ASK KIM


How to Find a Lost Savings Bond

Kimberly Lankford

Even if you don't know how many you had, when you got them or what kind they were, you may still be able to track down missing U.S. savings bonds.



In 1976 and 1978 my first two children were born. They both received savings bonds as gifts for either their birth or Christmas. I have lost them and have no idea of how many they had, the face value of them, the exact dates of issue or even exactly what kind they were! What do I do? Is there any way of replacing them? Does the Treasury Department have all of the information concerning these bonds? Can you walk me through this process?

The more information you have, the easier it will be for the U.S. Bureau of the Public Debt to track down the lost savings bonds. But it won't hurt to try even if you just have the basic details.

Start by going to TreasuryDirect.gov and download Form 1048 Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds. Fill out as much information as you can about the lost bond including the bond owner's name, address and Social Security number, the approximate issue date (or date range), serial number if available and other details about the loss.

Then certify the form at a bank and mail it to the Department of Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt, at P.O. Box 7012, Parkersburg, WV 26106 for series E, EE and I bonds; for H and HH bonds, send it to P.O. Box 2186, Parkersburg, WV 26106. For more information about each type of savings bond, see the Products in Depth section of TreasuryDirect.gov.

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If you had the serial number, the Bureau of the Public Debt could generally track down and reissue your bonds within three to four weeks. But without all of that information, the process could take months.

You can also use the Treasury Hunt tool to see if the Bureau of the Public Debt has any savings bonds for your children that had been returned as undeliverable or if they have any bonds that are no longer earning interest. Treasury Hunt may not contain a record of all savings bonds -- only Series E savings bonds issued after 1974 that have reached maturity -- so it's still important to submit a form for lost or stolen savings bonds.

Most bonds stop earning interest after 30 years, which is right around the age of the bonds you're looking for, you so you can also check the Treasury Securities That Have Stopped Earning Interest table to see the status after the bonds are reissued, even if nothing shows up on TreasuryHunt.

And if the bonds are still earning interest, you can check out the current value using the Calculate the Value of Your Paper Savings Bonds tool at TreasuryDirect.gov.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.




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