Bank Support

Got questions about banking? Just ask Alex, our expert banker, to get the advice you need to strengthen your finances. Learn more about safe deposit boxes and how they work. Discover why you might want to secure a bridge loan.  Delve into what you need to do when you leave your card in the ATM.

Question:  I had a safe deposit box that was closed several years ago because I forgot to pay the annual fee.  I checked with the bank, and they sent what was inside the safe deposit box to the state.  Is there anything I can do to get it back? – Mickey from Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

Answer:  A safe deposit box is considered dormant once the annual fee has not been paid for a length of time, usually between three to five years.  If the contents of the box remain unclaimed, they will be considered abandoned, and by law are required to be transferred from the bank to the state’s treasurer or unclaimed property office.  That process is called an escheatment.  Most states will have a government website where you can search for unclaimed property.   When found, the website will provide instructions on how to get it returned.

Question:  How does a bridge loan work?  – Amanda from Palo Alto, California.

Answer:  A bridge loan is a short-term loan used to help a homeowner purchase a new home while they are waiting for the sale of their current home.  Bridge loans typically have a term of up to one year and the maximum amount that can be borrowed is 80% of the current home’s value.  There are two types of bridge loans depending on which position the lender takes.  With a first position bridge loan, the lender pays off the balance of the mortgage while providing funds for a down payment on a new home.  With a second position bridge loan, the lender will only provide the funds needed for a down payment on a new home.  There are high costs to getting a bridge loan with the interest rate generally being higher than that of a conventional loan.   Fees can include an administration fee, appraisal fee, origination fee, title policy fee and escrow fee.  Most borrowers will repay a bridge loan with the proceeds from the sale of their current home, but payment options do vary.

Question: What happens if I accidently leave my card in the ATM?  –  Leo from Manhattan, New York.

Answer: Most traditional Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) will pull back a card that has not been picked up after a transaction has been completed.  This security feature, having a card sucked back into the machine, typically happens after 30 seconds of inactivity.   What happens afterwards depends on the financial institution.  Normally cards left in the ATM will be picked up in the morning.  Sometimes the employees will lock up the card in a secure location, usually inside the vault, and wait to see if it is claimed by the cardholder.  Other times the card will be shredded right away or sent to the financial institution’s central office to be destroyed.  The big fear is that the next customer using the ATM grabs the card before it goes back into the ATM and fraudulently uses it.  If you leave a card at an ATM, the first thing you need to do is to notify your financial institution immediately and see what they recommend.

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Written by: Alex Sanchez, Branch Manager

Important: For your specific questions about banking, contact your banking expert, Alex, at: alexexpertbanker@gmail.com

Alex is starting his 18th year in the banking industry.  He has worked for such notable banks as Bank of America, US Bank, and Chase.  Alex has his bachelor’s degree in Business Economic from the University of California Riverside.