Unclaimed Property

News & Analysis as of

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

Delaware Enacts Unclaimed Property Legislation That Addresses Some (But Not All) Holder Concerns

The Delaware Legislature appears to have heard some of the complaints of the unclaimed property community. Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 11, which is based on the recommendations of the Delaware Task Force...more

Broker-Dealers Face Unique Challenges Under Unclaimed Property Laws, Says New SIFMA White Paper

On January 23, 2015, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) released a new white paper outlining the unique and varied challenges broker-dealers face when complying with state unclaimed property...more

Unclaimed Property New Year Checklist

There is much to consider in 2015 with respect to unclaimed property. Here are some of the highlights and action items to focus on as you move into the new year...more

Extraordinary Turnout and Discussions at ULC Unclaimed Property Drafting Meeting

Failing to attend last week’s Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC’s) Drafting Committee meeting to revise the 1995 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (the Act) was worse than missing the 2012 Extravakranza. On November 7 and 8, 2014,...more

Massachusetts Treasurer Demands National Mutual Fund Records in Multistate Unclaimed Property Audit

Late this summer, the Massachusetts Treasurer demanded mutual fund records on a nationwide basis as part of a multistate unclaimed property audit. Thirty-five (35) states are involved in the audit, but the Treasurer has...more

Unclaimed Funds: Requirements, Penalties, and Relief for Holders of Unreported Funds

“Unclaimed funds” are all intangible property (such as savings accounts, checking accounts, unclaimed wages, dividends, credit balances and many other types of outstanding checks and balances payable) unclaimed by its owner...more

Texas High Court Holds State’s Unclaimed Property Act Does Not Preclude Cy Pres Distribution Of Unclaimed Class Action Settlement...

In a 5-4 decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that the cy pres provision of a class action settlement was not subject to the state’s Unclaimed Property Act. After the trial court certified a class of subcontractors whose...more

Final Deadline Imminent for Enrolling in Delaware VDA Program

The enrollment period for the Delaware Secretary of State’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Program (the Delaware VDA Program) for unclaimed property reporting closes next week on September 30, 2014. Delaware has previously...more

Texas Supreme Court Upholds Class Representative's Authority to Dispose of Unclaimed Settlement Proceeds

A sharply divided Texas Supreme Court recently held that unclaimed class action settlement funds may be disposed of in the manner selected by the parties and are not subject to the state’s Unclaimed Property Act. In Highland...more

Texas Supreme Court Rejects State’s Use of Unclaimed Property Law to Usurp Private Right to Contract

In a 5-to-4 decision, the Texas Supreme Court rebuffed the Texas attorney general’s attempt to undo a cy pres award using the state’s Unclaimed Property Act. The cy pres award was a result of a settlement between defendant...more

Florida DFS Unclaimed Property Grab “Clearly Erroneous”

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal filed an opinion yesterday in Thrivent Financial for Lutheran’s appeal from a declaratory statement issued by the Florida Department of Financial Services interpreting Florida’s...more

Florida Court Rejects "Date of Death" Trigger for Escheating Life Insurance Death Benefits Under Florida's Unclaimed Property Act

On August 5, Florida's First District Court of Appeal reversed a ruling issued by Florida's Department of Financial Services ("DFS") that would have triggered an insurer's duty to escheat life insurance benefits under...more

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