Friday, March 14, 2014

Lost + Found: States Release New Lists of Unclaimed Property & Georgia Critiqued

Massachusetts Releases Unclaimed Property List . . .  -- Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman recently announced the release of the Bay State's most recent list of unclaimed properties.  According to the press release, the list contains 45,000 new properties in excess of $100 million collected by the Department during the last six months.  The new list also includes some $20 million in unclaimed life insurance policies discovered during recent audits.

. . . and Nebraska Too -- According to an article in the Lincoln Journal Star the Nebraska State Treasury is preparing to publish the names of an additional 35,000 unclaimed property owners in Husker State newspapers during March and April.

CBS46 Atlanta:  Georgia Not Doing Enough to Reunite Owners With Funds -- We've spent a fair amount of time recently addressing state efforts to reunite owners with their property.  According to a series of special reports by the local CBS affiliate, Georgia is not doing enough to make outreach efforts to owners.  According to the article, the state doesn't publish owner names, hasn't issued a press release in years, and doesn't use social media.  The whole series of articles is well worth a read.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

West Virginia Adds More Unclaimed Property to State Website

The Office of the West Virginia State Treasurer has announced recent policy changes that increase the amount of unclaimed property appearing on the state's website (and, thus, available for online searches).  According to the Treasury's press release, the threshold for listing property on the website has been reduced from $50 to $25.  The same release notes that the department is soon to release an additional 13,000 items that are being held by the state for West Virginia residents.  Kudos to the Mountaineer State for making efforts to reunite more owners with their property.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Unclaimed Property's "Second Season" Has Begun

Welcome to unclaimed property's "second" (but no less important) season - the Spring reporting period.  In the vast majority of states (approximately 40), unclaimed property reports are due in the fall (October 31 or November 1) for all property deemed abandoned as of the previous summer (June 30 or July 1).  While that crush of reports may create anxious times for unclaimed property professionals, the sizable minority of Spring reporting states contains some heavy hitters.  Among the spring states are (dates are for general corporations - life insurers and other entities may have other dates):

Connecticut - reports due March 31
Delaware - reports due March 1
Florida - reports due April 30
Illinois - reports due April 30
New York - many reports due March 10
Pennsylvania - reports due April 15
Tennessee - reports due April 30
Vermont - reports due April 30

Moreover, given the recent changes to some states' unclaimed property laws, there will be precious little time to breath a sigh of relief after the Spring reporting period ends and the "Summer" reporting period (which did not exist a few years ago) begins in Michigan and Texas.