Unclaimed Property

News & Analysis as of

Pennsylvania Corporations to Fund State Spending Increase

On February 4, Governor Corbett proposed his 2014-2015 budget, keeping his promise not to increase taxes, despite a nearly $1 billion proposed increase in spending. However, the budget includes a $150 million increase to...more

New Exploration Technologies Give Rise to Unclaimed Property Compliance Issues

The recent expansion of oil and natural gas exploration and production activities in previously unprofitable areas has brought increased attention to issues surrounding compliance with state unclaimed property laws. Producers...more

West Virginia Trial Court: No Duty to Search the Death Master File

In a substantial victory for the life insurance industry on the unclaimed property issue, a West Virginia Circuit Court has held that insurers have no duty to search the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File...more

West Virginia Court Dismisses Lawsuits Challenging Life Insurers’ Unclaimed Death Benefits Practices

On December 27, 2013, a West Virginia court dismissed 63 separate lawsuits brought by the Treasurer of the State of West Virginia ("Treasurer") against life insurance companies doing business in West Virginia. The court...more

PA Tax Law News -- December 2013

In This Issue: Fuel Taxes Increased to Solve Transportation Funding Shortfall; PA Supreme Court Upholds Rejection of Township Business Privilege Tax; Unclaimed Property - Challenge to Delaware’s Auditing Procedures;...more

PA Tax Law News -- December 2013: Unclaimed Property - Challenge to Delaware’s Auditing Procedures

Many companies are particularly susceptible to significant unclaimed property exposure in Delaware because holders of property for which the owners’ addresses are unknown generally must report and remit such property to their...more

Texas Supreme Court Takes On Unclaimed Property Law Limits to Class Action Settlement Agreements—and Other Private Contracts

The Texas Supreme Court heard oral argument November 7 in a case that raises far-reaching questions about the rights of private parties to contract, particularly in class action settlements. In State v. Highland Homes, Ltd.,...more

Michigan Sets the Standard for Fairness in Unclaimed Property Audits

A recent Michigan bill (House Bill 4289), delivers a useful example to other states regarding administration of abandoned and unclaimed property ("AUP") audits. House Bill 4289 is in the hands of the Governor, who must sign...more

Legal Alert: Florida Announces DMF Search Requirement and Date-of-Death Dormancy Trigger

In an administrative declaratory ruling, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced that Florida’s unclaimed property statute requires life insurers to search the Social Security Administration Death Master...more

Legal Alert: California Controller’s Handbook Requires Insurers to Perform Quarterly DMF Searches

In a recently released update to its Unclaimed Property Holder Handbook (Handbook), the California State Controller’s Office has apparently taken the position that life insurers must search the Social Security Death Master...more

Unclaimed Property Reporting - Are You In Compliance?

Most states require the holder of “abandoned” or “unclaimed” property to report (and remit) such property after the expiration of a certain number of years (the “holding period”). These “escheat” laws generally apply to any...more

Unclaimed Intangible Property In Canada

Ah, unclaimed intangible property. The route to uniform legislation is far from a straight line and progress is slow....more

Delaware VDA Program First Enrollment Deadline Is Fast Approaching

The first stage of the Delaware Secretary of State’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement program (the “Delaware VDA Program”) for unclaimed property reporting closes on June 30, 2013. Companies that enter into the Delaware VDA...more

Is the State Holding Your Association’s Money?

Like many other states, Connecticut has appointed itself as the official “lost and found” for all money abandoned within the state’s borders. We’re not talking about coins dropped on a sidewalk. Abandoned money can include...more

Spotlight on Unclaimed Property: ACTION Required – Delaware Voluntary Disclosure Initiative Ends June 30

Delaware has earned the reputation as one of the most aggressive enforcers against businesses of unclaimed property/escheat obligations. For example, the Delaware Division of Revenue, or its proxies, routinely examine records...more

Race to the Finish: June 30 Deadline for Delaware’s New Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Program

June 30 is the deadline to enter into the new Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Program — run by Delaware’s Secretary of State (“SOS”)— which temporarily supplants the State Escheator’s voluntary disclosure process. Any...more

Spotlight on Unclaimed Property: CFPB Rules That Federal Law Preempts Tennessee's Unclaimed Property Statute Applicable to Gift...

In its first preemption determination, on April 19, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ruled that Tennessee's unclaimed property statute provisions applicable to gift cards are preempted by federal law. The...more

CFPB Uses Novel Interpretation, Increases Compliance Burden for Gift Card Issuers Through its First Preemption Determination

On April 19, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced it was making a determination to preempt a provision of Tennessee unclaimed property law that it deemed inconsistent with the federal Electronic...more

Delaware Amends Abandoned And Unclaimed Property Self-Disclosure Program

Recently, Delaware enacted HB 2, which amends the state’s voluntary self-disclosure program for abandoned and unclaimed property. Among other things, the bill creates additional incentives for holders of such property to...more

Legal Alert: 2013 Outlook for Insurance Regulation

We end the first month of the year with a report on major insurance topics that we will be watching in 2013. Many of these developments can be traced to discrete events or market or political forces. This year, those...more

Spotlight on Unclaimed Property: The Value of Voluntary Disclosure/Compliance Agreements

On November 1, 2012, you may have filed state unclaimed property reports or are getting ready to do so for March 1, 2013 or May 1, 2013, depending on the state. On the other hand, you may not have filed, or plan to file, any...more

"Unclaimed Property Can Lead to Unexpected and Substantial Liabilities"

An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, entitled “Delaware Targets Unclaimed Property,” discusses Delaware’s significant interest in pursuing unclaimed property compliance. As the article notes, Delaware’s unclaimed...more

Reed Smith Hosts Q & A on Unclaimed Property With Delaware Secretary of State – Audits to Begin Again on February 1

For more than an hour on January 8, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock and an attorney administering the new program, Geoffrey Sawyer, took questions from Sara Lima and Michael Wynne of Reed Smith’s State Tax Group....more

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