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First National Bank & Trust Seeking Owners of More Than $100,000 in Unclaimed Deposits; Annual Bank-Wide Effort Designed to Track Down Those With Dormant Accounts.

KOKOMO, Ind. -- In a new effort to help customers keep their own money and reduce the amount of checking, savings and other unclaimed balances sent to the state each year, First National Bank & Trust is announcing a major push to reduce dormant accounts and keep customers' money from being escheated to the Indiana Attorney General's Office. For purposes of the Unclaimed Property Act, escheat is defined as submission of property for which the owner cannot be found, thus the property is presumed abandoned.

The new cross-functional effort calls for the bank's Bookkeeping, Retail and Audit departments to work together to track down those who have forgotten they have accounts with First National Bank & Trust. A dormant account is an account that does not have any activity (deposits or withdrawals) during an agreed upon time. Savings accounts, checking accounts and matured deposits can remain dormant for five years before being sent to the state. Outstanding official checks can remain dormant for seven years before being turned over to the state.

Every state has unclaimed property laws which declare money, property and other assets to be abandoned after five to seven years of inactivity, with no other bank relationship or valid mailing address. During this abandonment period, banks, hospitals, brokerage firms, mutual funds, insurance companies, utilities and other organizations are required to try to return the valuables to their rightful owners. If they are unsuccessful, they are required to send the property to the state's abandoned-property division or unclaimed property office.

"Money that belongs to you might be right here at First National Bank & Trust," said Dave Thomas, First National Bank & Trust's Vice President of Operations and the coordinator of the annual review of dormant accounts now underway. "We are asking those who think they may have a dormant account with First National Bank & Trust to stop by one of the First National Bank & Trust Financial Centers or call our customer service center at 800-876-3237."

Nationally, unclaimed property offices and the various state revenue departments currently hold several billion dollars of "lost money" belonging to millions of people.

To prevent property from getting lost, consumers should keep an up-to-date list of all their family's assets, including bank accounts, certificates of deposit, mortgage escrow accounts, retirement accounts (IRA, Keogh, and 401(k)), layaways, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, security deposits, and safe deposit boxes. If they change their name or address, they should write to the address associated with each asset to notify them of the change. Likewise, if they regularly receive insurance benefits or dividends, and the checks stop coming, promptly notify the company of the problem.

First National Bank & Trust unclaimed accounts include:

--Dormant Checking Accounts

--Dormant Savings Accounts

--Certificates of Deposit

--Safe Deposit Box Contents

--Uncashed Cashiers Checks

If a customer calls or stops by First National Bank & Trust, the bank will confirm the customer's identity and check the database to see if there is a match. In order to receive the forgotten or lost funds, customers will need to provide the following:

--Driver's license or other photo ID,

--Proof they resided at the address on the account (a bill, bank statement or tax return showing their name at the address on file), and

--Proof they are the beneficiary, if the money is in someone else's name.

Those who may have accounts that have already been sent to the state may contact the Attorney General's Office, Unclaimed Property Division, 402 West Washington, Suite C-531, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or call them at 1-317-232-6348 or 1-800-447-5598. You can also search by name on the Indiana Attorney General Website at: http://www.in.gov/apps/ag/ucp/ucp

First National Bank & Trust

First National Bank & Trust (www.firstnationalbank.com) is one of Indiana's largest privately held banks. Headquartered in Kokomo, Indiana, First National Bank & Trust has nearly $1.5 billion in assets and 27 full-service banking offices located throughout central Indiana. First National Bank & Trust operates financial centers in 20 communities, including: Brazil, Carlisle, Carmel, Clay City, Farmersburg, Fishers, Geist, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Logansport, Marion, Martinsville, Mooresville, Noblesville, Plainfield, Richmond, Shelburn, Sullivan, Terre Haute, and Tipton. First National Bank & Trust is a full financial services provider including retail and commercial banking and trust services. Hasten Bancshares is the parent company of First National Bank & Trust and its two subsidiaries, First National Investments and First National Insurance.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 13, 2004
Words:724
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