Up-to-date News Regarding Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance

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Iowa Amends Gift Card Laws

Iowa passed into law HF 2296, clarifying Iowa law on gift cards and gift certificates. Under the revised law, gift cards cannot expire for at least five years. Previously, this was set at three years. The law is effective for gift cards sold after July 1, 2014.

DeCarrera to Appear on Public Affairs on Peach

Kimberly DeCarreraKimberly DeCarrera will appear on this Sunday's episode of "Public Affairs on Peach" to discuss unclaimed property. The show, hosted by CBS Atlanta news reporter Adam Murphy, looks into Georgia's unclaimed property program and its efforts to reunite owners with their unclaimed property.

Audit Defense Starts With Compliance

Unclaimed property audit activity has been on the increase over the past few years, with Delaware starting an audit binge with Kelmar as their lead auditor. New audit firms, including companies like IA Group, have begun auditing on behalf of states. As a holder, what can you do to lower your chances of intrusive audits lasting years and costing millions? Annual compliance has been your best bet for years.

HP Survives Class Action Certification Appeal

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netIn another example of why unclaimed property compliance, particularly due diligence, is important, Hewlett Packard Corporation ("HP") has been involved in an employee-shareholder lawsuit since 2003.

UP 101: Dormancy Periods

StopwatchAt the end of a given dormancy period, property that has not had any action taken by the owner becomes dormant and subject to reporting. Dormancy periods are governed by statute in each of the reporting jurisdictions. Typical dormancy periods are one year for payroll and 3 or 5 years for accounts payable, accounts receivable checks, and other common forms of unclaimed property.

Guam Aligns Gift Card Law with Federal CARD Act

Update February 14, 2014: This bill was signed into law yesterday, February 13, 2014.

A bill in Guam would require gift cards, store cards, and electronic gift card codes to all apply the CARD Act by setting the expiration date at no less than five years. The bill was introduced in 2013 and now has made its way through the legislature. The bill is now awaiting the signature of the governor.

Mississippi Bill to Amend Reporting Frequency, Dormancy Periods

Update on February 14, 2014: This bill died in committee on February 4, 2014. House Bill 884, a similar bill that would also reduce dormancy periods, died on the House calendar yesterday.

Mississippi state Senator Joey Fillingane has introduced S.B. 2553 to amend the state's unclaimed property law. The proposed changes include:

Federal Legislation Targets Disclosures on Prepaid Cards

Credit CardsSenator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation which would require banks to more clearly and fully disclose fees relating to prepaid cards. The legislation is called the "Prepaid Card Disclosure Act of 2014." It is aimed most specifically at payroll cards; it specifically excludes cards marketed as gift cards, loyalty cards, and nonreloadable general use cards.

Life Insurers Win Big in West Virginia

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netIn an end of the year bonus, a judge in West Virginia gave 69 (and many more) life insurers a win against the state when he granted their motion to dismiss the lawsuits brought by State Treasurer John Perdue.

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Takes California to Court

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netIn what seems to have become a weekly occurrence, the State of California is involved in another lawsuit involving unclaimed property. This time, Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company has sued California in Federal Court, seeking an injunction and declaratory judgment pertaining to the authority of California to audit the company. In August 2013, California initiated an audit, to be conducted by Kelmar Associates.

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