Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 55. Property and Conveyances [Repealed Effective October 1, 2019]
11/13/2019

Article 2. Property Abandoned or Assumed Abandoned.

§ 55-210.2:1. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Property presumed abandoned; general rule.

All tangible and intangible property, including any income or increment thereon, less any lawful charges, that is held, issued or owing in the ordinary course of the holder's business and has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable is presumed abandoned, except as otherwise provided by this chapter. Property is payable for the purpose of this chapter notwithstanding the owner's failure to make demand or to present any instrument or document required to receive payment.

1984, c. 121; 1985, c. 294; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.2:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) General rules for taking custody of intangible unclaimed property.

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by other law of this Commonwealth, intangible property is subject to the custody of this Commonwealth as unclaimed property if the conditions leading to a presumption of abandonment as described in §§ 55-210.2:1, 55-210.3:01 and 55-210.3:2 through 55-210.10:2 are satisfied, and:

1. The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in this Commonwealth;

2. The records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the property and it is established that the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this Commonwealth;

3. The records of the holder do not reflect the last known address of the apparent owner, and it is established that (i) the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this Commonwealth or (ii) the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth and has not previously paid the property to the state of the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property;

4. The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth;

5. The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a foreign nation and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth; or

6. (i) The transaction out of which the property arose occurred in this Commonwealth, and the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is unknown, or the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property, and (ii) the holder is a domiciliary of a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.

1984, c. 121; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.3. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

§ 55-210.3:01. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Bank deposits and funds in financial organizations.

A. Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit with a banking or financial organization, including deposits that are automatically renewable, and any funds paid toward the purchase of shares, a mutual investment certificate, or any other interest in a banking or financial organization is presumed abandoned unless the owner has, within five years:

1. In the case of a deposit or ownership of shares, increased or decreased the amount of the deposit or the number of shares owned, or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit or ownership of shares for the crediting of interest or dividends, or negotiated a check in payment of interest or dividends on a time deposit or ownership of shares;

2. Communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning the property;

3. Otherwise indicated an interest in the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization;

4. Owned other property to which subdivision A 1, 2, or 3 is applicable if the banking or financial organization communicated in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be presumed abandoned under this paragraph at the address to which communications regarding the other property regularly are sent;

5. Had another relationship with the banking or financial organization concerning which the owner has (i) communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization, or (ii) otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization if the banking or financial organization communicates in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be abandoned under this paragraph at the address to which communications regarding the other relationship regularly are sent; or

6. A deposit made with or purchase of shares in a banking or financial organization by a court or by a guardian pursuant to order of a court or by any other person for the benefit of a person who was an infant at the time of the making of such deposit or purchase of shares, which deposit or ownership of shares is subject to withdrawal or transfer only upon the further order of such court or such guardian or other person, shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter until one year after such infant attains the age of eighteen years or until one year after the death of such infant, whichever occurs sooner. These accounts are not subject to dormant service charges.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, share accounts of a member of a state or federally chartered credit union that is subject to or covered by life savings insurance provided by the credit union at no additional charge to the member shall be presumed abandoned five years after the date of the second mailing of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable, or after the date the credit union discontinued the mailings to the member, whichever is earlier. Funds held or owing under the life savings insurance policy are presumed abandoned pursuant to § 55-210.4:01.

C. For purposes of this section, "property" includes any interest or dividends thereon. No banking or financial organization may deduct any service charge or cease to accrue interest on any account from the date the account is declared dormant or inactive by such organization except in conformity with cessation of interest or service charges generally assessed upon active accounts and except as provided in this section. With respect to any property described in this section, a holder may not impose any charges due to dormancy or inactivity which differ from charges imposed on active accounts or cease to pay interest due to dormancy or inactivity that differs from the cessation of payment of interest on active accounts unless:

1. There is an enforceable contract between the holder and the owner of the property pursuant to which the holder may impose those charges or cease payment of interest;

2. For property in excess of $100, the holder, no more than three months prior to the initial imposition of those charges or cessation of interest, has given written notice to the owner of the amount of those charges at the last known address of the owner stating that those charges will be imposed or that interest will cease; however, such notice need not be given with respect to charges imposed or interest ceased before July 1, 1984;

3. When the holder receives a request from the owner of the property to reverse or cancel dormancy charges or retroactively credit interest with respect to such property, the holder may at its option either:

a. Reverse or cancel dormancy charges or retroactively credit interest with respect to any such property, in which event the holder shall reverse or cancel dormancy charges or retroactively credit interest for all such property that becomes subject to the reporting requirements in § 55-210.12 for the Department of the Treasury; or

b. Not reverse or cancel dormancy charges or retroactively credit interest with respect to any such property, in which event the holder shall not be required to reverse or cancel dormancy charges or retroactively credit interest for any such property that becomes subject to the reporting requirements in § 55-210.12 for the Department of the Treasury; and

4. The holder may at its option reverse or cancel dormancy charges or retroactively credit interest with respect to any or all such property to correct a documented internal error without becoming required to reverse or cancel dormancy charges or retroactively credit interest for all such property that becomes subject to the reporting requirements in § 55-210.12 for the Department of the Treasury.

Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection to the contrary, a holder that is a state-chartered credit union may refund charges or reverse or cancel those charges or retroactively credit interest with respect to such property to the same extent that a federally-chartered credit union is authorized so to do pursuant to applicable provisions of federal law.

D. Any automatically renewable property to which this section applies is matured upon the expiration of its initial time period. However, in the case of any renewal to which the owner consents at or about the time of renewal by communicating in writing with the banking or financial organization or otherwise indicates consent as specified in subsection A of this section, the property is matured upon the expiration of the last time period for which consent was given. If, at the time provided for delivery in subsection D of § 55-210.12, a penalty or forfeiture in the payment of interest would result from the delivery of the property, the time for delivery is extended until the time when no penalty or forfeiture would result. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, any automatically renewable time deposit that has matured shall be presumed abandoned five years after the date of the second mailing of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable, or after the date the holder discontinued the mailings to the apparent owner, whichever is earlier. However, any automatically renewable time deposit for which no such statement or other notification or mailing is required to be sent by the banking or financial organization shall be presumed abandoned as otherwise provided in this section.

1984, c. 121; 1985, c. 294; 1991, c. 357; 1995, c. 624; 1996, c. 419; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2008, cc. 90, 556; 2018, cc. 359, 439.

§ 55-210.3:02. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Travelers' checks and money orders.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, any sum payable on a traveler's check that has been outstanding for more than fifteen years after its issuance is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within fifteen years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the issuer.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, any sum payable on a money order or similar written instrument, other than a third-party bank check, that has been outstanding for more than seven years after its issuance is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within seven years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the issuer.

No holder may deduct from the amount of any traveler's check or money order any charges imposed by reason of the failure to present those instruments for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the issuer and the owner of the property pursuant to which the issuer may impose those charges and the issuer regularly imposes those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to such property.

Any sum payable on a traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument, other than a third-party bank check, described in this section may not be subjected to the custody of this Commonwealth as unclaimed property unless:

1. The records of the issuer show that the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased in this Commonwealth;

2. The issuer has its principal place of business in this Commonwealth and the records of the issuer do not show the state in which the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased; or

3. The issuer has its principal place of business in this Commonwealth, the records of the issuer show the state in which the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased and the laws of the state of purchase do not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the provisions of the preceding paragraph relating to the requirements for subjecting certain written instruments to the custody of the Commonwealth apply to sums payable on travelers' checks, money orders, and similar written instruments presumed abandoned on or after February 1, 1965, except to the extent that those sums have been paid over to a state prior to January 1, 1974.

1984, c. 121.

§ 55-210.3:1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

§ 55-210.3:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Checks, drafts and similar instruments issued or certified by banking and financial organizations.

Any sum payable on a check, draft, or similar instrument, except money orders, travelers' checks and other similar instruments subject to § 55-210.3:02, on which a banking or financial organization is directly liable, including but not limited to, cashier's checks and certified checks, which has been outstanding for more than five years after it was payable or after its issuance if payable on demand, is presumed abandoned, unless the owner, within five years, has communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization.

A holder may not deduct from the amount of any instrument subject to this section any charges imposed by reason of the failure to present the instrument for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the holder and the owner of the instrument pursuant to which the holder may impose those charges, and the holder regularly imposes those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to such instruments.

1984, c. 121; 1985, c. 294.

§ 55-210.3:3. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Contents of safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository.

All tangible and intangible property held in a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository in this Commonwealth in the ordinary course of the holder's business and all proceeds resulting from the lawful sale of this property shall be presumed abandoned if unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has expired.

1985, c. 294.

§ 55-210.4. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

§ 55-210.4:01. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Funds owing under life insurance policies.

A. Funds held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or terminated are presumed abandoned if unclaimed for more than five years after the funds became due and payable as established from the records of the insurance company holding or owing the funds, except that property described in subsection C 2 is presumed abandoned if unclaimed for more than two years.

B. If a person other than the insured or annuitant is entitled to the funds and no address of the person is known to the company or it is not definite and certain from the records of the company who is entitled to the funds, it is presumed that the last known address of the person entitled to the funds is the same as the last known address of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the company.

C. For purposes of this section, a life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract not matured by actual proof of the death of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the company is deemed matured and the proceeds due and payable if:

1. The company knows that the insured or annuitant has died; or

2. (i) The insured has attained, or would have attained if he were living, the limiting age under the mortality table on which the reserve is based; (ii) the policy was in force at the time the insured attained, or would have attained, the limiting age specified in paragraph (i); and (iii) neither the insured nor any other person appearing to have an interest in the policy within the preceding two years, according to the records of the company, has assigned, readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy, subjected the policy to a loan, corresponded in writing with the company concerning the policy, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the company.

D. For purposes of this section, the application of an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent a policy from being matured or terminated under subsection A if the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiaries of the policy otherwise have become entitled to the proceeds thereof before the depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by the application of those provisions.

E. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the company learns of the death of the insured or annuitant and the beneficiary has not communicated with the insurer within four months after the death, the company shall take reasonable steps to locate the beneficiary and pay the proceeds to the beneficiary.

F. Commencing July 1, 1986, every change of beneficiary form issued by an insurance company under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract to an insured or owner who is a resident of this Commonwealth must request the following information:

1. The name of each beneficiary, or if the class of beneficiaries is named, the name of each current beneficiary in the class;

2. The address of each beneficiary; and

3. The relationship of each beneficiary to the insured.

1984, c. 121.

§ 55-210.4:1. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) When intangible personal property held by insurance corporation subject to § 55-210.2:1.

An insurance corporation holding any other intangible personal property not covered by subsection A of § 55-210.4:01 or § 55-210.4:2 shall be otherwise subject to § 55-210.2:1.

1981, c. 47; 2003, cc. 750, 765.

§ 55-210.4:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Unclaimed demutualization proceeds.

Unclaimed property payable or distributable in the course of the demutualization of an insurance company is presumed abandoned five years after the earlier of (i) the date of last contact with the policyholder or (ii) the date the property became payable or distributable. The report filed on November 1, 2003 will include demutualization distribution property for which there has been no policyholder contact for the five years prior to June 30, 2003.

2003, cc. 750, 765.

§ 55-210.5. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Deposits held by utilities.

Any deposit, including any interest thereon, made by a subscriber with a utility to secure payment or any sum paid in advance for utility services to be furnished, less any lawful deductions, which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after termination of the services for which the deposit or advance payment was made is presumed abandoned.

1960, c. 330; 1981, c. 47; 1983, c. 190.

§ 55-210.6. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 357.

§ 55-210.6:1. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) When intangible interest in business association presumed abandoned.

A. Any intangible interest in a business association, as evidenced by the stock records or membership records of the association, is presumed abandoned five years after the date of the most recent dividend or other distribution unclaimed by the apparent owner with respect to the stock or other interest, or, if a dividend or other distribution has not been paid on the stock or other interest, or the stock or other interest is held pursuant to a plan that provides for the automatic reinvestment of dividends or other distributions, five years after the date of the second mailing of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable, or after the date the holder discontinued the mailings to the apparent owner, whichever is earlier. With respect to such interest, the business association shall be deemed the holder.

B. Any dividend or other distribution held for or owing to a person at the time the stock or other security to which such dividend or other distribution attaches, is considered abandoned at the same time.

1970, c. 158; 1980, c. 293; 1981, c. 47; 1991, c. 357; 1995, c. 624.

§ 55-210.6:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Refunds held by business associations.

Except to the extent otherwise ordered by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction any sum that a business association has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency which has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund, regardless of whether the final determination or order requires any person entitled to a refund to make a claim for it, is presumed abandoned.

1984, c. 121.

§ 55-210.7. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Property of business associations held in course of dissolution.

All intangible property distributable in the course of a voluntary or involuntary dissolution of a business association which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after the date for specified final distribution, is presumed abandoned.

1960, c. 330; 1981, c. 47; 1983, c. 190.

§ 55-210.8. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) When intangible personal property held in fiduciary capacity presumed abandoned.

All intangible personal property and any income or increment thereon, held in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person is presumed abandoned unless the owner has, within five years after it becomes payable, increased or decreased the principal, accepted payment of principal or income, corresponded in writing concerning the property, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with and prepared by the fiduciary or an employee of the fiduciary.

Funds in an individual retirement account, a retirement plan for self-employed individuals or a similar account or plan established pursuant to the Internal Revenue laws of the United States are not payable within the meaning of this section unless, under the terms of the account or plan, distribution of all or part of the funds would then be mandatory.

For the purpose of this section, a person who holds property as an agent for a business association is deemed to hold the property in a fiduciary capacity for that business association alone, unless such person's agreement with the business association provides otherwise. A person who is so deemed to hold property in a fiduciary capacity for a business association alone is the holder of the property only insofar as the interest of the business association in the property is concerned, and the business association is the holder of the property insofar as the interest of any other person in the property is concerned.

1960, c. 330; 1981, c. 47; 1982, c. 331; 1984, c. 121; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.8:1. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Gift certificates and credit balances.

A. Except as described in subsection B, a gift certificate or credit balance issued in the ordinary course of the issuer's business that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after becoming payable is presumed abandoned.

B. The following property is exempt from the provisions of this chapter and shall not be assessed by the administrator as unclaimed property: (i) credit balances payable to a business association, (ii) outstanding checks resulting from or attributable to the sale of goods or services to a business association, (iii) promotional incentives, and (iv) credits, gift certificates, coupons, layaways, and similar items, provided such credits, gift certificates, coupons, layaways, and similar items are redeemable in merchandise, in services, or through future purchases.

1983, c. 190; 1988, cc. 595, 643; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.8:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Wages.

Unpaid wages, including wages represented by unpresented payroll checks owing in the ordinary course of the holder's business, that have remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after becoming payable are presumed abandoned.

1983, c. 190.

§ 55-210.9. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) When intangible property held for owner by public agency presumed abandoned.

All intangible property held for the owner by any government or governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, or public authority that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable is presumed abandoned.

1960, c. 330; 1980, c. 293; 1982, c. 331; 1983, c. 190; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.9:1. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Property held by courts.

All intangible property held for the owner by any state or federal court that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable is presumed abandoned.

1983, c. 190; 1985, c. 294; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.9:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Responsibilities of general receiver and clerk.

The general receiver, if one has been appointed, and the clerk of each circuit court shall be responsible for identifying moneys held by them in their respective accounts which have remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after such moneys became payable and for petitioning the court to remit such money to the State Treasurer. There shall be no obligation to report or remit funds deposited as compensation and damages in condemnation proceedings pursuant to § 25.1-237 prior to a final court order or pursuant to § 33.2-1019.

1988, c. 841; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.10. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

§ 55-210.10:1. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Employee benefit trust distribution.

A. All employee benefit trust distributions and any income or other increment thereon are abandoned to this Commonwealth under the provisions of this chapter if the owner has not, within ten years after it becomes payable, accepted such distribution, corresponded in writing concerning such distribution, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the fiduciary of the trust or custodial fund or administrator of the plan under which such trust or fund is established.

B. An employee benefit trust distribution and any income or other increment thereon shall not be presumed abandoned to this Commonwealth under the provisions of this chapter if, at the time such distribution shall become payable to a participant in an employee benefit plan, such plan contains a provision for forfeiture or expressly authorizes the trustee to declare a forfeiture of a distribution to a beneficiary thereof who cannot be found after a period of time specified in such plan, and the trust or fund established under the plan has not terminated prior to the date on which such distribution would become forfeitable in accordance with such provision.

1981, c. 47; 2000, cc. 733, 745.

§ 55-210.10:2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2019) Holder of tangible or intangible personal property may voluntarily report same.

Any holder of tangible or intangible personal property, the owner of which is unlocatable, may voluntarily report the property to the State Treasurer, prior to the statutory due dates, whereupon the property shall be presumed abandoned under this chapter.

1981, c. 47; 1983, c. 190.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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