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


Federal Judge Sends Gift Card Case Back to State Court

Federal Judge Sends Gift Card case back to State CourtIn 2013, a whistleblower, Sean French, filed a lawsuit in Delaware state court against a variety of retailer defendants and their service provider Card Compliant. The complaint alleges that the Retailers, with the help of Card Compliant, setup a fraudulent gift card scheme, intending to keep all the breakage of the gift card programs instead of remitting it to the State of Delaware.

Osram Sylvania Files Suit Against Delaware

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netOn December 11, 2014, Osram Sylvania, Inc., a lighting manufacturer incorporated in Delaware, filed a lawsuit against Delaware in U.S. District Court, stemming from a Kelmar audit.

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

New Jersey has been at the epicenter of gift card discussions since 2010 when the state, struggling to close budget gaps, passed a law requiring the unused portions of gift cards sold in the state to be reported as unclaimed property. Business interests in the state immediately attacked the law on several fronts, including lawsuits that led to a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision rejecting parts of the law.

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.