53C-6-13. Safe deposit boxes; unpaid rentals; procedure; escheats.

(a) If the rental due on a safe deposit box is 90 days or more past due, the lessor bank may send a notice by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the lessee or by another means agreed to in writing by the lessor bank and the lessee, stating that the safe deposit box will be opened and its contents stored at the expense of the lessee unless payment of the rental is made within 30 days of the date of the mailing of the notice or the date such notice is given by the means otherwise previously agreed to in writing by the lessor bank and the lessee. If the rental is not paid within the stated period, the box may be opened in the presence of an officer of the bank and of a notary public who is not a director, officer, employee, or shareholder of the bank. The contents shall be sealed in a package by the notary public, who shall write on the outside the name of the lessee and the date of the opening. The notary public shall execute a certificate reciting the name of the lessee, the date of the opening of the box, and a list of its contents. The certificate shall be included in the package, and a copy of the certificate shall be sent by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the lessee or by the means otherwise previously agreed to in writing by the lessor bank and the lessee. The package then shall be placed in the general vaults of the bank at a rental not exceeding the rental previously charged for the box.

(b) If the contents of the safe deposit box have not been claimed within two years of the mailing or other permissible delivery of the copy of the certificate to the lessee, the bank may send a further notice to the last known address of the lessee by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the lessee or by a means otherwise previously agreed to in writing by the lessor bank and the lessee, stating that unless the accumulated charges are paid within 30 days of the date of the mailing of the notice, the contents of the box will be delivered to the State Treasurer as abandoned property under the provisions of Chapter 116B of the General Statutes.

(c) The bank shall submit to the State Treasurer a verified inventory of all of the contents of the safe deposit box upon delivery of the contents of the box or such part thereof as shall be required by the State Treasurer under G.S. 116B-55, but the bank may deduct from any cash of the lessee in the safe deposit box an amount equal to accumulated charges for rental and shall submit to the State Treasurer a verified statement of the charges and deduction. If there is no cash or insufficient cash to pay accumulated charges in the safe deposit box, the bank may submit to the State Treasurer a verified statement of accumulated charges or balance of the accumulated charges due, and the State Treasurer shall remit to the bank the charges or balance due, up to the value of the property in the safe deposit box delivered to the State Treasurer, less any costs or expenses of sale; but if the charges or balance due exceeds the value of the property, the State Treasurer shall remit only the value of the property, less costs or expenses of sale. Any accumulated charges for safe deposit box rental paid by the State Treasurer to the bank shall be deducted from the value of the property of the lessee delivered to the State Treasurer.

(d) Any property, including documents or writings of a private nature, that has little or no apparent financial value need not be sold but may be destroyed by the bank if the State Treasurer declines to receive the property under G.S. 116B-69(a).

(e) An explanation of the contractual provisions pertaining to default, together with reference to this section, shall be printed on every contract for rental of a safe deposit box. (2012-56, s. 4.)