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05/18/89 In Re Estate of Adolph Fantozzi (Lena Fantozzi

May 18, 1989

IN RE ESTATE OF ADOLPH FANTOZZI (LENA FANTOZZI, ADM'R,


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

Petitioner-Appellant, v.

Lake View Trust and Savings Bank, Respondent-Appellee)

539 N.E.2d 340, 183 Ill. App. 3d 732, 132 Ill. Dec. 30 1989.IL.758

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Henry A. Budzinski, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. JIGANTI, P.J., and JOHNSON, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

Lena Fantozzi, the administrator of her husband's estate, filed a citation to recover assets from Lake View Trust & Savings Bank. Her claim was premised on her discovery of a passbook among her husband's effects, 24 years after his death. The passbook showed a balance of $35,605.13 in an account presumably opened by her late husband. The trial court denied Fantozzi's petition for citation to recover assets.

On appeal, Fantozzi argues that the trial court erred in applying the rule that the law presumes payment of a debt that has been due and unclaimed for 20 years; the 20-year period had not run in any event; the court erred in ruling that the bank's records need be preserved for only three years; and the court erred in holding that Fantozzi had failed to establish her cause of action.

We affirm the trial court.

Background

In 1983 Fantozzi discovered a Lake View Trust & Savings Bank passbook when she was cleaning out an attic where her husband, Adolph, had stored his business and personal papers. The passbook showed an account number but listed no name. It showed a balance of more than $35,000 as of May 31, 1958, the date of the last entry. Fantozzi's husband died on May 2, 1959.

Lake View checked its records when Fantozzi presented the passbook, but found no evidence that the passbook was an open account. Lake View told Fantozzi to check with the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, since under State law Lake View could not hold funds in an inactive account for more than 15 years but would have been required to turn them over to the Department. See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 141, par. 101.

The Department had no record that Lake View had turned over the account. Fantozzi then brought the instant citation ...


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