Unclaimed Assets: Find and Claim Lost or Unredeemed U.S. Savings Bonds

Bureau of Public Debt: Savings Bonds / Postal Savings System / Treasury Bonds, Bills & Notes

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Unclaimed Money Search - US Savings Bonds

► Missing Savings Bonds in Safe Deposit Boxes  

Many investors store bonds and other securities in safe deposit boxes. Due to the long term nature of these investments, they often slip through the cracks after death of the owner. Because the contents of safe deposit boxes with expired leases and no further rental payments eventually revert to government custody, the bonds may be held by a trustee.

Dormancy periods - the time during which there has been no box entry or rental payment - vary by state, but typically range from 1-5 years. Boxes are drilled and contents remitted to an unclaimed property trustee in the state of the owner's last known residence. In the event there is no address on record, the contents go to a custodian in the state in where the bank or safe deposit facility is located.

It is important, therefore, when searching for securities issued by federal agencies that may be owed a deceased family member, to understand non-federal entities may be in possession, even though these assets would normally be exempt from remittance under unclaimed property statutes.

Also be aware most states auction off the contents of escheated boxes after one to three years. Although the cash received may always be available for claim, items of personal significance may be lost forever. Intangible assets such as registered securities typically would be excluded from sale by auction, but certificates that might be mistaken for having only historical or collector’s value may not be.