Archives: Unclaimed Property

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Unclaimed Property Gift Card Legislation to Watch

Most states are well off to the races with their 2017 legislative sessions and several states have gift card legislation pending that would impact unclaimed property holders. Oregon On January 9, 2017, a bill (SB 113) was introduced in the Senate that would create a new unclaimed property reporting obligation for gift cards, which would apply … Continue Reading

Breaking News: Unclaimed Property Legislation Passes Delaware General Assembly

On January 26, 2017, the Delaware House approved comprehensive unclaimed property rewrite legislation (SB 13) that was passed by the Senate (with committee amendments) last week.  Our summary of many of the key provisions of the bill (as introduced) is available here.  Because the amended version of SB 13 has now passed both chambers of … Continue Reading

Breaking News: Delaware Unclaimed Property Legislation – Lipstick on a Pig?

The Delaware General Assembly has introduced legislation that would significantly rewrite the Delaware unclaimed property statute by repealing the three current subchapters and replacing them with a single unclaimed property subchapter. This article highlights key proposed changes in the bill. Read the full article.… Continue Reading

Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act Finalized for State Enactment—Legislative Drafting Notes and Interpretative Comments Added

The fourth iteration of a uniform unclaimed property act—entitled the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or Act)—has been finalized by the Uniform Law Commission for state enactment. The new Prefatory Note, Legislative Notes, and Comments components offer further explanatory guidance on the Act. Read the full article.… Continue Reading

New Delaware Unclaimed Property Decision Further Complicates Landscape

Another federal judge slams Delaware’s unclaimed property audit methodology but rejects the holder’s reliance on the priority rules as a defense to the audit demands. See Marathon Petroleum Corp. et al. v. Cook et al., No. 1:16-cv-00080-LPS (D. Del., Sept. 23, 2016). The court recognized the unjustness of Delaware’s audit approach, but followed a previous case … Continue Reading

Settlement Reached in Temple-Inland; Delaware Internally Reviewing Unclaimed Property Audit Practices

The court case challenging Delaware’s unclaimed property audit methodologies has settled following an opinion brutalizing Delaware’s position. This settlement leaves the US District Court for the District of Delaware (District Court) holding as precedent, but the issue of what methods Delaware must jettison remains open. Last Friday, Temple-Inland and Delaware filed a joint motion to … Continue Reading

Breaking News: Federal Court Finds Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Enforcement “Shocks the Conscience”

On June 28, 2016, the much-anticipated memorandum opinion of the US District Court for the District of Delaware in Temple-Inland, Inc. v. Cook et al., No. 14-654-GMS was released on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, finding Delaware’s extrapolation methodology and audit techniques collectively violate substantive due process.  According to Judge Gregory M. Sleet, “[t]o put … Continue Reading

Unclaimed Property Hunger Games: States Seek Supreme Court Review in ‘Official Check’ Dispute

Background As detailed in our blog last month, MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. (MoneyGram) is stuck in between a rock and a hard place as states continue to duel with Delaware over the proper classification of (and priority rules applicable to) MoneyGram’s escheat liability for uncashed “official checks.”  The dispute hinges on whether the official checks … Continue Reading

Unclaimed Property Litigation Update – Spring 2016

Litigation over unclaimed property rules and obligations continues to accelerate. The first quarter of 2016 brought developments in several cases, including a much-watched contest over merchandise credits and a new battle between the states over which state gets the money. California Merchandise Credits Not Subject to Remittance as Unclaimed Property; Implicit Application of Derivative Rights … Continue Reading

Delaware Court Denies Most of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Unclaimed Property Gift Card False Claims Action

Two years ago, a former employee of Card Fact, LLC (subsequently purchased by Card Compliant), a company providing gift card issuance and management services to retailers, filed a false claims action in Delaware alleging that his former company and its retailer clients concocted a scheme to avoid remitting unclaimed gift card funds to Delaware. Last … Continue Reading

Q&A: Current Delaware Litigation & Potential Protective Claims

McDermott lawyers Stephen P. Kranz and Diann Smith recently engaged in a Q&A with Jon D’Amato and David Poehler of MarketSphere Consulting to expound upon the ramifications of the recent spate of litigation challenging Delaware’s unclaimed property enforcement. The timely and informative discussion includes both the procedural and substantive implications of these pending lawsuits. Read … Continue Reading

Straight Outta Delaware: JLI Invest S.A. et al. v. Cook et al.

As soon as we start to think that Delaware’s unclaimed property practices and administration couldn’t possibly get any more egregious, another lawsuit like JLI Invest S.A. et al. v. Cook et al., Case No. 11274 surfaces. The facts alleged in the complaint highlight the fundamental issue of just how much “protection” state unclaimed property laws provide … Continue Reading

Uniform Law Commission Completes First Reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at their Annual Meeting the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) completed their first reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or the Act). While over half of the sections comprising the current draft of the Act were passed over due to strict time constraints imposed by the ULC President … Continue Reading

Delaware Senate Passes Unclaimed Property Reform Bill

On June 18, 2015, a bill (S.B. 141) was unanimously approved by the Delaware Senate that would place limits on the look-back period and permanently extend the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) program. This represents the second bill this year that seeks to implement the recommended changes contained in the Unclaimed Property Task Force’s (Task Force) … Continue Reading

Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Audit Program Dealt Blow

The judge in a case challenging Delaware’s use of sampling and extrapolation to determine unclaimed property liability denied the state’s motion to dismiss and in doing so, seriously questioned the State’s approach.  Temple-Inland v. Cook, U.S. Dist. Ct. (DE), Civ. No. 14-654-SLR (3/11/2015).  Temple-Inland brought a suit against the State following an unclaimed property audit … Continue Reading

Currency Conversion Concerns: New York Issues Guidance on Virtual Currencies

On December 5, 2014, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance (Department) released TSB-M-14(5)C, (7)I, (17)S.  This (relatively short) bulletin sets forth the treatment of convertible virtual currency for sales, corporation and personal income tax purposes.  The bulletin follows on a notice released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in March of this year, … Continue Reading

Extraordinary Turnout and Discussions at ULC Unclaimed Property Drafting Meeting

Failing to attend last week’s Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC’s) Drafting Committee meeting to revise the 1995 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (the Act) was worse than missing the 2012 Extravakranza.  On November 7 and 8, 2014, the Who’s Who of the Abandoned and Unclaimed Property world (AUP for insiders needing abbreviations for texting) met in Washington, … Continue Reading

You Do the Math: Unclaimed Property Lawsuit Filed Against Kelmar

Mark McQuillen, president of Kelmar Associates, LLC, was misinformed when he was quoted as saying “I’ve never been sued” on May 26—less than one week after suit was filed against Kelmar and three Delaware state officials in a Delaware Federal District Court. See 72 State Tax Notes 455 (May 26, 2014). While the timing of … Continue Reading

An End to the Madness? Delaware Bill Introduced to End Contingent Fee Unclaimed Property Audits

Any holder who has been involved in an unclaimed property audit has experienced frustration when dealing with third party contingent fee auditors.  Delaware’s increasing aggressiveness in collecting unclaimed property has been inextricably tied to the use of these auditors, who are known for taking liberties with unclaimed property laws, harassing holders and inflating the values … Continue Reading

Retailers Should Examine Gift Card Practices in Light of a Recent Unclaimed Property False Claims Action

A complaint in the Superior Court of Delaware alleges that numerous retailers “schemed to deprive the State of Delaware of hundreds of millions of dollars due to the State under the Abandoned Property Law” (emphasis added).  Delaware v. Card Compliant et al., Del. Sup. Ct (New Castle County), Case No. N13C-06-289 FS (6/2013).  The complaint … Continue Reading

Best Practices for State Engagement of Private Unclaimed Property Auditors

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has released a report detailing current problems with states using private companies for unclaimed property audits and paying those auditors based on the amount recovered.  The report begins with an example of what can go wrong when private auditors are paid on a contingent basis.  The nightmare story … Continue Reading
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