SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — As consumers try to find ways to earn extra cash, there may be some money sitting aside from forgotten savings bonds. But some who want to cash in are finding it’s not always easy.

According to the Department of Treasury, there are billions of dollars in bonds that have stopped earning interest, but have yet to be cashed. When one Lindy Babcock of Daly City tried to cash a $1,000 bond he inherited from his godmother he said it was nearly impossible.

“They can’t do anything without a death certificate,” said Babcock.

Babcock said even though he was the beneficiary, the bank requested a certified death certificate. Since Babcock was not a family member, he said he was only able to obtain an informational copy which the bank would not accept.

Babcock then contacted ConsumerWatch where our volunteers contacted the San Mateo County Clerk who confirmed informational copies can be used for banking purposes.

Babcock was finally able to redeem the savings bond for $1,600.

To find out how much your savings bond is worth or to track down an old savings bond visit the Department of Treasury website.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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