Rules for inactive or dormant bank accounts

When a bank account has not had any activity for awhile, it is considered inactive, and eventually, it becomes dormant. There are specific rules and regulations that banks must adhere to when dealing with inactive and dormant accounts.

Time Frame

If a customer's bank account has been inactive for a significant amount of time it becomes dormant. The standard amount of time is 5 years; however, some banks use different time frames. Inactivity means there have been no transactions such as withdrawals or deposits.

Written Notification

Prior to an account reaching a dormant status, the financial institution will contact the customer with written notification.


The account will become dormant if the customer does not respond to the notification. All funds in the account will then be turned over to the state and labelled unclaimed funds.

Public Listing

There are a variety of places where unclaimed funds will be listed. You can find a list on a state website as well as other publications.

State Procedures

If you have unclaimed funds, you should contact the state to receive instructions for having the money released.

Claim Form

Anyone wishing to file a claim will need to fill out a claim form and mail it along with proper identification.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Melvin J. Richardson has been a freelance writer for two years with Associated Content, and writes about topics such as banking, credit and collections, goal setting, financial services, management, health and fitness. Richardson has worked for several banks and financial institutions and gained invaluable experience and knowledge. Richardson holds a Master of Business Administration in Executive Management from Ashland University in Ashland Ohio.

Try our awesome promobar!