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We’re halfway through the ULC’s effort to revise the UUPA!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 30, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We’re halfway through the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) effort to revise the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act! As we move into the next phase of the process, we want to share how the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA) draft addresses UPPO’s top 5 advocacy issues, as determined by members through the advocacy survey conducted in summer 2013. UPPO work groups were formed around those priorities, to research and draft position statements on each issue.  Now, we want your input to identify the issues on which UPPO should continue to focus its advocacy efforts, before the RUUPA draft becomes final. Take the survey to share your thoughts.

Though we are only half-way, UPPO believes the current RUUPA draft reflects the ULC’s desire to produce a final product that infuses fairness, modernization, and clarity that is recognizable by all stakeholders. We understand there is still work to be done, and therefore will remain engaged through continued verbal and written commentary, attendance at relevant ULC meetings, and collaboration with other stakeholders.

Status of UPPO’s Top 5 advocacy issues


Priority 1: Due diligence timelines

To minimize the complexity facing holders, the RUUPA currently says* owner notification needs to be completed not less than 60 days before filing the report. This lends flexibility to holders to complete due diligence on their own timeline rather than be locked into a specific time period.  This timing was suggested by UPPO in its position statement which was initially drafted by one of UPPO’s work groups.


*To ensure Section 8(f) and (h)(2)(B) are consistent with Section 10 and what the ULC drafting committee agreed upon during the February 2015 meeting, the language regarding the due diligence timeframe needs to be altered to read “…not less than 60 days before filing a report”. UPPO believes this is a drafting oversight that will be corrected once it’s brought to the attention of the reporter. 

Priority 2: Record retention requirements

Section 21 of the RUUPA provides for a standard record retention period of 10 years, and lists the information required to be kept on file by the holder. The information holders must keep for 10 years is:

  • The date, place, and nature of the circumstances which give rise to the property right;
  • The amount or value of the property; and,
  • The last known address of the owner, if known to the holder. 

UPPO recommended the record retention requirement be seven years, and that holder records must be retrievable in case of an audit.

 


Priority 3: Electronic owner contact

One of UPPO’s primary messages and goals in its comments to the ULC was that the RUUPA needs to be modernized to include the technology that drives modern commercial transactions – including electronic owner contact and recurring ACH transactions. The RUUPA draft includes the following types of electronic owner contact:

  • Electronic communication by the owner to the holder or agent of the holder,
  • Electronic payment of a dividend, interest, or other distribution,

  • Owner-directed activity in the account (including accessing the account, increasing, decreasing, or change the amount in of property in the account) as acceptable forms of an owner’s interest in the property. 

Priority 4: Definition of owner contact

The current version of the RUUPA includes an expanded list of activities that are acceptable forms of owner contact, most of which were proposed by UPPO, but UPPO continues to advocate that the ULC drafting committee include automatic deposits and withdrawals as well.  Below is the list of activities that are included in the RUUPA as acceptable forms of contact:

  • Written communication (this includes electronic communication);

  • Oral communication (if the holder makes and preserves a record of the conversation);

  • Presentment of payment (check, electronic, or other instrument of payment) of a dividend, interest payment or other distribution;

  • Owner-directed activity in the account in which the property is held;

  • Making a deposit or withdrawal from an account in which the property is held*;

  • Payment of a premium with respect to an interest in an insurance policy;

  • Any action by an agent or other representative of an owner is presumed to have been done on behalf of the owner, and is considered an action by the owner.

*In addition, UPPO believes removing the brackets** placed around automatic withdrawals and deposits* in the current RUUPA draft (which means that this type of action may be excluded from the list of owner contact in the state adoption process) will better protect owners’ interests and align itself with how owners remain in touch with many of their property accounts.

 

**Brackets indicate that it’s an optional provision, and the adopting state can decide to include the provision in the adopted act.

 


Priority 5: Jurisdictional reporting deadlines

The RUUPA creates a standard reporting deadline for all non-life insurance holders of Nov. 1, and May 1 for insurance companies. 

 

As UPPO advocated, the RUUPA includes a provision which allows for elective early reporting by holders. The RUUPA specifically provides, if the holder has not succeeded in notifying the apparent owner of the property, the provision allows holders to voluntarily report and remit property that hasn’t yet been presumed abandoned. When the property is delivered to the state, the property will then be considered abandoned.

 

Questions about UPPO's advocacy strategy or how we are staying involved? Contact UPPO President Dana Terry.

 

More information

Register for this free, members-only webinar ULC Update Webinar, Aug. 18; 2 - 3 p.m. EST!

Tags:  advocacy  reform  RUUPA  unclaimed property  Uniform law commission  uniform unclaimed property act  UUPA 

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