Michigan Unclaimed Property Changes Become Law

As widely expected, the Governor of Michigan signed into law House Bill 6421, which enacts sweeping changes to the Michigan unclaimed property act.  Most significantly, this law changes the dormancy period for most property types from 5 years to 3 years.  Michigan - which is required by state constitution to pass a balanced budget - hopes that this reduction in dormancy period will increase state revenue by tens of millions of dollars.

In addition to the dormancy period changes, HB 6421 makes changes with regard to holder reporting.  Generally, Michigan requires an unclaimed property report to be filed and property delivered by November 1 for the year ending June 30.  HB 6421 leaves that deadline in place, but adds the following reporting dates:
  • In 2011, a report shall be filed on or before July 1, 2011 for the 9-month period ending on March 31, 2011. 
  • For years ending after 12/31/2011, the report shall be filed on or before July 1 of each year for the 12 month period ending on the immediately preceding March 31.
Interestingly, the one change made by the Senate to the bill as it proceeded through the state legislature was to delete that portion of the bill that would have shortened the dormancy period for travelers' checks from 15 years to 3 years.  (The Senate markup is available here).  It is likely that had such a provision passed, American Express might have sued Michigan in addition to New Jersey.

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