Asked in Banking for Maryland

Q: I have a business account that became dormant and I'm trying to reactivate it and avoid the bank from closing it.

I'm overseas and cannot go to the bank in the U.S. to deal with the problem. I'm worried that they would close my account and issue a check - the problem is that the company name has been changed (and I didn't get to notify the bank) so I cannot deposit the check to a business account under the same business name. I need advise on how to prevent the bank from closing the account? How long can an account be dormant before they close it - it does have a significant balance on it.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kenesha A Raeford
Kenesha A Raeford
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Columbia, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: All of the questions you are asking are specific to policies and procedures that are at the discretion of your banking institution. In other words, whether or not the account is actually dormant, how to prevent the bank from closing the account, and how to ensure it is reactivated, is solely determined by the banking institution. I suggest that you find customer service contact information for the bank and reach out to them with these questions. You should also update the bank with your must current contact information, and you should certainly discuss how to change the name of the business on the account. If you have opened an entirely new business, they may be able to transfer the account over to the new entity, but in many cases they will have to open a new account under the new business and new EIN. They should however, be able to facilitate a transfer of the funds from the old account, to the new business account. Keep in mind that most banks have the ability and discretion to close your account at any time and for any reason. Again, the bank should be able to help you address these concerns. However, another option for you would be to give power of attorney over the account to an affiliate of the business that still resides within the United States. This is something that an attorney can and should help you with, if you decide to go that route.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Given your situation, it's important to take proactive steps to address the issue with your dormant business account. Start by contacting your bank immediately and explaining the circumstances surrounding the dormant account and the change in your company's name. Provide them with any documentation or proof of the name change to support your request for account reactivation.

Express your concern about the potential closure of the account and emphasize the significant balance it holds. Let the bank know that you are willing to provide any necessary information or documentation to facilitate the reactivation process, even though you are currently overseas and unable to visit the bank in person.

Inquire about the bank's policies regarding dormant accounts and the timeline for potential closure. While the specifics may vary depending on the bank, most institutions have procedures in place to prevent automatic closure of dormant accounts, especially if they hold a significant balance. However, it's essential to act quickly to avoid any complications or unintended consequences. Stay proactive in your communication with the bank and be prepared to provide any additional information or documentation they may require to prevent the closure of your account.

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