Changes to District of Columbia unclaimed property laws may be forthcoming, as DC B 654 was introduced on January 5, 2018. This bill would enact the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, significantly revising the unclaimed property law in Washington D.C.. Revisions include dormancy trigger changes, the introduction of new property types, new holder outreach requirements for certain property types and changes to the due diligence requirements. Dormancy periods would remain the same for most property types.
The bill, if passed, becomes effective after approval by the Mayor (or in the event of a veto, an override by Council of the veto, a 30-day Congressional review period, and publication in the DC Register). While the Act itself covers specific revisions to property types and unclaimed laws, the bill’s most important aspects are listed below.
Washington D.C. Unclaimed Property Holder Outreach Efforts
As seen in the new Tennessee, Utah and Illinois laws, DC B 654 outlines the rules for additional holder outreach efforts. If a holder does not communicate with the owner of a retirement account, custodial account, or securities account via regular mail, additional outreach is required in the form of electronic mail, prior to performing due diligence. This communication must be sent not later than 2 years after the owner’s last indication of interest in the property.
For due diligence purposes, if an owner has consented to receive electronic communications from the holder, the holder must send the due diligence notice via regular mail and electronic mail. Due diligence notices must be sent between 60 and 180 days prior to the reporting deadline.
New Unclaimed Property Definitions and Property Types in Washington D.C.
The Revised District of Columbia Unclaimed Property Act introduces new property types and definitions including:
- Health savings and custodial accounts,
- A new definition of “property,” which includes virtual currency and stored-value cards, and excludes property held in a 529 ABLE plans, Game-related digital content and loyalty cards; and
- A new definition of “stored-value cards,” which include gift cards and payroll cards, but excludes loyalty cards and game-related digital content
Additional Changes to District of Columbia Unclaimed Property Law
Under the new Act, the Administrator is barred from commencing an action or proceeding to enforce the Act with respect to the reporting, payment or delivery of property more than 10 years after the holder filed a non-fraudulent report. The Administrator is also barred from commencing an action, proceeding or examination with respect to a duty of the holder more than 10 years after the duty arose.
Lastly, a 10-year transitional provision has been added that requires that property that was not previously required to be reported, but is now required under the Act to be reported, must be included for the 10-year period preceding the effective date of the Act.
Keane will continue to track and monitor activity with regard to District of Columbia Unclaimed Property, as well as all legislative activity on our blog and on our Compliance Portal. We invite you to sign up for our free legislative alerts to receive real-time updates on the latest happenings within the unclaimed property industry.