At times an individual may encounter the unpleasant experience of losing a Savings Bond to theft, damage, or other misfortune. Lost Savings Bonds may not be entirely lost considering there are several steps that a person can take to rectify the situation. Also, a Savings Bond can be replaced or redeemed without paying a fee. It does not matter what series the Lost Savings Bonds may be, the procedure is the same for all.
Sometimes, when the individual orders a bond and does not receive it within fifteen business days--the bond becomes lost even before he has received it. First, he should contact the institution where the bond had been purchased. The institution will investigate the reason why the individual did not receive the bond and will help in filling out a claim form to request a replacement bond. If an individual does not receive a bond which was bought through a Payroll Savings Plan, he should contact the employer's payroll office for a claim form.
Of course, the individual can go online to begin the process of replacing the bond. The appropriate form is provided on the Treasury Direct Website (treasurydirect.gov). This form is Public Debt Form 1048--Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed United States Savings Bonds. First, the individual needs to read the instructions and note the mailing address to send the completed form. If exact issue dates are not known, dates can be estimated with the word "unknown" inserted for any denominations, serial numbers or anything else unknown. Certainly, the more information the individual can provide, the better the likelihood to find the records of the bonds. At the least, the person needs to provide his name and Social Security Number.
After the completion of this form, he must take it to a financial institution that deals with Savings Bonds and have his signature certified. Most banks, credit unions, and savings and loans deal with Savings Bonds and adequate identification must always be shown for the signature certification. After this, the individual should mail the form to the provided address. Once the Treasury receives the form, it will search for the bonds in its records. When the records are found, the Treasury will affirm whether or not the bonds have been cashed. The claim form will show if the individual has decided to have the bonds replaced or redeemed. To prevent a Lost Savings Bond, the individual should always have a complete inventory listing of bonds and their serial numbers kept in a safe place for future reference.