Unclaimed Property

News & Analysis as of

Federal Reserve Announces Plan to Redistribute Unclaimed Foreclosure Settlement Funds

On November 19, the Federal Reserve announced a plan to redistribute unclaimed funds from the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement (Agreement). Under the Agreement, borrowers whose homes were in any state of the...more

Illinois Treasurer Lawsuit Highlights Contingency Fee Risks in Unclaimed Property Audits

On October 26, 2015, three life insurance companies (the “Kemper Companies”) filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Treasurer (the “Treasurer”) and private auditing firm, Verus Financial LLC, over the Treasurer’s...more

Looking Back: Delaware's Comprehensive Unclaimed Property Program Reform

The recent reforms have not impacted the power and authority of the Office of the State Bank Commissioner to examine Delaware financial institutions for compliance with the escheat laws, but the shortened look-back period...more

Annual COEs and Information Returns – A New Requirement for Many Tax-Exempt Entities

Beginning January 1, 2016, all organizations that have a statutory exemption from the payment of Alabama sales, use or lodgings taxes--other than certain government entities, public universities and healthcare...more

Debate Over Unclaimed Property Continues Before the Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee

Proposed revisions to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act were under debate this past week in Washington, DC as the Uniform Law Commission (ULC or Commission) Committee to Revise the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (Drafting...more

Straight Outta Delaware: JLI Invest S.A. et al. v. Cook et al.

As soon as we start to think that Delaware’s unclaimed property practices and administration couldn’t possibly get any more egregious, another lawsuit like JLI Invest S.A. et al. v. Cook et al., Case No. 11274 surfaces. The...more

Delaware Legislation Reduces Unclaimed Property Audit Frustrations but Reanimates Interest Assessment

On July 22, 2015, the governor signed Senate Bill 141, which makes significant revisions to the Delaware Abandoned and Unclaimed Property statute. Senate Bill 141 is the legislature’s third set of revisions to the Delaware...more

Uniform Law Commission Completes First Reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at their Annual Meeting the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) completed their first reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or the Act). While over half of the sections comprising...more

Washington State Tax Update

The Washington Legislature released the state budget for the 2015-2017 biennium, which enhanced the state’s nexus standard, eliminated certain tax exemptions, extended some tax preferences, and made other tax changes:...more

Federal Court Retains Jurisdiction in Case Involving Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Estimation Methodology

Delaware has developed a reputation for being very aggressive in its unclaimed property auditing procedures through the use of third-party contract auditors. Several appeals filed in federal court challenging Delaware’s...more

Delaware Senate Passes Unclaimed Property Reform Bill

On June 18, 2015, a bill (S.B. 141) was unanimously approved by the Delaware Senate that would place limits on the look-back period and permanently extend the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) program. This represents the...more

The Insurance Examination Privilege Just Became Important

When a U.S. insurance regulator investigates market conduct or financial solvency, its work is governed by a state law based on the NAIC Model Law on Examinations. Like the Model Law, all state laws strictly protect the...more

Unclaimed Property Audit Primer for Broker-Dealers

Background - The same State Treasurers and contingency-fee unclaimed property auditors that focused on the life insurance industry are now turning their attention to broker-dealers. Sutherland has been actively...more

Eureka: California Controller Discovers New Source of Revenue from Insurers

The California Controller’s (Controller) latest squeeze on the life insurance industry involves: sending life insurers notices of assessment of interest on unclaimed property reported and voluntarily remitted in December...more

"Temple-Inland Sheds Light on Delaware’s Use of Estimations in Unclaimed Property Audits"

As noted in prior mailings on this topic, all 50 states require companies to comply with broad and often complex unclaimed property laws that mandate annual reporting. Unclaimed property is generally defined as tangible or...more

NCOIL Revises Unclaimed Property Model Act

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) recently adopted an enhanced Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to address particular concerns regarding the Social Security Death Master File (the DMF). The...more

Morgan Stanley Agrees to Resolution of Multi-State Unclaimed Property Audit

The California State Controller announced an Audit Resolution Agreement with Morgan Stanley on December 23, 2014, which sets forth the terms and conditions for finalizing and resolving an unclaimed property audit that Verus...more

Controller Must Still “Look To Find A Reason To Believe”

Last month, I wrote about reports that the SEC is seeking years of employment agreements, nondisclosure agreements and other documents in an effort to ferret out possible restraints on whistleblowers. See Is Anything Fishy...more

New Oregon class-action law purports to seize unclaimed damages for legal aid and judge-picked charities

The first bill signed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown—H.B. 2700 (pdf)—changes the rules for handling payment of damages awards in class actions in Oregon state courts. Effective immediately, including for pending actions, the...more

Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Audit Program Dealt Blow

The judge in a case challenging Delaware’s use of sampling and extrapolation to determine unclaimed property liability denied the state’s motion to dismiss and in doing so, seriously questioned the State’s approach. ...more

Challenge to Delaware Unclaimed Property Estimation Methods Allowed to Proceed

A lawsuit challenging the unclaimed property estimation methodology used by the State of Delaware and its auditor Kelmar Associates will proceed, according to a ruling issued by a Delaware federal district court on March 11....more

PA Unclaimed Property Filings Due April 15: Legislative Changes Impact Reporting Requirements and Enforcement Powers

The deadline for filing a 2014 Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Report with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is April 15. Major changes were made to PA's Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act (the...more

Punishing Good Deeds in California

Most state treasurers now demand that life insurers search public databases, such as the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF), for potential claims. State treasurers similarly require insurers to remit...more

Unclaimed Property Issues Under Debate as Uniform Law Commission Rewrites the Uniform Act

Proposed revisions to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act were under debate this past week in Washington, DC as the Uniform Law Commission (ULC or Commission) Committee to Revise the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (Drafting...more

Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Recommendations of the Uniform Law Commission Working Group

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) Life Insurance Working Group (Working Group) has released its recommendations to revise the life insurance provisions of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 1995 (1995 Uniform Act or...more

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