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In 2010 I studied in Tel Aviv. During this period I had a student bank account. Unfortunately, I forgot to close my account before leaving, and was not able to close it until now. The account has remained inactive since then. I'm traveling back to Tel Aviv next month. I have the following questions:

  1. What happens in the case of a bank account that is inactive for so long? Is there any possibility that I own something to the bank? (When I left my account had a balance of about 100 euros).

  2. Should I go the bank and ask to close the account or just forget it and leave as it is?

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We were in your situation in 2001.

The bank (Hapoalim) took so much in nuisance fees, they claimed we owed them. We told them to forget about it. If for some reason we are ever in Israel long term again, we'll just pick a different bank.

  • Having debt anywhere is not a good thing, it collects interest, fines and handling fees that can sum up to huge amounts – Rsf Jan 12 '18 at 9:05
  • Debt? This was a checking/savings account with a positive balance, until their various fees – Andrew Lazarus Jan 12 '18 at 19:00
  • Their fees are based on a contract you’ve signed when you opened the account (or should be), if you don’t come to an agreement with the bank the fees will just grow. At the end they let the legal department handle it, again with the cost on you. Telling someone “to forget it” doesn’t really makes him forget something – Rsf Jan 12 '18 at 19:18
  • Thank you for your obvious remarks. The fact the fees (in Hebrew fine print) are outrageous does not mean they are illegal. Now, run along. Your mommy is calling. – Andrew Lazarus Jan 12 '18 at 19:34
  • I think you meant “legal”, but it won’t stop the bank from ask you to pay. I searched google for חוב של * תפח ל trying to find one case, there were so many results I think you should take a look (yes, some ended in court and the debt was canceled). Do whatever you want but please don’t advise others to do the same. – Rsf Jan 12 '18 at 19:41
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Go to the bank, or contact them, and close it. In theory once the bank sees no activity in the account it should try and locate you, and then move any funds to a legal guardian to be invested. I could only find articles about intentions to legalize that, but no regulations. There is a possibility that you owe something to the bank. A monthly fee is common in Israel, and the bank has the right to change it from time to time, they might charge you for things like trying to locate you or other creative things. 100euros sounds enough to cover that, but who knows... A small debt can grow exponentially once it is sent to legal handling, so why risk having debt somewhere in the world?

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