March 2023 │ Legislation & Regulation Update

Compiled by:
Suzanne Darling

The Unclaimed Property Legislative Alert

Summary of Legislation — Week Ending March 31, 2023

GEORGIA: House Bill 838. Introduced legislation requires that employers report and remit as unclaimed property wages owed to certain minors if the wages cannot be transferred to trust funds required to be established by their parents or guardians.      
GEORGIA: Senate Bill 103 (substitute). Amended legislation requires that  locators register with the Commissioner of Revenue and use specific forms in order to receive direct payment of fees.  Locators may add terms and conditions to the required claim form if the property claimed exceeds $2,000 in value and the added terms are not inconsistent with statutory requirements.  Both claimant and locator must file an additional form indicating whether they agree to the added terms and conditions, or the locator agreement is void.  Locators shall preserve all books and records for at least three years and make them available for examination by the Department of Revenue on request.  Registered locators are entitled to receive account information for all unclaimed accounts in a downloadable or deliverable, searchable and sortable database.  Acts that constitute violations of the statute are specified and the Department is given broad enforcement authority.  The Department may sell securities upon receipt and other procedures relating to the sale of securities are modified. 

Summary of Legislation — Week Ending March 24, 2023

ALABAMA: House Bill 114. Introduced legislation exempts from the unclaimed property law certain funds that are forfeited to counties.

MARYLAND: Senate Bill 643. Amended legislation reduces the proposed distribution of unclaimed property funds to the Community Development Program Fund.

MARYLAND: Senate Bill 756. Amended legislation reduces the proposed distribution of abandoned property funds to the Access to Counsel in Evictions Special Fund.  

Summary of Regulations — Week Ending March 24, 2023

NEW YORK: Title 2 NYCRR Part 126 (effective March 22, 2023).  Final regulations require holders who receive notice or indication of the death of an owner to attempt to confirm the death within 90 days.  If death is confirmed, the dormancy period begins to run as of the date of death.  

Summary of Legislation — Week Ending March 17, 2023

CONNECTICUT: Senate Bill 382. Introduced legislation provides that claims may be filed electronically and without any documentation if the property has one owner whose identity can be verified and the property value is less than $5,000.  The maximum value of property the Treasurer may pay without the filing of a claim is increased from $2,500 to $5,000.  The Treasurer shall have access to information of state agencies, including state tax information, as necessary to facilitate the return of unclaimed property.  Upon receipt of property valued at $100 or more reported for any municipality (defined broadly), the Treasurer shall electronically transfer the funds to the municipality.  A nonprofit organization may claim property reported in the name of a branch, chapter, or constituent organization in certain circumstances.  

NORTH DAKOTA: House Bill 1267. Introduced legislation extinguishes the right of the owner of real property to claim any excess proceeds from the sale of such property to satisfy a tax lien and eliminates the reporting of unclaimed proceeds as abandoned property.  Instead, the funds are credited to the county general fund.

PENNSYLVANIA: Senate Bill 24. Introduced legislation permits the Treasurer to pay a person regardless of whether a claim is filed if the person is the reported sole owner of property valued at less than $5,000.

UTAH: House Bill 360 (effective May 2, 2023). Enacted legislation allows the State Tax Commission to provide to the Administrator certain information from corporate and individual tax returns to facilitate the return of unclaimed property to owners.

Summary of Legislation — Week Ending March 10, 2023

ALASKA: House Bill 97. Introduced legislation provides that excess proceeds from the sale of personal property in a self-storage facility are presumed abandoned if unclaimed for three years.

NORTH DAKOTA: Senate Bill 2092. Introduced legislation directs that funds owing to members but not claimed or distributed during the voluntary liquidation of a credit union, including funds in the account of a member who failed to surrender the passbook or confirm the account balance and funds for distribution checks not cashed within 120 days, be reported as unclaimed property. 
ARIZONA: House Bill 2242 (as amended by the House). Amended legislation strikes all original text (relating to the registration of locators and their access to unclaimed property information) and substitutes new text.  The Department of Revenue shall provide notice about unclaimed property on social media, radio, or by other methods at least quarterly.

Summary of Legislation — Week Ending March 3, 2023

ARIZONA: Senate Bill 1426. Introduced legislation allows locators to charge a fee for identifying rightful owners of excess amounts from real estate tax sales who fail to claim the funds within six months after notification of their entitlement.  After five years with no claim, such funds are treated as unclaimed property.

ILLINOIS: House Bill 3785. Introduced legislation requires that after redemption of a gift certificate a consumer receive the balance as cash or a store credit.

IOWA: House File 487. Introduced legislation adds a “chamber buck” to the category of gift certificates included within the unclaimed property law.  “Chamber buck” is a gift certificate offered by a local chamber of commerce for redemption by a local business where the chamber is situated. 

KENTUCKY: House Bill 377. Introduced legislation prohibits expiration dates on gift certificates.

MARYLAND: House Bill 1276 and Senate Bill 956. Introduced legislation exempts capital credits of cooperatives from the unclaimed property law.  Other law regulates how cooperatives may use the capital credits and requires them to pay owner claims.  If the capital credits are not expended by the cooperatives within five years they are considered unclaimed property.

GEORGIA: Senate Bill 103 (as amended by the Senate). Amended legislation authorizes the Department of Revenue to promulgate regulations to address resolution of conflicting claims received for the same property (e.g., from multiple locators or from a claimant and locator(s)).  Some additional or enhanced qualifications for registration as a locator are added.  The Commissioner of the Department of Revenue is given specific authority to deny, suspend, or cancel a locator’s registration for specified reasons.   

MONTANA: House Bill 136 (as amended by the House). Amended legislation repeals most of the proposed changes in the original bill (many from the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act) and instead proposes more modest changes.  Property held in state and local government sponsored retirement plans and 529A plans is not subject to the Act.  Securities and virtual currency shall be liquidated within 30 days of filing the report and the proceeds shall be remitted to the Administrator.  Except for information published by the Administrator, personal information obtained from holder records is confidential.

NEW MEXICO: House Bill 165 (as amended by the House). Amended legislation provides that the Administrator shall not examine any federally insured financial organization for which the primary regulator is the Financial Institutions Division unless the Division has not examined the financial organization for compliance with the unclaimed property law within the past five years.  The Division may waive these provisions to allow the examination by the Administrator.  Notwithstanding these provisions, the Administrator may examine such a financial organization if the Administrator reasonably believes the financial organization has failed to comply with the unclaimed property law.  The Administrator may adopt rules to describe under what circumstances there may be reason to believe that noncompliance exists.

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.