Do I Need to Close My Bank Account If I Leave the Country?

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Do I Need to Close My Bank Account If I Leave the Country?

You're headed out of the country and you have funds in your bank account. Do you need to close your bank account before you leave the country? If you are closing your bank account, how do you do it?

Closing your bank account before you leave the country can be time-consuming, frustrating, and draining, especially if you're unlucky enough to connect with representatives who don't have experience with closing bank accounts.

If you need to especially if you're leaving permanently, DoNotPay can make it easier.

Common Reasons to Close a Bank Account When Leaving the Country

Some banks require you to close your bank account before you leave the country. They may have policies that prohibit them from issuing or maintaining an account for someone who lives out of a set geographic area and leaving the country may definitely put you within that category.

On the other hand, you may find that there are several key reasons to go ahead and close your US account before leaving the country, even if your bank doesn't require it.

  1. You know that it will be inconvenient to access the bank account once you leave the country. Your hours may be vastly different from the hours when the bank's customer service is available live, for example.
  2. You may face expensive fees, including exchange fees, for using your bank account while living out of the country. You may, for example, need to convert your funds to your new local currency every time you need to use it, which may result in expensive fees that add up quickly.
  3. You want to be able to physically access a branch of your bank periodically and your bank is not available in your new country.
  4. You need a bank that has your new country's policies and laws in mind, not US policies and laws.

How to Close Your Bank Account Before Leaving the Country

If you need to close a bank account, from Bank of America to Chase, before leaving the country, you may have a limited amount of time to make sure that everything is handled correctly—not to mention all the other challenges associated with moving out of the country to deal with! If you want to close your bank account yourself, you may have several options.

Visit a local branch in personKeep in mind that you may need to have an appointment, and there could be a long wait to find someone who actually knows how to close your account. There is also the challenge of explaining why you plan to close your account. It is usually recommended that you visit your bank in person to close your account since the bank will be able to issue a check on the spot in the amount remaining in your account.
Submit a demand letterYou can send in a formal letter requesting that the bank close your account. You will then need to wait for a check to arrive via mail with the remaining funds in your account. You may not be able to have that check sent to an international address, depending on the bank's policies, so make sure you plan ahead.
Cancel by phoneCall your bank's customer service line and ask to close your account. You may find yourself spending a long period of time on hold or waiting for a representative who has the authority and knowledge to get your account closed.

Can My Bank Stop Me From Closing My Account?

You may receive some pushback from your bank when you let them know that you're planning to close your account. The bank may try to insist that you may want a US bank account for future transactions, or that you need to keep your account for potential future needs.

Submitting a formal demand letter, however, is much more likely to get the results you want—that your bank account is actually closed and you are ready to move out of the country.

What Information Do I Need to Close My Bank Account Before I Leave the Country?

To close your bank account, you'll need to submit the right information and documents:

  • A copy of your government-issued ID
  • Your banking information, including the account number
  • In some cases, proof that you are the owner of the account, like a bank statement or account card that has the number on it

Closing Your Bank Account Before You Leave the Country Can Be Easy with DoNotPay

Leaving the country is challenging enough, and you likely have more than enough on your list already. Let DoNotPay make it easier to get your bank account closed and start moving forward with your new plans. It just takes 6 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Close Bank Accounts product on DoNotPay.
  2. Select which bank the account was opened under, and enter the account type, account number, and your local branch location.
  3. Indicate who this account belongs to. If the owner or co-owner has passed away, upload a death certificate or other formal evidence. If you are not the original account owner, upload evidence of your relationship with the owner.
  4. Tell us why you need to close this account.
  5. Enter your contact information, including email, phone number, and the address you want any remaining funds to be sent to.
  6. Submit your task! DoNotPay will mail the request letter on your behalf. You should hear back from the bank with confirmation or a request for more information within a few weeks.

Why Use DoNotPay to Close Your Bank Account Before Moving Out of the Country?

With so many other things you need to take care of, why not make closing your bank account before you move out of the country as easy as possible?

DoNotPay is the ideal solution for closing your bank account before you move out of the country because it’s:

  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Convenient
  • Trustworthy

DoNotPay Can Make Many of Your Pre-Move Tasks Easier

As you're getting ready to move out of the country, DoNotPay can make many of those pre-move tasks easier.

  1. Closing your accounts with US-based companies
  2. Changing your address with a variety of companies
  3. Canceling services you no longer need
  4. Managing bills, including US-based bills that you may need to pay for a while longer

In addition, DoNotPay is the ideal solution for managing many of your needs when you have to close a bank account, including:

Ready to ? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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