Unclaimed Property

News & Analysis as of

State-vs.-State Unclaimed Property Dispute May be Heading to the Supreme Court

In March, we issued an advisory highlighting a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department against the State of Delaware in federal district court seeking to recover uncashed official checks escheated to Delaware by...more

Unclaimed Property Primer for Health and Property & Casualty Insurance

Background - Unclaimed Property: It’s not just about life insurance. The same contingency-fee unclaimed property auditors that targeted unclaimed life insurance proceeds are now turning their focus to other types of...more

Unclaimed Property Litigation Update – Spring 2016

Litigation over unclaimed property rules and obligations continues to accelerate. The first quarter of 2016 brought developments in several cases, including a much-watched contest over merchandise credits and a new battle...more

Pennsylvania Audits Public Companies for Unclaimed Securities

Holders that use third-party transfer agents, such as Computershare, should check their mailboxes, as they are likely to have a notice from Pennsylvania of an unclaimed property audit. Pennsylvania has engaged...more

Florida Imposes Additional Unclaimed Property Requirements on Life Insurers

On April 12, Florida Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 0966 into law. SB 0966 amends the insurance benefits provisions of Florida’s Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, Fl. Stat. Section 717.107. These amendments effectively...more

Store Credits Not Subject to Unclaimed Property, Says California Court

In a decision with potentially broad implications, a California Superior Court has held that merchandise credits not redeemable for cash are not subject to California's Unclaimed Property Law (UPL). The court also held that...more

Unclaimed Property Advisory: Pennsylvania Sues Delaware to Recover Unclaimed Checks Issued in Pennsylvania

On January 26, 2016, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department filed a lawsuit in federal district court to recover unclaimed property paid to the Delaware State Escheator by MoneyGram Payments Systems, Inc., a...more

Unclaimed Property Advisory: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petitioners’ Writ of Certiorari in Taylor v. Yee

On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the writ of certiorari to review the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Taylor v. Yee, 780 F.3d 928 (9th Cir. 2015). The case involves a 13-year...more

Unclaimed Property Advisory: Post-Delaware VDA Compliance – Reporting

Hundreds of holders have voluntarily enrolled in the Delaware Secretary of State’s (SOS) Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) program since its implementation in 2012, with many of the VDAs closing within...more

Bill to Amend Florida’s Unclaimed Property Act Regarding Unclaimed Insurance Benefits Moves to Senate Floor

On January 19, the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved a Senate bill (“SB 966”) that would modify Florida’s existing Unclaimed Property Act (the “Act”) requirements regarding unclaimed insurance benefits....more

Ho! Ho! Ho! Delaware Sets its Sights–Again–on Uncashed Rebate Checks

There’s never a dull moment in Delaware when it comes to unclaimed property. The latest salvo comes by way of a lawsuit filed by the Delaware Department of Finance against Blackhawk Engagement Solutions (DE), Inc. (formerly...more

What to do with a Delaware unclaimed property audit document request? Pending litigation may provide an answer.

If you have received a request for information in connection with a Delaware unclaimed property audit that appears to be excessively broad and you don’t know how to respond, you are in good company—even Delaware seems to be...more

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

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