Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance News

CFPB to Expand Consumer Protections for Prepaid Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced its plan to expand consumer protection rules that apply to credit cards to many prepaid card products, including general use, open loop cards, tax refund cards, and payroll cards. This expansion will also encompass many of the mobile payment products currently available or in development, like Google Wallet and Apple Pay. The public will have 90 days to comment on the proposed rules.

Some of the new proposed rules include:

New Jersey Data Collection Bubbles Up Again

Update January 5, 2015: On December 18, 2014, S2335 was substituted for A3480. The Assembly then passed S2335 which would eliminate the data collection requirement.

Barganier Sponsors UPPO Holder Seminar in Atlanta

Barganier and Associates was happy to sponsor the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization (UPPO) Holder Seminar held in Atlanta, Georgia this week. The seminar was held over two days in downtown Atlanta, covering topics such as holders' rights and responsibilities, policies and procedures, due diligence requirements, audit defense, and federal law preemption of state unclaimed property laws.

There were two tracks available to attendees based on their experience in unclaimed property - a beginner's track and an intermediate track. Barganier had personnel attend each session. Here are the top five takeaways that we gathered from the Holders' Seminar.

Texas Supreme Court Addresses Class Action Settlements

New Missouri Bill on Unclaimed PropertyIn 2006, Highland Homes came under fire from a disgruntled subcontractor about amounts withheld from their payments for general liability insurance. By 2009, the subcontractor had made a class action lawsuit out of the withholdings. The class action was eventually settled, with Highland Homes refunding the withholdings to subcontractors.

Gift Cards a Concern North of the Border Too

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netOne hundred and ten million dollars. That is what plaintiffs are seeking in a Canadian class action lawsuit against Bell Mobility for expired gift cards. Bell Mobility has denied that its prepaid telephone cards are gift cards under the Ontario Consumer Protection Act. The Ontario Consumer Protection Act generally prohibits expiration dates on gift cards.

Nevada Approves New Xerox Auditing Contracts

Yesterday, the Nevada Board of Examiners approved two contracts for Xerox State & Local Solutions to provide services to the Nevada State Treasurer in relation to the unclaimed property fund. Specifically, these contracts address auditing and stock custodial services for the state. The Nevada State Treasurer's office determined that they do not have the internal staff necessary to complete unclaimed property audits and thus need to seek outside assistance.

Join Our Compliance Team

Barganier and Associates is currently looking to add another talented and motivated individual to our unclaimed property compliance team. The full time position is available in our Atlanta, Georgia office.

Thrivent Wins on Appeal in Florida

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netFlorida's First District Court of Appeal has handed Thrivent Financial a victory this week in the ongoing battle between life insurers and state unclaimed property administrators.

Are Email Addresses Personal Identification Information?

GMAILA new class action lawsuit, against Express Fashion Apparel, LLC, asks a federal court to rule that email addresses are personal identification information, and as such, retailers should be prohibited from requesting and subsequently using the email addresses together with additional information gathered from the credit card.

CFPB Begins Accepting Complaints on Prepaid Cards

Store Gift Card DisplayOn Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") announced that it is now accepting complaints regarding prepaid cards, including gift cards and payroll cards, if consumers have disputes, relating to expiration dates, fees, and issuer marketing practices. The CFPB is intended to be a watchdog agency, advocating for consumers in the marketplace.