3. Check with the FDIC
Not a week goes by that a bank somewhere in the United States isn't taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC. The FDIC moves in to protect our savings when a bank is in danger of failing. In the process, it becomes responsible for all insured deposits and for liquidating any of the bank's remaining assets. Many of these assets are often unclaimed. If you can prove that an account belonging to you is among them, the FDIC will be more than happy to give you your money. 

When an FDlC-insured bank fails and is liquidated, the FDIC's resolution division is responsible for paying: 

  • Unclaimed insured deposits up to the insurance limit
  • Dividends declared on excess deposits over the insurance limit
  • Dividends declared on general creditor claims.
  • Funds distributed to the shareholders of the failed institutions
According to the FDIC, there are several different reasons why these funds remain unclaimed, among them: 
  • An insured deposit wasn't claimed from the bank that took over the assets
  • A dividend check on an excess deposit amount was not cashed
  • A dividend check on a general credit claim was not cashed
  • A check to the shareholder was not cashed
  • A valid address is not on file and a dividend check was returned to the FDIC
So if you think you might have once had an account at a bank that was taken over by the FDIC, visit the FDIC website. In the list of links under the heading "Learn More," click on the one that says "Search for Unclaimed Funds."
Toward the bottom of the "Unclaimed Funds" page, you will find a search function you can use to see if there is an unclaimed account belonging to you in the FDIC's database. The only information you need to input is your name and the name of either the failed bank OR the city it was in OR the state it was in. Once you've done that, it will instantly tell you whether the database contains anything under your name. 

 Check the pension benefit guaranty corporation
Used by permission. Excerpted from Debt Free For Life Copyright © 2010 by David Bach. Excerpted by permission of Crown Business, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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