Citations Affected: IC 32-9-1.5.
Synopsis: Uniform unclaimed property act. Makes changes to conform
to the uniform unclaimed property act. Changes the time period
requirement for written notice from the holder of property presumed
abandoned to the apparent owner and attorney general. Requires that
tangible property held in a safe deposit box be held for at least 120 days
after the property is reported to the attorney general. Removes the
requirement that the attorney general publish a notice relating to a
traveler's check, money order, or similar instrument presumed
abandoned. Requires the attorney general to give notice approving or
denying a claim within 90 days after the claim is filed. Provides for a
judicial appeal of an adverse unclaimed property decision.
Effective: July 1, 2000.
January 10, 2000, read first time and referred to Committee on Commerce and Consumer
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
IS AMENDED TO READ AS
FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 20. (a) For purposes of
this section, an indication of interest in the property by the owner:
(1) does not include a communication with an owner by an agent of the holder who has not identified in writing the property to the owner; and
(2) includes the following:
(A) The cashing of a dividend check or other instrument of payment received or evidence that the distribution has been received if the distribution was made by electronic or similar means, with respect to an account or underlying shares of stock or other interest in a business association or financial organization.
(B) A deposit to or withdrawal from a bank account.
(C) The payment of a premium with respect to a property interest in an insurance policy.
(D) The mailing of any correspondence in writing from a
financial institution to the owner, including:
(i) a statement;
(ii) a report of interest paid or credited; or
(iii) any other written advice;
relating to a demand, savings, or matured time deposit account, including a deposit account that is automatically renewable, or any other account or other property the owner has with the financial institution if the correspondence is not returned to the financial institution for nondelivery.
(E) Any activity by the owner that concerns:
(i) another demand, savings, or matured time deposit account or other account that the owner has with a financial institution, including any activity by the owner that results in an increase or decrease in the amount of any other account; or
(ii) any other relationship with the financial institution, including the payment of any amounts due on a loan;
if the mailing address for the owner contained in the financial institution's books and records is the same for both an inactive account and for a related account.
(b) The application of an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent the policy from maturing or terminating if the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiary of the policy otherwise has become entitled to the proceeds before the depletion of the cash surrender value of the policy by the application of those provisions.
(c) Property that is held, issued, or owed in the ordinary course of a holder's business is presumed abandoned if the owner or apparent owner has not communicated in writing with the holder concerning the property or has not otherwise given an indication of interest in the property during the following times:
(1) For traveler's checks, fifteen (15) years after issuance.
(2) For money orders, seven (7) years after issuance.
(3) For consumer credits, three (3) years after the credit becomes payable.
(4) For gift certificates,
that are redeemable only in merchandise
that is valued for purposes of abandonment at sixty percent (60%)
of face value, three (3) years after December 31 of the year in
which the gift certificate was sold. If the gift certificate is
redeemable in merchandise only, the amount abandoned is
considered to be sixty percent (60%) of the certificate's face
of official shareholder notifications or communications that were
returned as undeliverable, or the date the holder discontinued the
mailings to the shareholder.
(13) (12) For property in an individual retirement account or
another account or plan that is qualified for tax deferral under the
Internal Revenue Code, one (1) year three (3) years after the
(A) the actual date of the distribution or attempted distribution;
(B) the distribution date as stated in the plan or trust agreement governing the plan; or
(C) the date specified in the Internal Revenue Code by which distribution must begin in order to avoid a tax penalty.
However, if during the four (4) years before the commencement
of the one (1) year abandonment period the apparent owner has
communicated in writing with the holder concerning the property
or otherwise indicated an interest in the property, then the date of
the presumed abandonment is one (1) additional year after the
property would otherwise have been presumed abandoned.
(14) (13) For a demand, savings, or matured time deposit,
including a deposit that is automatically renewable, seven (7) five
(5) years after maturity or seven (7) five (5) years after the date of
the last indication by the owner of interest in the property,
whichever is later. earlier. Property that is automatically
renewable is considered matured for purposes of this section upon
the expiration of its initial period, unless the owner has consented
to a renewal at or about the time of the renewal, and the consent
is in writing or is evidenced by a memorandum or other record on
file with the holder.
(15) (14) For all other property, seven (7) the earlier of five (5)
(A) the owner's right to demand the property; or
(B) the obligation to pay or distribute the property;
(d) Property is payable or distributed for purposes of this chapter notwithstanding the owner's failure to make demand or present an instrument or a document otherwise required to receive payment.
SECTION 2. IC 32-9-1.5-24 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 24. All tangible and intangible property held in a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping depository in Indiana in the ordinary course of the holder's business and the proceeds resulting from the sale of the property permitted by other
law, which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than
five (5) years after expiration of the lease or rental period on the box or
other depository, is presumed abandoned.
SECTION 3. IC 32-9-1.5-26 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 26. (a) A holder of property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall report in writing to the attorney general concerning the property. Items of value of less than fifty dollars ($50) may be reported by the holder in the aggregate.
(b) For each item with a value of fifty dollars ($50) or more, the report required under subsection (a) must be verified and include the following:
(1) Except with respect to traveler's checks and money orders, the apparent owner's:
(A) name, if known;
(B) last known address, if any; and
(C) Social Security number or taxpayer identification number, if readily ascertainable.
(2) In the case of the contents of a safe deposit box or other safekeeping depository of tangible property:
(A) a description of the property;
(B) the place where the property is held and may be inspected by the attorney general; and
(C) any amounts owing to the holder.
(3) The date:
(A) the property became payable, demandable, or returnable; and
(B) of the last transaction with the apparent owner with respect to the property.
(4) Other information that the attorney general requires by rules adopted under IC 4-22-2 as necessary for the administration of this chapter.
(c) If a holder of property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property is a successor to another person who previously held the property for the apparent owner or if the holder has changed its name while holding the property, the holder shall file with the report the former names of the holder, if any, and the known names and addresses of all previous holders of the property.
(d) The report required by subsection (a) must be filed as follows:
(1) The report of a life insurance company must be filed before May 1 of each year for the calendar year preceding the year in which the report is filed.
intermediary to transfer or dispose of the security or the security
entitlement in accordance with
(e) If the holder of property reported to the attorney general is the issuer of a certificated security, the attorney general has the right to obtain a replacement certificate under IC 26-1-8.1-405 , but an indemnity bond is not required.
(f) An issuer, the holder, and any transfer agent or other person acting under the instructions of and on behalf of the issuer in accordance with this section is not liable to the apparent owner and must be indemnified against the claims of any person in accordance with section 29 of this chapter.
SECTION 5. IC 32-9-1.5-28 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 28. (a) Except as provided in subsection (e), the attorney general shall cause a notice to be published not later than November 30 of the year immediately following the year in which unclaimed property has been paid or delivered to the attorney general.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), the notice required by subsection (a) must be published at least once each week for two (2) successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in Indiana of the last known address of any person named in the notice.
(c) If the holder does not report an address for the apparent owner, or reports an address outside Indiana, the notice must be published in the county in which the holder has its principal place of business within Indiana or such other county as the attorney general may reasonably select.
(d) The advertised notice required by this section must be in a form that, in the judgment of the attorney general, will attract the attention of the apparent owner of the unclaimed property and must contain the following information:
(1) The name of each person appearing to be an owner of property presumed abandoned, as set forth in the report filed by the holder.
(2) The last known address or location of each person appearing to be an owner of property presumed abandoned, if an address or a location is set forth in the report filed by the holder.
(3) A statement explaining that property of the owner is presumed to be abandoned and has been taken into the protective custody of the attorney general.
(4) A statement that information about the abandoned property and its return to the owner is available to a person having a legal or beneficial interest in the property, upon request to the attorney
(e) The attorney general is not required to publish the following in the notice:
(1) Any item of less than fifty dollars ($50) in value.
(2) Information concerning a traveler's check, money order, or similar instrument.
SECTION 6. IC 32-9-1.5-30 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 30. If property other than money is paid or delivered to the attorney general under this chapter, the owner is entitled to receive from the attorney general any dividends, interest, or other increments realized or accruing on the property at or before
delivery to the attorney general. The owner is not
entitled to receive dividends, interest, or other increments accruing
after delivery of the property to the attorney general unless the property
was paid or delivered under section 40(b) of this chapter. liquidation
or conversion of the property into money. If the property was an
interest bearing demand, savings, or time deposit, including a
deposit that is automatically renewable, the attorney general shall
pay interest at:
(1) the one (1) year Treasury Bill rate published in the Wall Street Journal or its successor on the third Tuesday of:
(A) the month interest begins to accrue for the first year of accrual; and
(B) the anniversary of the month interest begins to accrue for every year of accrual thereafter; or
(2) any lesser rate the property earned while in the possession of the holder;
for every year of accrual. Interest begins to accrue when the property is delivered to the attorney general and ceases on the earlier of the expiration of ten (10) years after delivery or the date on which payment is made to the owner. Interest on interest bearing property is not payable under this section for any period before July 1, 2000.
SECTION 7. IC 32-9-1.5-36 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 36. (a) A person, not including another state, claiming an interest in property paid or delivered to the attorney general may file a claim on a form prescribed by the attorney general and verified by the claimant.
(b) Not later than ninety (90) days after a claim is filed, the attorney general shall:
(1) consider the claim; and
(2) give written notice to the claimant that the claim is granted or
the claim is denied in whole or in part.
(c) Not later than thirty (30) days after a claim is allowed, the attorney general shall pay over or deliver to the claimant the property or the net proceeds of the sale of property if the property has been sold by the attorney general, together with any additional amount to which the claimant may be entitled under section 30 of this chapter.
(d) A holder who pays the owner for property that has been delivered to the state and that, if claimed from the attorney general by the owner, would be subject to an increment under section 30 of this chapter shall recover the amount of such increment from the attorney general.
(e) A person may file a claim under subsection (a) at any time within twenty-five (25) years after the date on which the property was first presumed abandoned under this chapter, notwithstanding the expiration of any other time specified by statute, contract, or court order during which an action or a proceeding may be commenced or enforced to obtain payment of a claim for money or recovery of property.
SECTION 8. IC 32-9-1.5-37 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 37. (a) At any time within twenty-five (25) years after the date on which the property was presumed abandoned under this chapter, notwithstanding the expiration of any other time specified by statute, contract, or court order during which an action or proceeding may be commenced or enforced to obtain payment of a claim for money or recovery of property, another state may recover the property if:
(1) the property was delivered to the custody of this state because the records of the holder did not reflect the last known address of the apparent owner when the property was presumed abandoned under this chapter, and:
(A) the other state establishes that the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property was in that state; and
(B) under the laws of that state the property escheated to or was subject to a claim of abandonment by that state;
the last known address of the apparent owner or other person
entitled to the property, as reflected by the records of the holder,
is in the other state the property was paid or delivered to the
custody of this state because the laws of the other state did not
provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property,
and under the laws of that state subsequently enacted the
property has escheated to or become subject to a claim of
abandonment by that state;
(3) the records of the holder did not accurately identify the owner of the property and:
(A) the last known address of the owner is in the other state; and
(B) under the laws of the other state the property escheated to or was subject to a claim of abandonment by that state;
(4) the property was subject to custody by this state under section 21(7) of this chapter and under the laws of the state of domicile of the holder the property has escheated to or become subject to a claim of abandonment by that state; or
(5) the property is a sum payable on a traveler's check, money order, or similar instrument that was delivered into the custody of this state under section 21(7) of this chapter, and:
(A) the instrument was purchased in the other state; and
(B) under the laws of the other state the property escheated to or is subject to a claim of abandonment by that state.
(b) A claim of another state to recover escheated or abandoned property must be presented in a form prescribed by the attorney general, who shall consider the claim and give written notice not more than ninety (90) days after the presentation of the claim to the other state that the claim is granted or denied in whole or in part. The attorney general shall allow the claim upon a determination that the other state is entitled to the abandoned property under subsection (a).
(c) The attorney general shall require another state, before recovering property under this section, to agree to indemnify this state and its officers and employees against any liability on a claim for the property.
SECTION 9. IC 32-9-1.5-38.1 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 38.1. A person:
(1) aggrieved by a decision of the attorney general; or
(2) whose claim has not been acted upon within ninety (90) days after its filing;
under this chapter, may maintain an original action to establish the claim in a court with jurisdiction, naming the attorney general as a defendant.
SECTION 10. IC 32-9-1.5-43 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 43. (a) The attorney general may require a person who has not filed a report, or a person who the attorney general believes has filed an inaccurate, an incomplete, or a false report, to file a verified report in a form
prescribed by the attorney general stating the following:
(1) Whether the person is holding any unclaimed property reportable or deliverable under this chapter.
(2) Describing any property not previously reported or as to which the attorney general has made inquiry.
(3) Specifically identifying and stating the amounts of property that may be in issue.
(b) The attorney general, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, may examine the records of a person to determine whether the person has complied with this chapter. The attorney general may conduct the examination even if the person believes the person is not in possession of any property reportable or deliverable under this chapter. When making an examination under this chapter the attorney general may retain attorneys, appraisers, independent actuaries, independent certified public accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners.
(c) The attorney general may examine the records of an agent, including a dividend disbursing agent or transfer agent, of a business association that is the holder of property presumed abandoned if the attorney general has given the notice required by subsection (b) to both the business association and the agent at least ninety (90) days before the examination.
(d) If an examination of the records of a person results in the disclosure of property reportable and deliverable under this chapter, the attorney general may assess the cost of the examination against the holder at the rate of two hundred dollars ($200) a day for each examiner. The cost of the examination made under subsection (c) may be imposed only against the business association.
(e) This section does not limit the attorney general's authority to
terminate or suspend an examination in order to pursue other legal or
administrative action under this chapter. Findings of fact and
conclusions made pursuant to an examination are prima facie evidence
in a legal or an administrative action.
(f) (e) If a holder fails after July 1, 1996, to maintain the records
required under section 44 of this chapter and the available records of
the holder are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, the
attorney general may require the holder to report and pay such amounts
as may reasonably be estimated from any available records of the
holder or on the basis of any other reasonable estimating technique that
the attorney general may select.
SECTION 11. IC 32-9-1.5-44 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 44. (a) Except as
provided in subsection (b) and subject to rules adopted by the attorney
, a holder required to file a report under section
26 of this chapter as to any property for which the holder has the last
known address of the owner shall maintain a record of the
last known address of the owner information required to be in the
report for at least ten (10) years after the property becomes reportable.
(b) A business association that sells in Indiana traveler's checks, money orders, or other similar written instruments, other than third-party bank checks on which the business association is directly liable, or that provides those instruments to others for sale in Indiana, shall maintain a record of outstanding instruments indicating the state and date of issue for at least three (3) years after the date the property is reportable.
SECTION 12. IC 32-9-1.5-46 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 46. (a) The attorney general may enter into agreements with other states to exchange information relating to unclaimed property or the possible existence of unclaimed property. The agreements may permit other states, or a person acting on behalf of a state, to examine records as authorized in section 43 of this chapter. The attorney general may by rule require the reporting of information needed to enable compliance with agreements made under this section and prescribe the form.
(b) The attorney general may join with other states to seek enforcement of this chapter against a person who is or may be holding property reportable under this chapter.
(c) At the request of another state, the attorney general may commence an action on behalf of the administrator of the other state to enforce in Indiana the unclaimed property laws of the other state against a holder of property subject to escheat or a claim of abandonment by the other state, if the other state has agreed to pay expenses incurred by the attorney general in maintaining the action.
(d) The attorney general may request that the attorney general of another state or any other attorney commence an action on behalf of the attorney general in another state. The attorney general may retain another attorney to commence an action in Indiana on behalf of the attorney general. This state shall pay all expenses including attorney's fees in maintaining an action under this subsection. With the attorney general's approval, the expenses and attorney's fees may be paid from money received under this chapter. The attorney general may agree to pay the person bringing the action attorney's fees based in whole or in part on a percentage of the value of any property recovered in the action. Expenses or attorney's fees paid under this subsection may not
be deducted from the amount that is subject to the claim by the owner
under this chapter.
(e) Documents and working papers obtained or compiled by the attorney general or the attorney general's agents, employees, or designated representatives in the course of conducting an audit under section 43 of this chapter are confidential and are not public records except:
(1) when used by the attorney general to maintain an action to collect unclaimed property or otherwise enforce this chapter;
(2) when used in joint audits conducted with or under agreements with other states, the federal government, or other governmental entities; or
(3) pursuant to subpoena or court order.
The documents and working papers may be disclosed to the abandoned property office of another state for that state's use in circumstances equivalent to those described in this subsection if the other state is bound to keep the documents and papers confidential.
(f) The attorney general's final completed audit reports are public records, available for inspection and copying under IC 5-14-3. A final report may not contain confidential documentation or working papers unless an exception under subsection (e) applies.
SECTION 13. IC 32-9-1.5-48 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: Sec. 48. (a) An agreement by an owner, the primary purpose of which is to pay compensation to locate, deliver, recover, or assist in the recovery of property
presumed abandoned under this chapter that is entered into not
earlier than the date the property was presumed abandoned and
not later than twenty-four (24) months after the date the property is
paid or delivered to the attorney general is void and unenforceable.
This subsection does not apply to an owner's agreement with an
attorney to file a claim as to identified property or to contest the
attorney general's denial of a claim.
(b) An agreement
described in subsection (a) that is entered into
more than twenty-four (24) months after the date the property is paid
or delivered to the attorney general by an owner, the primary
purpose of which is to locate, deliver, recover, or assist in the
recovery of property, is valid only if:
(1) the fee or compensation agreed upon is not more than ten
percent (10%) of the amount collected unless the amount
collected is fifty dollars ($50) or less;
(2) (1) the agreement is in writing;
(3) (2) the agreement is signed by the apparent owner;
SECTION 16. THE FOLLOWING ARE REPEALED [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000]: IC 32-9-1.5-38 ; IC 32-9-1.5-39.