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Closing a Safe Deposit Box

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

In case you're unfamiliar with the concept, a safe deposit box (SDB) is a box located in a bank vault with you possessing the only key. The idea here is to store important documents such as passports, birth certificates, car titles, house deeds, social security cards, proof of loan repayments and other valuable things that are difficult if not impossible to replace in a secure location outside of your home. So if your house burns down or is burgled these items are secure.

I acquired one of these boxes many years ago to store my booty, and I've finally got sick of the inconvenience and got rid of it. This wouldn't be a big deal at all except for the fact that we lost the keys! In cases like this they have to call a company to drill the lock or break into the box in some other way.

I had to be present when the box was opened to take possession of all the stuff in it. The bank wouldn't touch anything in the box. So I arrive at the bank and said I was there to get into a box and they ask my name and pull out the signature card. I sign my name and we go into the vault to break into the box. I was expecting a big drill or dynamite or something impressive but this dude sticks a puller into the lock and just yanks it right out! I was totally flabbergasted at what a trivial task it was breaking into that box. I'm fairly positive it would be harder to break into my house than this box.

So I take my stuff and go over to the counter to settle up. Banks generally charge a few hundred dollars for "drilling" a SDB and let's not forget about replacing the lost keys too. The lady helping me couldn't find any information about the actual cost for this job. She was looking around on her computer and flipping through some papers she found under the desk. She said she remembers the last one was around $130, but since she couldn't find any actual information she just charged me $100. All together this whole process took about 20 minutes, which I can't complain about at all. I was expecting to sit there for an hour while this guy tried to pick the lock.

The curious thing about this whole process is at no point did anyone ask for any kind of identification from me. The only person information I had to supply was my social security number when I originally asked to close the box. And even at that time, they didn't ask for a driver's license or anything. So if someone knew my SSN and knew I had a box at that bank they could've walked away with all my stuff and closed my account. And Rachelle's name was on the box too, but she wasn't with me or had any interaction with any of these people and I was able to take the contents and close it. I hope my money is safer than my property in the safe deposit box.

Tags: bank failure

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