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Old 11-24-2010, 09:21 PM   #41
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It takes a computer to really foul things up. No, it takes an idiotic fast-fingering data entry clerk to really, really foul things up. Sigh...
Ain't that the truth. Several years ago after my Dad died, the SS administration entered the wrong year of his death by one and promptly reversed 1 years worth of benefits from my parents bank account. Just a key punch error, but something I had to straighten out. Of course my parents shouldn't have had enough in their checking acct to accommodate the reversal, but they were bad about letting it build up before buying a CD.

Just shows screw ups happen everywhere.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:25 PM   #42
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This is typical behavior of any financial institution and each state has different laws which govern the escheat process.

Most commonly this happens after 5 years of account inactivity. Receiving dividends does not count as activity. When your CD renewed, was it automatic?

Here are Virginia's laws regarding when banks/CU's have to send money to the commonwealth...

LIS > Code of Virginia > 55-210.2:2

http://www.trs.virginia.gov/document...fs/GenInfo.pdf

I'm guessing PenFed is too big to track down individual accounts. Smaller organizations need deposits and might put forth a better effort to contact you. In the very least they should have seen your log in activity and put a message up when you logged in.

Good luck.

JD
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:30 PM   #43
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Wow, what a shocking thing for PenFed to do. I opened an account with them over 2 years ago with $50 and have not transfered money in or out of that account since. The main reason was to be able to get a CC, and then I also bought some 3 year CD's. I log in regularly but signed up to paperless from the outset. I've changed address twice since then but I really find it incredible that if they had an issue they would not contact me via e-mail or phone.

I've just logged on now to check that my physical address is correct.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:21 PM   #44
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Wow, what a shocking thing for PenFed to do. I opened an account with them over 2 years ago with $50 and have not transfered money in or out of that account since. The main reason was to be able to get a CC, and then I also bought some 3 year CD's. I log in regularly but signed up to paperless from the outset. I've changed address twice since then but I really find it incredible that if they had an issue they would not contact me via e-mail or phone.

I've just logged on now to check that my physical address is correct.
You cannot expect to be contacted via e-mail or phone. Rely on the USPS (at your own risk).

If for nothing else, this thread has reminded us all to be sure the financial institutions with which we deal have valid and current USPS addresses for us. I guess we should also check our e-mail addresses and phone numbers, but don't expect those to be used.

BTW: Best of wishes for SurfDaddy for how this ends.
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:35 AM   #45
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Same here.

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I do not rely on confirmation of transactions between me and my financial service providers using electronic means. I want the paper sent to me on any meaningful event or transaction.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:58 AM   #46
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If for nothing else, this thread has reminded us all to be sure the financial institutions with which we deal have valid and current USPS addresses for us. I guess we should also check our e-mail addresses and phone numbers, but don't expect those to be used.
I'm sure everyone here took a peek at their contact and beneficiary information. I know I did.
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:18 AM   #47
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I'm sure everyone here took a peek at their contact and beneficiary information. I know I did.
Indeed I have! A careful review of the online PenFed documentation (the same as the hard copy I received when joining) does not clarify what constitutes "inactivity" or "dormant" or how this status is treated. On Monday, when the full time CSR's are on duty, I'm going to relate SurfDaddy's story to them and have them send documentation that addresses how inactivity and a dormant account are treated.

The more I think about this, does activity on a Penfed credit card constitute "activity" in the Share Accounts? Or in order to be "active" does a Share Account balance have to increase or decrease? And, what triggers an inactive charge by PenFed? Evidently increases in a CD account balance through accumulated interest doesn't constitute "activity". This is the first time I've run across this arcane situation and find it rather disturbing. As the government's newly appointed consumer advocate, perhaps Elizabeth Warren should address this issue.
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:41 AM   #48
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I must say that this post is an eye opener. I have accounts at Vanguard and Fido that I just pretty much let ride. Ya gotta wonder how much dust I need to stir up on a regular basis before they ship my money off to the government.
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:14 AM   #49
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You cannot expect to be contacted via e-mail or phone. Rely on the USPS (at your own risk).

If for nothing else, this thread has reminded us all to be sure the financial institutions with which we deal have valid and current USPS addresses for us. I guess we should also check our e-mail addresses and phone numbers, but don't expect those to be used.
I am definitely going to have to re-consider any more CD's with Penfed if they are going to rely on snail mail to contact me about urgent stuff like this and then cash out ten's of thousands of $ of CD's when they get no response. Now that I'm RE'd we travel for months at a time and have done our best to go electronic as far as possible.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #50
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I never allow CD's to automatically roll over.
I decide where my money will go each time one matures.
With penfed I set them up to go to the regular share/saving account at maturity.
That will also generate 2 transactions and should keep me safer. One when it goes in and one when I direct the money to where ever I decide
Might want to consider that option?
Steve
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:39 PM   #51
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Am i the only one who expects this sort of snafu with banks or escrow companies or whatever? Far more often than not we find problems with payments getting credited, or how they are credited; inability to access an account because the password is wrong/the software has been changed; Marge from accounting went postal and torched her office; the only one who knows the system is on vacation, and on and on. It has always worked out. We

1: get paper records and file them
2: enter everything in Quicken and reconcile monthly
3: track when payments are to be made and check to be sure they have been so made
4: expect that screwups happen and just make sure they get corrected
5: focus on benefit to us - if the positive exceeds the negative.. baby/bathwater
6: eat a red - or turkey - it will all work out
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:04 PM   #52
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Maybe, maybe not. They can't do the volume of business they do with a lot of human interaction.
Well it sure is funny the Citibank, who is MUCH bigger than PenFed, can manage to call me at home whenever they see a charge they don't like on my CC.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:12 PM   #53
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Does anybody know if PenFed will be open on Friday?
When I call them again I'm going to ask about getting in writing what they did with my money. Of course I can't "change my address" since I'm not longer an official customer!

They apparently had my correct street address with an adjacent city. I don't know whether *I* slipped on the zip code (I don't see how I would have entered the wrong city name) or whether they made the mistake. If they use zip to overrule the city name, then that could have caused the city to be incorrect. I would really like to see that application form again.

It will be interesting to see what my emails to the Chairman of the Board bring.

My biggest worry is somehow that after the 8-10 week wait for the property search, Virginia could claim they can't find my money. I put a large sum in a federally insured institution with an assumption of complete safety. Now my worst case concern is that my money could be gone. I won't feel better until Virginia identifies that they have the funds. I'm sure I'll have to jump through a bunch of hoops to identify myself before I can get at them.

At this point the lost interest is really secondary. I just want my principal.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:24 PM   #54
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Does anybody know if PenFed will be open on Friday?
When I call them again I'm going to ask about getting in writing what they did with my money. Of course I can't "change my address" since I'm not longer an official customer!

They apparently had my correct street address with an adjacent city. I don't know whether I slipped on the zip code (I don't see how I would have entered the wrong city name) or whether they made the mistake. I would really like to see that application form again, although I doubt I will get a chance to see it.

It will be interesting to see what my emails to the Chairman of the Board bring.

My biggest worry is somehow that after the 8-10 week wait, Virginia claims they can't find my money. I put a large sum in a Federally Insured institution with and assumption of complete safety. Now my worst case concern is that my money could be gone. I won't feel better until Virginia identifies that they have the funds. I'm sure I'll have to jump through a bunch of hoops to identify myself before I can get at them.

At this point the lost interest is really secondary. I just want my principal.
With the calm that having no money at risk brings I want to tell you don't worry, be happy. It will all work out. Your money is not gone, it's just not where it's supposed to be. Nobody is trying to steal it. I would be very surprised if Penfed doesn't help you in whatever ways possible to get this resolved. Find it often helps if i ask people what they can do to help - get them on your side solving the problem rather than making them adversaries.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:59 PM   #55
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I had a bizarre problem (account disappeared) with PenFed a couple of years ago. Happened to notice it when I went online to check things (which I do at least a few times a month). Called them up and had it straightened out in a few minutes.

Computers do odd things from time to time, but my experience is that if you can get to a human and talk to them reasonably, just about anything is fixable.
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:08 PM   #56
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Well it sure is funny the Citibank, who is MUCH bigger than PenFed, can manage to call me at home whenever they see a charge they don't like on my CC.
Penfed:Inactive Account / Citibank:Suspected CC Fraud

Apples / Oranges
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:23 PM   #57
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Penfed:Inactive Account / Citibank:Suspected CC Fraud

Apples / Oranges
You indicated that they can't do customer phone calls with their "high" volume of business. I was just pointing out that a MUCH higher volume of operation business (even though different) has no trouble making phone calls to its customers.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:09 PM   #58
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With the calm that having no money at risk brings I want to tell you don't worry, be happy. It will all work out. Your money is not gone, it's just not where it's supposed to be. Nobody is trying to steal it. I would be very surprised if Penfed doesn't help you in whatever ways possible to get this resolved. Find it often helps if i ask people what they can do to help - get them on your side solving the problem rather than making them adversaries.
Yes, in all likelihood, it will work out like Calmloki wrote.

Still, one can understand how the OP got upset when his money just went "Poof". This line made me smile: "Your money is not gone, it's just not where it's supposed to be." Hey, that is exactly the same problem Madoff's customers have. Well, it is not quite the same, as in the latter case, no one knows where the money has gone. Maybe up in the "money heaven". But what is money?

People will not readily admit to this, but there is some "Scrooginess" in all of us. When it comes to money, it already requires a bit of faith on our part to be willing to not hold it in a tangible form like Krugerrand or Maple Leaf gold coins. We are told to trust fiat paper money (paper? with magic ink printed on it?), and then next to turn it in, in exchange for some computer bits that we can barely see on our computer screen. And now, the OP cannot even see his "numbers". Those computer bits and bytes have been moved to the computer owned by the state of Virginia. What if there is a power outage, and those bits get reset to 0? No worry, they tell us. There is a backup copy of those bits on a tape or a backup disk stored in a vault. "Your bits are safe", they assure us.

Oh, what is real in this world? Why is it that when I see my number getting increased at the end of a trading day that it makes me happy? It is just a number. It goes up and it goes down. But I like it more up than down.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:15 PM   #59
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I would really like to see that application form again.
They should have an scanned version of it they can email you.

Curly, dividends are not considered activity, but credit card transactions and subsequent payments would reset your activity date if you pay it from a share.

Also, remember, this is usually only after 5 years of 'inactivity' and not being able to contact you by letter - multiple times. I couldn't find PenFed's definition of dormant.

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Old 11-25-2010, 08:00 PM   #60
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..... We are told to trust fiat paper money (paper? with magic ink printed on it?), and then next to turn it in, in exchange for some computer bits that we can barely see on our computer screen. And now, the OP cannot even see his "numbers". Those computer bits and bytes have been moved to the computer owned by the state of Virginia. What if there is a power outage, and those bits get reset to 0? No worry, they tell us. There is a backup copy of those bits on a tape or a backup disk stored in a vault. "Your bits are safe", they assure us.....
Be much cheaper and faster to take down a country that is well dependant on computer data tracking credit cards and contract payments and pretty much all transactions by tossing a massive glitch into the system. Kind of like when the market fell by hundreds and thousands of points because.... well, do we really know why it fell? Fumble fingered trader? Yeah right - I'm betting on some government somewhere trying out a bit of country-crashing software.

Of couse seeds of doubt about the security and safety of the electronic banking system are as dangerous and effective as actual security failures - kind of like how the terrorists are winning by costing us millions and billions in cash and lost time defending against attacks that may never take place with, say, airport scanners.

Have gold, have paper money - if the computersystem all goes kerflooey and I can't access my PenFed CDs a bit of paper money will hold us through the weeks(?) it takes to get back on line.
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