired an attorney. Let me correct a couple of facts stated in my original post. Prior to the depositor's death he had made my mother-in-law co-owner or all property he was aware of, making a will unnecessary in his eyes. Since there was no will the attorney tracked down his closest family (a sister) who the court would recognize as his heir. A letter was written notifying her of the accounts and asking if she would have an interest in persuing getting the money with my mother-in-law being willing to absorb the attorneys fees in this pursuit for a 50/50 split of any potential proceeds. The sister never responded to our attorney so according to our attorney since my MIL is not an heir we have no legal standing to get the money. We still have possession of the CD's and without those I doubt the sister can get the money. If she were to contact us to try to get the CD's we would turn them over to her. Hope your case turns out better than ours!
joelhopkins
joelhopkins   |     |   2 posts since 2019
Hi Gail,

My grandparents have the exact same situation. They have a CD from 1990 from the same bank. I have been tasked with the job of tracking down how to cash in the CD. You said you hired an attorney, but where did you go to try to cash in the CD? Was the money actually handed over to the State of Florida? Or was it held by Bank of America after all these years? I assume you actually found who was holding the money, but just couldn't claim it without the heir. Is that right?
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   129 posts since 2018
If the account was not auto-renewed all this time, the money would have been required to be escheated to the state a long time ago.
joelhopkins
joelhopkins   |     |   2 posts since 2019
Hi AnnO,
The CD was set to auto-renew, but I didn't know if that was honored by the acquiring bank after the original bank was bought and merged. I reached out to Bank of America and they didn't seem to have any record of it. And I don't see it in the unclaimed property of Florida. That's why I was trying to see where Gail finally found where her CD funds were located. I'm assuming they followed the same path whatever that is.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   129 posts since 2018
You might want to click on Gail's name and send a PM to her directly. She is unlikely to still be checking the site as several years have passed, but perhaps she has email alerts turned on to be notified if someone PMs her. If you do ever find out what happened, come back and let us know for the next time someone comes along with the same problem.
Sylvia
Sylvia   |     |   210 posts since 2012
joelhopkins, a similar discussion occurred a few years ago, https://www.depositaccounts.com/community/ask/11797-how-to-track-down-a-cd-from-a-bank-that-closed-many-years-ago.html. Reviewing old tax returns or 1099’s could help you zero in on time when CD disappeared off radar. Check state of their residency at that time, if it’s not Florida.
BrianPZ
BrianPZ   |     |   1 posts since 2019
Hi Joel, I have the exact same problem with my grandparents. Any update?
bstugs
bstugs   |     |   2 posts since 2019
My husband opened 2 CDs after our first child was born in 1982. My husband has been a customer at this bank for over 50 years. He is still a current customer. We have lived at the same address since opening these accounts. We never needed to use them. We invested for our children’s future needs. They automatically rolled over. My husband turned 70 a few years ago. He forgot he had the CDs. 2 years ago we found them in a storage box after having a house fire. We went to cash them and the bank said we have no records of the accounts. Called the state no record of money getting turned over to them. The CDs had paperwork attached showing what they would be worth after 30+ years. We hired an attorney and shortly after they produced a piece of paper heavily redacted with my husband’s name on it showing he had withdrew a few thousand dollars from some account in 1999. No proof it was the CDs. Just told us it must of been the CDs. He supposedly came back 5 days later depositing a large amount of money. The figure was different from the so called withdrawal amount. Now keep in mind it was the only place my husband did his banking. The paper did not clearly show what account the money was withdrew from. Very hard to read. It in fact was the only piece of paper we received from the bank. My husband was in business so occasional large deposits were not uncommon however large withdrawals were highly unusual. The dollar amounts were much less than the CDs were worth at that time. The opening balance was $2000 for each CD. In 1982 that was a lot of money. The interest rates fluctuated from 10 to 15% on one and a flat 12% on the other. So 2 CDs whose initial investment was $2000 each are only worth $10,000 after 17 years. BS. The info they gave us was copied on standard copy paper not bank letterhead. No official banking signatures. We knew right away it was possibly a fraudulent piece of paper. They initially said they had no records. My husband must have cashed them. We have the original certificates in our possession. My attorney filed a lawsuit hoping to try and find out where this paper came from. We asked them where they found this info and if they found this info which by the way was dated 1999 where was the other paperwork. They used the excuse we are only required to keep paperwork for 6 years. Okay so first you have no records then you come up with some info that only benefits you the bank? You don’t even put your name or signature on it but you have no other paperwork. The whole thing stunk to the highest level. We took it to court to try and get a deposition on where this pathetic paper came from. In addition this bank had a retired judge sitting on its board of directors. How convenient is that. Our case sat in the local county court for a whole year with my attorney trying to get a deposition. It was continued every month for 12 months and finally the judge threw it out coveting all of our 8 counts with statute of limitation which was totally unfair. I asked the judge where is the money. His response was I don’t know. Isn’t it your job to find out??? We immediately filed in the Appellate court. After almost another year we finally have an Appellate court hearing date coming up in June. We will take it to the Supreme Court if we have to. My husband is a senior citizen. He has suffered 2 strokes during this. My point is this. How do you only keep records for a 30+ cd for 6 years. Why are the banks able to use this law when it seems only beneficial to them. Where does this missing money go? There are many employees inside banks who are stealing money from elderly people. It’s called financial exploitation. Your grandparents, parents should be protected so their heirs can rightfully claim money that belongs to them. Why have long term CDs if people can’t cash them years later based on a 6 year record retention. When did this law come into effect? If it was after the opening of your CD it should not apply to you. People are losing money left and right to these banks over this. It’s wrong on so many levels. I’m sharing this with you because if it happened to us it can happen to you. Aren’t banks responsible for protecting customers money? We have to continue to be proactive in not letting this happen to our senior population. How many seniors go to their banks only to be told they have no money. They may have dementia and think oh I must have forgotten. The burden of proof is only put on the customer. You entrusted the bank with your money. You received certificates to prove your investment only to be told they don’t have to keep records. Our children and grandchildren are getting ripped off because of a 6 year record retention law. We invest money to make money. Not lose it. Keep pushing. Don t walk away from what’s rightfully yours. These situations go unreported. If you go on the internet you will see it is more common than you think. If you or I took money from our bank we would go to jail. Good luck. I will let you know what happens at the Appellate court level. Just an FYI. This same bank hired one of the most expensive law firms in the city of Chicago to represent them. They have fought us from getting any depositions from where this paper came from. If they are totally innocent why are they spending so much money to fight us???
Ally6770
Ally6770   |     |   2,778 posts since 2010
I would hope you kept all your federal income tax filings that would list all the banks that gave you interest each year. You could tell when they stopped sending you the 1099's. I have kept mine since 1959 and still refuse to shred them even though they say you could after keeping everything for 7 years. Also for a fee you can get information from the IRS.
bstugs
bstugs   |     |   2 posts since 2019
The IRS only keeps info for 7 years as well. Thanks for the suggestion. We also had a house fire and pretty much lost everything. We were displaced from our home for a year. Lost most of our paperwork. 
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   129 posts since 2018
No, I'm pretty sure the IRS keeps this kind of info for 10 years: https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/irs/audits-and-tax-notices/get-old-irs-forms-w-2-1099/
Lost1985
Lost1985   |     |   3 posts since 2019
I am in the same situation as you. I recently moved to an apartment and looking thru some old papers in a box which I haven't opened for over 30 years, I found 2 CDs purchased in 1985 from Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles. I have the original Certificates. I went to WFB to check if I can cash out these 2 CDs. They said they have no records of these 2 CDs and suggested me to check with the State's Unclaimed Properties Dept. I requested WFB to do a thorough search of their records and they told me they only keep records for 7 years and they have no records of my CDs because they were over 30 years. They said the funds might have been turned over to the State. I requested the State's Unclaimed Properties Dept. to do a search and the State came back saying that they have no records of the CDs in my name. These CDs are renewable every 6 months. I lived in the same house for 38 years and have only received notification of renewal from WFB until Dec. 1986. I still have these renewal notices for that period. After that I don't think I have received anymore notices of renewal. These CDs are renewable every 6 months at the time of its maturity. Since I didn't receive any notices, I forgot about these CDs because being a single mother I have to work to support my family. I did not keep my old tax returns, only the recent ones. To my memory, I don't think I have cashed out these 2 CDs. It seems I am hitting the wall on the searches. If WFB does have my CDs and the State couldn't find any Unclaimed Properties that matches my name, then where has the money gone. I think my last option is to hire an attorney to see if I can get some of money from my CDs. By the way, the State Unclaimed Properties keeps records since 1952. In other words, if WFB has turned over my CDs to the State, State should have a record of the transaction. If State didn't find any records that match my name, it means there is some fraud with WFB. Please wish me luck. Now that I have retired, every penny counts.
AnnO
AnnO   |     |   129 posts since 2018
Re: Lost1985

The most likely explanation here is that your memory of what you may or may not have done over 3 decades ago, while a distracted single mother, is mistaken.
Lost1985
Lost1985   |     |   3 posts since 2019
If my memory fails me, why do I still have the original CDs. It was over 3 decades ago,computers were not as sophisticated, and the bank would not cash out the CDs without giving them the original CDs. I am going to seek the advice of an attorney. Anyone knows an attorney who is good in handling this kind of cases? .
Confused1
Confused1   |     |   26 posts since 2018
Sorry but I have to agree with AnnO, I just recently I cleared out my safe of all my old CD certificates and even old savings passbooks that had been renewed or cashed out, some of these went back as far as the 1980's. I can confirm that rarely did I turn in the original certificates to the bank to get my money out. I keep track of my finances on the computer and my records go back that far so it was easy to check to see what happened to the money, usually I moved it someplace else for a better rate. It's important to get rid of any old paperwork before I pass so I don't leave a mess for my kids to try and deal with trying to track down non existent accounts. No bank is going to have records that go that far back and nor should they be expected to, we need to take some responsibility and keep track. I was single mom of 2 kids and I knew where every penny of my money was, I had to since my ex was not very reliable with child support. CD's were my emergency funds and if not spent, later became their college savings funds.
Lost1985
Lost1985   |     |   3 posts since 2019
Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I know banks only keep records for 7 years, but if they have turned the CDs over to the State, then why did the State cannot find any match with my name. State keeps records since 1953. I suspect that there might be some fraud in the bank. Anyway, I'll try to pursue my case with a lawyer.


The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.