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June 12, 2014 / 74

Eet Eees Called Es-Cheat-Ing.

I was reading an article this AM about someone who “lost” their money when the State (Georgia) took it. The “reason” was that the account had been “inactive” for a specified (by the State) period. Depending on the State you live in, the length of time that must pass before the State essentially steals your money varies (“IMMV”), but I believe all States have such laws. The below quoted comment was in reference to a case in Missouri.

Derrick is correct in saying that a dormant account is not charged normal monthly charges. However, before an account becomes dormant, it can become inactive, and this can and generally is assessed a fee. For instance, an account with no activity at all for 12 months may be considered dormant, and a monthly fee of (say) $3 is assigned. If the account is inactive at the end of 24 months, it would be considered dormant. The fees stop. If the account is dormant at the end of 36 months, the money must be sent (escheated) to the state. The bank is allowed to charge a fee for escheating the money.
If the account we talked about here only had $25 in it to begin with, it would have been fee’ed down to zero well before the dormancy begins. The escheatment fees tend to be pretty high, and often eat up any remaining balance.
If one has an account which will not see much activity, you would do well to find out what the bank’s inactivity period is, and make a token ($1) deposit during that period to keep the account in active status.

Comment by “Ken” at:

Note that the process whereby the State (and the bank) steal your “inactive” money is called an “escheat” – and that the root of the term is the word “cheat”. It sometimes seems to me that the banks and the governments are in a competition to see who can “legally” steal the most from the citizens. Don’t be caught by this one.


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