Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance News

Model Act Committee Working Towards First Reading Before Commission

BoardroomThe battle lines were clear in Washington, DC this past Friday and Saturday. On one side you had the state unclaimed property administrators represented by NAUPA and on the other side you had the holders represented by the American Bar Association. In the middle was the Committee charged with drafting a new unclaimed property model act for the Uniform Law Commission.

DeCarrera Featured in FinOps Report on Broker-Dealers

Kimberly DeCarreraIn recent months, California has announced two major settlements with financial brokerage firms for unclaimed property liabilities relating to customer accounts. These audits are being conducted by Verus, which also led the efforts for the states against the life insurance companies in recent years.

New Jersey Eliminates Gift Card Data Collection Requirement

Store Gift Card DisplayOver the years, states have looked at many different ways to close budget gaps. During the recession, New Jersey went after gift card breakage, the value remaining on unused gift cards. In 2010, the State passed a law that brought much criticism from retailers, banks and unclaimed property professionals.

Florida Appeals Court Critical of State Unclaimed Property Department

Federal Judge Sends Gift Card case back to State CourtGenerally, Florida is seen as a model state, allowing claims to go forward. In 2013, the Florida legislature authorized an online claims system to allow for faster claims in certain instances. However, in State of Florida Department of Financial Services v.

States Loooking To Change Rules on Gift Cards

Store Gift Card DisplayJanuary is a busy month as many state legislatures head back into session. Several state legislatures are looking to change the rules on gift cards. Gift cards remain an important issue in unclaimed property, as estimates say that $45 billion worth of gift cards may have gone unredeemed since 2005. State legislatures continue to eye this money as potential ways to balance state budgets.

New York

Delaware Bill Would Implement Some Task Force Recommendations

Update January 30, 2015: Sponsoring Senator Bryan Townsend announced last night that SB 11 was passed by the House and signed by Governor Markell on January 29.

Delaware Task Force Sends Recommendations to Legislature

Last June, the Delaware Senate created a task force to look at unclaimed property practices in the state. Recently, that task force sent its findings to the legislature. Underlying the entire report is the fact that Delaware relies heavily on unclaimed property in its budget process.

California Announces Settlement with Morgan Stanley

As everyone was preparing for the Christmas holidays last week, California announced that it and 34 other states had entered into a multi-state audit with Morgan Stanley, a Delaware incorporated company, for lost and abandoned brokerage or customer accounts. The audit is to be conducted by Verus Financial which has been the lead auditor for most of the life insurance audits. This audit and settlement is notable because it has Verus expanding beyond life insurance and into other major markets.

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.net
Update: Osram Sylvania voluntarily dismissed the case without prejudice on March 13, 2015. No further details are available at this time.

The dismissal came just says after Temple Inland survived a motion to dismiss in the same federal court with similar facts.

Originally Posted December 15, 2014: