Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance News

New Michigan Law on Audit Practices

Bankruptcy law preempts state laws on gift card protectionsWhile corporate holders were busy filing their fall reports last week, Michigan passed a new law on unclaimed property audits, providing new protections for holders.

Update on Social Security Death Master File Requirements

The life insurance industry has been subjected to large, multi-state audits from unclaimed property administrators and insurance commissioners as the states try to collect more unclaimed policies from companies. The first round of audits were focused on large, market dominant companies, like John Hancock, Prudential, and MetLife, and were eventually settled by the companies.

AMEX with Partial Victory in Kentucky on Traveler's Checks

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netTraveler's checks are a big business for American Express. The company recently won a partial victory in Kentucky, after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the state's reduction in dormancy period was not retroactive. In 2008, Kentucky lowered the dormancy period from fifteen years to seven years, but did not include an effective date.

Don't Let the Budget Forecast Fool You

Spreadsheet DataToday, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council ("DEFAC") released its latest revenue forecast. For Fiscal year 2013, abandoned property actual collections were $566.5 million ($5 million over their May forecast). The forecasts for 2014, 2015 and 2016 show collections at only $514 million.

CFPB Issues Bulletin Regarding Payroll Card Accounts

Credit CardsIn an attempt to reduce costs and potential unclaimed property, companies have begun requiring employees to use direct deposit. However, many employees, particularly in the service industries, do not have access to a traditional bank account to deposit their wages. In order to compensate these employees without the need to issue a check, companies have turned to payroll cards.

Lost That Loving Feeling in Delaware

JokerIn the early 1900s, Delaware established itself as the place for corporations to incorporate. Delaware consciously set out to become the state to be incorporated in by establishing an advanced corporation statutes, a highly respected Court of Chancery, and a proactive Secretary of State's office. As a result of these efforts, over half of the current Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware and the state has over one million registered entities. Virtually every provision of the Delaware corporate code has been addressed in case law by the Court of Chancery, giving large corporations a large amount of certainty in any actions they take or disputes they encounter.

This certainty is almost completely wiped out when unclaimed property is thrown in the mix.

Alberta Will Not Accept Securities or Safe Deposit Boxes in 2013

Last week, Alberta, Canada issues a notice to all holders that it will not be accepting unclaimed securities or safe deposit boxes in 2013. This results from a one-year suspension due to a review of the application of The Unclaimed Personal Property and Vested Property Act and associated regulations. The review should be completed by the middle of 2014.

Other property types do not appear to be affected by this announcement. Should your company have property reportable to Alberta, please contact us for further information on how to complete the reporting process.

Texas Supreme Court to Address Class Action Settlements

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe Texas Supreme Court has agreed to hear Highland Homes, Ltd. v. State of Texas, a case concerning the unclaimed proceeds of a class action settlement.

Barganier Quoted in Tax Analysts

Tax Analysts is covering Mark Udinski's departure as State Escheator from Delaware. In today's article "Delaware Deputy Finance Secretary Assumes State Escheator Duties," author Maria Koklanaris quotes Patricia Barganier Thorn.

Dave Gregor Named Delaware Escheator

Delaware Secretary of Finance has announced that David Gregor will be the new State Escheator. This is the position left open by Mark Udinski's July 31, 2013 departure for Kelmar Associates.