June 2023 │ Legislation & Regulation Update
The Unclaimed Property Legislative Alert
Summary of Regulations — Week Ending June 30, 2023
WEST VIRGINIA: CSR §§ 112-5-1; 112-5-2; 112-5-4; 112-5-6; 112-5-7; 112-5-15 (written comments due July 27, 2023). Proposed regulations expand the scope of existing rules for enforcement of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to include provisions relating to the Unknown and Unlocatable Interest Owners Act “(“UUIO Act”). The UUIO Act relates to the reporting of certain oil and natural gas interests owed to unknown and unlocatable owners.
CALIFORNIA: Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 2, §§ 1200-1231 (written comments due August 7, 2023; public hearing scheduled for August 22, 2023). Amended regulations governing the activities of third-party auditors are resubmitted for comment and scheduled for a hearing. Failure of a third-party auditor to adhere to the audit contract terms does not give rise to any claim by an auditee. A third-party auditor has discretion to determine how to utilize and sequence examination processes. The auditor may request that all information and data be produced electronically.
CALIFORNIA: Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 2, §§ 1250-1259 (written comments due August 7, 2023; public hearing scheduled for August 22, 2023). Amended regulations governing administrative reviews of audit findings and interest assessments are resubmitted for additional comments and scheduled for a hearing.
CALIFORNIA: Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 2, §§ 1300-1307 (written comments due August 7, 2023; public hearing scheduled for August 22, 2023). Amended regulations governing the process for submitting claims are resubmitted for additional comments and scheduled for a hearing.
Summary of Legislation — Week Ending June 23, 2023
OHIO: House Bill 33. Introduced legislation provides that a holder is relieved from liability and held harmless: (1) to the extent of the value of the funds paid as of the time of payment; and (2) to the extent the holder acts in good faith and in compliance with the unclaimed property law. If legal proceedings are instituted against a holder who has reported property, the holder shall give notice to the Director of Commerce (“Director”) and the Director may elect whether to intervene and assume the defense. No person has a claim against the State, a holder, or a person acting on behalf of a holder for any change in value of unclaimed funds after payment by the holder to the Director or after sale of the property by the Director. A holder is not indemnified against the holder’s own acts, omissions, negligence, bad faith, or breach of duties to the owner or the Director.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: House Bill 2 (effective July 1, 2023). Enacted legislation allows the Administrator to authorize payment of certain claims that currently require approval of the Governor and Executive Council.
TEXAS: Senate Bill 658. Enacted legislation requires the Comptroller to deposit funds reported from attorney client trust accounts and abandoned IOLTA accounts to the civil legal services account of the Judicial Fund (“legal services account”). The legal services account is subject to appropriation to the Texas Supreme Court to support programs that provide civil legal services to indigent persons.
Summary of Legislation — Week Ending June 16, 2023
MICHIGAN: Senate Bill 389. Introduced legislation establishes a longer dormancy period for certain property types if the owner is on active military service or in the reserve on active orders.
LOUISIANA: House Bill 430 (effective June 12, 2023). Enacted legislation requires a locator to be a Louisiana licensed attorney, CPA, or financial advisor. A locator shall submit with the claim a payment request, signed by the owner and locator, which includes a fee disclosure and an acknowledgment that a portion of the property may be paid by the Administrator to the locator.
TEXAS: House Bill 1221 (effective September 1, 2023). Enacted legislation requires the Department of Criminal Justice to file an unclaimed property claim on behalf of a crime victim if the unclaimed property owner was finally convicted of the crime, ordered to pay restitution to the victim, and is incarcerated in State custody when the claim is submitted.
Summary of Legislation — Week Ending June 9, 2023
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Bill 25-0202. Introduced legislation provides that only excess funds from a restitution award collected by the Attorney General and designated to named individuals are reportable as unclaimed property. Current law requires that all excess funds be treated as unclaimed property.
CONNECTICUT: Senate Bill 1018 (effective October 1, 2023). Enacted legislation increases from three dollars to five dollars the gift card balance that is refundable in cash and eliminates the requirement that the gift card holder first show proof of ownership of the gift card.
HAWAII: House Bill 1020 (effective June 29, 2023). Enacted legislation increases the amount of money in the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund that may be carried over at the end of each fiscal year.
IOWA: House File 247 (effective July 1, 2023). Enacted legislation repeals the requirement that banks and financial organizations send notice to owners by certified mail and instead provides that notice may be sent by regular mail or electronic messaging. Owners may also respond to the notice by electronic messaging.
NEVADA: Assembly Bill 55 (effective July 1, 2023). Enacted legislation substitutes an inactivity standard for the existing returned mail standard to determine abandonment of securities. Other dormancy triggers are also modified, including those applicable to preneed trusts. Certain property types are presumed abandoned on the earlier of three years after: (1) the event that triggers the dormancy period or (2) knowledge of death of the owner. Due diligence by certified mail is required for stocks, retirement accounts, and virtual currency if the property value is $1,000 or more.
Summary of Regulations — Week Ending June 9, 2023
WISCONSIN: Wis. Admin. Code Tax § 10.01. Proposed regulations require that a holder liquidate virtual currency within 30 days of filing its unclaimed property report and remit the proceeds to the Administrator.
Summary of Legislation — Week Ending June 2, 2023
OHIO: Senate Bill 74. Introduced legislation establishes a three-year dormancy period for certain unclaimed coupon bonds and interest coupons issued by the State. Bonds that are presumed abandoned shall escheat to the State three years thereafter and all property rights and legal title to and ownership of the bonds or coupons and proceeds therefrom shall vest solely in the State. The Director of Commerce shall commence a civil action for a determination of escheat and serve the owners by publication. If the Director prevails, the escheated bonds shall be redeemed, with costs of collection paid from the proceeds. Claims to the bonds may be paid in the Director’s discretion, less costs incurred.
ALABAMA: House Bill 114. Enacted legislation exempts from the unclaimed property law certain fiduciary funds that are forfeited to counties.
With The Unclaimed Property Legislative Alert Summary of Legislation and Regulation, you receive an overview of the latest information on unclaimed property legislative updates, regulatory changes, and statutory amendments across the United States and Canada. The publicly available information contained herein has been compiled by Kelmar Associates, LLC and does not constitute legal advice or analysis of any kind. The summary information is generally compiled on a weekly basis, as applicable, and is shared on Kelmar's website each month. For more information, please refer to each state unclaimed property bill.