Category: events

Friday Lost + Found: Australia Amendments, NY Numbers, Escheat Events

Australia to Revise Bank Account Rules — According to an article om News.com.au, the Australian government is considering legislation to (re)revise its laws relating to unclaimed bank accounts.  Under the current rules, certain bank accounts are deemed unclaimed if there has been no activity for 3 years.  The proposed revisions would change the period of inactivity required to 7 years.

New York Holding $14B in Unclaimed Property — Every once in a while, we like to keep tabs on the current amount of money being held by the states’ as unclaimed property.  According to one recent article, the amount currently held by the New York Office of Unclaimed Funds for New Yorkers is $14 billion as of fiscal year end March 31.

Upcoming UPPO Webinar on Recovering Property — Though we spend the vast majority of time on this site writing about the process of reporting and remitting unclaimed property, it is worth remembering that most holders of unclaimed property are also owners of unclaimed property held by others.  On October 14, the Unclaimed Property Professionals’ Organizations is sponsoring a webinar on “How to Recover Property for Your Company”.  Webinar details and registration information can be found at the UPPO website.

Welcome to Fall (Reporting Season)

Labor Day has just passed, the kids are back at school (or will be, shortly) and the (unofficial) end of Summer has passed.  Next up for unclaimed property professionals is the Fall reporting season.  As of today, we are 60 days out from the November 1 reporting deadline in a few dozen states.  Due diligence letters have (hopefully) been sent out, and the process of preparing the Fall reports will now begin in earnest.  As we being the annual crunch to get the reports out the door on schedule, consider if there is anything you can do today to prevent the last minute rush, or to adopt new lessons learned.

Need to learn new lessons?  New to unclaimed property reporting?  Consider checking out the Unclaimed Property Professionals’ Organization Holder Seminar in Atlanta, Georgia on September 17 & 18.  The agenda can be found here.  As always, the Seminar is designed for beginning and intermediate unclaimed property professionals and address a number of both general and specialized topics.  Full disclosure:  the author is a member of UPPO and will be one of the speakers.  (Completely unrelated aside:  the “Unclaimed Property Buzz” seminar on the first day should be fascinating and entertaining).

Whether you need to learn the basics or sharpen you the skills you’ve already learned, consider checking it out.

Miss the UPPO Annual Conference? Get the Top 5 Takeaways at April 22 Webinar

The Unclaimed Property Professionals’ Organization recently held its annual conference in Grapevine, Texas.  Bringing together hundreds of holders, service providers, and other industry professionals, the UPPO conference is a great place for continuing education, networking, and learning the most recent trends and issues in unclaimed property compliance.  If you couldn’t make it to Texas, the UPPO is hosting a webinar on April 22 to go over the “Top 5 Takeways” from the conference.  The presentation will cover:

  • Latest UPPO organizational developments;
  • A presentation seeking to clarify a number of the ambiguities of unclaimed property compliance;
  • The special compliance issues arising from unclaimed property law in the insurance industry;
  • Recent unclaimed property developments in Canada;
  • Potential future amendments to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.

Registration information can be found here.

Friday Lost + Found: UPPO Annual Conference & Unclaimed Funds in Cleveland

UPPO Annual Conference Registration Open — The Unclaimed Property Professionals’ Organization is the primary group representing the interests of holders of unclaimed property.  One of UPPO’s most valuable resources is its annual conference, a 3 day event with educational seminars, networking events, and discussions with state administrators and other experts.  This year’s conference will be held from March 23-26 in Grapevine (Dallas) Texas.  Registration information can be found here.

Cuyahoga County Releases List of Unclaimed Funds — State governments are not the only entities that hold unclaimed funds.  As reported by Cleveland.com an internal audit of the Cuyahoga County’s Clerk of Courts office identified some $7 million in unclaimed funds owed to residents.  A searchable list is available at the County Clerk’s website.

 

Lost + Found: More Reclaim Records, Nebraska Outreach, Missouri Warnings

More States Announce Owner Reclaim Records — Recently, we noted New York’s and Missouri’s announcements that they returned a record amount of property to rightful owners during the most recent fiscal year.  This week brings additional notices from Louisiana and Texas touting record returns.  Congrats to all.

Nebraska Announces Outreach Events — Speaking of owner reunification, the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office has announced a series of events all across the state where an “unclaimed property specialist” will be available to help citizens look for their unclaimed property.  Treasury officials will
be attending the Nebraska State Fair, Harvest Husker Days, and other places.  A schedule of outreach events can be found here.

Missouri Warns of Unclaimed Property Scam — According to a story by CBS affiliate KOAM7, Missouri State Treasurer is warning citizens about an unclaimed property scam being conducted by someone posing as an auditor from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.  While NAUPA is a real entity, it neither conducts unclaimed property audits on states’ behalf, nor is it responsible for refunding money to owners (that task is undertaken by the individual states themselves).  We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again:  if you get a communication about unclaimed property from someone posing as a state employee or representative, you should contact the state directly – using contact information available on the state’s official website, not contact information provided in an unsolicited letter

Lost + Found: Records in New York and Missouri, Oregon Holder Seminar

New York Sets Unclaimed Property Reunification Record . . .  — According to an article in the Auburn Citizen, the New York State Office of Unclaimed Funds returned a record $347 million in unclaimed property during fiscal year 2012-13.  Lest anyone think that the job at OUF is complete, the same article notes that New York still has $12.5 billion in funds waiting to be claimed.

. . . As Does Missouri (Again) — Missouri State Treasurer (and Escheatable guest) Clint Zweifel recently announced that his office also broke the state reunification record by returning more than $39 million in the past year.  The record wasn’t very old – it was broken by the State Treasury last year.

Oregon Holding Holder Education Seminars — All summer, the Oregon Department of State Lands will be hosting holder education seminars for reporters of unclaimed property.  According to the DSL’s website, the half-day seminars will include an overview of the law, determining when and how to report unclaimed property, how to conduct due diligence, and more.  A complete schedule of events is available at the DSL’s website.

Upcoming UPPO Events: Holders’ Seminar and (Non-Delaware) VDA Seminar

The Unclaimed Property Professionals’ Organization, the premiere trade group for holders of unclaimed property is holding its next Holders’ Seminar on August 14-15 in Chicago, Illinois.  The Holders’ Seminar features a wealth of information on unclaimed property topics, and features both “beginner” and “intermediate” educational tracks.  More information can be found on the UPPO website, here.

For those of you who can’t make the trip to Chicago, on July 25th, UPPO is hosting a webinar on “VDAs: Everything but Delaware.”  Although the “First-Staters” out there may be loathe to admit it, there are other states out there.  (Really, they have flags and state birds, and everything).  For those of you with questions about voluntary disclosure and amnesty arrangements in places other than Delaware, UPPO has you covered.  Registration information can be found here

Lost + Found: NC Holder Seminar, WV Lawsuits, Bona Vacantia in the UK

North Carolina to Offer Holder Education Seminar — The North Carolina Treasurer’s Department is offering a “Holder Education and Reporting” seminar on July 17th at the Quorum Center in Raleigh.  A complete copy of the agenda, and registration information, can be found here.  The seminar is free, but according to the website, limited to the first 150 registrants.

West Virginia Sues Insurers  — In October of 2012, West Virginia sued 10 insurers over their attempts (or lack thereof) to notify beneficiaries of payable benefits.  Now, according to an article on LifeHealthPro, West Virginia has brought suit against 69 more insurers alleging violations of that state’s unclaimed property act.  According to the article, insurers were identified by market share.

UK Bona Vacantia Pot Doubles in Past Year — As we’ve mentioned before, modern US unclaimed property laws have their source in the old common law doctrine of bona vacantia (“ownerless goods”).  Historically, the most typical example of such goods are the assets of a person who dies without a will or any known heirs.  In the UK, this common law doctrine is still alive and well.
Indeed, almost too well – according to a recent blog post on the UK edition of the Huffington Post, the mount of funds held on account of estates with no wills or known heirs in the UK has doubled in the past year to about 33.5 million Pounds (appx. $51.2 million). 

UPPO to Host Webinar on Potential Revisions to Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

As we mentioned in January, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) announced the formation of a “study committee” to consider revisions and/or amendments to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 1995.  The NCCUSL is the entity that promulgated the 1995 Uniform Act, a variant of which is in effect in a substantial number of states.  Given the infrequency with which the Uniform Acts are revised (the revisions that became the 1995 Act came 14 years after the enactment of the previous Uniform Act) potential revisions are a big deal.  Ultimately, the committee may suggest amendments to the current (1995) Uniform Act, draft a completely new uniform act, or decide that no action is warranted.

The NCCUSL sponsored a hearing on April 24, during which time a variety of participants provided comments on whether the Uniform Act should be revised.  For those looking for more information about the Uniform Act process, some of the issues raised at the April 24 meeting, and/or how the process is expected to play out, the Unclaimed Property Professionals’ Organization will be hosting a May 22 Webinar discussing these, and related, issues.  Registration information for the webinar can be found here.

Lost & Found: Mark Your Calendars

Recently, we mentioned that the Unclaimed Property Professionals’ Organization’s Annual Conference was coming up this March.  In case you can’t make it out to San Diego this Spring (and even if you can) the following are some other unclaimed property events that might be worthwhile for you and/or your unclaimed property team:

Delaware VDA Webinar — As we’ve covered previously, Delaware is currently sponsoring a limited time enhanced Voluntary Disclosure Agreement program sponsored by the Secretary of State’s office, complete with a snazzy website that provides a great deal of information about the program.  In keeping with the new program’s outreach efforts, the Delaware Secretary of State will be holding a webinar on January 28th at 3pm to provide detailed information about the VDA program.  Registration information can be found at the aforementioned snazzy website.

NAUPA Holder’s Workshop (May 14-17 in Pittsburgh, PA) — If UPPO is considered the primary holder-centric unclaimed property interest group, then its state counterpart is the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).  NAUPA is affiliated with the National Association of State Treasurers and acts to “support excellence and professionalism among those individuals charged with the responsibilities of unclaimed property administration and compliance.”  Among other things, NAUPA also hosts an annual “Holder’s Workshop” as a learning and networking event for unclaimed property professionals.  This year’s event will be held in Pittsburgh from May 14th to the 17th.  Prospective attendees should visit NAUPA’s website for more information.