How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

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DesertMan
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How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by DesertMan »

Happy weekend to everyone...

Last month, I mailed some I Bonds and a TreasuryDirect conversion manifest to their PO Box. I have the return receipt that says a BPD person received them. But there's not a word back from BPD about the conversion, even though I sent them a message through TD last week. On my conversion account under ManageDirect -> View my manifests, the status field is still listed as blank. I'm thinking that they are just underfunded and that it'll probably take another month, but I did want to see if anyone else has had to wait this long to have their conversions complete. Thanks.
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Sheepdog
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by Sheepdog »

I converted 133 I Bonds in 2005. I don't remember the exact length of time. As I remember, it was over 6 weeks, maybe 2 months. I mailed them registered with return receipt. I was angst a liitle bit until they arrived even though I knew that I would lose nothing if lost.
This was a paper to paper, not paper to TD conversion.
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NAVigator
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by NAVigator »

I converted paper I-bonds to electronic format two years ago. It took 18 days from from when I mailed it until it was posted on TreasuryDirect. I was surprised how quickly this was done.

Jerry
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DesertMan
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by DesertMan »

Sounds like this delay is not normal then. I wrote in again with my manifest number, the certified-mail receipt number, and the name of the BPD person who received the bonds. Hopefully they'll be able to track it down. I hope it's not due to something dumb on my part like forgetting to sign the manifest...
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DesertMan
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by DesertMan »

NAVigator, as it turns out you were just very lucky. I called TD this morning (1 (800) 553-2663, option 7 and then option 5) and got a human on the line very quickly, which was reassuring. Apparently the turnaround time for I bond conversions is now 6 weeks and it's been 4. So my initial suspicion was correct--TreasuryDirect is a small office tasked with running the savings bonds program for the whole country and so these things will take time.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by NAVigator »

I don't know how much it matters to quickly convert from one form to another on bonds with a 30 year duration. I would hope this manual process would be a low priority task.

Jerry
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DesertMan
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by DesertMan »

That's a point, but another is that I bonds are supposed to be liquid after the first year. The wiki advocates the use of I Bonds that are more than a year old as a good choice for an emergency fund. Part of their appeal is, thus, flexibility. There is nothing else out there that is risk-free, tax-deferred and liquid except a Roth IRA contribution (not earnings) invested in Treasuries. And even that, unlike I bonds, can lose value to interest rate risk unless you hold individual bonds to maturity--then there goes liquidity. So maybe there really is nothing like them.

Of course you lose the liquidity if the paper bonds are sitting in the conversion queue for months. It's like your I Bond reverted to being brand new. That's why it's a little disconcerting that TD doesn't tell you what you're getting into when you mail your bonds in.
skylar
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by skylar »

DesertMan wrote:That's a point, but another is that I bonds are supposed to be liquid after the first year. The wiki advocates the use of I Bonds that are more than a year old as a good choice for an emergency fund. Part of their appeal is, thus, flexibility. There is nothing else out there that is risk-free, tax-deferred and liquid except a Roth IRA contribution (not earnings) invested in Treasuries. And even that, unlike I bonds, can lose value to interest rate risk unless you hold individual bonds to maturity--then there goes liquidity. So maybe there really is nothing like them.

Of course you lose the liquidity if the paper bonds are sitting in the conversion queue for months. It's like your I Bond reverted to being brand new. That's why it's a little disconcerting that TD doesn't tell you what you're getting into when you mail your bonds in.
Can't you still redeem paper savings bonds at a bank or credit union? If so, the only problem would be if you mail in all your savings bonds to be converted and have an emergency in the conversion window. You could always do the conversion in two chunks so you always have some bonds on hand you can redeem locally.

Skylar
dennism
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by dennism »

Have your bonds been converted? I sent my bonds in almost 3 months ago and only one bond was converted about a month ago. I am still waiting and am becoming very concerned about the status of my bonds. I have emailed treasury direct and received no response... :shock:
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DesertMan
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bon

Post by DesertMan »

dennism wrote:Have your bonds been converted? I sent my bonds in almost 3 months ago and only one bond was converted about a month ago. I am still waiting and am becoming very concerned about the status of my bonds. I have emailed treasury direct and received no response... :shock:
Dennism, I'm still waiting. They are backlogged and the quoted wait was 6 weeks. I'm past that already and still nothing over here.
Gwaelyn
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by Gwaelyn »

I submitted EE bonds in early December of 2015. After a month I contacted TD and asked why there was no status on my bonds and was told that due to backlog there is a 15 to 20 WEEK delay in converting bonds right now. Is it just me, or is this really unacceptable/crazy? On the website it says 18 days - there should be some kind of warning that tells you it may take longer. They should also have it set up to e-mail you when the bonds have finally been converted. :annoyed
CHXRAVEN
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by CHXRAVEN »

Gwaelyn wrote:I submitted EE bonds in early December of 2015. After a month I contacted TD and asked why there was no status on my bonds and was told that due to backlog there is a 15 to 20 WEEK delay in converting bonds right now. Is it just me, or is this really unacceptable/crazy? On the website it says 18 days - there should be some kind of warning that tells you it may take longer. They should also have it set up to e-mail you when the bonds have finally been converted. :annoyed

The same 15 to 20 week delay also currently applies to saving bond redemptions. My recently matured HH savings bonds proceeds are earning 0% during this unreasonable delay. [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by LadyGeek »

Gwaelyn and CHXRAVEN, Welcome! While I understand your frustrations, please calm down and state your concerns in a factual manner.
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HueyLD
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by HueyLD »

Gwaelyn wrote:I submitted EE bonds in early December of 2015. After a month I contacted TD and asked why there was no status on my bonds and was told that due to backlog there is a 15 to 20 WEEK delay in converting bonds right now. Is it just me, or is this really unacceptable/crazy? On the website it says 18 days - there should be some kind of warning that tells you it may take longer. They should also have it set up to e-mail you when the bonds have finally been converted.
Did you read the instructions re: "How to convert my paper bonds?" It says explicitly as follows:

"You will not receive a notification when we receive the bonds or when the conversion process is complete. However, you may check the status of your bonds at any time, through your TreasuryDirect Conversion Linked account."

The serious backlog at the Treasury is caused by the fact that many banks no longer cash paper savings bonds, or may have ridiculously low limits on the amount they will cash. It is unfortunate that a government agency cannot adjust its workforce as easily as the private sector. Nobody is happy with the 20 week processing delay, but it is what it is.
CharlesG
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by CharlesG »

Some additional recent data for your reference:
- Paper EE bonds mailed to Treasury for purposes of conversion: Jan 15, 2016
- Feb 13, 2016 status check on Manifiest - blank
- Feb 21, 2016 status check on Manifest - "In progress"

Whew, at least they got received. Time range to first evidence of acknowledgement: Somewhere from 29 to 37 days.
missmary
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by missmary »

FYI --- we elect government officials. When I found out my HH bonds would take 20 weeks to redeem, I contacted my Senator in Washington or you can contact your Federal Representative. Amazingly, I had the funds within 10 days. You need to indicate that there is no information on line, you only get it when you call in and it is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.

:moneybag
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by LadyGeek »

We have similar frustrations here: Treasury Direct is a waste of time

Please stay factual and avoid opinions of the political process.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
CharlesG
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by CharlesG »

Update, no status change.

Some additional recent data for your reference:
- Paper EE bonds mailed to Treasury for purposes of conversion: Jan 15, 2016
- Feb 13, 2016 status check on Manifiest - blank
- Feb 21, 2016 status check on Manifest - "In progress"
- March 3, 2916 status check on Manifest - "In progress"

I intend to keep track and will post updates at irregular intervals until bond conversion is complete.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by CharlesG »

2016, not 2916. Maybe a freudian typoslip.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by CharlesG »

Update and FINAL report of successful conversion.

- Paper EE bonds mailed to Treasury for purposes of conversion: Jan 15, 2016
- Feb 13, 2016 status check on Manifiest - blank
- Feb 21, 2016 status check on Manifest - "In progress"
- March 3, 2016 status check on Manifest - "In progress"
- March 7, 2016 status check - All Bonds added to Conversion Account, as planned.

Of note, I had apparently sent in a bond that I erroneously did not include on the original Manifest I submitted in Jan. TD reported they corrected Manifest for me. Kudos and Thanks to TD.

Total time elapsed from mailing to success: 52 days.
petras52
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by petras52 »

I recall reading recently that 2016 will be an exceptionally busy year for redeeming ee bonds. This is due to the fact that a lot of ee bonds were purchased in 1986. This might have something to do with the slower than normal processing at Treasury Direct.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by HueyLD »

CharlesG wrote:Total time elapsed from mailing to success: 52 days.
You must have been very lucky. The 20-week estimated time frame is not a joke.

I certainly hope that the traffic jam is not permanent. They have a serious problem and the problem can only get worse as more and more financial institutions get out of bond cashing business.

Unless one still has a neighborhood bank/CU that performs bond cashing without limits, owning paper savings bonds can cause real liquidity crunch if one relies on them for emergency.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by kjoc »

I am more than frustrated. I stupidly took the 3-4 week processing time at face value and submitted 2 paper iBonds at the 1st of Feb. I inquired as to status in late March and was told wait for at least 20 weeks. Where else does something as simple as this take almost 1/2 a year! Best solution I've read here is to contact your Congressman. Anyone else have any ideas?
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kramer
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by kramer »

I plan to start cashing in I-bonds in about 14 years. I am afraid to convert my paper I-bonds to TD direct yet because, if I mess up during any step or if my bank account information ever changes, I might have to produce the dreaded medallion stamp which is basically impossible for me since I live abroad. In that case, maybe they would let me fly to their headquarters and provide in person retinal scans and DNA.

So I figure to do the paper to TD conversion a couple of years before I intend to cash in the bonds and then hope that I don't mess anything up before I can get my money out.

Also, I am hoping the TD system may improve over the next decade . . .
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by HueyLD »

In a decade, it could be virtually impossible to find a financial institution that would cash paper savings bonds.

When you plan the conversion, make sure you allow about six months for the process.

I just converted my paper bonds and it took 16 weeks ILO of 3-4 weeks or 20 weeks and I was just so relieved to finally have it done. But the converted bonds had to be transferred again within the TD system in order to eliminate the new accounts created by the conversion. Fortunately, such transfers took place electronically and it took only one business day. The transfer of converted accounts into regular accounts was virtually impossible to figure out as instructions were no where to be found. I had to call them in order to find out the "how to" part.

IOW, nothing is straightforward or intuitive. I am afraid that it would be even more complicated for an heir to figure out the process. So, the process sucks all around.
SeekingAPlan
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by SeekingAPlan »

When you convert paper bonds a linked account is created. Is there a way to move those bonds out of that linked account and into your regular account? I don't like having to view two separate lists and I don't think my heirs will understand Treasury Direct and they may miss the converted bond list altogether.

Also, I wanted to add/change bank information. The options exist to add or change a bank but when I click them it just sends me to a paper form that requires signature verification by a bank. Is that just my account for some reason or have they changed their system to always require this now?
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by Big Dog »

converted some bonds last summer due to death of the first owner*, and the first batch took 13 weeks, the second batch in the fall took 10 weeks.

*they were originally titled with two names, so it was just a matter of reissuing into owner #2 ("Jane Doe or Robert Smith"), after the death of Jane Doe.)
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by HueyLD »

SeekingAPlan wrote:When you convert paper bonds a linked account is created. Is there a way to move those bonds out of that linked account and into your regular account?
Yes. I had to call the Treasury Retail Security Division (1-844-284-2676) and the CSR stayed on the phone to walk me thru the process. I don't remember the exact steps, but the process was anything but simple or intuitive.
Also, I wanted to add/change bank information. The options exist to add or change a bank but when I click them it just sends me to a paper form that requires signature verification by a bank. Is that just my account for some reason or have they changed their system to always require this now?
Yes, it has been this way for as far as I know. A lot of changes require some kind of signature guarantee by a financial institution.
SeekingAPlan
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by SeekingAPlan »

Thank you HueyLD.

I seem to remember some things being easier. Back in 2011 it only about a week for my paper bonds to be converted. I did several batches. One took slightly longer due to a holiday.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by englishgirl »

Has anyone done any conversions lately or have any more updates on processing times? I foolishly mailed off my bonds to convert them earlier this week before finding this thread, and as I potentially want to use them to close on a house purchase, the 20 week backlog is fairly horrifying.

Is there anywhere on their website where they talk about the backlog? Or we just have to call customer service?
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HueyLD
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by HueyLD »

I strongly recommend that you call the toll-free number indicated in my post above. The website doesn't tell you because it takes forever for them to change anything on the web.

Hopefully they have hired more people to handle the workload.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by Hector »

I did it a couple of years ago. I do not remember exactly, but I found everything on the website and did not need to call. It took weeks and not months, I think.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by Whakamole »

I submitted paper bonds to be transferred and retitled to a Trust account in late January; in the past week they've finally shown up in my TreasuryDirect account, so 20 weeks is about right.
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englishgirl
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by englishgirl »

Darn it. Well, thanks for the confirmation. I'll give them a call to check but I guess I'll settle in for the wait and try to make alternative plans that don't involve cashing these bonds in the next 20 weeks!
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rmromito
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by rmromito »

My current personal experience:

- Paper EE bonds mailed to Treasury for purposes of conversion: Jan 28, 2016
- May 27, 2016 Manifest changed from blank to "In progress"

It was 17 weeks before the Bonds were acknowledged as received. Assuming three weeks to post from there, the 20 week prediction appears to be valid.

I will update when they actually post to my account

UPDATE: June 9, 2016, Bonds were converted and available for redemption - 19 weeks total
Last edited by rmromito on Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
x7c00
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by x7c00 »

I purchased paper iBonds with my 2014 tax return. I did this 3 or 4 years in a row.This February I decided to convert the 2014, $4000.00, of paper bonds into Electronic bonds. This is a very common process, as you folks know, and ensures that the bonds don't get lost or stolen or so they say.
I did this the previous year and the process took 2 weeks. I had no reason to believe that this year would be any different.
This year it's taken 3 1/2 months and no one knows why. The stock email reply I've gotten is that they are backed up. I've looked for news about treasurydirect.gov being suddenly overwhelmed with requests for iBonds - nada.
I've never had a financial transaction take more than a couple of days. (I'm a piker - I know)I can't imagine Vanguard or even a community bank taking
3 1/2 months to execute a simple financial transaction. I can't imagine Vanguard or the community bank totally ignoring requests for information by saying they are backed up.
[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
tibbitts
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by tibbitts »

I'm just starting this adventure. I sent off 124 bonds last week, including some with POD being applicable. I'll try to remember to report how long it takes, but by then might not remember this thread...

Unfortunately there is really no alternative when you need to make any registration changes to your bonds.
TdF fan
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by TdF fan »

I thought I would add another data point to this discussion.

I mailed paper iBonds to TD on May 7th and today (July 7th) it shows them as Converted. I don't know exactly when it was the last time I checked but it was sometime this past week, so total time was approximately 8 weeks or so. Not great, but better than the 20 weeks that has been reported.
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Sheepdog
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by Sheepdog »

Has anyone submitted paper I Bonds for redemption recently? Any problems?
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clcarter
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by clcarter »

10 of mine were just converted this week after two months.

Does anyone know if a new conversion account number is created every time a new batch of bonds is sent in?
denismurf
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by denismurf »

Exactly one month ago, I mailed Treasury a form requesting them to replace some paper I bonds I lost with new ones in electronic form. I already have a Treasury Direct account.

Yesterday a Treasury employee phoned me, asked a few questions, and will mail me an extra form that needs completing. My submission had some errors. She was courteous, knowledgeable, patient, articulate, etc., totally preferable to what I usually get from "customer service" in the private sector if there are any unusual problems.

I also converted some paper I bonds to electronic about 4 years ago and got fast, error-free service.

If my experience is typical, you will get great service as quickly as possible.
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by SuzBanyan »

I sent ours in which arrived at the adept of Treas by FedEx on 5/31. They were converted by the end of June.
x7c00
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by x7c00 »

I'm still waiting for my $4000.00 of iBonds to be converted. I sent them in late February. I fear I'll never see my money again. They just keep saying they are backed up. :annoyed

Tim
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HueyLD
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by HueyLD »

clcarter wrote:10 of mine were just converted this week after two months.

Does anyone know if a new conversion account number is created every time a new batch of bonds is sent in?
Probably. However, you can merge the accounts yourself or call them for assistance. The Treasury employees have been very helpful and patient.
Lakesider
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by Lakesider »

I submitted requests to convert paper Bonds to electronic form as well as to change registration (reissue) Bonds. The submission dates were as follows, followed by the dates on which I received confirmation that processing was underway. The Bonds appeared in a Conversion Linked Account in my TreasuryDirect account on 5 July and 16 July.

Reissue documents submitted on 3 May, 2016. Received email notice on 14 July, 2016 (processing completed on 16 July)
Conversion documents submitted on 9 May, 2016. Received email notice on 16 July, 2016 (processing completed on 5 July)
Last edited by Lakesider on Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jack56
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by Jack56 »

I submitted bonds seven weeks ago in May. Nothing so far.
x7c00
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by x7c00 »

Still waiting for my simple conversion transaction from late Feb, early March. I hope I live to see Treasurydirect.gov do it's job.

Tim
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englishgirl
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by englishgirl »

Just to post a quick update. I was on the TD site, and saw that there was a "contact us" feature with a box to type a message. I sent a message asking for an estimate of how long it would take, and got a reply the next day stating that they had converted them, and apologizing for the delay. So, 9 weeks to the day for me, but I suspect if I had not contacted them, they would still be languishing. The customer service in response to my contact was actually good, but I wish I hadn't had to resort to that.
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hmj
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by hmj »

I mailed 711 (that's right - 711) Series EE and Series I paper bonds to TreasuryDirect on 5/25/2016. They were received by TD on 6/1/2016. The conversion and reissue process was completed on 8/22/2016. Not quite 12 weeks to complete the process. That's pretty good for that amount of bonds! And I sincerely thank them for their efforts.
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tuningfork
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Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

Post by tuningfork »

Another data point. Looks like they are getting more efficient.

I mailed a stack of about 60 paper bonds (mostly EE, a few I) to Treasury Direct on 8/12/2016 by Certified Mail. They were delivered on 8/18/2016. I checked my account online today (9/8/2016) and all the bonds had been converted. According to the transaction history the conversion occurred on 8/26/2016. That's 6 business days from receipt to conversion. Much faster than I expected! :beer
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