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NO. 161. AN ACT RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

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NO. 161. AN ACT RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY Powered By Docstoc
					NO. 161. AN ACT RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION                           abandonment of those payments, all payments that
OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY BY THE STATE.                                   become payable thereafter. The term includes
(S.158)                                                               amounts payable:
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State             (A) for the acquisition and retention of a mineral
of Vermont:                                                           lease, including bonuses, royalties, compensatory
Sec. 1. 27 V.S.A. chapter 14 is added to read:                        royalties, shut-in royalties, minimum royalties, and
CHAPTER 14. UNCLAIMED PROPERTY                                        delay rentals;
§ 1241. DEFINITIONS                                                    (B) for the extraction, production, or sale of
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise                 minerals, including net revenue interests, royalties,
requires:                                                             overriding royalties, extraction payments, and
(1) “Apparent owner” means the person whose name appears              production payments; and
on the records of a holder as the person entitled to                  (C) under an agreement or option, including a joint
property held, issued, or owing by the holder.                        operating agreement, unit agreement, pooling
(2) “Asset locator” means a person who enters into an                 agreement, and farm-out agreement.
agreement with an owner the primary purpose of which is to            (10) “Money order” means an express money order or
locate, deliver, recover, or assist for compensation in the           a personal money order, on which the remitter is the
recovery of property that is presumed abandoned.                      purchaser. The term does not mean a bank money
(3) “Business association” means any corporation, joint               order or any other instrument sold by a financial
stock company, investment company, business trust,                    organization if the seller has obtained the name and
partnership, unincorporated association, joint venture,               address of the payee.
limited liability company, trust company, safe deposit                (11) “Owner” means a person, or the person’s legal
company, financial organization, insurance company, mutual            representative, who has a legal or equitable interest
fund, utility, or other business entity consisting of one or          in property subject to this chapter. The term
more persons, whether or not for profit.                              includes a depositor in the case of a deposit, a
(4) “Domicile” means the state of incorporation of a                  beneficiary in the case of a trust other than a
corporation and the state of the principal place of business          deposit in trust, and a creditor, claimant, or payee in
of a holder other than a corporation.                                 the case of other property.
(5) “Financial organization” means any savings and loan               (12) “Person” means an individual, business
association, savings bank, bank, banking organization, or             association, financial organization, estate, trust,
credit union.                                                         government, governmental subdivision, agency, or
 (6) “Holder” means a person obligated to hold for the                instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial
account of, or deliver or pay to, the owner property that is          entity.
subject to this chapter.                                              (13) “Property” means tangible property described in
(7) “Insurance company” means an association, corporation,            section 1243 of this title or a fixed and certain
or fraternal or mutual benefit organization, whether or not           interest in intangible property that is held, issued, or
for profit, engaged in the business of providing life                 owed in the course of a holder’s business, or by a
endowments, annuities, or insurance, including accident,              government, governmental subdivision, agency, or
burial, casualty, credit life, contract performance, dental,          instrumentality, and all income or increments
disability, fidelity, fire, health, hospitalization, illness, life,   therefrom. The term includes property that is
malpractice, marine, mortgage, surety, wage protection,               referred to as or evidenced by:
title, captive insurance and workers’ compensation                    (A) money, a check, draft, deposit, interest, or
insurance.                                                            dividend;
(8) “Mineral” means gas; oil; coal; other gaseous, liquid, and        (B) credit balance, customer’s overpayment, security
solid hydrocarbons; oil shale; cement material; sand and              deposit, refund, credit memorandum, unpaid wage,
gravel; road material; building stone, chemical raw material;         unused ticket, mineral proceeds, or unidentified
gemstone; fissionable and nonfissionable ores; colloidal and          remittance;
other clay; steam and other geothermal resource; or any               (C) stock or other evidence of ownership of an
other substance defined as a mineral by the laws of this              interest in a business association or financial
state.                                                                organization;
(9) “Mineral proceeds” means amounts payable for the                  (D) a bond, debenture, note, or other evidence of
extraction, production, or sale of minerals, or, upon the             indebtedness;



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(E) money deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, or         (6) a demand, savings, bank money order or time
other securities or to make distributions;                       deposit, including a deposit that is automatically
(F) an amount due and payable under the terms of an              renewable, three years after the earlier of the
annuity or insurance policy, including policies providing life   maturity or the date of the last indication by the
insurance, property and casualty insurance, workers’             owner of interest in the property; however, a deposit
compensation insurance, or health and disability insurance;      that is automatically renewable is deemed matured
and                                                              for purposes of this section upon its initial date of
(G) an amount distributable from a trust or custodial fund       maturity;
established under a plan to provide health, welfare, pension,    (7) money or credits owed to a customer as a result
vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase,          of a retail business transaction, three years after
profit     sharing,     employee     savings,    supplemental    the obligation accrued;
unemployment insurance, or similar benefits.                     (8) amount owed by an insurer on a life or endowment
(14) “Record” means information that is inscribed on a           insurance policy or an annuity that has matured or
tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other      terminated, three years after the obligation to pay
medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.                   arose or, in the case of a policy or annuity payable
 (15) “State” means a state of the United States of              upon proof of death, three years after the insured
America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of           has attained, or would have attained if living, the
Puerto Rico, or any territory or insular possession subject      limiting age under the mortality table on which the
to the jurisdiction of the United States of America.             reserve is based;
(16) “Treasurer” means the treasurer of the state of             (9) property distributable by a business association
Vermont or a designee of the treasurer.                          or financial organization in a course of dissolution,
(17) “Utility” means a person who owns or operates for           one year after the property becomes distributable;
public use any plant, equipment, real property, franchise, or     (10) property received by a court as proceeds of a
license for the transmission of communications or the            class action, and not distributed pursuant to the
production, storage, transmission, sale, delivery, or            judgment, one year after the distribution date;
furnishing of electricity, water, steam, or gas.                 (11) property held by a court, government, or
§ 1242. PRESUMPTIONS OF ABANDONMENT                              governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality,
(a) Property is presumed abandoned if it is unclaimed by         one year after the property becomes distributable;
the apparent owner during the time set forth below for the       (12) wages or other compensation for personal
particular property:                                             services, one year after the compensation becomes
(1) traveler’s check, 15 years after issuance;                   payable;
(2) money order, seven years after issuance;                     (13) deposit or refund owed to a subscriber by a
(3) all forms of checks, or any similar instrument, three        utility, three years after the deposit or refund
years after issuance;                                            becomes payable;
(4) stock or other equity interest in a business association     (14) property in an individual retirement account,
or financial organization, including a security entitlement      defined benefit plan, or other account or plan that is
under article 8 of Title 9A, three years after the earlier       qualified for tax deferral under the income tax laws
of:                                                              of the United States, three years after the earliest
(A) the date of the most recent dividend, stock split, or        of the following dates:
other distribution unclaimed by the apparent owner; or           (A) the date of the distribution or attempted
 (B) the date of the second mailing of a statement of            distribution of the property;
account or other notification or communication that was          (B) the date of the required distribution as stated in
returned as undeliverable or after the holder discontinued       the plan or trust agreement governing the plan; or
mailings, notifications, or communications to the apparent       (C) the date, if determinable by the holder, specified
owner;                                                           in the income tax laws of the United States by which
(5) debt of a business association or financial organization,    distribution of the property must begin in order to
other than a bearer bond or an original issue discount bond,     avoid a tax penalty; and
three years after the date of the most recent interest           (15) all other property, three years after the owner’s
payment unclaimed by the apparent owner;                         right to demand the property or after the obligation
                                                                 to pay or distribute the property arises, whichever
                                                                 occurs first.



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 (b) At the time that an interest is presumed abandoned          (6) an electronic record of an internet account
under subsection (a) of this section, any other property         inquiry or action, when made via the use of the
right accrued or accruing to the owner as a result of the        owner’s unique personal identification information,
interest, and not previously presumed abandoned, is also         may establish an indication of the owner’s interest in
presumed abandoned.                                              the property, provided that the inquiry or action is
(c) Property is unclaimed if, for the applicable period set      traceable to the owner and not to a third party and
forth in subsection (a) of this section, the apparent owner      was not caused by an event within the electronic
has not communicated in writing, or by other means               system.
reflected in a contemporaneous record prepared by or on          (e) Property is payable or distributable for purposes
behalf of the holder, with the holder concerning the             of this chapter notwithstanding the owner’s failure
property or the account in which the property is held, and       to make demand or present an instrument or
has not otherwise indicated an interest in the property. A       document otherwise required to obtain payment.
communication with an owner by a person other than the           § 1243. CONTENTS OF SAFE DEPOSIT BOX OR
holder or its representative who has not in writing              OTHER SAFEKEEPING DEPOSITORY
identified the property to the owner is not an indication of     Tangible property held in a safe deposit box or other
interest in the property by the owner.                           safekeeping depository in this state in the ordinary
(d) An indication of an owner’s interest in property             course of the holder’s business and proceeds
includes:                                                        resulting from the sale of the property permitted by
(1) the presentment of a check or other instrument of            other law are presumed abandoned if the property
payment of a dividend or other distribution made with            remains unclaimed by the owner for more than five
respect to an account or underlying stock or other interest      years after expiration of the lease or rental period
in a business association or financial organization or, in the   on the box or other depository.
case of a distribution made by electronic or similar means,      §     1244.    UNCLAIMED         DEMUTUALIZATION
evidence that the distribution has been received;                PROCEEDS
(2) owner-directed activity in the account in which the          (a) Property distributable in the course of a
property is held, or in another account of the owner’s held      demutualization,      rehabilitation,   or     related
by the same business association or financial organization,      reorganization of an insurance company is deemed
including a direction by the owner to increase, decrease, or     abandoned two years after the date the property is
change the amount or type of property held in the account;       first distributable if, at the time of the first
(3) the making of a deposit to or withdrawal from a bank         distribution, the last known address of the owner on
account;                                                         the books and records of the holder is known to be
(4) the payment of a premium with respect to a property          incorrect, or the distribution or statements are
interest in an insurance policy; however, the application of     returned by the post office as undeliverable; and the
an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture       owner has not:
provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent a    (1) communicated in writing with the holder or its
policy from maturing or terminating if the insured has died      agent regarding the property; or
or the insured or the beneficiary of the policy has               (2) otherwise communicated with the holder
otherwise become entitled to the proceeds before the             regarding the property as evidenced by a
depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by the         memorandum or other record on file with the holder
application of those provisions;                                 or its agent.
(5) in the case of any demand, savings, or matured time          (b) Property distributable in the course of a
deposits with a banking or financial organization, including     demutualization,      rehabilitation,   or     related
deposits that are automatically renewable, the holder has        reorganization of a mutual insurance company that is
sent the owner by first class mail a statement of account        not subject to subsection (a) of this section shall be
or other associated mailing from the bank or financial           reportable as otherwise provided by this chapter.
institution, which has not been returned by the postal           (c) Property subject to subsection (a) of this section
service as undeliverable. In the event the mailing was           shall be reported and delivered pursuant to this
returned as undeliverable, the property shall be considered      chapter no later than May 1 of the calendar year
abandoned three years after the return, unless the owner         following the calendar year that the property is
during that three years takes any action described in            deemed abandoned.
subdivisions (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this subsection; and       § 1245. RULES FOR TAKING CUSTODY



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Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or by other       showing issuance of the instrument and passage of
statute of this state, property that is presumed               the requisite period of abandonment. Defenses of
abandoned, whether located in this or another state, is        payment, satisfaction, discharge, and want of
subject to the custody of this state if:                       consideration are affirmative defenses that shall be
(1) the last known address of the apparent owner, as shown     established by the holder.
on the records of the holder, is in this state;                § 1247. REPORT OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
(2) the records of the holder do not reflect the identity of   (a) A holder of property presumed abandoned shall
the person entitled to the property, and it is established     make a report to the treasurer concerning the
that the last known address of the person entitled to the      property.
property is in this state;                                     (b) The report shall be verified and shall contain:
(3) the records of the holder do not reflect the last known    (1) a description of the property;
address of the apparent owner, and it is established that:     (2) except with respect to a traveler’s check or
 (A) the last known address of the person entitled to the      money order, the name, if known, and last known
property is in this state; or                                  address, if any, and the Social Security number or
(B) the holder is domiciled in this state or is a government   taxpayer      identification   number,     if   readily
or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of     ascertainable, of the apparent owner of property of
this state and has not previously paid or delivered the        the value of $50.00 or more;
property to the state of the last known address of the         (3) an aggregated amount of items valued under
apparent owner or other person entitled to the property;       $25.00 each;
(4) the last known address of the apparent owner, as shown      (4) in the case of an amount of $50.00 or more held
on the records of the holder, is in a state that does not      or owing under an annuity or a life or endowment
provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property,   insurance policy, the full name and last known
and the holder is domiciled in this state or is a government   address of the annuitant or insured and of the
or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of     beneficiary;
this state;                                                    (5) in the case of property held in a safe deposit box
(5) the last known address of the apparent owner, as shown     or other safekeeping depository, an indication of the
on the records of the holder, is in a foreign country, and     place where it is held and where it may be inspected
the holder is domiciled in this state or is a government or    by the treasurer, and any amounts owing to the
governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of this   holder;
state;                                                         (6) the date, if any, on which the property became
(6) the transaction out of which the property arose            payable, demandable, or returnable, and the date of
occurred in this state, the holder is domiciled in a state     the last transaction with the apparent owner with
that does not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of   respect to the property; and
the property, and the last known address of the apparent       (7) other information that the treasurer prescribes
owner or other person entitled to the property is unknown      as necessary by rule for the administration of this
or is in a state that does not provide for the escheat or      chapter.
custodial taking of the property; or                           (c) If a holder of property presumed abandoned is a
(7) the property is a traveler’s check or money order          successor to another person who previously held the
purchased in this state or the issuer of the traveler’s        property for the apparent owner or the holder has
check or money order has its principal place of business in    changed its name while holding the property, the
this state, and the issuer’s records show that the             holder shall file with the report its former names, if
instrument was purchased in a state that does not provide      any, and the known names and addresses of all
for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or do      previous holders of the property.
not show the state in which the instrument was purchased.      (d) The report shall be filed before May 1 of each
§ 1246. BURDEN OF PROOF AS TO PROPERTY                         year and cover the preceding calendar year.
EVIDENCED BY RECORD OF CHECK OR DRAFT                          (e) The holder of property presumed abandoned shall
A record of the issuance of a check, draft, or similar         send written notice to the apparent owner, at no cost
instrument is prima facie evidence of an obligation. In        to the apparent owner, not more than 120 days
claiming property from a holder who is also the issuer, the    or less than 60 days before filing the report, stating
treasurer’s burden of proof as to the existence and amount     that the holder is in possession of property subject
of the property and its abandonment is satisfied by            to this chapter, if:



                                                          4
 (1) the holder has in its records an address for the           (d) An issuer, the holder, or a transfer agent or
apparent owner that the holder’s records do not reveal to       other person acting pursuant to the instructions of
be inaccurate;                                                  and on behalf of the issuer or holder in accordance
(2) the claim of the apparent owner is not barred by a          with this section shall not be liable to the apparent
statute of limitations; and                                     owner in accordance with section 1250 of this title.
(3) the value of the property is $50.00 or more.                 (e) A holder may deduct from that property a
(f) Before the date for filing the report, the holder of        charge imposed by reason of the owner’s failure to
property presumed abandoned may request the treasurer           claim the property within a specified time only if
to extend the time for filing the report. The treasurer may     there is a valid and enforceable written contract
grant the extension for good cause. The holder, upon            between the holder and the owner under which the
receipt of the extension, may make an interim payment on        holder may impose the charge and the holder
the amount the holder estimates will ultimately be due,         regularly imposes the charge, which is not regularly
which terminates the accrual of additional interest on the      reversed or otherwise cancelled. The amount of the
amount paid.                                                    charge shall be limited to an amount that is not
(g) The holder of property presumed abandoned shall file        unconscionable.
with the report an affidavit stating that the holder has        (f) The treasurer may require holders of unclaimed
complied with subsection (e) of this section.                   mutual funds to liquidate the mutual fund shares and
(h) Verification and affidavit, if made by a partnership,       remit the cash proceeds of the sale.
shall be executed by a partner; if made by an                   § 1249. NOTICE AND PUBLICATION OF LISTS OF
unincorporated association or private corporation, by an        UNCLAIMEDPROPERTY
officer; and if made by a public corporation, by its chief      (a) The treasurer shall notify apparent owners of
fiscal officer or his or her designee.                          unclaimed property under this chapter in the manner
§ 1248. PAYMENT OR DELIVERY OF UNCLAIMED                        and method set out in subsection (b) of this section.
PROPERTY                                                        In deciding whether to use an additional method
(a) Except for property held in a safe deposit box or other     specified in subdivision (b)(2) of this section, and
safekeeping depository, upon filing the report required by      which of those methods to use, the treasurer shall
section 1247 of this title, the holder of property presumed     employ the method he or she deems to be the most
abandoned shall pay, deliver, or cause to be paid or            cost-effective      method    available    within    its
delivered to the treasurer the property described in the        appropriations, while also giving consideration to the
report as unclaimed. However, if the property is an             effectiveness of the method.
automatically renewable deposit, and a penalty or               (b) The treasurer:
forfeiture in the payment of interest would result, the         (1) shall notify all apparent owners of unclaimed
time for compliance is extended until a penalty or              property in accordance with this section by means of
forfeiture would no longer result. Tangible property held in    posting on the treasurer’s website on the internet;
a safe deposit box or other safekeeping depository may not       (2) may use any of the following to provide
be delivered to the treasurer until 120 days after filing the   additional notice to the apparent owners:
report required by section 1247 of this title.                  (A) publication in a newspaper of general circulation:
(b) If the property reported to the treasurer is a security     (i) in the area of the state in which the last known
or security entitlement under article 8 of Title 9A, the        address of a person to be named in the notice is
treasurer is an appropriate person to make an endorsement,      located;
instruction, or entitlement order on behalf of the apparent     (ii) in the area in which the holder has its principal
owner to invoke the duty of the issuer or its transfer agent    place of business in the state; or
or the securities intermediary to transfer or dispose of        (iii) in the area the treasurer deems to provide the
the security or the security entitlement in accordance with     best opportunity to reach the apparent owner;
article 8 of Title 9A.                                          (B) individual contact by regular or electronic mail, or
(c) If the holder of property reported to the treasurer is      by telephone, if the treasurer has current contact
the issuer of a certificated security, the treasurer has the    information on file;
right to obtain a replacement certificate pursuant to           (C) any other manner and method that the treasurer
section 8-405 of Title 9A, but an indemnity bond is not         considers effective for providing notice and
required.                                                       publication.




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(c) In the notice and publication under subsection (b) of       section.
this section, the treasurer shall provide the names of the      (f) If a holder pays or delivers property to the
apparent owners of the property and information regarding       treasurer in good faith and, thereafter, another
recovery of the unclaimed property.                             person claims the property from the holder or
(d) The treasurer is not required to publish in the notice an   another state claims the money or property under its
item of less than $100.00 in value.                             laws relating to escheat or abandoned or unclaimed
§ 1250. CUSTODY BY STATE; RECOVERY BY HOLDER;                   property, no lawsuit may be maintained against the
RELIEF OF HOLDER FROM LIABILITY                                 holder.
(a) In this section, payment or delivery is made in “good       (g) Property removed from a safe deposit box or
faith” if: (1) payment or delivery was made in a reasonable     other safekeeping depository shall be received by
attempt to comply with this chapter;                            the treasurer subject to the holder’s right to be
(2) the holder was not then in breach of a fiduciary            reimbursed for the cost of the opening and to any
obligation with respect to the property and had a               valid lien or contract providing for the holder to be
reasonable basis for believing, based on the facts then         reimbursed for unpaid rent or storage charges.
known, that the property was presumed abandoned; and            The treasurer shall reimburse the holder out of the
(3) there is no showing that the records under which the        proceeds remaining after deducting the expense
payment or delivery was made did not meet reasonable            incurred by the treasurer in selling the property.
commercial standards of practice.                               § 1251. INCOME ACCRUING AFTER PAYMENT OR
(b) Upon payment or delivery of property to the treasurer,      DELIVERY
the state assumes custody and responsibility for the            If property other than money is delivered to the
safekeeping of the property. A holder who pays or delivers      treasurer under this chapter, the owner is entitled
property to the treasurer in good faith is relieved of all      to receive from the treasurer any income, gain, or
liability arising thereafter with respect to the property.      other increments identifiable to the owner realized
(c) A holder who has paid money to the treasurer pursuant       or accruing on the property at or before liquidation
to this chapter may subsequently make payment to a person       or conversion of the property into money, but the
reasonably appearing to the holder to be entitled to            owner is not entitled to any income, gain, or other
payment. Upon a filing by the holder of proof of payment        increments realized or accruing on the money after
and proof that the payee was entitled to the payment, the       liquidation. When money is paid or delivered to the
treasurer shall promptly reimburse the holder for the           treasurer under this chapter, the owner is not
payment without imposing a fee or other charge. If              entitled to receive income, gain, or other increments
reimbursement is sought for a payment made on a                 accruing thereafter.
negotiable instrument, including a traveler’s check or money    § 1252. PUBLIC SALE OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
order, the holder shall be reimbursed upon filing proof that    (a) The treasurer shall, within one year, sell
the instrument was duly presented, and that payment was         abandoned property, other than securities, to the
made to a person who reasonably appeared to be entitled to      highest bidder at public sale at a location which in
payment. The holder shall be reimbursed for payment made        the judgment of the treasurer affords the most
even if the payment was made to a person whose claim was        favorable market for the sale of the property. The
barred under subsection                                         treasurer may decline any bid as insufficient. The
1259(a) of this title. Once the holder is reimbursed, the       treasurer need not offer the property for sale if the
holder shall reassume liability with respect to the property.   treasurer considers that the probable cost of sale
(d) A holder who has delivered property other than money        will exceed the proceeds of the sale, or if the
to the treasurer pursuant to this chapter may reclaim the       treasurer considers the abandoned property to have
property if it is still in the possession of the treasurer,     little or no value. A sale held under this subsection
without paying any fee or other charge, upon filing proof       shall be preceded by a single publication of notice, at
that the apparent owner has claimed the property from the       least three weeks before the sale, in a newspaper of
holder. Upon recovering the property, the holder shall          general circulation in the county in which the
reassume custody, responsibility for the safekeeping of the     property is to be sold, or by such other methods as
property, and liability with respect to the property.           the treasurer determines will best advertise the
(e) The treasurer may accept a holder’s affidavit, sworn        sale.
under oath, as sufficient proof of the holder’s right to        (b) The treasurer shall, within one year after
recover money and property under this                           receipt, sell all abandoned securities. Securities



                                                           6
listed on an established stock exchange shall be sold at       (5) money for which a claim may no longer be made
prices prevailing on the exchange at the time of sale. Other   pursuant to subsection 1259(c) of this title and
securities may be sold over the counter at prices prevailing   which shall be paid by the treasurer into the higher
at the time of sale or by any reasonable method selected       education endowment trust fund created by section
by the treasurer. A person making a claim under this           2885 of Title 16 under authority of this subsection.
chapter is entitled to the proceeds of the sale of the         (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this
securities less any deduction for expenses of this sale. A     chapter, or of subchapter 3 of chapter 5 of Title 1,
person making a claim under this chapter before the            the treasurer may withhold information concerning
securities are sold is entitled to receive the securities      an individual, or specific abandoned property, when in
without additional cost.                                       the treasurer’s judgment it is necessary to assure
(c) A purchaser of property at a sale conducted by the         that abandoned property is returned to the rightful
treasurer pursuant to this chapter takes the property free     owner, or to otherwise protect the owner. In
of all claims of the owner or previous holder and of all       addition, the treasurer may withhold information
persons claiming through or under them. The treasurer          concerning individuals and abandoned property until
shall execute all documents necessary to complete the          notice has been provided in accordance with section
transfer of ownership.                                         1249 of this title and deny requests for lists of
(d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter,      owners in any format for 24 months after the date
the treasurer is authorized to use discretion in selling       the property is paid or delivered to the treasurer.
abandoned property. The treasurer may delay a sale if, in      § 1254. CLAIM OF ANOTHER STATE TO RECOVER
his or her judgment, market conditions are unfavorable.        PROPERTY
The treasurer may determine that certain types of              (a) After property has been paid or delivered to the
abandoned property are not appropriate for public sale and     treasurer under this chapter, another state may
withhold those items from sale.                                recover the property if:
§ 1253. DEPOSIT OF FUNDS; INFORMATION                          (1) the property was paid or delivered to the custody
CONCERNING OWNER                                               of this state because the records of the holder did
(a) All funds received under this chapter, including the       not reflect a last known location of the apparent
proceeds from the sale of unclaimed property under section     owner within the borders of the state, and the other
1252 of this title, shall forthwith be received by the         state establishes that the apparent owner or other
treasurer, except that the treasurer shall retain in a         person entitled to the property was last known to be
separate fund an amount not exceeding $100,000.00 or 50        located within the borders of that state and, under
percent of the funds received during the previous year,        laws of that state, the property has escheated or
whichever is greater, from which he or she shall make          become subject to a claim of abandonment by that
prompt payment of claims duly allowed by him or her as         state; (2) the property was paid or delivered to the
provided in this section. The treasurer shall record the       custody of this state because the laws of the other
name and last known address of each owner appearing on         state did not provide for the escheat or custodial
the holder’s reports and the names and last known address      taking of the property, and, under the laws of that
of each insured person or annuitant and beneficiary, and       state, subsequently enacted, the property has
with respect to each policy or annuity listed in the report    escheated or become subject to a claim of
of an insurance company its number, the name of the            abandonment by that state;
company, and the amount due. The record shall be available     (3) the records of the holder were erroneous in that
for public inspection at all reasonable hours.                 they did not accurately identify the owner of the
(b) Before making a deposit to the credit of the general       property and the last known location of the owner
fund, the treasurer may deduct:                                within the borders of another state and, under the
(1) expenses of a sale of unclaimed property;                  laws of that state, the property has escheated or
(2) costs of mailing and publication in connection with        become subject to a claim of abandonment by that
unclaimed property;                                            state;
(3) reasonable service charges;                                (4) the property was subjected to custody by this
(4) expenses incurred in examining records of holders of       state under subsection 1245(f) of this title, and
property and in collecting the property from those holders;    under the laws of the state of domicile of the
and                                                            holder, the property has escheated or become
                                                               subject to a claim of abandonment by that state; or



                                                          7
(5) the property is a sum payable on a traveler’s check,       credit against any taxes then due or thereafter
money order, or similar instrument that was purchased in       becoming due to the state by the person in whose
the other state and delivered into the custody of this         favor judgment was rendered.
state under subsection 1245(g) of this title, and under the    § 1256. APPEAL
laws of the other state, the property has escheated or         A person aggrieved by a decision of the treasurer on
become subject to a claim of abandonment by that state.        a claim may appeal to the Washington superior court
(b) A claim of another state to recover escheated or           which may review the claim de novo.
abandoned property shall be presented in a form                § 1257. ELECTION TO TAKE PAYMENT OR
prescribed by the treasurer, who shall decide the claim        DELIVERY
within 90 days after it is presented. The treasurer shall      (a) The treasurer may decline to receive property
allow the claim upon determining that the other state is       reported or delivered under this chapter.
entitled to the unclaimed property under subsection (a) of     (b) A holder, with the written consent of the
this section.                                                  treasurer and upon conditions and terms prescribed
(c) The treasurer shall require another state, before          by the treasurer, may report and deliver property
recovering property under this section, to agree to            before the property is presumed abandoned.
indemnify this state and its officers and employees against    Property so delivered shall be held by the treasurer
any liability on a claim to the property.                      and is not presumed abandoned until it otherwise
§ 1255. FILING CLAIM WITH TREASURER; HANDLING                  would be presumed abandoned under this chapter.
OF CLAIMS BY TREASURER                                         § 1258. DESTRUCTION OR DISPOSITION OF
(a) A person, excluding another state, claiming property       PROPERTY         HAVING        NO      SUBSTANTIAL
paid or delivered to the treasurer may file a claim on a       COMMERCIAL          VALUE;       IMMUNITY        FROM
form prescribed by the treasurer and sworn under oath by       LIABILITY
the claimant.                                                  If the treasurer determines after investigation that
(b) The treasurer shall review every abandoned property        property delivered under this chapter has no
claim filed and determine whether to allow or deny the         substantial commercial value, the treasurer may
claim as promptly as possible, consistent with the need to     destroy or otherwise dispose of the property at any
determine the accuracy of the claim. The treasurer may         time. An action or proceeding may not be maintained
request additional information from a claimant in order to     against the state or any officer or against the holder
make a determination of the claim. The treasurer shall give    for or on account of an act of the treasurer under
written notice of the decision to the claimant. If the claim   this section, except for intentional misconduct or
is denied, the treasurer shall inform the claimant of the      malfeasance.
reasons for the denial and specify what additional evidence    § 1259. PERIODS OF LIMITATION
is required before the claim will be allowed. The claimant     (a) The expiration of a period of limitation on the
may then file a new claim with the treasurer or maintain an    owner’s right to receive or recover property,
appeal under section 1256 of this title.                       whether specified by contract, statute, or court
(c) The property or the net proceeds of a sale of the          order, shall not preclude the property from being
property shall be delivered or paid by the treasurer to the    presumed abandoned or affect a duty to file a report
claimant as promptly as possible, provided that the            or to pay or deliver or transfer property to the
treasurer has sufficient funds under section 1253 of this      treasurer as required by this chapter.
title.                                                         (b) An action or proceeding may not be maintained by
(d) Any obligation to reimburse payment to the state           the treasurer to enforce this chapter in regard to
treasurer under this chapter shall be the obligation of this   the reporting, delivery, or payment of property more
state. Any amount payable pursuant to the reimbursement        than 10 years after the holder specifically identified
provisions of this chapter or payable under any judgment       the property in a report filed with the treasurer or
against the state pursuant to this chapter, shall be paid      gave notice to the treasurer of a dispute regarding
from the separate trust fund established by this chapter       the property. In the absence of such a report or
or, if the separate trust fund is insufficient, from state     other express notice, the period of limitation shall
taxes levied upon all taxable property or income. If the       be tolled. The period of limitation shall also be tolled
judgment remains unsatisfied 90 days following the date of     by the filing of a report that is fraudulent.
entry thereof and the conclusion of any appeal of the          (c) A claim may not be made, an appeal may not be
judgment, the amount of the judgment may be used as a          taken under section 1256 of this title, nor may an



                                                          8
action or proceeding be maintained concerning abandoned          (e) If an examination of the records of a person
property valued at $100.00, or less, more than 10 years          results in the disclosure of property reportable
after the abandoned property was received from the               under this chapter, the treasurer may assess the
holder under section 1248 of this title. For purposes of this    cost of the examination against the holder at the
subsection, the value of the abandoned property shall be         rate of $200.00 per day for each examiner, or a
that value as of the date the property was received from         greater amount that is reasonable and was incurred,
the holder by the treasurer.                                     but the assessment may not exceed the value of the
§ 1260. REQUESTS FOR REPORTS AND EXAMINATION                     property found to be reportable. The cost of an
OF RECORDS                                                       examination made pursuant to subsection (c) of this
(a) The treasurer may require a person who has not filed a       section may be assessed only against the business
report, or a person who the treasurer believes has filed an      association or financial organization.
inaccurate, an incomplete, or a false report, to file a          (f) If a holder does not maintain the records
report, sworn under oath, in a form specified by the             required by section 1261 of this title and the records
treasurer. The report shall state whether the person is          of the holder available for the periods subject to
holding property reportable under this chapter, describe         this chapter are insufficient to permit the
property not previously reported or as to which the              preparation of a report, the treasurer may require
treasurer has made inquiry, and specifically identify and        the holder to report to and pay the treasurer the
state the amounts of property that may be at issue.              amount the treasurer reasonably estimates, on the
(b) The treasurer, at reasonable times and upon reasonable       basis of any available records of the holder or by
notice, may examine the records of any person to                 any other reasonable method of estimation, should
determine whether the person has complied with this              have been but was not reported.
chapter. The treasurer may conduct the examination even          § 1261. RETENTION OF RECORDS
if the person believes it is not in possession of any property   (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of
that shall be reported, paid, or delivered under this            this section, a holder required to file a report under
chapter. The treasurer may contract with any other person        section 1247 of this title shall maintain the records
to conduct the examination on behalf of the treasurer.           containing the information required to be included in
(c) The treasurer at reasonable times may examine the            the report for 10 years after the holder files the
records of an agent, including a dividend disbursing agent       report, unless a shorter period is provided by the
or transfer agent, of a business association or financial        treasurer by rule.
association that is the holder of property presumed              (b) A business association or financial organization
abandoned if the treasurer has given the notice required by      that sells, issues, or provides to others for sale or
subsection (b) of this section to both the association or        issues in this state traveler’s checks, money orders,
organization and the agent at least 90 days before the           or similar instruments other than third-party bank
examination.                                                     checks, for which the business association or
(d) Documents and working papers obtained or compiled by         financial organization is directly liable, shall maintain
the treasurer, or the treasurer’s agent, employee, or            a record of the instruments while they remain
designated representative, in the course of conducting an        outstanding, indicating the state and date of issue,
examination are confidential and are not public records, but     for three years after the holder files the report.
the documents and papers may be:                                 § 1262. ENFORCEMENT
(1) used by the treasurer in the course of an action to          The treasurer may, through the attorney general,
collect unclaimed property or otherwise enforce this             maintain an action in this or another state to enforce
chapter;                                                         this chapter. The court may award reasonable
(2) used in joint examinations conducted with or pursuant        attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.
to an agreement with another state, the federal                  § 1263. INTERSTATE AGREEMENTS AND
government, or any other governmental subdivision, agency,       COOPERATION;         JOINT       AND       RECIPROCAL
or instrumentality;                                              ACTIONS WITH OTHER STATES
(3) produced pursuant to subpoena or court order; or             (a) The treasurer may enter into an agreement with
(4) disclosed to the unclaimed property office of another        another state to exchange information relating to
state for that state’s use in circumstances equivalent to        unclaimed property or its possible existence. The
those described in this subdivision, if the other state is       agreement may permit the other state, or another
bound to keep the documents and papers confidential.             person acting on behalf of that state, to examine



                                                            9
records as authorized in section 1260 of this title. The       chapter, shall pay to the treasurer, in addition to
treasurer by rule may require the reporting of information     interest as provided in this subsection, a civil penalty
needed to enable compliance with an agreement made under       of $1,000.00 for each day the report, payment, or
this section and prescribe the form.                           delivery is withheld, or the duty is not performed, up
(b) The treasurer may join with another state to seek          to a maximum of $25,000.00, plus 25 percent of the
enforcement of this chapter against any person who is or       value of any property that should have been but was
may be holding property reportable under this chapter.         not reported.
(c) At the request of another state, the attorney general      (4) A holder who knowingly makes a false
of this state may maintain an action on behalf of the other    representation shall pay to the treasurer, in addition
state to enforce, in this state, the unclaimed property laws   to interest as provided in this subsection, a civil
of the other state against a holder of property subject to     penalty of $1,000.00 for each, false representation
escheat or a claim of abandonment by the other state, if       up to a maximum of $25,000.00, plus 25 percent of
the other state has agreed to pay expenses incurred by the     the value of any property that should have been but
attorney general in maintaining the action.                    was not reported.
(d) The treasurer may request that the attorney general or     (5) The treasurer for good cause may waive, in whole
another attorney commence an action in the other state on      or in part, interest and penalties under this
behalf of the treasurer. With the approval of the attorney     subsection (a), and shall waive penalties if the holder
general of this state, the treasurer may retain any other      acted in good faith and without negligence.
attorney to commence an action in this state on behalf of      (6) Civil penalties under this section may be imposed
the treasurer. This state shall pay all expenses, including    by a court of competent jurisdiction.
attorney’s fees, in maintaining an action under this           (b) The treasurer, through the attorney general, may
subsection. With the treasurer’s approval, the expenses        seek and obtain an injunction from a court of
and attorney’s fees may be paid from money received under      competent jurisdiction to require compliance with
this chapter. The treasurer may agree to pay expenses and      any provision of this chapter.
attorney’s fees based in whole or in part on a percentage of   § 1265. AGREEMENT TO LOCATE PROPERTY;
the value of any property recovered in the action. Any         ASSET LOCATORS
expenses or attorney’s fees paid under this subsection may     (a) All asset locators seeking to interact with the
not be deducted from the amount that is subject to the         treasurer’s office on behalf of owners shall first
claim by the owner under this chapter.                         register with the office on forms prescribed by the
§ 1264. INTEREST AND PENALTIES                                 treasurer. Registration information shall include, but
(a) In addition to any other penalty provided by law:          not be limited to, an asset locator’s previous business
(1) A holder who fails to report, pay, or deliver property     experience and whether the asset locator has a
within the time prescribed by this chapter shall pay to the    criminal record. In order to obtain and maintain
treasurer interest on the property or value thereof from       registered status, all asset locators shall post a
the date the property should have been reported, paid, or      performance bond of not less than $10,000.00 to
delivered. Interest shall be assessed at the prime rate as     insure the treasurer’s office against any fraudulent
reported in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street         or mistaken claims that may arise as a result of an
Journal on the day the invoice for interest is issued by the   heir finder’s representation of an owner. A copy of
treasurer’s office.                                            any agreement, or contract, between an asset locator
(2) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (3) of this    and an owner shall be filed with the treasurer’s
subsection                                                     office, together with a signed by the owner and
(a), a holder who fails to report, pay, or deliver property    notarized “notice to claimant” form, as prescribed by
within the time prescribed by this chapter, or fails to        the treasurer, describing the rights of the owner
perform other duties imposed by this chapter, shall pay to     under this section.
the treasurer, in addition to interest as provided in this     (b) An agreement between an owner and an asset
subsection, a civil penalty of $200.00 for each day the        locator, the primary purpose of which is to locate,
report, payment, or delivery is withheld, or the duty is not   deliver, recover or assist in the recovery of property
performed, up to a maximum of $5,000.00.                       that is presumed abandoned, shall be void and
(3) A holder who willfully fails to report, pay, or deliver    unenforceable if it was entered into during the
property within the time prescribed by this chapter, or        period commencing on the date the property was
willfully fails to perform other duties imposed by this        presumed abandoned and extending to a time that is



                                                         10
24 months after the date the property is paid or delivered      If any provision of this chapter or the application
to the treasurer. This subsection shall not apply to an         thereof to any person of circumstance is held invalid,
agreement between an owner and a Vermont licensed               the invalidity does not affect other provisions or
attorney to file a claim as to identified property or contest   applications of this chapter which can be given
the treasurer’s denial of a claim.                              effect without the invalid provision or application,
(c) An agreement between an owner and an asset locator,         and, to this end, the provisions of this chapter are
the primary purpose of which is to locate, deliver, recover     severable.
or assist in the recovery of property that is presumed          §    1270.     DECEASED      OWNERS;       MULTIPLE
abandoned, shall be enforceable only if the agreement is in     CLAIMANTS
writing in a form acceptable to the treasurer, clearly sets     (a) If the treasurer holds unclaimed property in the
forth the nature of the property and the services to be         name of a deceased owner, the treasurer may deliver
rendered, is signed by the apparent owner, and states the       the property as follows:
value of the property before and after the fee or other         (1) In the case of an open estate, to the
compensation has been deducted.                                 administrator or executor.
(d) If an agreement covered by this section applies to          (2) In the case of a closed estate and the unclaimed
mineral proceeds, and the agreement contains a provision to     property is valued at less than $2,500.00, in
pay compensation that includes a portion of the underlying      accordance with the probate court decree of
minerals or any mineral proceeds not then presumed              distribution.
abandoned, the provision is void and unenforceable.             (3) In the absence of an open estate or probate
(e) An agreement between an owner and an asset locator,         court decree of distribution, and the unclaimed
the primary purpose of which is to locate, deliver, recover     property is valued at less than $2,500.00 to the
or assist in the recovery of property that is presumed          surviving spouse of the deceased owner, or, if there
abandoned and that provides for compensation that               is no surviving spouse, then to the next of kin
exceeds 10 percent of the value of the unclaimed property,      according to section 551 of Title 14.
shall be unenforceable.                                         (4) In all other cases where the treasurer holds
(f) This section does not preclude an owner from asserting      property in the name of a deceased owner, a probate
that an agreement covered by this section is invalid on         estate shall be opened by the claimant, or other
grounds other than excessive compensation.                      interested party, in order to determine the
(g) No claim form may be sent to an asset locator without       appropriate distribution of the unclaimed property.
the prior written permission of the owner, or the owner’s       Where an estate is opened solely to distribute
legal representative. Payments of all claims made to an         unclaimed property under this section, the probate
owner who has been assisted by an asset locator shall be        court may waive any filing fees.
made to the owner, and not to the asset locator.                (b) If the treasurer holds unclaimed property valued
(h) An owner may not assign his or her rights, or property      at $100.00 or less which more than one person owns,
interests, under this chapter to an asset locator. No power     the treasurer may deliver the property as follows:
of attorney containing provisions contrary to this section      (1) If the property has been listed on the treasurer’s
shall be enforceable.                                           website for less than one year, a proportionate share
§ 1266. FOREIGN TRANSACTIONS                                    to each of the persons who owns the property and
This chapter shall not apply to property held, due, and         who files a claim.
owing in a foreign country and arising out of a foreign         (2) If the property has been listed on the
transaction.                                                    treasurer’s website for a year or more, to the first
§ 1267. RULES                                                   person who files a claim and who owns at least a
The treasurer may adopt, pursuant to chapter 25 of Title        share of the property.
3, rules necessary to carry out this chapter.                   Sec. 2. REPEAL
§ 1268. UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION AND                           27 V.S.A. chapter 13 (unclaimed property) is
CONSTRUCTION                                                    repealed.
This chapter shall apply and be construed to effectuate its     Sec. 2a. SUNSET; REPORT
general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to         (a) 27 V.S.A. § 1270(b) (multiple claimants of
the subject of this chapter among states enacting it.           unclaimed property valued at $100.00 or less) shall
§ 1269. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE                                     be repealed on July 1, 2009.




                                                          11
(b) On or before January 15, 2009, the state treasurer
shall file a report with the House and Senate committees
on government operations which describes the unclaimed
property division’s experience with the operation of 27
V.S.A.
§ 1270(b) and which recommends whether that subsection
should be made permanent or should be repealed.
Sec. 3. APPLICATION; TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
(a) No income or gain shall be realized or accrued under 27
V.S.A. § 1251 prior to the effective date of this act.
(b) The expiration of a period of limitation on the owner’s
right to receive or recover property, whether specified by
contract, statute, or court order, and whether before or
after the effective date of this act, shall not preclude the
property from being presumed abandoned or affect a duty
to file a report or to pay or deliver or transfer property to
the treasurer as required by chapter 14 of Title 27.
(c) If, after the effective date of this act, or as required
by former chapter 13 of this title prior to enactment of
this act, a holder does not maintain the records required by
section 1261 of Title 27 as required by this act, and the
records of the holder available for the periods subject to
this chapter are insufficient to permit the preparation of a
report, the treasurer may require the holder to report to
and pay the treasurer the amount the treasurer reasonably
estimates, on the basis of any available records of the
holder or by any other reasonable method of estimation,
should have been but was not reported.
(d) An initial report that was not required to be filed
before the effective date of this act but which is subject
to chapter 14 of Title 27 shall include all items of property
that would have been presumed unclaimed during the 10-
year period next preceding the effective date of this act
as if chapter 14 of Title 27 had been in effect during that
period.
(e) This act shall not relieve a holder of a duty that arose
before the effective date of this act to report, pay, or
deliver property as required by chapter 14 of Title 27.
Except as otherwise provided in subsection 1259(b) of Title
27, a holder who did not comply with Vermont law in effect
prior to the effective date of this act shall be subject to
the applicable provisions for enforcement and penalties
which then existed and which are continued in effect for
the purpose of this section.
(f) The provisions of subsection 1248(e) of this title shall
apply to contracts entered into after the effective date of
this act.
(g) The money paid by the treasurer into the higher
education trust fund pursuant to 27 V.S.A. § 1253(b)(5) for
fiscal year 2007 shall not exceed $600,000.00.
Approved: May 18, 2006



                                                          12

				
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