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Finding a childhood bank account

Dear Dr. Don,
How do I find my savings account, opened through the school when I was a child? It is basically unclaimed and has been since 1960-something.
-- Linda Lost


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Dear Linda,
The good news is that finding the money that was in your childhood savings account should be fairly straightforward. Banks turn those balances over to the state, and the state holds on to the money until its owner contacts them to claim the funds. You won't need to contract with a property locator or heir finder to locate this account.

The length of time before the account was considered abandoned varies by state. Whether the account continues to earn interest for the owner, at what interest rate and for how long, also depends on state law. The Bankrate feature, "How to find unclaimed money and property," helps you search by state and another Bankrate feature, "States hold treasure trove of unclaimed property," explains unclaimed property issues in greater depth.

The states, for the most part, have done a great job of making this as consumer friendly as possible. It's easy to get hooked on looking through the different states you've lived in to see if you or your relatives have any money lying about. I found an abandoned bank account for my cousin the last time I played this game. Happy hunting!

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: Oct. 7, 2005
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