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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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2016 Trends are sure to Shape 2017

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 22, 2016

With 2016 coming to an end, the approaching new year offers a good opportunity to look at some of the major trends shaping the unclaimed property landscape. Over the past year, we’ve seen some significant litigation, a slowdown in new legislation and the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) release of the 2016 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (UUPA). All of these noteworthy trends set the stage for what is sure to be an interesting and action-packed 2017 for unclaimed property professionals.

 

Legislation

Unclaimed property professionals have become accustom to a high volume of legislation affecting state unclaimed property statutes. While 2016 wasn’t completely absent of noteworthy bills working their way through the nation’s statehouses, there was a significant slowdown in legislative activity compared to the previous few years.

 

“Looking back at the year, I was struck by the low level of legislative activity,” says Michelle Andre, managing member of Tre Towers Advisory Group LLC. “This may have resulted from 2016 being an election year combined with states knowing the Uniform Law Commission was finalizing the 2016 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.”

 

Some of the bills that did arise this year added to trends that have been building over the past several years. For example, states continue to modify their gift card rules. Some states that have exemptions from reporting unredeemed balance on gift cards are requiring issuers to provide cash refunds to card owners if the value of the card meets certain dollar amount thresholds. New York recently revised its gift card rules, effective on Dec. 25, delaying the trigger for when issuers can assess a service fee from after the 12th month of dormancy to after the 24th month. Another state, Wyoming removed a sunset provision allowing its gift card exemption to become permanent.

 

States are also continuing to enact provisions requiring life insurance companies to perform routine Death Master File searches. Five states passed such legislation in 2016. Although modeled loosely after the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act, each of the laws are different. Florida’s law, for example, has a longer reach-back period than most states.

 

Technology has also played a role in some statute revisions as states account for increasing surge in electronic transactions and communication. California, for example revised its unclaimed property law to include electronic transactions as official contacts that prevent accounts from becoming dormant.

 

State laws are finally recognizing that people are communicating electronically rather than by snail mail or phone calls,” Andre says. “Increasingly, people stay in touch with investments via the internet rather than by making a call or waiting for a statement in the mail.”

 

Pennsylvania also included electronic communications provisions within unclaimed property statute revisions that were tucked into a budget bill. However, its treatment of owners who receive electronic communication is inconsistent with owners who receive communication through traditional means.

 

“Pennsylvania’s new statute pertaining to fiduciary accounts and IRAs states that if a holder doesn’t communicate with an owner through U.S. mail but rather electronic mail, then the holder is required to send an email notice to the owner,” says Karen Anderson, senior manager at KPMG. “If the email bounces back or there is no response, then the holder must send a due diligence letter via the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). If that mailing is returned as undelivered, the property would be reportable three years after the last owner activity. On the other hand, if the holder communicates with the owner of such accounts via US mail the account isn’t reportable until three years after the second returned USPS mailing. So, depending upon the holder’s method of communication with owners of these accounts, the Pennsylvania statute requires different due diligence treatment and a different dormancy trigger.”

 

Despite the recent decline in legislative activity, 2017 is likely to bring an immediate surge in new bills as a result of the ULC’s adoption of the 2016 UUPA.

 

“You could tell from recent activity that some states are aware of the language in the new UUPA,” Andre says. “Because the revised act addresses so many new areas addressed and is a true modernization of the act, I expect to see a flurry of activity resulting from it. States have been reviewing the act and planning what they’ll do, so there will likely be a lot of activity in early 2017.”

 

Some of the provisions that could gain traction address jurisdictional standards and triggers for property types not previously included in the act, such as health savings accounts and 529 college savings plans. The popularity among states of other areas remain less certain.

 

“It’s difficult to say whether state legislatures will adopt the transparency measures pertaining to audits that were built into the 2016 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act,” Anderson says. “Some of these provisions include reporting certain statistics regarding use of auditors. I’m not sure whether states will adopt those provisions as they may consider them too intrusive to their process.”

 

Litigation

While legislation slowed in 2016, noteworthy litigation didn’t show any signs of decreasing. Some of the most noteworthy areas being reviewed by ongoing and recently decided cases include:

  • Foreign property: JLI Invest S.A. et al. v. Cook et al. tackles the interplay between federal securities law, international law and Delaware state law. 
  • Derivative rights: “The Bed Bath and Beyond case will give some renewed emphasis to holders that they can assert derivative rights concepts in demonstrating that items states think are unclaimed property are actually not,” says Diann Smith, state and local tax attorney at McDermott Will & Emery. “So we could see similar types of litigation in other states, and derivative rights asserted in other property types beyond merchandise credits.”
  • Gift cards: Delaware ex rel. French v. Card Compliant LLC raises the question whether property holders can shift their liability via a contractual arrangement with another company.
  • Jurisdictional issues: Multiple cases involving MoneyGram consider whether certain unclaimed funds are governed by the general priority rules or by the specific rules of the Federal Disposition Act.
  • Benefit plans: “States frequently take the position that while the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) may preempt them from claiming property in ERISA-covered plans, they still have the authority to audit them,” Smith says. “So ERISA continues to be a problem that will likely play out via litigation.”
  • Savings bonds: States are increasingly looking to the U.S. government for unclaimed property funds in the form of unredeemed savings bonds. Especially noteworthy is Florida’s use of estimation to claim the United States owes the state $1 billion from unredeemed savings bonds.

 

As expected going into 2016, Temple-Inland Inc. v. Cook proved to be the most intriguing case of the year. On June 28, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware issued an opinion granting Temple-Inland’s request for summary judgment. The court called several aspects of Delaware’s audit practices “troubling.” On Aug. 5, 2016, Temple-Inland and the defendants filed a joint motion to dismiss the case, signaling a settlement and ending the dispute. 

 

Audits/VDAs

The full ripple effect from Temple-Inland on audits and estimation practices remains to be seen, but the settlement immediately triggered changes to Delaware’s voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) program. Delaware reduced the look-back period for VDAs to 10 years plus dormancy, rather than the previous static date of 1996. The Delaware Department of Finance also is recommending changes to the state’s record revision provision for unclaimed property.

 

“There is more uncertainty now in terms of where things are going with both Delaware audits and the VDA program than I’ve seen before,” says Susan Han, principal, abandoned and unclaimed property consulting for Ryan. “This comes on the heels of the Temple-Inland decision and subsequent settlement, as well as changes we anticipate when the new legislative session begins in January.”

 

In the meantime, audit activity involving estimations in Delaware has essentially come to a halt, according to Troy Wangen, director of unclaimed property for True Partners Consulting LLC.

 

I think Temple-Inland is going to be game-changing for years to come,” he says. “Will other states look to benefit from this? Do holders look to benefit from it? Is there a potential for refunds? This all depends on what happens with estimation in that state in 2017. It could significantly change things.”

 

Another noteworthy audit trend is an increase in the number of audit firms in the unclaimed property marketplace. Particularly in Delaware, where a large percentage of audits have traditionally been handled by a single company, multiple firms are now auditing holders.

 

“Litigation shined a light on Delaware’s practice of giving most of its audit business to one firm,” Han says. “So the state enacted S.B. 11, which provides that no audit firm can be assigned more than 50 percent of all examinations commenced after Jan. 1, 2015. As a result, we are seeing both established and newer third-party auditors becoming much more active in unclaimed property.”

 

Looking Ahead

As 2017 unfolds, UPPO will continue to track and report on these and other developing trends. Watch this blog for updates and attend UPPO educational events to help you adapt to the ever-evolving unclaimed property environment.

 

 

Tags:  advocacy  audits  legislation  litigation  RUUPA  ULC  unclaimed property 

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UPPO members play essential role in growing membership

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 27, 2016

Whether it’s educating holders, working to ensure fair regulation or bringing unclaimed property professionals together, UPPO’s initiatives depend on a large, active membership. Growing membership helps strengthen the organization and the profession it represents, so recruiting new members is an unending task.

 

Fortunately, many potential members learn about UPPO from current members who recognize the benefits of bringing more people into the organization.

 

Mike Ryan, senior vice president at Georgeson, has recruited several UPPO members. He often speaks to industry groups about unclaimed property issues, and includes a discussion about UPPO and its resources for holders within his presentations. Individual conversations with attendees at these events also often include encouragement to join.

 

“The greatest thing about UPPO is the networking—the sharing of ideas and things that work and don’t work,” Ryan says. “The more members we have, the more experiences we can tap into.”

 

Ryan finds that potential members are often intrigued by the ability to connect with peers who share similar issues and speak the same industry jargon. He frequently shares the benefit of the industry breakout groups at the UPPO Annual Conference and the online member forum.

 

“If someone handling unclaimed property for a bank, for example, knows the annual conference will likely be attended by peers from 20 other banks who understand the issues they’re dealing with and are willing to share, they want to be there too,” Ryan says.

 

Randy Hotz, president of Choice Plus LLC, recently referred a new member to UPPO. They first met at a Michigan Senate finance committee hearing and had a series of subsequent conversations. Several times, while talking about unclaimed property issues, Hotz mentioned UPPO’s work and encouraged membership.

 

He focused on the association’s long track record of advocacy, professional reputation and positive standing among stakeholders, including holders, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, individual state administrators, the American Bar Association and the Uniform Law Commission. Soon, his encouragement paid off in the form of a new UPPO member.

 

“For people truly interested in getting involved, it’s not that difficult to sell them on the benefit of membership,” Hotz says. The trick is identifying those people who are a little more active and motivated.”

 

In addition to the networking, conference and advocacy benefits, some of the other benefits that often resonate with potential members include:

  • Educational webinars and events
  • Tools and resources available on the website, including the Jurisdiction Resource Guide
  • Legislative and regulatory tracking via govWATCH  

 

As a token of appreciation for members who refer new members and to encourage member references, UPPO thanks referrals with a $100 gift card. To learn more about UPPO’s Membership Referral Program, access a digital version of the UPPO member packet or request printed copies, visit UPPO’s member referral web page.

 

 

Tags:  advocacy  education  membership  networking  recruitment  UPPO 

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UPPO to Attend the ULC Annual Meeting this Weekend

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is hosting its Annual Meeting, July 8 – 14 in Stowe, Vt. and the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (UUPA) is anticipated to be reviewed and approved during the meeting. UPPO is sending two representatives, Kendall Houghton, co-chair of Government Relations & Advocacy Committee and Debbie Zumoff, co-chair of the UPPO ULC work group, to attend the meeting to listen to dialogue and discuss UPPO’s priority issues with commissioners.

 

On Friday, July 1, UPPO submitted its latest submission to the ULC which provided a list of issues UPPO believes needs additional consideration by the Committee to Revise the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (Drafting Committee). Below is a glance at some of the issues and arguments presented in the submission. Read the complete submission.

 

Definitions
Definition of holder
Section 102(12)

The definition of holder should be clear and articulate that there can be only one holder of any item of unclaimed property. UPPO recommends the definition of holder be changed to the following: “’Holder’ means a  the person primarily obligated to hold for the account of, or to deliver or pay to, the owner property that is subject to this [act].”

 

Definition of security
Section 102(27)

The definition of security has been hotly debated during the Drafting Committee meetings by securities industry stakeholders, NAUPA, and UPPO. UPPO continues the push to achieve a fair and clear definition, and proposes that the definition of security be amended to: “’Security’ means a security or security entitlement as defined in [cite to appropriate sections of Article 8 of the Uniform Commercial Code] and includes a customer security account held by a registered broker-dealer. 

 

Indication of interest
Indication of apparent owner interest in property – divided reinvestments and non-return of federal tax forms
Section 210(b)(5) & 210(b)(8) NEW

The current draft UUPA takes strides to include modern and practical forms of communication between owners and holders to be considered as indication of interest. UPPO encourages the Drafting Committee to go further and include: automatic deposits, automatic reinvestments of dividends or interest, and the non-return of federal tax forms as indications of owner interest, as well.  Adding these types of owner interest is consistent with progressive legislation that was enacted by Louisiana in 2015 and is currently being considered by California.

 

Due diligence
Notice to Apparent Owner by Holder
Section 501(b)

The draft states that a holder is required to send the due diligence notice to owners who have consented to receive electronic communication by first-class United States mail and by electronic mail. UPPO seeks clarification that the requirement to send two communication pieces is the intention, further noting that requiring holders to contact the owner by one method is consistent with Section 503(b)(1) which grants the administrator the option to contact an owner by electronic mail or U.S. mail.

 

Audits
Complaint to Administrator about Conduct of Person Conducting Examination
Section 1008(b)

To ensure there’s enough time to prepare but not too much to unnecessarily extend the process, UPPO requests that a time frame between when a holder requests a conference with an administrator regarding an examination be changed to: “…the administrator shall hold the conference within a reasonable time 30 days after receiving the request.”


If you want to learn more about the ULC Annual Meeting and what was discussed, stay tuned for a follow-up blog post and register for the free, members-only webinar Revising the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act: Where do we go from here?, Monday, July 25; noon – 1 p.m. EDT.

 

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

Tags:  advocacy  Annual Meeting  unclaimed property  Uniform Law Commission 

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A Look at the Trends Shaping 2016

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 7, 2016

With 2015 already beginning to fade away in the rearview mirror, the start of the new year is the perfect time to scan the landscape and consider what may await on the road ahead. No question, 2016 is shaping up to be an action-packed year. Courts are considering several noteworthy unclaimed property cases. States continue to focus on unclaimed property issues. Holders find themselves subject to daunting audits. And the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is scheduled to wrap up with its work on the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA). With so many things happening, we asked several UPPO members to share their insights into the trends that may ultimately define 2016 for unclaimed property professionals.

 

Audits

Unclaimed property audits are changing on multiple fronts. For one, states are beginning to work with more audit firms. New names are joining familiar third-party auditors Kelmar and Verus, and this trend is likely to continue as Delaware has made a concerted effort to diversify. While holders certainly have no sentimental attachment to the familiar audit firms, the introduction of new players can be problematic. New auditors introduce new tactics and methodologies, diluting an already inconsistent process even further.

 

“For holders, the fact that there are new audit firms that aren’t as experienced in the unclaimed property audit process can cut both ways,” says Susan Han, principal of Ryan’s Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Practice. “The auditing and scoping process can be frustrating because these auditors are not as seasoned in unclaimed property and don’t always take into consideration the immateriality of certain acquisitions and property types.”

 

Similarly, additional states are expanding their audit efforts.

 

“As a result of their collaboration on the RUUPA, states are working closer than they have in the past,” says Michelle Andre, managing member of Tre Towers Advisory Group, and UPPO Government Relations and Advocacy Committee (GRAC) co-chair. “I think you’ll see more audits and they’ll broaden to not just the usual suspects like Delaware, New Jersey and Massachusetts.”

 

In fact, some companies are already finding themselves subject to multiple simultaneous multi-state audits from separate audit firms.

 

“I think we’ll see more holders subject to two or three separate audits at the same time—perhaps even two or three multi-state audits—conducted by different contract audit firms,” says Kendall Houghton, partner at Alston & Bird LLP and GRAC co-chair. “The ability to dedicate adequate resources to the audit response and defense function becomes a real problem when dealing with multiple audits at the same time.”

 

As this audit expansion grows, holders who historically have not been audit targets may find themselves in the crosshairs. With large companies in heavily targeted industries increasingly strengthening their compliance practices and limiting their exposure, auditors may branch out.

 

“Given that many Fortune 1000 companies already have unclaimed property processes in place or have undergone unclaimed property exams, new audits will likely target middle market revenue companies and industries that haven’t historically been explored for audits,” says Han.

 

Litigation

When it comes to audit practices, all eyes are on Temple-Inland Inc. v. Cook, a court case that questions Delaware’s use of and methodology for estimation in audits. Even with a decision likely this year, the ultimate impact may still be years away, assuming the losing party challenges the decision. Thus, additional litigation related to audits is likely.

 

“I think we’ll see more litigation involving audits, aimed at figuring out why companies got selected for audits and questioning how audits are conducted,” says Jamie Ryan, member with Bailey Cavalieri LLC. “I also think we’re going to see an increase in litigation because holders have become more educated. They know they have legal rights they can assert.”

 

Andre also sees more litigation aimed at defining the rights of states and their audit firms. “Companies are beginning to challenge whether the audit process entails illegal search and seizure,” she says. “The decisions for cases like Plains All American v. Cook will impact the way holders look at audits and how states conduct audits.”

 

Most recent unclaimed property litigation has been between holders and states, owners and holders, owners and states, or holders and auditors. However, like the seminal jurisdictional cases (Texas v. New Jersey, Pennsylvania v. New York and Delaware v. New York), more cases involving states battling each other could occur in the near future.

 

“Delaware law conflicts with the laws of many other states in regard to domicile of limited liability companies, so that could be an area of litigation—disputes between states,” says Chris Hopkins, partner with Crowe and Horwath LLP. “That could be very interesting to watch.”

 

Advocacy and legislation

Holders and states alike have been diligently working to promote their preferred revisions to the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA). The ULC is expected to issue its final draft this summer, but that is by no means the end of the advocacy effort.

 

“Even though the ULC will promulgate a 2016 RUUPA in the summer, that just means it’s been adopted by the commissioners,” says Houghton. “There will need to be subsequent movement through state legislatures, so that act will be a significant focus through 2016 and beyond. It will likely take at least four to five years to see the full first wave of adoption.”

 

It’s anyone’s guess which aspects of the new act the states will ultimately adopt. Educating lawmakers and convincing them of the need for laws that are fair not only to the states themselves, but also the owners and holders will likely be difficult.

 

“It’s going to take a lot to get them to come around,” says Marcella Easly, senior compliance advisor at Unclaimed Property Consulting & Reporting LLC. “The state administrators are willing to work with the holders to change, but when the legislators get involved, it gets tough.”

 

As states prepare for the RUUPA, some may preemptively begin introducing legislation aimed at supporting their positions.

 

“The states may look to the recent 2015 drafts of the revised 1995 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act and begin introducing legislation to clarify their collective view of how unclaimed property compliance should be administered,” says Debbie L. Zumoff, chief compliance officer at Keane and chair of UPPO’s ULC workgroup. “We may see some early legislative proposals that would view securities, broker-dealer accounts and mutual funds, for example, via the catch-all provision of the laws, in an effort to reinforce an inactivity dormancy trigger for such asset classes. This would be a retreat from any notion of returned mail as a dormancy trigger for securities related assets and instead promote the notion of inactivity alone, increasing the potential for more assets to be presumed abandoned.”

 

States may also seek to limit their liability for the growth of property they liquidate.  

 

“We may see increased liability left at the threshold of the holder community,” Zumoff says. “States may propose legislation that will enhance the due diligence responsibilities of holders prior to reporting and limit state indemnification to the value of the property at the time it was delivered to the state. So if a holder delivers property to the state valued at $1,000 dollars and 10 years from now it’s worth $10,000, but the state sold it shortly after receiving same, the state might only indemnify the holder for the original $1,000 value, not the $9,000 growth. That sets up a catch-22 when it comes to owner claims for the property years after reporting. The states may not want to assume the liability for the growth.”

 

Karen Anderson, vice president, reporting compliance at Keane and GRAC co-chair, agrees that states and holders alike will likely ramp up their advocacy efforts before the new uniform act is issued.

 

“In spring 2016, some states may try to change their laws to indicate that the Derivative Rights Doctrine doesn’t apply to things like rebates or gift cards or business credits,” she says. “Also, businesses and their trade associations may push back by attempting to pass more business to business exemptions, because the ULC likely won't recommend a business exemption in the revised uniform law. So, business groups may advocate more intensely for those exemptions prior to the revised uniform act being adopted.”

 

Houghton also expects holders to continue seeking opportunities to fight for their legislative agenda in addition to defending against onerous state-backed legislation.

 

“I think holders will continue to identify opportunities to improve states’ unclaimed property laws and will promote legislation for that purpose,” she says. “In 2015, for example, the introduction of a B2B exemption in Nevada was a holder-introduced initiative. In Michigan, there was the recent enactment of laws to improve the audit process in the state. And, certainly, holders supported a Delaware law to render permanent the availability of the secretary of state’s VDA program. Holders are increasingly doing a better job of identifying specific areas to improve the landscape and fairness.”

 

Looking ahead

From landmark court decisions to the RUUPA final draft, 2016 is shaping up to be a significant year in the unclaimed property world. UPPO will continue to track and report on these and other developing trends throughout the year. Watch this blog for updates and attend UPPO educational events to help you adapt to the rapidly evolving unclaimed property environment.

 

Tags:  advocacy  audits  legislation  litigation  RUUPA  ULC  unclaimed property 

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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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