Found Money from Lost Papers

January 8, 2009
Special Feature

When you graduated from medical school, your Uncle Harry gave you a savings bond to help start your career. You never cashed it and now it’s lost. But it’s not gone forever.

When you graduated from medical school, your Uncle Harry gave you a savings bond to help start your career. You never cashed it and now it’s lost. But it’s not gone forever. To get a replacement, go to the Department of Treasury Web site (www.treasurydirect.gov) and fill out form 1048. It would be a big help if you kept a record of the bond number or knew the exact date it was issued, but if not, the form asks that you supply as much information as you have. The same procedure works for Treasury bills, bonds, and notes. There’s no cost to search for savings bonds; the fee for Treasury securities varies.

If you have stock or corporate bond certificates, you had better keep them safe, because replacing them can be time-consuming and costly. Most corporate stock and bond records are kept by one of three transfer agents: ComputerShare (www-us.computershare.com), Wells Fargo Investments (https://www.wellsfargo.com), and American Stock Transfer & Trust (www.amstock.com); contact them to find out how to replace your certificate. You’ll have to post a surety bond for up to 3% of the value of the securities, as well as pay additional fees.

If you’re out to raise some cash by selling a car you no longer need, but you can’t find the title certificate, you can usually find instructions on how to get it replaced on your state’s motor vehicle agency’s Web site. Often the procedure is simple; just fill out a request-for-replacement form online and then take it to your local MV agency office. The fee varies by state but generally runs between $20 and $30.