New York State Abandoned Property Alert Added to Website Regarding Law Changes

As reported earlier, the New York State abandoned property laws changed recently when the Legislature passed its budget bill for 2011-2012 via Senate Bill 2811.

The bill includes multiple changes to the New York Abandoned Property Law that affect holders required to file with New York for the next reporting cycle.   The New State Comptroller’s Office of Unclaimed Funds has also added an alert to its website summarizing the recent changes.

See http://www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/oufhandbook.  According to the alert, effective April 1, 2011, dormancy periods have been lowered, publication obligations streamlined, and preliminary and negative reporting requirements have been discarded for banks, utility companies, insurance companies and condemnation award reports.

With respect to dormancy periods, reductions from five (5) years to three (3) years are currently in effect for many property types.  As such, for the next reporting cycle due diligence and reporting will have to be performed on property types covered by the changes which have been dormant for three, four and five years.   For your ease of reference, the following property types have been affected by the dormancy reductions:

Code      Property Type – 3 year Dormancy Period

1A          Demand Deposit Accounts

1B          Savings Accounts (includes Club, Security Deposit, and Retirement Accounts)

1C          Time Deposit Accounts

1D          Money on Deposit to Secure Funds (if separate from 1A and 1B)

1E           Unidentified Deposit (if separate from 1A and 1B) and Suspense Accounts

1F           Escrow Funds (Mortgages, Performance Guarantees, Surety Bonds, etc.)

1G          Credit Balances Arising from Loans (includes liquidated mortgages, consumer loans, etc.)

7A          Trust Funds

7B          Bail Funds

7C          Funds for Support of Spouse or Child

7D          Condemnation Awards

8D          Surplus from the Sale of Pledged Property

8E           Lost Property (cash only)

The elimination of preliminary reporting, negative reporting and notarization requirements for banks, utility companies, insurance companies and condemnation awards are subtle, but provides significant benefits to lessen the complexities of reporting for holders.  As a state government becomes more engaged in the unclaimed property reporting process, they are more likely to make efforts to improve the process for all three parties: states, holders, and owners.

The changes in New York State abandoned property are significant, but need not be intimidating for your company.  Keane’s expertise in reporting requirements and other areas of unclaimed property consulting are at your service to aid in the navigation of New York’s changes, and any other changes you may encounter in the always-changing field of unclaimed property.

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