ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What if Contents are Missing From Your Safe Deposit Box?

Updated on February 17, 2013

Items Missing From Your Safe Deposit Box

Lately, on investigative news reports, people have complained about having problems with their safe deposit boxes. One issue has been missing items - another has been the missing safe deposit box itself.

With banks shutting down it is not unusual for the box itself to go missing. However, your bank will defend itself against your claim(s) and will say it is not at fault. It will show that its controls were followed.

It is up to you to know the rules

As far as missing items, banks typically use certain control systems to ensure that only authorized persons have access to the safe deposit box.

The two main controls are ‘authorized signature’ and ‘dual control.’

Authorized signature - is when the safe deposit account is initially opened. All persons authorized to access the safe deposit box must sign the signature card. The bank can only allow those individuals to enter the box. From that point on, the bank records the signature of any individual allowed to enter the box.

Dual Control - this is when two people - usually the renter and a bank employee - are required to open the box. This way, no one person can ever open the box and remove contents.

Dual control may be required by law whenever a safe deposit box is opened without the renter’s permission. This could include when a box is opened due to:

- branch closure

- court order

- pursuant to a search warrant

- rental delinquency on the box

As a rule, when a safe deposit box is opened by force, at least two people must be present to inventory the box’s contents. In this instance the bank is supposed to keep the contents in their vault for safekeeping.

If your box is missing

If your box is missing, as in the case of branch closure or rental delinquency, the box may be drilled open and the contents removed. Then the contents will be inventoried, usually under dual control. If the contents of the box remain unclaimed, state law will determine then if the contents will be turned over to your state’s treasurer for safekeeping. The period of time is usually from two to five years.

Most states require that the bank send notice to you of this impending transfer. It will be sent to your address of record on the bank’s books. In an age when all bill paying is done online - it’s important to be sure that your bank has your current address on file. It does matter.

A True Story

Here’s a true story: I was surprised to find that even though I ordered checks some years ago, and put my current address on the checks - the checks were sent to an address from many years ago. I had even changed my address by telephone with the bank - and all my statements came to my current address - yet for some reason the bank had that first address as the address of record. If you have ever moved and kept the same bank you may want to check to see what address they have on file.

If you want to find out if your missing property from your safe deposit box was sent to the state you can either contact your state treasurer/unclaimed property office or you can start your search by visiting

Note: This information has been provided by the:

Comptroller of the Currency

Administrator of National Banks

US Department of the Treasury

be safe


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)