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Unclaimed Property Focus
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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 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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Class Action Takes on Unclaimed Cryptocurrency

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cryptocurrency has been plagued by negative headlines throughout its rise to prominence. Its volatility, ties to black market transactions on the “darknet,” and substantial thefts from cryptocurrency exchanges lead many to doubt proponents’ claims that cryptocurrency is the future of payment transactions.


Cryptocurrency’s latest foray into the news comes from its treatment – or lack thereof – as unclaimed property. On March 2, 2018, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, for violating California’s Unclaimed Property Law.


At issue is Coinbase’s practice of allowing users to send cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, to email addresses rather than limiting transactions to exchanges between cryptocurrency wallets. Recipients of transactions sent to email addresses received instructions for creating Coinbase accounts and accessing their cryptocurrency. The complaint alleges that some recipients did not complete this process and, thus, never claimed their virtual funds.


Rather than advising senders that the funds were not claimed or escheating them to the state, Coinbase allegedly kept the cryptocurrency, violating California’s unclaimed property statute.


The lawsuit filing explains, “Imagine writing a cashier’s check to a friend. The bank withdraws funds from your account, but your friend never cashes the check. Does the bank get to keep the funds? The law clearly says no. But this is exactly what has happened with cryptocurrencies sent through”


The class action seeks to recover and return unclaimed cryptocurrency to the intended recipients. In the case of email addresses that are no longer active, the property would be escheated to California.


Recognizing the potential for such conflicts as nontraditional currencies become more popular, the Uniform Law Commission included virtual currency within the definition of “property” in the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 2016. As states have introduced and adopted new unclaimed property statutes based on RUUPA, virtual currency holders face the same requirements as holders of other property types.


Although California’s Unclaimed Property Law does not specifically mention virtual currency, a 2017 analysis, “Treatment of Bitcoin Under U.S. Property Law” by Perkins Coie LLP, suggests cryptocurrency meets the state’s definition of “intangible property” covered by the law.


As more people and companies recognize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legitimate forms of payment, more unclaimed property issues will likely arise. UPPO will continue to monitor and report on the Coinbase class action and other noteworthy cases. 

Tags:  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  unclaimed property  virtual currency 

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UPPO Honors 2017/18 Award Winners

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 15, 2018

Each year during the Annual Conference, UPPO recognizes the hard work and dedication of association members whose efforts contributed to the success of UPPO and the unclaimed property profession throughout the past year. They deserve recognition and appreciation for their hard work, leadership, teamwork and passion.


Members’ Choice Awards

With the Members’ Choice Awards, UPPO recognizes specific state administrators and unclaimed property programs for their excellence. UPPO members nominate candidates and choose the winners from the subsequent slate of nominees. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Website Award: Virginia. This state’s website is detailed but easy to use for both claimants and holders.
  • Above and Beyond Award: Barbara Benkovic, division manager, Pennsylvania Unclaimed Property. A nomination for Barbara said, “She is a rock star. She has grown in her responsibilities and has about 20 years’ experience in reconciling and importing holder reports. She knows the Wagers system about as well as Ken himself! She also is widely respected by the holders for helping them through issues, challenges and everything reporting-related. She is valuable to the holder community. She is knowledgeable of Pennsylvania state law, policy and procedure. She is cooperative and accommodating when you work with her through the VDA process. She truly goes above and beyond to support the holder community while representing the interests of Pennsylvania. She comes from a place of ‘how can I help you.’ We need a Barb Benkovic in every state.”
  • Overall Excellence Award: Alaska. The Unclaimed Property Team in Alaska, especially Rachel Lewis, takes the time to explain the ins and outs of Alaska’s functions to “newbies.” They are very helpful to those who aren’t fully aware of how state escheatment works.
  • Industry Advocacy Partnership Award: DuCharme, McMillan & Associates (DMA). DuCharme, McMillian, & Associates has developed end-to-end unclaimed property software that greatly automates the compliance process and provides a clear path to the customer.  The software sends emails to owners in the first 90 days after upload, generates an informal due diligence letter to be mailed in the second 90 days, has the ability to notify users when a response is received from an owner and provides workflows for each property from Import to Report and Remit based on state laws and owner responses.
  • State Legislative Award: Rhode Island. This state implemented the “Your Money” program, for which the treasurer’s office actively seeks to repay owners.

Awards of Merit

This award is given to member organizations that have provided exceptional support to UPPO during the past years. Three member companies received this award for providing their services pro bono to write an amicus brief for UPPO to submit to the court hearing the Office Depot case. Receiving the award at the conference were the representatives from those companies who worked on the amicus brie: For Alston & Bird, Ethan Millar; for Baily Cavalieri LLC, James Ryan and Jameel Turner; and for McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvany and Carpenter LLC, Michael Rato.


Team Player Awards

This award is presented to volunteers who serve on committees, work diligently on projects that advance the work of their committees and help pull the team together to accomplish their goals. This year’s recipients include:

  • Jon-Paul Descloux, who co-chairs the Finance Committee and worked diligently to analyze UPPO’s membership data, allowing the committee to thoughtfully consider UPPO’s dues and make recommendations to the board.
  • Emily Ford, who coordinated the popular industry breakout sessions at the annual conference for the second year. She also participated on the speaker subcommittee to place speakers and review presentations, and assisted with the development of the ice-breaker questions on the meal-room tables.  
  • Adriane Counts, who, as co-chair of the On-demand Virtual Education Subcommittee, worked diligently to shape the offerings for the on-demand webinars that are part of the basic and soon-to-be-launched intermediate certificate program.

Shining Star Awards

Several UPPO members received Shining Star honors for their “shining brightly to help guide the way.” They are:

  • David Knott, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Jim Harris, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Jason Higginbotham, co-chair of the Certificate Program Subcommittee
  • Ann Loperfito, co-facilitator of the Industry Focus Conference Calls
  • Jeannette Badalucco, co-facilitator of the Industry Focus Conference Calls
  • Will King, co-chair of the Conference and Seminars Committee
  • Leigh Underwood, co-chair of the Conference and Seminars Committee
  • Robert Joseph, co-chair of the Conference and Seminars Committee
  • Eric Mauldin, co-chair of the Virtual Learning Paid-live Subcommittee

Super Nova Award

UPPO’s highest honor, the Super Nova award is normally reserved for someone who is either retiring or stepping back after many years of service. This year’s recipient, Sam Schaunaman, has become a “household name” within the UPPO family. He has worked tirelessly on a number of UPPO committees, but is perhaps best known for his work with the Government Relations and Advocacy Committee. With a passion for the law and monitoring important legal cases that shaped the unclaimed property landscape, he has provided regular legal updates on the monthly GRAC calls and made sure important case law was added to UPPO’s govWATCH service. He has attended almost every UPPO annual conference for over two decades. He has been a mentor to many in this industry and will be sorely missed as he begins to enjoy retirement, spending much deserved time with his family. 


President’s Award

This award, chosen by the association’s president, honors a member who has taken on a huge task or project that will help change or improve the unclaimed property profession for years to come.  


The first recipient, Karen Anderson has served multiple times, in multiple positions on UPPO’s board of directors and most recently serves on the Government Relations and Advocacy Committee as one of its three co-chairs. This year, she will is taking on a new role as chair of the Holders Coalition.


The second recipient, Heela Popal has served UPPO for many years, most recently on the board of directors. As a member of the UPPO Board, serving through the chairs to her most recent role as immediate past president, she has demonstrated great leadership skills and has clearly helped to advance UPPO’s mission.


Congratulations to all of this year’s winners for their selfless dedication and commitment to their association and profession.



Tags:  awards  unclaimed property  UPPO Annual Conference 

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UPPO Annual Conference Wrap-up

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 8, 2018

More than 600 unclaimed property professionals gathered in Tampa, Florida, on March 4 – 7 for UPPO’s 2018 Annual Conference. Attendees enjoyed a multitude of networking opportunities, special events and educational sessions.


Educational Sessions

The foundation of the UPPO Annual Conference is its strong educational lineup. This year’s event included four educational tracks, providing basic, intermediate and advanced sessions along with industry-specific workshops. The session agenda included all of today’s hot topics in unclaimed property, including Delaware reforms, virtual currency, audits and compliance challenges.


Attendees also heard from state administrators during the According to the States session, got insight into unclaimed property audit litigation through the Mock Trial session, and enjoyed a keynote presentation from speaker, sales coach and author Bud Boughton. 


State of UPPO

2017/18 UPPO President Carla McGlynn provided attendees with an update on the association’s recent work and ongoing initiatives. The year’s highlights included membership growth, development for the upcoming certificate program expansion and establishment of a grassroots advocacy network.


“Thanks to the members of our board, along with numerous committees, work groups, and staff, we’ve achieved great things this year,” McGlynn said.


2018/19 Board of Directors

McGlynn thanked members of the 2017/18 UPPO Board of Directors for their service and recognized departing board members Heela Popal and Sherri Moll for their years of leadership. She then turned the gavel over to her successor as UPPO Executive Director Toni Nuernberg installed the new board:

  • President Marilyn Henry
  • First Vice President Troy Wangen
  • Second Vice President Heather Steffans
  • Treasurer Chris Jensen
  • Secretary Jennifer Waryjas
  • Midwestern Vice President Becky Stephens
  • Eastern Vice President Mike Ryan
  • Southern Vice President Michelle Graf
  • Western Vice President Lisa Linden
  • Immediate Past President Carla McGlynn

Upon her installation as 2018/19 president, Marilyn Henry discussed her commitment to continuing the organization’s momentum and building on successes from the past year.


“As we work to reach more potential members, we will look for opportunities to build on our valuable benefits," she said.


UPPO Scholarship

Each year at the Annual Convention, the association announces the winner of the UPPO Scholarship. To foster an environment of continuing education, UPPO established its scholarship program to financially assist members and their children who wish to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. This year’s recipients are Anne Mickey, daughter of UPPO member Michele Hughes; and Jeremy Walsh, son of UPPO member Kendall Houghton.


Attendees wishing to support the UPPO Scholarship Program participated in a Pirate Water Taxi tour of the Tampa area and donated to the program during the conference.


Sponsors and Exhibitors

The UPPO Annual Conference would not be possible without the support of sponsors and exhibitors. Thank you to all of the vendors who helped make this year’s event a success.



  • True Partners Consulting LLC
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Altus Group
  • Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
  • Duff & Phelps
  • Morris Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • JMS Advisory Group LLC
  • Alston & Bird LLP
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Finders International
  • MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Ryan LLC
  • Keane
  • Boomerang Asset Recovery LLC
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • Reed Smith LLP



  • Altus Group
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP
  • Boomerang Asset Recovery LLC
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • DuCharme, McMillen & Associates Inc.
  • Duff & Phelps
  • Dunbar
  • Eagle Technology Management Inc.
  • Financial Software Innovations Inc.
  • Georgeson LLC
  • Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM)
  • JMS Advisorry Group LLC
  • Keane
  • MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists
  • Navigant
  • New York Post
  • NY Daily News
  • Phoenix Finders Group
  • Ryan LLC
  • Shareholders Services Association (SSA)
  • Trintech
  • True Partners Consulting LLC
  • Yellow Tag Auctions


Mark Your Calendar

Thank you to attendees, speakers and members who helped plan this year’s conference, without whom it could not have been such a success. Plan to join us next year in New Orleans on March 24 – 27 for the 2019 UPPO Annual Conference. Planning is already underway, and it’s sure to be another great event.


Want to get more out of your conference experience or learn more about what you missed? Join us for a free member webinar at 1 p.m. EDT on March 28, featuring conference speakers sharing their experience and what they took away from the event.



Tags:  education  unclaimed property  UPPO Annual Conference 

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2018 Spring Reporting Checklist

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 8, 2018

Spring reporting season is again upon us. Several states require holders to file reports between March 1 and July 2. 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. 


Report due: March 29, 2018
Extensions: Extensions may be 

Contact: Maria Greenslade: or (860) 702-3125
Connecticut holder resources.

Report due: March 1, 2018
Extensions: Extensions may be 

Contact: or (302) 577-8782
Delaware holder resources.

Report due: April 30, 2018
Extensions: Extensions may be 

Contact:, (850) 413-5522
Florida holder resources.

Report due: May 1, 2018 
Extensions: Extensions may be 

Email form, (800) 961-8303
Illinois holder resources.



Report due: July 2, 2018

Extensions: Extensions may be requested.


Contact: or (517) 636-6940

Michigan holder resources.


Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • We will begin accepting online reporting in fall 2018.
  • We strongly suggest that negative (zero) reports be submitted to us. This is a process that should be much easier when our new system goes live in the fall of 2018.
  • We have a preferred cover sheet, but will accept other cover sheets that include name, address, FEIN, amount, and contact person.
  • Report submission: If you have Gonzalo Llano or Terry Stanton in the "Attn" field, either name should be replaced with "Attn: Holder Processing"


New York 
Report due: March 10, 2018
Extensions: Extensions may be 

Contact: or (800) 221-9311
New York holder resources.


Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

Report due: April 15, 2018
Extensions: Extensions may be

Contact: or (800) 379-3999
Pennsylvania holder resources

Report due: May 1, 2018 
Extensions: Extensions may be

Contact: or (615) 253-5362
Tennessee holder resources

Notes from UPPO’s state administrator survey:

  • is our portal that holders must use to report using NAUPA file and make payment.
  • Notice timing: Changed to no sooner than 60 days and no longer than 180 days. See TCA 66-29-128.
  • Notice language: See 66-29-129 for changes.
  • Required due diligence methods: Added email. See 66-29-128.
  • We recently passed a version of the new Uniform Law. The biggest impact is change in dormancy from five years to three years for most property types. Holders will need to report this May 1 property that meets dormancy of three, four and five years.


Report due: July 1, 2018

Extensions: Does not accept extension requests.


Contact: or (800) 321-2274

Texas holder resources.


Report due: May 1, 2018
Extensions: Extension requests may be submitted to the Unclaimed Property Division of the State of Vermont Office of the Treasurer. Describe the circumstance(s) for the delay and indicate the anticipated report delivery date.

Contact: or (802) 828-2407
Vermont 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:  spring reporting  unclaimed property 

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Unclaimed Property News Roundup

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 21, 2017

Unclaimed property has been in the headlines lately with a variety of stories appearing in local and national media outlets. Following is a recap of some of the most noteworthy reports.


Delaware’s pro-business image slides, in part from aggressive unclaimed property enforcement

On Sept. 11, 2017, Delaware Online published an article about a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study that dropped Delaware from the top state for business litigation to 11th. Among the reasons noted was the state’s aggressive enforcement of unclaimed property laws.


Unclaimed property takes center stage in Louisiana treasurer election

On Sept. 9, The Advocate published a lengthy article discussing how Louisiana’s former treasurer and current senator John Kennedy raised the profile of unclaimed property in the state. As a result, candidates for the upcoming treasurer election have made unclaimed property central to their campaign platforms.


Even celebrities appear on state unclaimed property lists

Reports in numerous media outlets, including WCVB TV, in the past few weeks have reported on members of pop group New Kids on the Block appearing on the Massachusetts unclaimed property list. Although celebrity unclaimed property reports are often a little hokey, they receive a lot of media and online attention, raising awareness of unclaimed property nationwide.


Texas unclaimed property rule changes receive coverage

On Aug. 30, Ignites, a Financial Times company, published an article discussing Texas unclaimed property rules that subsequently went into effect on Sept. 1. Commenting on behalf of UPPO, Kendall Houghton addressed the new Texas Designation of Representative form: “While there appears to be a maintenance requirement, there doesn’t appear to be a record retention period established through the form or, to my knowledge, by the comptroller’s office.”


Wall Street Journal looks at the JLI Invest unclaimed property case against Delaware

On Aug. 18, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the lawsuit brought by two French scientists against Delaware for seizing and selling their stock, considered by Delaware as unclaimed property. The value of the stock increased significantly after Delaware sold it but before the scientists learned their stock had been seized, causing them to lose millions of dollars, according to their complaint. The author of the WSJ article subsequently appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, discussing the article and the issues raised by the JLI case.


Bloomberg looks at issues with Delaware’s proposed unclaimed property rules

On Aug 14, Bloomberg BNA’s Salt Talk Blog published an article about Delaware’s work to develop new unclaimed property rules, required by S.B. 13. The article notes that many of the issues raised after Delaware released its previous version of the proposed rules remain present in the new version.


Tags:  Delaware  Louisiana  Texas  unclaimed property 

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