The market is tanking, you think it’s time to sell, but I lost my stock certificate; now what do I do? Not to worry, thee is a process to have your certificate replaced. First step is to contact the contact investor relations for the company in which you have lost or misplaced the certificates and find out the contact information for the transfer agent. According to investopidia.com;
A transfer agent is a trust company, bank or similar institution assigned by a corporation, for the purposes of maintaining an investor’s financial records and tracking his or her account balance. The transfer agent records transactions, cancels and issues certificates, processes investor mailings and handles a host of other investor problems, including reissuing lost or stolen certificates.
In laymen’s terms, the transfer agency is the entity that manages a company’s issuance and replacement of stock certificates. Once you notify the transfer agent that the stocks have been lost or misplaced, the agent will issue a stop notice on the certificates, much like issuing a stop payment on a check. The transfer agent will notify you in writing that a stop has been issued and provide you with detailed instructions to replace the lost or misplaced stock certificates. The is a sample letter from a transfer agent.
Per item 2 of the above letter, you will need to provide a “Open Penalty Surety Bond”. This is a type of surety bond that will protect the transfer company of the lost or misplaced stocks are found, and it is determined the replacement certificates should not have been issued. The bond holds the transfer company harmless from any liability that may occur if the stocks are found and a third party claims ownership. Claims are very rare on these types of bonds.
In most cases, the transfer agent has established a facility to obtain the bond. The cost is usually around 3% of the value of the stock on the day the stop was issued, so if the value of the the stock was $100,000, the fee charged by the transfer company for the surety bond would be $3,000. You can usually save at least a third of the cost of the bond buy purchasing it from Surety1. It is a simple process:
While an inconvenience if I lost my stock certificate, it is not the end of the world. Follow these steps and your certificate will be replaced.