The State Took My Money

Be WARNED...Where you place your money for safe-keeping and how long you leave it there may be simply preparing to hand it to the State of California!
It happened to me...
Last week I received two bank statements from Bank of America. The quarterly statements that I received for my daughter and son had a different total in their savings account ($0) and under that it read: “Your account has been closed. Account Turned Over to the State of California.”
I was shocked to discover that due to inactivity, the bank reported this to the State Controller’s office and handed my money over to the state! How can this be? This is my children’s money that I placed in a Savings account for safe keeping. I thought the idea was to place money in a savings account and leave it alone! I had no idea that if you leave it alone for more than 3 years, the bank or financial institution will report this to the state for the state to take!
After speaking with Bank of America on the phone waiting almost 30 minutes to speak with a live person, I was given the toll free number to the California Unclaimed Property State Administrators Office 1-800-992-4647. The State Controller’s Office website to reclaim abandoned property is: I also called the State Controller’s office and was told that it takes about 6 months for the abandoned monies to be recorded before I can begin to reclaim what is mine!
I think it is shameful that the state or any financial institution has the right to take my money simply for the reason that I didn’t touch it often enough. I thought the whole idea of savings was to leave it alone… Evidently not. Bottom line, my money is gone. I was not notified by Bank of America that I needed to deposit or withdraw money in order to keep my account active. They evidently had the right to report the account to the state and the state in fact did take my money. I’m not dead, nor are my children. (Thank God), but the State of California now has my money and I do not. (Granted, there was not much money in the account, but in my opinion whether it is one cent or a million, no one should be able to touch my account without my permission.)
According to the California State Controller’s Office, it is possible to reclaim the money, but now I have to wait for all the paper work to be processed before being able to reclaim it along with having to fill out an official form, copy my driver’s license, and social security number in order to get back is rightfully mine. According to Bank of America, they normally send a courtesy notice to their clients, but I never received anything in the mail. They also have a general statement in their fact booklet that they give to people opening accounts. (Like any of us read all of the small print.)
The irony to this, is the time and all the people I have spoken with in the last few days has cost more than the money I had in the accounts when calculating hours on the phone with employees, as well as, my time and frustration.
I think it is shameful that the state can just take someone’s money without permission or verification that a person has passed away. Be careful where you place your money. It may not be as safe as you think.