Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance News

NAST Conference Focuses on Insurance Company Audits

Albuquerque, NM, location of the 2012 NAST ConferenceOn May 16, 2012, Paricia Barganier Thorn attended the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is the annual meeting where the Unclaimed Property State Administrators gather with educational events focusing on current events and trends for future developments.

The current events this year focused on the insurance industry and the ongoing unclaimed property audits, primarily conducted by Verus.

New Jersey Legislative Action

AB 1871: Dormancy periods for travelers checks are restored to 15 years, for money orders to 7 years, and excludes new stored value cards from escheatment. This bill in effect restores the pre-2010 rules for travelers checks, money orders and stored value cards (gift cards).

Update: According to news sources and the Senate sponsor, the bill to repeal the changes to the gift card unclaimed property law is expected to be voted on by the New Jersey Senate. This bill has substantial changes from the Assembly bill passed in March. As such, if the Senate passes the bill today, it will have to return to the Assembly for a vote as well.

There's A New Reporting Exemption

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed HB 4563, providing a new reporting exemption for unclaimed property in the state of Michigan.

Updated: May 8, 2012

The Michigan Senate has passed HB 4563 with amendments, and the House has approved the changes. The new version provides for an exemption only for accounts receivable properties and not outstanding payables. The amendment also clarifies that it is only for credits that appear after April 1, 2009.

DEFAC's May Budget Raises Unclaimed Property Collections Forecast

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Committee ("DEFAC") has once again raised their projections for 2013 unclaimed or abandoned property collections. DEFAC now projects $561.5 in collections for 2013.

Patricia Barganier Thorn to Attend NAST Conference

National Association of State TreasurersPatricia Barganier Thorn, founding member of Barganier and Associates, LLC, the leading unclaimed property advisers, will be attending the 2012 National Association of State Treasurers Treasury Management Conference. This year's conference is being held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rhode Island Legislation to Modify Gift Card Expiration Dates

Gift Card DisplayEarlier this legislative season, Rhode Island Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy introduced a bill that would add an exception to the Rhode Island prohibition on gift card expiration dates. The bill, House Bill 7523, would allow issuers to place expiration dates on cards issued to charities. The bill passed the House on May 8.

Illinois Lawsuit Over Rail Ticket Expiration Dates

What is a gift certificate? John DiVito, an Illinois resident, is suing Metra, the commuter rail line, for imposing early expiration dates on passes. Mr. DiVito claims that the one-year expiration date on the 10-ride and similar passes violates the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. The Act requires an expiration date of no less than five years from purchase. The Federal CARD Act also prohibits expiration dates of less than five years for stored value or gift cards.

SSA May Recover Overpayments From Escheated Funds

The Social Security Administration has released POMS PS 01220.033 relating to the recovery of overpaid benefits from unclaimed property administrators, New Jersey in this specific ruling.

California Bill to Offset Claims Against Amounts Owed to Cities or States

S.B. 954 has now passed the Senate and is awaiting action by the House. S.B. 954, if passed, would allow the State Controller to reduce the amounts paid out to claimants by any outstanding amounts owed due to local taxes.

Originally Posted: January 6, 2012

New Jersey Gift Cards: What's the Hub Bub All About Anyways?

Over the last few weeks, you have probably heard a lot about New Jersey and gift cards. American Express announced on April 2, 2012, that they were pulling their Amex gift cards from third-party retailers in New Jersey. Blackhawk and InComm, two major gift card providers, followed suit the next day, announcing that they would be pulling their cards from retailers this summer. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in response that he was not losing any sleep over the gift card companies leaving the state.