Posts

Showing posts from May, 2016

Arizona to Take a Closer Look at Contingent Fee Audits

A few days ago, the Governor of Arizona signed House Bill 2343 into law .  The legislation makes some welcome and well-meaning changes to the way that unclaimed property audits (including, specifically, contingent fee audits) are conducted.  For example, the legislation provides that all holders will receive a "notice of rights" (1) making clear that the Department of Revenue makes all final decisions "that any unclaimed property is reportable;" (2) setting forth appeals procedures; (3) notifying holders where they can file complaints regarding auditor conduct; and (4) contact information for designated employees.  In addition to these changes, the new legislation also signals that Arizona is taking a fresh look at the use of contingent fee audits, and whether there are any practical alternatives.  The law requires the Department of Revenue to issue a Request for Information by the beginning of next year to "explore the feasibility of contracting for audits .

Friday Lost + Found: "Show Me State" Searches, "Sunshine State" Slowdown, Upcoming Compliance Webinar

Missouri Legislature Passes Life Insurance Bill . . . . -- The Missouri legislature recently passed House Bill 2150 , which would require insurance companies to compare policy information against the Social Security Administration's Death Master File on a semiannual basis. . . . .While Florida Insurers Seek to Block Bill -- In the same vein, WMFE is reporting that a group of insurers has filed suit in Florida state court seeking to prevent retroactive provision of a law that requires them to undertake DMF searches back to 1992. UPPO Audit Webinar -- The Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization (UPPO) is hosting a webinar on compliance efforts and avoiding audits.  Among the topics to be covered are state amnesty programs, completing state unclaimed property questionnaires, and fine-tuning compliance procedures.  Further information and sign-up details can be found at the UPPO website.

Friday Lost + Found: California's Audit Haul, Delaware Faces Threats, AARP Says "Open Your Mail"

California Unclaimed Property Audits Bring in Over $1B Per Year -- The Lake Arrowhead, California Mountain News has an article about a recent speech given by California State Treasurer John Chiang .  In addition to discussing the state budget, new technology initiatives, and " his perspective on the 'American Dream,'" Treasurer Chiang gave some information relating to his time as the State Controller.  As reported by Mountain News , Treasurer Chiang claimed that California's unclaimed property program was "broken" when he took over as Controller, and that his focus on "high profile audits brought in $9.3 billion" during his time in office (or about $1.2 billion per year).   To put that number into some perspective, $1.2 billion per year is more than the GDP of at at least 17 countries. Delaware Online Chronicles Threats to Delaware's Revenue -- In Delaware Online there is an editorial by Harry Themal which outlines some of the "

Oklahoma Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Suit Challenging Unclaimed Property Program as "Ponzi Scheme"

Recently, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma issued a decision in Dani v. Miller , an attempted class action suit challenging Oklahoma's Unclaimed Property Program as a "Ponzi Scheme."  In that case, an Oklahoma resident filed a number of constitutional and common-law challenges to the Oklahoma Unclaimed Property Act and its administration.  In particular, the plaintiff was challenging Oklahoma's practice (shared by nearly all the states) of only holding a portion of unclaimed property to pay out claims, while using the rest for state revenue.  As the Oklahoma Supreme Court explained: "[T]he UUPA contemplates and accounts for the fact that not all owners of abandoned property will seek to recover it.  The UUPA therefore creates a system where a reserve is maintained in the Unclaimed Property Fund to pay approved claims and the remainder is deposited to the General Revenue Fund for use by the state."  The plaintiffs contended that Oklahoma's unclaimed pro

Friday Lost + Found: Airport Accumulations, Bucks on the Bayou, Reporting Refresher

Loose Change Adds Up -- The UK's Daily Mail reports that the Transportation Security Administration collected over $750,000 last year at U.S. airports (and over $4.3 million over the last eight years) in loose change and the like left at security checkpoints.   States, They're Just Like Us -- WBRZ in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (home of Mike the Tiger ) has an article about the unclaimed property held by the State of Louisiana on behalf of various agencies of . . . the State of Louisiana.  According to the story, some of the $700 million held by the State is owed to various government agencies, many of which are operating under limited budgets. Upcoming UPPO Webinar on Reporting -- On May 18, the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization is hosting a webinar on the details of unclaimed property reporting.  If you need a refresher in advance of the fall reporting season, signup information is available at the UPPO website.