KPRC 2 Investigates missing money from a now-closed bank

Losing a jacket or your phone is frustrating and inconvenient but you can usually retrace your steps to find out where you left them. But one Houston man has hit a dead end trying to find money his mother invested in a certificate of deposit nearly 30 years ago. He asked our Investigates team for help.

Losing a jacket or your phone is frustrating and inconvenient but you can usually retrace your steps to find out where you left them. But one Houston man has hit a dead end trying to find money his mother invested in a certificate of deposit nearly 30 years ago. He asked our Investigates team for help.

Son finds C-D, can’t find money

We’re talking about a C-D worth more than $5,500 It had an account number at a federally insured bank. But 28 years later, it’s as if the C-D never existed. Blanche Jones was a school teacher for some 30 years at Worthing High School. Always looking out for her kids at school and her two children at home.

“She was a teacher for many years and she left a legacy,” said Charles Jones II.

Houston man says his mom's money (CD) is missing from a now-closed bank. We are looking into what happens to your money when a bank fails. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Her son Charle said his mom also left money in a C-D.

“It actually has my name and it has her name,” he explained.

Jones found this certificate when cleaning out her home after his parents passed. She put $5,545 into a 15-month C-D in August 1994. She bought the C-D from Guaranty Federal Bank. But that bank failed in 2009. BBVA Compass took over all of the Guaranty’s assets, which would also mean Jones’ C-D.

Houston man says his mom's money (CD) is missing from a now-closed bank. We are looking into what happens to your money when a bank fails. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

But in 2021, PNC Bank acquired all of BBVA Compass’ customers. So that is where Jones went to get his mom’s money.

“I went up there, I presented the certificate of deposit to there,” said Jones. “They said, ‘Hey, we have no record of it. We couldn’t find it.’”

PNC told Jones it has no record of his mother or the C-D.

That bank referred him to the Texas Comptroller’s Office of Unclaimed Property.

“I have never seen a case where the account just disappears. I have seen many cases of people forgetting that they withdrew the funds,” said Bryant Clayton, Texas Unclaimed Property Assistance Director.

After a thorough search, Bryant Clayton said he found no records of Jones’ C-D being transferred to the state.

FDIC found bank records for Jones

When we reached out to the FDIC that insures the money you put into your bank, an FDIC spokesman told us it found records that show when Guaranty Bank failed in 2009 Blanche Jones had six accounts on record that were transferred to BBVA Compass. None of them were the C-D. It leads them to believe when the C-D matured in November of 1995, Blanche took the money out or moved it into one of the other accounts.

“I feel like, at this point, it needs to be accounted for some kind of way,” said Jones.

It is not the answer that Jones was hoping for but the FDIC representative said it does appear that Blanche Jones claimed all of the six accounts she had a Guaranty Bank when they were transferred to BBVA Compass so she did get any of the money she had in those accounts.

What happens to your money when a bank fails?

By law, if customers of the failed bank don’t claim their money after 18 months, the new bank has to return the funds to the FDIC, who in turn would give it to the state of Texas to hold for its rightful owner to claim. If no one claims the money after 10 years, Texas must send it back to the FDIC where it gets absorbed into the deposit insurance fund.

In Texas, all other unclaimed property never expires and can be claimed no matter how much time has passed.

How to see if you have unclaimed money in Texas.


About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.