A bank certificate of deposit that matures and has no subsequent activity between the account holder and the bank may very well become classified as a dormant account.  A dormant account is one that has had no explicit contact from the account holder for specified period of time.  The CD account must have been inactive for a set period of time before it is classified as dormant, usually between one and three years.

All banks will have established rules regarding the length of time that needs to go by without activity and/or contact before a CD account or other bank account is deemed dormant.  The specific period is based on the laws or rules of each state.  Once the account, whether it is a CD account or other account, is identified as a dormant, the bank will have to follow the state laws that apply regarding escheatment.

Escheatment is the process of identifying the customer’s deposit accounts, such as checking, savings, and certificates of deposit that are considered abandoned and remitting the funds to the appropriate state agency if the customer cannot be contacted to re-activate the account.  The most common types of dormant and unclaimed accounts at banks are savings and checking accounts, checks that have not been cashed, certificates of deposit, and items abandoned in safe deposit boxes.

All states have laws regarding unclaimed bank accounts that include the rules and requirements that a bank or other financial institution must follow concerning unclaimed property and the process for escheating the bank funds or surrendering the funds to the appropriate state department of revenue or similar state agency.  For more information on dormant bank accounts and the escheatment process for bank accounts that are subsequently turned over to a state agency please see, what does it mean when a bank account is escheated to the state or what happens to the money in a dormant bank account?

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