Anything But Independent: Delaware's Proposed Regulation Addressing Administrative Unclaimed Property Appeals


On January 1, 2012, the Delaware Department of Finance issued a proposed regulation setting out the specifics of Delaware's new administrative procedure for appealing unclaimed property assessments. The proposed regulation is likely to prove disappointing to property holders, because the procedure it sets out falls far short of the "independent review" that property holders had been expecting. Interested parties that want to comment on the proposed regulation should note that the comment period only runs until January 31.

Last July, Delaware adopted legislation that provided for a new administrative procedure for appeals of unclaimed property assessments. The proposed regulation is intended to implement the July 2010 legislation. Prior to the July 2010 legislation, the only recourse for assessed holders was to file for injunctive relief in Chancery Court, a process that can be lengthy, burdensome, and costly. Unfortunately, it is not clear that the procedure set out in the proposed regulation is a significant improvement.

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