When is a deposit account considered abandoned or unclaimed?
Generally, an account is considered abandoned or unclaimed when there is no customer-initiated activity or contact for a period of three to five years. The specific period is based on the escheatment laws of each state.
Each state has an unclaimed-property program. Before sending the account balance to the state, the bank is usually required to try to contact the customer. Some banks publish the names of the account holder in a local newspaper. Some banks send a letter to the last known address of the account holder. The bank will then turn over the account balance to the state if there is no contact from the account holder.
You can find more information on unclaimed-property programs through the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPU) or through 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.