More than 400 locals unknowingly have checks being deposited in accounts at a bank that no longer exists.
Last month, Home Savings, which had a branch in Seal Beach, went under. The small Minnesota-based bank had three California branches located close to large retirement communities such as Leisure World. It was seized by a federal government insurance fund at a cost of $38.8 million. But there are still hundreds of people who banked at the Seal Beach branch, who are seemingly unaware of the closure – they continue to write Home Savings checks not knowing that the checks will bounce, and they never cancelled their automatic deposits for social security and other government checks.
The federal government placed the accounts that are still receiving government checks by automatic deposit under the care of US Bank on Seal Beach Boulevard.
“The difficulty is that a lot of people don’t realize their account has been closed,” said US Bank Branch Manager Laurie Sippel. “They need to physically come in and show proof of identification.”
US Bank officials were not given contact information and have no way to get in touch with the account-holders.
Many of the Leisure World clients have children or caretakers who manager their finances, or they may have forgotten that the account exists, Sippel said. Others are suspicious that the letter they received from the federal government is part of some sort of scam, added Sippel.
Anyone who believes they have outstanding checks meant for their defunct Home Savings account should bring proof of identification to the US Bank at 13900 Seal Beach Boulevard, Suite A or call 562-344-3441. They can either transfer the payments to a US Bank account or receive a cashier’s check.
Home Savings of America was nationalized and closed when no other bank would purchase its assets and liabilities, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. This takeover was the first time in 13 months that a bank was liquidated.All account holders with less than $250,000 in an individual account will get a full payout from the FDIC. Anyone with more than that amount was asked to contact the FDIC.
-City News Service contributed to this report.