Keep Your Funds Safe from Escheatment

Learn more about how to keep your account active to prevent it from being escheated. 

Keep your accounts active.

State laws require that financial accounts which show no signs of customer contact or customer-initiated activity must eventually be treated as unclaimed property have their funds  transferred to the state where the account was opened or where the  account holder resides, according to our account records. The funds will then be publicly listed online by the state as unclaimed property,  to help reunite the account holder with their money. The process of transferring unclaimed property to the state 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, one of the easiest ways to keep an account active is through customer-initiated transactions - this requires making a non-automated deposit or withdraw from any account that you have with M&T Bank.

Prevent your funds from being turned over 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 2-5 years of inactivity. 

Now, when you are active on any of your accounts, all of your accounts will remain active. Thus, accounts will begin the process of escheatment after 2-5 years of complete inactivity with the bank

 Some states do not follow this policy such as AK, AR, AZ, Guam, HI, MO, MS, NM, NV, PR and USVI. 

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 inactive account status, you must follow the steps on the letter to reactivate your account.

This 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 also contact M&T directly at 1-800-724-2440 and we can verify if your funds have already been transferred 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 unclaimed property, 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.

An inactive account is an account that has not conducted a customer-initiated 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, typically to your state's treasury department, if the account has been inactive for a certain period of time.


By carrying out regular transactions such as withdrawing or depositing money regularly on any of your accounts, you’ll be able to prevent an account from being classified as inactive.

This can be done via a branch or ATM withdrawal, or movement of funds through online banking.

Interest payments or bank fee deductions are not considered customer- initiated transactions as these are completely bank-initiated. While these are technically transactions, only customer-initiated transactions can keep an account active.

If there is no customer-initiated activity on any of your accounts – meaning no withdrawals or deposits were made to an account – then your accounts will become inactive after a number of years.

A simple transaction will keep your accounts active. For certain account types, 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, typically 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. 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 reactivate your account, prior to escheatment, at any time. The easiest way to do so is through Online Banking or the Mobile App. Your account will show as “Dormant” and you will have the option to reactivate the account instantaneously by the selecting the “Reactivation” button.

You can also reactivate your account by calling the Contact Center or visiting a nearby 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.

How can I reactivate my account through Online Banking or the Mobile App?

You can reactivate your account right within your Mobile Banking App or Online Banking by selecting the “Reactivate” button that populates next to a dormant account.

  • Select the "What's this" button on an account to display the full definition of what a Dormant Account is
  • Select the "Reactive Account" button on an account to populate two options - either reactivate the account or not
    • If the customer chooses to reactivate the account, the account will be reactivated immediately

This feature is currently available for the following accounts:

  • All retail accounts regardless of the date they went into dormant status
  • ONLY business accounts that go into dormant status on or after May 22, 2022
  • DDA (Demand Deposit Accounts)
  • TDA (Time Deposit Accounts)
  • IRA (Individual Retirement Accounts)