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UNCLAIMED PROPERTY FOCUS is a blog written by and for UPPO members, featuring diverse perspectives and insights from unclaimed property practitioners across the U.S. and Canada. We welcome your submissions to Unclaimed Property Focus. Please contact Tim Dressen via tim@uppo.org with any questions about submitting a blog post for consideration and refer to our editorial guidelines when writing your blog post. Disclaimer: Information and/or comments to this blog is not intended as a substitute for legal advice on compliance or reporting requirements.

 

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2019 Fall Reporting Guide Part 4 (South Carolina – Wyoming)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 1, 2019

Fall reporting season is again fast approaching. Most U.S. states require holders to file reports by either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1. Following are reporting deadlines for these states, along with helpful links. This list is not exclusive to a specific holder industry, so please check the states’ websites for information on industry-specific reporting information and deadlines. Because of the amount of information included, this guide will be published in four parts:

 

Part 1 covered Alabama through Hawaii.

Part 2 covered Idaho through Minnesota.

Part 3 covered Mississippi through Rhode Island.

Part 4 covers South Carolina through Wyoming.

 

South Carolina

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested by email before the report due date.

 

Contact: unclaimed@sto.sc.gov or (803) 737-4771

South Carolina holder resources

 

South Dakota

Report due: Nov. 1, 2018
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing before the report due date.

 

Contact: holders@sdtreasurer.gov or (605) 773-3379

South Dakota holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Aggregate amount has been lowered to less than $10 beginning July 1, 2019. This does not affect the Nov. 1 reports since the period ending is June 30.
  • South Dakota has received several reports with gift cards that do not have actual card numbers on the property. Actual card numbers must be included.
  • South Dakota will have a new procedure for reporting savings bonds beginning with the Nov. 1, 2020, reporting deadline. Instructions will be coming out in the holders manual and the website.

 

Tennessee

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019

Extensions: Extensions may be requested.

 

Contact: ucp.holders@tn.gov or (615) 253-5362

Tennessee holder resources

 

Utah

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing before the report due date.

 

Contact: holders@utah.gov or (801) 715-3300

Utah holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Instruction manual/handbook has been updated in the past three months.
  • Utah encourages the use of the online payment process at the time of filing the online reports.  The reliability of the online payment process is much improved from the past couple of years where reporters were unsure that the online payment process worked correctly.   

 

Virgin Islands

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: No details provided.

 

Contact: (340) 774-2991, ext. 4 (St. Thomas) or (340) 773-6449, ext. 4 (St. Croix)

Virgin Islands holder resources

 

Virginia

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.

 

Contact: William.Dadmun@trs.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2547 

Virginia holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Instruction manual/handbook has been updated in the past three months.
  • New URL: www.vamoneysearch.org/report
  • When reporting co-owned accounts, there are certain combinations of Owner Relationship Codes that are not acceptable. This is discussed in Virginia’s Special Notices - New for 2019document on its website, along with other helpful hints. Please read this document.

 

Washington

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing before the report due date. Include company name, holder number, reason for extension request and amount of time requested.

 

Contact: ucp@dor.wa.gov or (360) 534-1502

Washington holder resources

 

West Virginia

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.

 

Contact: UP-ReceiptsGroup@wvsto.gov or (800) 642-8687

West Virginia holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Key contact changes: The UP Director (Carolyn Atkinson) and Receipts Manager (Sara Withrow) have left the Treasurer’s Office. For reporting questions please contact Abigail Campbell, receipts manager at abigail.campbell@wvsto.com.
  • New Legislation - Linked Accounts (Banks only): HB 2609- Bank Accounts; Effective 6/2/2019  - New language in §36-8-2 allows for "linked accounts" in West Virginia - Checking accounts, savings accounts and CDs are linked; if one account is active, all accounts are considered active and not presumed abandoned (d) An indication of an owner's interest in property includes: (5) For demand, savings and time deposits held by a financial organization, any indication of the owner's interest in any demand, savings and time deposit held by the financial organization for that owner is an indication of the owner's interest in all demand, savings and time deposits held by that financial organization.  

 

Wisconsin

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.

 

Contact: DORWIHolderReports@wisconsin.gov or (608) 264-4594

Wisconsin holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Instruction manual/handbook has been updated in the past three months.
  • Step by step instructional videos have been added to Wisconsin’s unclaimed property website.
  • Wisconsin only accepts electronic filing in .txt format.
  • Complete owner & address information is appreciated to facilitate our automated data match process.
  • Frequent reporting error: Coding property as aggregate or unknown when the property owner is known, should be "All Other Owners" for the owner type, missing information on reports (parts of name or address).
  • All correspondence should be sent to PO Box 8982 Madison, WI 53708-8982 the old PO Box 2114 is no longer active and will return any items to sender.

 

Wyoming

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.

 

Contact: upreports@wyo.gov or (307) 777-5590

Wyoming holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • New legislation that goes into effect July 1, 2019, requires holders of life insurance policies to select a box that says: "I hereby acknowledge that the following requirements have been met per W.S. 26-16-505(h): A. A beneficiary has not submitted a claim with the insurer; and B. The insurer has complied with W.S. 26-16-505 and has been unable, after good faith efforts documented by the insurer, to contact the beneficiary."
  • Wyoming hopes to be able to allow payments via EFT in this reporting season, but doesn't know for sure it that will be available.

For detailed information about reporting deadlines, dormancy periods, due diligence requirements, exemptions and deductions, electronic filing and much more, UPPO members can refer to the Jurisdiction Resource Guide

Tags:  fall reporting  unclaimed property 

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2019 Fall Reporting Guide Part 3 (Mississippi – Rhode Island)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 25, 2019

Fall reporting season is again fast approaching. Most U.S. states require holders to file reports by either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1. Following are reporting deadlines for these states, along with helpful links. This list is not exclusive to a specific holder industry, so please check the states’ websites for information on industry-specific reporting information and deadlines. Because of the amount of information included, this guide will be published in four parts:

 

Part 1 covered Alabama through Hawaii.

Part 2 covered Idaho through Minnesota.

Part 3 covers Mississippi through Rhode Island.

Part 4 will cover South Carolina through Wyoming.

 

 

Mississippi

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: No details provided


Contact: 
UPReporting@treasury.ms.gov or (601) 359-2513

Mississippi holder resources

 

Missouri

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing at least 30 days before the reporting due date.


Contact: ucp@treasurer.mo.gov or (573) 751-0123

Missouri holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Missouri recommends that any holder reporting more than 50 owners file electronically.

Montana

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: No details provided.


Contact: 
UnclaimedProperty@mt.gov or (406) 444-6900

Montana holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • New online filing is now faster and more efficient. Use the TransAction Portal at https://tap.dor.mt.gov to upload your holder report and send payment.
  • New upload process and new payment option that don't require a login.
  • Instruction manual/handbook has been updated in the past three months.

Nebraska

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: 
Email form

Nebraska holder resources

 

Nevada

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: 
nvholder@nevadatreasurer.gov or (702) 486-4140

Nevada holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Holder manual/handbook is expected to be updated before the next reporting deadline.
  • Reminder: Submitting reports online is mandatory.
  • Written authorization from Nevada’s unclaimed property office is required to file other than by online.
  • Payment by ACH debit is mandatory. With the exception of government entities, ACH credit, wire transfers and check are no longer accepted. An ACH Debit Exception Request must be completed to pay by other means.
  • When the report is uploaded, payment by ACH debit must occur simultaneously through the online portal unless payment to pay otherwise has been authorized by Nevada’s unclaimed property office.
  • Holders will be updated with legislative changes by email and Nevada’s unclaimed property website in the near future.
  • Common reporting error: Misclassifying “payroll” as uncashed checks and high instances of this these properties being reported with multiple owners and relationship codes other than SO.
  • Please review SB 44 for changes, effective July 1, 2019. Industry notices will be published in the near future, giving more guidance with timing of implementation. Sign up for Holder notifications is available at nevadatreasurer.gov (on the holder information page) as well as on the reporting portal.  

New Hampshire

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: No details provided


Contact: 
ap@treasury.state.nh.usor (603) 271-2619

New Hampshire holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Holder manual/handbook is expected to be updated before the next reporting deadline.
  • New electronic upload features from our website. CDs, Floppy Disk or any other storage media will not be accepted after 7/1/2019.
  • Common reporting errors: Early/late reporting because holders do not understand fiscal period reporting. Incomplete information and incorrect formatting of data are also a common problem.
  • Payment is expected at time of filing.

New Jersey

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: unclaimedreports@treas.nj.gov or (609) 292-9200

New Jersey holder resources

 

New Mexico

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: Email form or (505) 827-0762 

New Mexico holder resources

 

North Carolina

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested by Oct. 1.


Contact: 
upreports@nctreasurer.com or (919) 814-4200

North Carolina holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Holder manual/handbook is expected to be updated before the next reporting deadline.
  • Significant changes to online reporting will be taking place late July. Information will be communicated to holders soon.

North Dakota

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing.


Contact: unclaimed@nd.gov or (701) 328-2800

North Dakota holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • New website: https://unclaimedproperty.nd.gov
  • Holder manual/handbook has been updated in the last three months.
  • Electronic reporting required for 2019. Portal added to upload reports directly.
  • ACH payment option on the website is now the preferred method of payment.

Ohio

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: 
UnfdClaims.UnfdClaims@com.ohio.gov or (614) 466-4433

Ohio holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Holder manual/handbook has been updated in the last three months.
  • More forms are now accessible online.
  • Extensions to file the current reporting year is from July 1 to November 1 for non-Life Insurance Companies. Extensions to file the current reporting year for Life Insurance Companies can only be filed online from January 1 to May 1.

Oklahoma

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing on company letterhead before the report due date.


Contact: 
holderinfo@treasurer.ok.gov or (405) 521-4273

Oklahoma holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Oklahoma does not accept EFT payments at this time. Remittance via check is required when file is submitted.
  • New address for remittance submission: Oklahoma State Treasurer Unclaimed Property, 9520 N. May Ave., LL, Oklahoma City, OK 73120

Oregon

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.

 

Contact: holder@dsl.state.or.us or (503) 986-5200

Oregon holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Holder manual/handbook is expected to be updated before the next reporting deadline.
  • Oregon will be changing computer systems to Kelmar's KAPS reporting system for fall reporting, allowing both uploading of data files as well as manual reporting.
  • Oregon will no longer accept .HDE formatted files. 
  • Oregon’s state administrator has changed to Claudia Ciobanu as the new trust property administrator.

Rhode Island

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested

 

Contact: ups@treasury.ri.gov or (401) 462-7676

Rhode Island holder resources

 

For detailed information about reporting deadlines, dormancy periods, due diligence requirements, exemptions and deductions, electronic filing and much more, UPPO members can refer to the Jurisdiction Resource Guide

Tags:  fall reporting  unclaimed property 

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2019 Fall Reporting Guide Part 2 (Idaho – Minnesota)

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 22, 2019

Fall reporting season is again fast approaching. Most U.S. states require holders to file reports by either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1. Following are reporting deadlines for these states, along with helpful links. This list is not exclusive to a specific holder industry, so please check the states’ websites for information on industry-specific reporting information and deadlines. Because of the amount of information included, this guide will be published in four parts:

 

Part 1 covered Alabama through Hawaii.

Part 2 covers Idaho through Minnesota.

Part 3 will cover Mississippi through Rhode Island.

Part 4 will cover South Carolina through Wyoming.

 


Idaho

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requestedbefore the report due date. 


Contact: 
UCPBusinessQuestions@sto.idaho.gov or (208) 332-2942 or (877) 388-2942
Idaho holder resources 

 

Indiana

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested at least 30 days before the reporting due date.


Contact: 
updholder@atg.in.gov, (317) 234-9768
Indiana holder resources

 

Iowa

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested  before the reporting due date.


Contact: 
upreport@tos.iowa.gov or (515) 281-7546 
Iowa holder resources

 

Kansas

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: 
KSHolder@treasurer.ks.gov or (785) 291-3173
Kansas holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • You can no longer log into the Kansas system for reporting. NAUPA files can still be uploaded without needing an account.

 

Kentucky

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: 
Unclaimed.property@ky.gov or (800) 465-4722

Kentucky holder resources

 

Louisiana

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested before the report due date.


Contact: (888) 925-4127

Louisiana holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Louisiana no longer accepts paper reports regardless of size. 
  • NAUPA standard files are required, uploaded to the state’s unclaimed property website is preferred method of delivery.
  • Banks only: Louisiana statute now provides for the presumption of abandonment and transfer to the state’s unclaimed property office of military medals and accompanying documents from safe deposit boxes.

 

Maine

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested before the report due date.


Contact: 
up.holderinquiry@maine.gov or (207) 624-7470

Maine holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Holder manual/handbook updated in last three months.
  • Manual enter reports and file uploads. Emailed files are no longer accepted.
  • Maine cannot receive encrypted or password protected files.
  • There has been an increase in holders submitting the HRSPro and ETM templates instead of the NAUPA files that are required. Owner information needs to be provided according to statute. Title 33 Section 1958.
  • Payments can be made to the PayMaine portal at https://paymaine-prod1.pegacloud.net/or by check. Maine is no longer receiving payments by ACH Credit to the US Bank account.

 

Maryland

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested.


Contact: 
upholder@comp.state.md.us or (410) 767-1700

Maryland holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Maryland’s depository bank account is being changed due to state contracting. Manual will be updated once that change is in effect, which is expected this summer.
  • Depository account will be changing from Bank of America to Wells Fargo. This will affect direct debits/ACHs. At this time, account is still with BOA. The transition is expected to be complete prior to the October reporting season.

 

Massachusetts

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested.


Contact: 
UCPReporting@tre.state.ma.us or (617) 367-0400

Massachusetts holder resources

 

Minnesota

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested


Contact: 
holder.unclaimed@state.mn.us or (651) 539-1545

Minnesota holder resources

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Holder manual/handbook updated in last three months.
  • Claim property directly from the Minnesota website. Functionality allows for multiple properties to be added to one claim.
  • Rate for interest bearing account information is often in the incorrect format. Holders sometimes do not realize that we need last known address even if the information has proven to no longer be valid.
  • Payment due at time of filing.
  • Minnesota no longer accepts paper reports.

 

For detailed information about reporting deadlines, dormancy periods, due diligence requirements, exemptions and deductions, electronic filing and much more, UPPO members can refer to the Jurisdiction Resource Guide

Tags:  fall reporting  unclaimed property 

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2019 Fall Reporting Guide Part 1 (Alabama – Hawaii)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 18, 2019
Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fall reporting season is again fast approaching. Most U.S. states require holders to file reports by either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1. Following are reporting deadlines for these states, along with helpful links. This list is not exclusive to a specific holder industry, so please check the states’ websites for information on industry-specific reporting information and deadlines. Because of the amount of information included, this guide will be published in four parts over the next two weeks:

 

Part 1 covers Alabama through Hawaii.

Part 2 will cover Idaho through Minnesota

Part 3 will cover Mississippi through Rhode Island.

Part 4 will cover South Carolina through Wyoming.

 

Alabama

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing. Include reason for extention request and length of time needed.


Contact: 
unclaimed@treasury.alabama.gov or (334) 242-9614 or (888) 844-8400
Alabama holder resources 


Alaska

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested by email. Include reason for extension request and length of extension needed.


Contact: 
ucpholder@alaska.gov or (907) 465-3726
Alaska holder resources 


Arizona

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested in writing by Oct. 1, 2019. Include entity’s FEIN. 


Contact: 
ReportingUnclaimedProperty@azdor.gov or (602) 716-6031
Arizona holder resources 

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Instruction manual/handbook is expected to be updated before the 2020 reporting deadline.


Arkansas

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: No details provided.


Contact: 
holders@auditor.ar.gov or (501) 371-2103 
Arkansas holder resources 


California 

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019, for Holder Notice Reports
Extensions: Extensions may be 
requested no later than 30 days before the due date. 

Contact: updholderoutreach@sco.ca.gov or (916) 464-6088 
California holder resources

Colorado

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: No details provided. 


Contact: 
Holders@state.co.us or (303) 866-6070 or (800) 825-2111
Colorado holder resources 

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Paper reports are no longer accepted.
  • All holders need to directly upload the NAUPA file via the website or manually enter the data themselves at the same place.
  • No paper; no CD; no floppy disks. The only acceptable report delivery is electronic transfer of an unencrypted NAUPA file via the state's website.
  • Encryption not allowed.
  • The Colorado allowable deduction continues to be misapplied against items not subject to Colorado’s custody or in amounts in excess of the statutory limits.
  • Colorado adopted a new unclaimed property law that will take effect on July 1, 2020. There will be no allowable deduction when that law goes into force, so holders should prepare for ending the filing of the deduction.

 

District of Columbia

Report due: Oct. 31, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested before the due date by email, fax or mail. Include reason for extension request. 


Contact: 
DCUnclaimed.Property@dc.gov or (202) 442-8181
District of Columbia holder resources 

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • New website features: 100% secure web reporting portal.
  • Please report on time prior to the deadline.
  • All reports must be uploaded to our website at dc.findyourunclimedproperty.com.
  • Reporting file type changes: txt file in NAUPA format.
  • Remittance changes: NO UP1 is required, must upload all reports through the website.
  • EFT/ACH remittance changes: Holders can make payment via our website.
  • Once report is uploaded, the holder can make payment via the web. There are exceptions for check payment – it must be accompanied by copy of the summary sent they upload.

 

Georgia

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: No details provided


Contact: 
ucp.reporting@dor.ga.gov or (855) 329-9863
Georgia holder resources 

 

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • Instruction manual/handbook has been updated in the past three months.
  • New website features: Improved online claims portal.


Hawaii

Report due: Nov. 1, 2019
Extensions: Extensions may be requested by mail on company letterhead. Approvals will extend the reporting deadline until Jan. 1. 


Contact: 
Varies by island
Hawaii holder resources 

 

For detailed information about reporting deadlines, dormancy periods, due diligence requirements, exemptions and deductions, electronic filing and much more, UPPO members can refer to the Jurisdiction Resource Guide

Tags:  fall reporting  unclaimed property 

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Insights from the NAST Symposium, Part 2

Posted By Contribution by Christa DeOliveira and Michael Unger, Thursday, July 11, 2019
Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2019

The National Association of State Treasurers’ (NAST) Annual Treasury Management Training Symposium held during May 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island, was engaging and enlightening. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) is affiliated with NAST and led the well-attended unclaimed property track of educational workshops and sessions. This blog post is part two in a series about the topics discussed in the symposium sessions. Read part one here.

 

Legislation 

Discussion about RUUPA-inspired legislation characterized it as not following a one-size-fits-all approach. Some jurisdictions, including Colorado, the District of Columbia and Vermont, have repealed their unclaimed property statutes and enacted new versions of RUUPA that have been largely modeled after the Uniform Law Commission’s version. Others, including Maine, South Carolina and Washington, introduced amended versions of RUUPA.

 

Still other states, including Minnesota, maintained their existing statute with expansive modifications incorporating RUUPA-like designs. These bills keep significant portions of current law, including examination of records, release and holder indemnifications, associated periods of limitation, and owner claims. They also add many amended RUUPA provisions. 

 

Another approach is to limited the scope of changes by keeping existing law and incorporating RUUPA-inspired provisions. Nevada took this approach, as most of the current law remains intact, but it proposes several dormancy periods like RUUPA, allows for electronic owner outreach under specified conditions, and makes some adjustments to included property types.

 

Direct payments to owners were dubbed as the ultimate outreach. This is where the state issues a payment to the owner in the absence of a claim. Naturally, states conducting this type of direct payment have certain criteria, such as comparing the address on reported property to the address on tax records (or other state/government databases), and the dollar value of the payment. Colorado enacted this option as part of its RUUPA bill and Florida has pending legislation related to state and local governments on specified small-value claims. California, District of Columbia, Maine and Vermont were also cited for considering similar pending bills.

 

South Dakota enacted a reduction in aggregate reporting from $50 down to $10. There was pending legislation to eliminate aggregate reporting altogether in Connecticut, Nebraska and Nevada.

 

Time limits on claims was a hot topic again at this year’s symposium. Georgia has enacted narrow “pure” escheat legislation to terminate an owner’s right to claim property for unclaimed excess proceeds from the sale of abandoned vehicles. Hawaii had two such bills that failed. S.B. 978 would have property with a value of less than $250 escheat to the state, if not claimed within five years. H.B. 1130 would have had property less than $100 automatically escheat to the state upon being reported and remitted. In both Hawaii bills, the owners’ property rights would be fully terminated.

 

Notably, participants expressed concern about enacting time limits on claims. It was described as bad policy and in contrast to the purpose of unclaimed property laws existing to protect the property rights of owners. The shift from the state assuming title, rather than a custodial role, may cause due process violations and be constitutionally problematic, according to the discussion. It was also noted GASB accounting rules already have provisions for setting up reserves for the amount expected to be claimed and taking the rest into income. Again this year, NAUPA discussed drafting a resolution about preserving owner rights to claim unclaimed property from states in perpetuity.

 

It was reported that, at the time of the symposium, DMF matching requirements exist in 33 states, in some form. Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming added this requirement since last year’s symposium, and there was pending legislation in California, D.C. and Massachusetts.

 

Litigation

Litigation was also discussed. Several cases related to disputes in holders producing records were noted: Texas v. ClubCorp Holdings Inc.Commonwealth, Treasury Department. v. PPL Corporation.Delaware, Department of Finance v. Univar Inc., and Univar Inc. v. Geisenberger. Current active cases discussed were: Faasse v. Coinbase Inc. as a cryptocurrency case; Weinbach v. Boeing Company as a case asserting wrongful escheat; and United Insurance Company of America v. Patronis, appealing a prior insurance ruling in Florida. 

 

Cases related to the treatment of class action proceeds were cited: McLeod v. Bank of America, N.A. and Rodriguez v. Danell Custom Harvesting, LLC, and Tennille et al. v. The Western Union Co. et al. Two qui tam (whistleblower) cases were touched on: Total Asset Recovery Services, LLC v. MetLife Inc. and Delaware ex rel. French v. Overstock.com Inc.         

 

More expansively, Kolton v. Frerichs and Goldberg v. Frerichs deal with not paying interest on claims. In Goldberg v. Frerichs, loss of the time value of money on property can be compensated for by giving owners the benefit of interim earnings. In Goldberg, the court cited an example of a rare coin being reported and remitted as unclaimed property. If the coin is sold, the owner loses out on the opportunity of appreciation. As such, it is insufficient to compensate the owner simply with the sale proceeds when the owner claims his property. Instead, upon claiming, the owner would be entitled to the earnings on the invested proceeds as the best substitute for the loss of appreciation. In the Goldberg case, the court made the caveat that low value properties may be treated differently and are most unlikely to be entitled to earn interest where the administrative cost exceeds the interest. In April 2019, the plaintiffs’ in Goldbergsought to renew a class certification; therefore, this litigation is ongoing.

 

Based on this case the following questions were raised in the session: Will this lead to other litigation? Will this ruling be constrained to the 7th Circuit? Will states change their unclaimed property statutes to proactively address questions about interest? If states do decide to determine what will qualify as the threshold for accounts where the interest exceeds the administrative costs to preserve the account? If new statutes on interest are enacted what proxy will be used to determine the time value of money?

 

Time Bars

Currently there is not uniformity amongst state laws regarding the period of time after which a state cannot enforce its unclaimed property law. Such time bars can encompass periods of limitation, statutes of limitation, periods of repose or lapsed periods of enforcement. 

 

The different approaches include a set number of years; the number of years contingent on filing or notice; a hybrid of both; a limitation based on years to be examined under audit; some other form of limitation; or no time bar limitation at all. Also, states enacting RUUPA have followed different approaches, including following RUUPA language, maintaining provisions in current law or following other approaches.

 

The various versions of the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Unclaimed Property Acts contain different time bars, with the 2016 version listing five years from the date of a report and 10 years if no report was filed. In the presentation, it was noted this approach was not required and, instead, this was promulgated as an accommodation to holders.

 

The session equated time bars to an all-encompassing reporting exemption. It was noted that time bars regularly do not receive the deliberation they merit when drafting or considering new unclaimed property legislation. Further, the importance of weighing public and private interests when setting a time bar was raised.

 

While NAUPA succeeded on many controversial issues, it did not prevail on the matter of time bars, according to the discussion. NAUPA recommendations to the Uniform Law Commission were discussed as being 10 years, generally, but 15 years for either nonreporting or underreporting. The caveat to this was that if the holder’s books and records showed acknowledged liabilities that are presumed unclaimed, even if they were reportable prior to the time bar, it would not qualify. NAUPA communicated to the ULC it strongly opposed the ULC time bar provision.

 

Panelists discussed with certainty that shorter and more absolute time bars will result in less property being collected. The following recommendations were made related to enacting or revising legislation: do not include a time bar, but rather address look backs administratively; if a time bar is included, follow the 1995 Act provisions or what NAUPA proposed to the ULC; at minimum, follow the 1981 Act of 10 years plus the corresponding dormancy period; and consider the lessons of matured, unpaid life insurance.

 

The NAST Symposium unclaimed property track included important insights on legislation, suggestions on drafting legislation, court cases and time bars. While the topics covered may not directly or indirectly impact all property type holders, it is worthwhile to remain aware of NAUPA developments. It is also important to be informed of opportunities to work together with states, where our expertise and needs are aligned, and we can share our respective unique expertise and insights, and related unclaimed property challenges or issues.  

 

More information on this symposium will be available in future blog posts.

 

Christa DeOliveira is chief compliance officer with Linking Assets Inc. Michael Unger is a senior manager with Crowe LLP’s unclaimed property practice. 

 

Tags:  legislation  litigation  NAST  NAUPA  time bars  unclaimed property 

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