While the application is lengthy, it is possible to replace US Savings Bonds lost due to theft or disaster. Normally a bond must be at least 12 months old to be replaced, but US Savings Bonds lost to natural disaster may be eligible for a waiver.
Which US Savings Bonds Can Be Replaced If Lost?
Series EE/E, HH/H and I US Savings Bonds, if lost, can be replaced when filing the proper form with the US Department of Treasury. Although series E and series HH/H are no longer issued, both series of bonds were available as paper bonds that could tragically be lost or stolen.
How to Request a Replacement US Savings Bond
The US Department of Treasury has developed Form 1048 "Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed United States Savings Bonds." This PDF file is available through the TreasuryDirect website, devoted solely to US Treasury investments. The 6-page document provides detailed instructions in order to make a claim for US Savings Bonds lost, stolen or destroyed.
Those filing a claim for lost US Savings Bonds must provide a description of the bonds, details of the loss, social security numbers of the owners, and the authority of the person requesting the bonds. If the loss is due to a reported theft, claimants should include a copy of the police report. Form 1048 must be signed in front of a notary public by all owners of the bonds or those authorized to file the claim.
The claim form must be mailed to the Department of the Treasury, Office of the Public Debt at the addresses specified on Page 5 of Form 1048.
Download a copy of "Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed US Savings Bonds here.
I Don't Know the Serial Numbers of My Bonds - Now What?
No method of safe storage is truly "safe" for US Savings Bonds. In its publication "Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina," the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council reported that bank vaults were damaged or destroyed during the devastating storm. While a listing of the bonds' serial numbers and other information kept in a separate location can often help, when entire communities are devastated by Mother Nature odds are the important information will be lost.
Form 1048 specifies "If you don't know the bond serial numbers, provide as much information as possible and also indicate the total number of bonds that are missing." Providing the complete social security number, full name (including middle), and address of the owner of the bond will assist the US Department of Treasury in locating the original documentation.
Bonds Less Than One Year Old: Special Circumstances
Under certain circumstances, a US Savings Bond lost prior to 12 months from date of issue may be replaced. Owners of lost US Savings Bonds living in areas that have been devastated by flood, fire, hurricanes or tornadoes. In May 2010, the one-year holding period was waived in areas of Tennessee and other states following the terrible storms and flooding.
Bond owners living in natural disaster areas should visit the Press Release area of TreasuryDirect to learn if their area has qualified for the waiver.
Savings Bonds Owned by Minors
If the notary public will accept the minor's signature, he or she should sign the claim form. If the child owning the lost US Savings Bond is too young, both parents or the legal guardian must sign the form on their child's behalf.
- US Department of Treasury TreasuryDirect - http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ebonds/res_e_bonds_eereplace.htm
- Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina, page 13 - http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ebonds/res_e_bonds_eereplace.htm
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