Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance News

Barganier Attends USO Salute to America Benefit

Tricia and Alan at the USO Salute to America benefit in Raleigh, NC The USO (United Services Organization) supports America's troops and their families, at home and abroad. Since 1941, as the nation was entering World War II, the USO has supported our men and women in uniform with outreach programs, entertainment events, and educational opportunities. The USO is a nonprofit organization that uses donations to support the troops and their families.

Hurricane Sandy Crashes Unclaimed Property Deadline

First, we at Barganier and Associates hope that everyone in your family, friends, and offices are safe and sound.

The fall reporting cycle for unclaimed property has over 40 states' returns due on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, or Thursday, November 1, 2012. Many companies have already sent their reports in, but for those that are working on reports until the last second, Hurricane Sandy might have left you with open items on your to-do list. Fortunately, some states are extending deadlines for those that were affected by the Hurricane.

Supreme Court Denies Cert for New Jersey Gift Card Case

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of the State of New Jersey in the ongoing saga of gift cards sold in that state. Cert was denied on October 29, 2012. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had refused to hear American Express's appeal regarding traveler's checks.

West Virginia using Courts against Life Insurers

Update:

West Virginia has initiated lawsuits against additional life insurers for non-compliance with the state's unclaimed property laws. On October 16, 2012, lawsuits were filed against American General, Genworth Life and Annuity, Guardian Life, Erie Family Life, Great Western, Pruco Life, United of Omaha, New York Life, American Income and Western and Southern Life insurance companies.

The cases are 12-C-322 through 12-C-331, in Putnam County - the same location as the previous round of lawsuits.

Originally Posted: September 27, 2012

Minnesota Begins VDA Program

In an effort to increase voluntary holder compliance with state unclaimed property laws, Minnesota has initiated an amnesty program to allow holders to report overdue property to the state without being hit with interest and penalties. These programs result in a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) between the holder and the state to relieve the holder of any liability

Idaho Proposes Change to Regulations

Idaho is proposing a change to the state regulations on unclaimed property, relating to how holders handle owners that disclaim ownership of potentially reportable unclaimed property.

Nationwide Settles Audit with 7 States

In the continuing battle against insurance companies, California announced that it, along with six other states, have settled with Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. The settlement includes a $7.2 million penalty to the seven state insurance departments. This settlement applies to both Nationwide Life Insurance Company and Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company.

Supreme Court Denies Cert on Amex/Travelers Checks Case

The Supreme Court wasted no time in giving businesses some news on unclaimed property. October 1, 2012 was the first day of the new U.S. Supreme Court term. The Court denied the Writ of Certiorari in the American Express v. New Jersey case (12-105). The American Express case was the companion case to the New Jersey gift card case, addressing only travelers checks.

Ontario Takes Next Steps Toward Collecting Unclaimed Property

In March, Ontario, Canada, announced in its 2012 annual budget, its intention to begin an unclaimed property program. Now, Ontario has requested consultation or input from the public on the creation of the program. So far, the guiding principles are much like U.S.-based programs, with the government holding properties instead of companies until such time as the owners may claim them; the property may be used by the government in the interim; and holders would be required to notify owners before reporting.

Illinois Proposed Changes to Regulations on Holder Reporting

Chicago, Illinois LandmarksUnclaimed property reporting is driven by state statutes, while additional guidance may be given in the form of state regulations. Illinois is proposing a change to their regulations governing unclaimed and abandoned property reporting.

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