Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance News

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.

Are Email Addresses Personal Identification Information?

GMAILA new class action lawsuit, against Express Fashion Apparel, LLC, asks a federal court to rule that email addresses are personal identification information, and as such, retailers should be prohibited from requesting and subsequently using the email addresses together with additional information gathered from the credit card.

CFPB Begins Accepting Complaints on Prepaid Cards

Store Gift Card DisplayOn Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") announced that it is now accepting complaints regarding prepaid cards, including gift cards and payroll cards, if consumers have disputes, relating to expiration dates, fees, and issuer marketing practices. The CFPB is intended to be a watchdog agency, advocating for consumers in the marketplace.

New Hawaii Law to Allow Pay Cards

Credit CardsThis month, Hawaii was the latest to allow employers to use prepaid cards to pay employee wages. The employer cannot mandate continued use of the card and must give the employee the option to receive wages via direct deposit or paper check. If the employee decides to switch from the pay card, the employer must honor this request within two pay cycles.

Pennsylvania Bill to Change Dormancy Periods

Pennsylvania legislators have been making noise for several months about amending dormancy periods, to help balance the current budget issues in the state. Last week, we finally got to see the proposed bill when the Senate amended House Bill 278. Generally speaking, the dormancy periods would change from five years to three years.