In late June, 2016 a Delaware federal court issued a decision ruling that Delaware's unclaimed property audit and estimation practices "shock[ed] the conscience" of the court and likely violated the due process rights of Temple Inland (a Delaware company being subjected to an unclaimed property audit on Delaware's behalf by a private auditing firm). While the court's holding was big news in the unclaimed property industry and signaled potentially seismic changes in the way unclaimed property audits are conducted, the real work was left to be done: the Court expressly left open the issue of how Delaware's violations were to be remedied. Even with this important step left to be taken, the holder community was understandably excited that -- finally -- there would be some answers concerning (a) the interplay between estimation and availability of records; (b) the proper methods for calculating and sourcing historical unclaimed property liabilities; and (c) t
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Today, we are going to continue our break from the New Jersey gift card saga and take a step back to first principles by continuing our new feature to the blog: "Unclaimed Property 101." In these articles, we will provide a primer on the basic unclaimed property laws and policies that govern an unclaimed property holder's (or owner's) rights and responsibilities. While this represents a departure from our gift card discourses, it is not entirely unrelated. Indeed, most of the ink spilled for and against New Jersey's gift card legislation relates to the law's requirement that gift card sellers collect the purchaser's name and address (or at least zip code) information at the time of purchase. Why does the law do that? Good question. Here's the answer: In the beginning . . . . In the beginning, there were no set rules for determining which state had the primary right to take custody of unclaimed property. In many situations -- for example, a
We've discussed unclaimed property laws in the Caribbean a few times (see here and here ), and now we add Jamaica to the list. As noted in a recent article published by the Jamaica Information Service , "[t]housands of unclaimed bank balances amounting to millions of dollars, with sums in these accounts ranging from nearly $2 million to just over $500, are to be remitted to the revenues of the government." Under the Jamaica Banking Act , banks are required to annually report all outstanding checks, drafts, and debts of the bank that have been outstanding for 7 or more years and all dividends remaining unpaid after 5 years. The banks are permitted to retain custody of the property for 15 years. Thereafter, the Minister of Finance is to publish notice of the abandoned assets, and after one year the property "shall lapse to and become part of the revenues of Jamaica."