December 16, 2017

Finally I’ve gotten my $4,832.25 back!

 

Big  news from our Connecticut State Treasurer! It was good, good news!!!

News from the Connecticut State Treasurer!  Really good news!

Yes, I have my lost CD back. I thought I’d get it in two or three weeks. It took nearly nine months,  I don’t have millions. For me, that’s serious money. All this the result of a bank mishap!

Here’s what happened.  But first, I must tell you I do business in more than one bank. Mostly as a convenience. And this could have happened in any bank.

I had this money stashed in a CD. The CD had rolled over a couple of times. No problem. As usual I had been in southern California for the winter. Back home here again, I stopped by that bank to make a routine deposit.

I went to a clerk I knew, Andy. “Welcome, back, John!’

As he took care of my deposit, I said to him, “How’s my CD doing?  All that interest must be piling up, right!?”

Ha! Ha! Interest these days won’t even buy a cup of coffee, as we know.  He nodded and chuckled. I’ll bet he heard this every day.

I must tell you Andy is not his name.  Better to use fictitious names in this matter.

“Let me take a look.”  He turned to his computer.  I thought it would take him only a second or two.  He stared at the screen.  Stared longer. Scrutinized it.

Gosh, I thought.  What’s going on? Is there a problem?

“John, something unusual has happened.  Go see Rita over there.”  He pointed to her over at a big mahogany desk. She smiled as I came close.  “Hope California was great!”

“Wonderful, but good to be back home.  Glad to see you!  I asked Andy about my CD and he asked me to see you about it.”

She nodded. I got the idea she knew what it was all about. She turned to her computer. “Let me check it.”

She took a minute absorbing the notes she was reading. But her smile was gone when she turned back to me.

“Yes, John, there’s been a problem, I’m sorry to tell you. While you were gone, your CD matured. We always send a routine alert, of course. We got no reply from you. We tried to contact you. No luck. Time ran out.

“We didn’t know what you’d want to do. Keep the money here, or take it out? So we turned the money over to the State Treasurer. There’s a special department there that holds unclaimed funds.

We always, always hesitate to do that.”  She threw up her hands in a gesture of futility.

“The law mandates us to do this.Your money is safe and sound there. I’m sure about that. Just contact them and they’ll take care of everything for you. A bit of paperwork, but you’ll find it simple..

“Good luck!.” She smiled. But I knew she knew this was nothing to smile about.

I wasn’t happy.  Would you be?  Suppose I had come to the bank to take out that money because of an emergency! Or to celebrate something! Or to invest it in some hot stock! Or just to put it somewhere else that paid a tad more interest!

If they had mailed me an alert, for sure that letter would have been forwarded to me. But I got no letter.

I get emails every day, and a lot of people in town know my email address. No big trick to get my URL and send me an email. I know this would be impossible in a huge bank in impersonal New York City, say, or Hartford. But this is a small, friendly branch in a small town where so many people know so many others. I’m not a stranger here.

But I understood.  This was just a screw-up. Life is full of screw-ups, sad to say. The only thing to do was to grin and bear it.

I went right to work on it. There was the paperwork to do, but it could have been worse.  A couple of weeks went by.  I got a postcard from the State Treasurer saying my claim had been received.  They would lose no time but they had many such claims to process. They gave me an estimated time of three months. I noted that on my calendar

Then another snafu of some kind. I followed through by mail and phone. People there were courteous. The stock answer was, “Sorry, but we have to follow a certain process.  We have to make sure the right party gets the money back.”  Again, I understood. Still I felt annoyed. Irritateld. Again, suppose I really needed that money!?”

Then, on a routine check of my mailbox, expecting to find it stuffed only with junk mail ranging from too many unsolicited mass-mailed envelopes to newspapers to weekly supermarket circulars (which indeed was the case), I found an envelope from the State Treasurer. My check was in it!

Truth is, that small envelope could easily and inadvertently have gotten tossed out with the junk.

The next day I stopped by the bank and announced the good news.  They smiled. I smiled. Kind of.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to double-check the contact info they had for me. They had a wrong address for me!  They had mixed up my street address and condo number! That explained a lot!

I’ve been around long enough to understand and appreciate that a definite procedure exists to handle cases of “unclaimed money” like mine. And that a law is on the books to protect owners of such funds. And that our banks are conscientious about following the law. And that I live in a country where all this goes on routinely and safely. There are so many countries in the world where this is totally unknown.

But Gee Whiz! I don’t want to go through this again.

And a word to you: on your calendar note not only the birthdays of your loved ones. Note the maturity date of any CD or anything else important!

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Comments

  1. thanks for keep us informed. believe after three years your accounts go to the state if no activity. jim

  2. Joan Perrone says:

    Hi John, Glad to hear that you got your money back. What a hassle! We have had a few accounts almost do that, but we caught them in time. Even so, we always read through the names in the newspaper each year that lists people whose money has gone to the State Treasury. Enjohy your newfound wealth!!! 🙂

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