Keep Your Funds Safe from Abandonment

Learn more about inactivity, escheatment and how you can keep your M&T accounts active.

Keep your accounts active.

State laws require that financial accounts which show no signs of activity must eventually have their funds given to the state where the account holder resides so that the state can attempt to recover the funds for their resident. This is known as escheatment. Types of properties that can be escheated include, but are not limited to, deposits accounts (checking, savings, CDs, etc), uncashed checks and safe deposit box contents.

Activities that keep an account active vary by state and account type. However, the universal way to keep an account active is through direct transactions. This requires making a manual deposit or withdraw from the account. If you are currently having trouble accessing your account, this option will not be available for you.

Prevent your funds from being given to the state.

Exact laws and regulations for what constitutes account activity, and when accounts are turned over to the state, vary by state and account type. Generally, accounts begin the process of escheatment after 2-3 years of inactivity. 

Find your state's rules for time frames by account type at the non-profit National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, part of the National Association of State Treasurers.  

I've received an abandoned funds letter from M&T. 

If you've received an abandoned funds letter, you may not have access to your account and in order to regain access and better understand your account status, you must follow the steps on the letter to reactivate your account. This usually requires filling out and returning the acknowledgement form attached to the letter or by contacting M&T directly at 1-800-724-2440.

I believe my funds have already been turned over to the state.

If you believe your funds have already been turned over to your state, you can visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators to find a directory of state websites where you can check if they've received your funds. You can also contact M&T directly at 1-800-724-2440 and we can verify if your funds have already been forfeited to the state and assist you in understanding your next steps.

Contact M&T.

For assistance related to your account activity, reactivating your account or abandoned funds, please contact M&T Customer Service at 1-800-724-2440, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you'd prefer to discuss next steps with an M&T associate, you can schedule an appointment at your closest branch.

Got questions? We're here to help.

A inactive account is an account that has not conducted a transaction for a long period of time, other than for the posting of interest. Financial institutions are required by state laws to transfer property (e.g. money) held by inactive accounts to the state's treasury if the accounts been inactive for a certain period of time. The amount of time varies depending on the state and type of account, but it is typically 3-5 years. To find your state’s rules go to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

By carrying out regular transactions such as withdrawing or depositing money regularly, you’ll be able to prevent the account from being classified as dormant. This can be done via a branch or ATM withdrawal, or movement of funds through internet banking. Interest payments or penalty deductions are not considered active transactions as these are completely bank-initiated. While these are technically transactions, they can’t verify that you are actively using your bank account.  

If there is no activity in your account – meaning no withdrawals or deposits were made to your account – then the account will become inactive after a number of years. A simple transaction will keep your account active. If your statements or any other communication are returned to your bank, and other attempts to contact you are unsuccessful, the funds will eventually become unclaimed property and must be transferred to your state’s treasury department, which is known as escheatment. 

If inactive for multiple years, a hold is placed on the inactivate account to prevent potential fraudulent activities, including identity theft. For example, when you move, your bank statements may still be delivered to your outdated address. As a result, your privacy may be exposed as others may now have sensitive information and gain access your funds. Limits will be placed on the account to make sure no one is able to access it, ATM use is blocked and you will not be issued new checks or debit cards.

Your inactive accounts will continue to earn the same interest rate as if they were active. 

You can reactive your account, prior to escheatment, at any time. The easiest way to do so is to contact the bank via telephone or by visiting a branch. You will be asked to verify your identity and provide as much information as possible about the account, including the account number and the name of the account holder. You will also be asked to complete a form requesting the removal of the inactive account status.