Help a Reader: CDs at a Defunct Bank

A reader named Tony wrote it with the following question:

My grandmother found among her papers a certificate of deposit (CD) from 1984, with a 9.5%(!) interest rate. The bank, of course, is no longer around. Is there any way to find out how to claim this? What would you do?

Short of trying to figure out if the bank has been bought by someone else, I’m afraid that I don’t have a good answer for him. What if the bank went out of business? Is there a statute of limitations on FDIC insurance? How would one go about trying to get their money back? I’m not sure. I therefore thought that I’d throw this out there so you guys can take a whack at it. If you have any suggestions as to how to proceed, please post them in the comments.

10 Responses to “Help a Reader: CDs at a Defunct Bank”

  1. Anonymous

    To whom it may concern:

    I have an Aunt that passed away sometime ago and left several CD’s for her childrens. Who do I need to contact first to find out about these CD’s? I don’t where to start.



  2. Anonymous

    J.D. made a post about missing money on his blog. I would suggest looking through the links there. If nothing pops up, I’d try to get in touch with someone with the Federal Reserve to try to track down what happened to the bank.

  3. Anonymous

    I agree with all of the above: If the money was unclaimed, check your states unclaimed funds website.

    But as Jeremy points out – Just because she found the actual certificate, does not mean the CD was still there when the bank went under. The maximum term for CDs at most banks is 60 months. Was the bank still in operation in 1989? More than likely she transfered it to another bank at maturity or cashed it out.

  4. Anonymous

    Are they sure CD was still in effect when the bank went under? The question doesn’t say, but what if it was a 20 year CD in 1984, it may have simply matured and gone into a savings or checking account in 2004. And I would be surprised if that is the case.

    There are a lot of variables in this. Was the money still in the CD when the bank closed or was bought? It doesn’t say what the term was on the CD or whether it subsequently kept renewing, etc. When did this even take place?

    Either way, if it was with the bank in some form, CD, savings, checking, etc then search FDIC. But it could be a case of the CD maturing over a decade or two ago, and the money had since been moved elsewhere and forgotten about.

  5. Anonymous

    to answer your question, check with the bank that bought the other bank out, but more then likely, your grandmother has money sitting in her state treasures office. So I would start there, she should contact the state treasures office.

    nickel –
    You have been tagged on my blog.

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