Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
7/5/2020

Virginia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act

§ 55.1-2500. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Act" means the Virginia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (§ 55.1-2500 et seq.).

"Administrator" means the State Treasurer or his designee.

"Apparent owner" means the person whose name appears on the records of the holder as the person entitled to property held, issued, or owing by the holder.

"Banking organization" means any bank, trust company, savings bank (industrial bank, land bank, safe deposit company), or private banker or any other organization defined by law as a bank or banking organization.

"Business association" means any corporation, joint-stock company, investment company, business trust, partnership, limited liability company, cooperative, or association for business purposes of two or more individuals, whether or not for profit, including a banking organization, financial organization, insurance company, or utility.

"Credit balance" means an item of intangible property resulting from or attributable to the sale of goods or services, including an overpayment, credit memo, refund, discount, rebate, unidentified remittance, or deposit.

"Domicile" means (i) the state of incorporation, in the case of a corporation incorporated under the laws of a state; (ii) the state of organization, in the case of an unincorporated business association formed under the laws of a state; (iii) the state of the principal place of business, in the case of a nonnatural person not incorporated or formed under the laws of a state; and (iv) the state of principal residency, in the case of a natural person.

"Due diligence" includes the mailing of a letter by first-class mail to the last known address of the owner as indicated on the records of the holder.

"Financial organization" means any savings and loan association (cooperative bank), building and loan association, or credit union.

"Gift certificate" means a certificate, electronic card, or other medium that evidences the giving of consideration in exchange for the right to redeem the certificate, electronic card, or other medium for goods, food, services, credit, or money of an equal value.

"Holder" means a person, wherever organized or domiciled, that is (i) in possession of property belonging to another; (ii) a trustee, in the case of a trust; or (iii) indebted to another on an obligation.

"Insurance company" means an association, corporation, or fraternal or mutual benefit organization, whether or not for profit, that is engaged in providing insurance coverage, including accident, burial, casualty, contract performance, credit life, dental, fidelity, fire, health, hospitalization, illness, life (including endowments and annuities), malpractice, marine, mortgage, surety, and wage protection insurance.

"Intangible property" includes (i) moneys, checks, drafts, deposits, interest, and dividend income; (ii) credits, customer overpayments, gift certificates, security deposits, refunds, unpaid wages, and unidentified remittances; (iii) stocks and other intangible ownership interests in business associations; (iv) moneys deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, and other securities or to make distributions; (v) amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies; and (vi) amounts distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under a plan to provide any health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental unemployment insurance, or similar benefit.

"Last known address" means a description of the location of the apparent owner sufficient to identify the state of residence of the apparent owner for the purpose of the delivery of mail.

"Owner" means (i) a depositor, in the case of a deposit; (ii) a beneficiary, in the case of a trust, other than a deposit in trust; (iii) a creditor, claimant, or payee, in the case of other intangible property; or (iv) a person having a legal or equitable interest in property subject to this chapter or his legal representative.

"Payable" means the earliest date upon which the owner of property could become entitled to the payments, possession, delivery, or distribution of such property from a holder.

"Person" means an individual; a business association; a government or governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, or public authority; an estate; a trust; two or more persons having a joint or common interest; or any other legal or commercial entity.

"Promotional incentive" means a coupon, rebate, or other promotional device offered to induce a consumer to purchase goods, food, or services and for which (i) no direct consideration is given by the consumer or (ii) the consideration given is less than the value of the goods, food, or services to be received.

"State," when applied to a part of the United States, includes any state, district, commonwealth, territory, and insular possession and any other area subject to the legislative authority of the United States.

"Unclaimed property" means property for which the owner, as shown by the records of the holder of his property, has ceased, failed, or neglected, within the times provided in this chapter, to make presentment and demand for payment and satisfaction or to do any other act in relation to or concerning such property. As used in this definition, "act" excludes any act of a holder of unclaimed property not done at the express request or authorization of the owner.

"Utility" means a person that owns or operates, for public use, any plant, equipment, property, franchise, or license for the transmission of communications or the production, storage, transmission, sale, delivery, or furnishing of electricity, water, steam, or gas.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.2; 1981, c. 47; 1982, c. 331; 1983, c. 190; 1984, c. 121; 1988, c. 378; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2501. 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, § 55-210.2:1; 1985, c. 294; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2502. Taking custody of intangible unclaimed property; general rules.

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by other law of the Commonwealth, intangible property is subject to the custody of the Commonwealth as unclaimed property if the conditions leading to a presumption of abandonment as described in §§ 55.1-2501, 55.1-2503, and 55.1-2505 through 55.1-2521 are satisfied and:

1. The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in the 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 the 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 the Commonwealth or (ii) the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of the 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 the 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 the Commonwealth; or

6. a. The transaction out of which the property arose occurred in the Commonwealth, and (i) the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is unknown or (ii) 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

b. 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, § 55-210.2:2; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2503. 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 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 section 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 section 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 an 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 18 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 five years after the date the credit union discontinued the mailings to the member, whichever occurs earlier. Funds held or owing under the life savings insurance policy are presumed abandoned pursuant to § 55.1-2507.

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 that 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 § 55.1-2524 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 § 55.1-2524 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 § 55.1-2524 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 to do so 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, 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 § 55.1-2524, 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 five years after the date the holder discontinued the mailings to the apparent owner, whichever occurs 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, § 55-210.3:01; 1985, c. 294; 1991, c. 357; 1995, c. 624; 1996, c. 419; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2008, cc. 90, 556; 2018, cc. 359, 439; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2504. Traveler's checks and money orders.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any sum payable on a traveler's check that has been outstanding for more than 15 years after its issuance is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within 15 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.

B. 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 (i) 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 (ii) the issuer regularly imposes those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to such property.

C. 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 shall not be subjected to the custody of the 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 the Commonwealth;

2. The issuer has its principal place of business in the 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 the 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.

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the provisions of subsection C relating to the requirements for subjecting certain written instruments to the custody of the Commonwealth apply to sums payable on traveler's 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, § 55-210.3:02; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2505. 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, traveler's checks, and other similar instruments subject to § 55.1-2504, on which a banking or financial organization is directly liable, including cashier's checks and certified checks, that 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, § 55-210.3:2; 1985, c. 294; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2506. 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 the 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, § 55-210.3:3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2507. Funds owing under life insurance policies.

A. Funds held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract that 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 subdivision 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 clause (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 the 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 the Commonwealth shall 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, § 55-210.4:01; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2508. Intangible personal property held by insurance corporation subject to § 55.1-2501.

An insurance corporation holding any other intangible personal property not covered by subsection A of § 55.1-2507 or § 55.1-2509 shall be otherwise subject to § 55.1-2501.

1981, c. 47, § 55-210.4:1; 2003, cc. 750, 765; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2509. 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, § 55-210.4:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2510. 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, that 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, § 55-210.5; 1981, c. 47; 1983, c. 190; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2511. Intangible interest in business association.

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 five years after the date the holder discontinued the mailings to the apparent owner, whichever occurs 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, § 55-210.6:1; 1980, c. 293; 1981, c. 47; 1991, c. 357; 1995, c. 624; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2512. 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 that 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, § 55-210.6:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2513. 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 that remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after the date for specified final distribution is presumed abandoned.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.7; 1981, c. 47; 1983, c. 190; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2514. Intangible personal property held in fiduciary capacity.

A. 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 became 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.

B. 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 under this section unless, under the terms of the account or plan, distribution of all or part of the funds would then be mandatory.

C. 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, § 55-210.8; 1981, c. 47; 1982, c. 331; 1984, c. 121; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2515. 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 such gift certificate or credit balance became 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 that such credits, gift certificates, coupons, layaways, and similar items are redeemable in merchandise, in services, or through future purchases.

1983, c. 190, § 55-210.8:1; 1988, cc. 595, 643; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2516. 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 such unpaid wages became payable are presumed abandoned.

1983, c. 190, § 55-210.8:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2517. Intangible property held for owner by public agency.

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, § 55-210.9; 1980, c. 293; 1982, c. 331; 1983, c. 190; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2518. 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, § 55-210.9:1; 1985, c. 294; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2519. 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 that 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 administrator. 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, § 55-210.9:2; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2520. Employee benefit trust distribution.

A. All employee benefit trust distributions and any income or other increment thereon are abandoned to the Commonwealth under the provisions of this chapter if the owner has not, within 10 years after it became 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 the Commonwealth under the provisions of this chapter if, at the time such distribution becomes payable to a participant in an employee benefit plan, (i) 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 (ii) 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, § 55-210.10:1; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2521. Holder of tangible or intangible personal property may voluntarily report such property.

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

1981, c. 47, § 55-210.10:2; 1983, c. 190; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2522. Certain property not presumed abandoned in the Commonwealth.

If specific property that is subject to the provisions of §§ 55.1-2501, 55.1-2503, 55.1-2507, 55.1-2511, 55.1-2513, 55.1-2514, 55.1-2520, and 55.1-2521 is payable to an owner whose last known address is in another state by a holder that is subject to the jurisdiction of that state, the specific property is not presumed abandoned in the Commonwealth and subject to this chapter if:

1. It may be claimed as abandoned or escheated under the laws of such other state; and

2. The laws of such other state make reciprocal provision that similar specific property is not presumed abandoned or escheatable by such other state when payable to an owner whose last known address is within the Commonwealth by a holder that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.11; 1981, c. 47; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2523. Interstate agreements and cooperation.

A. The administrator may enter into agreements with other states to exchange information needed to enable the Commonwealth or another state to audit or otherwise determine unclaimed property to which the Commonwealth or another state may be entitled subject to a claim of custody. The administrator may by rule require the reporting of information needed to enable compliance with agreements made pursuant to this section and prescribe the form.

B. To avoid conflicts between the administrator's procedures and the procedures of administrators in other jurisdictions that enact the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, the administrator shall, so far as is consistent with the purposes, policies, and provisions of this chapter, before adopting, amending, or repealing rules, advise and consult with administrators in other jurisdictions that enact substantially the Act and take into consideration the rules of administrators in other jurisdictions that enact the Act.

C. The administrator may join with other states to seek enforcement of the Act against any person who is or may be holding property reportable under the Act. At the request of another state, the Attorney General of the Commonwealth may bring an action in the name of the administrator of the other state in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the unclaimed property laws of the other state against a holder in the Commonwealth 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 bringing the action.

Similarly, the administrator may request that the Attorney General of another state, or any other person, bring an action in the other state in the name of the administrator. The Commonwealth shall pay all expenses, including attorney fees, in any such action, and such expenses shall not be deducted from the amount that is subject to the claim by the owner under this chapter.

1984, c. 121, § 55-210.11:01; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2524. Report and remittance to be made by holder of funds or property presumed abandoned; holder to exercise due diligence to locate owner.

A. Every person holding funds or other property, tangible or intangible, presumed abandoned under this chapter shall report and remit to the administrator with respect to the property as provided in this article. Reports containing 25 or more items shall be remitted in an electronic format as prescribed by the administrator. The administrator may waive this requirement when he determines that it creates an undue hardship.

B. The report shall be verified and shall include:

1. The name and social security or federal identification number, if known, and last known address, including zip code, if any, of each person appearing from the records of the holder to be the owner of any property of the value of $100 or more presumed abandoned under this chapter;

2. In the case of unclaimed funds of insurance corporations, the full name of the insured or annuitant and any beneficiary, if known, and the last known address according to the insurance corporation's records;

3. In the case of the contents of a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository or in the case of other tangible property, a description of the property and the place where it is held and may be inspected by the administrator and any amounts owing to the holder;

4. The nature and identifying number, if any, or description of the property and the amount appearing from the records to be due, except that items of value under $100 each may be reported in aggregate;

5. The date when the property became payable, demandable, or returnable and the date of the last transaction with the owner with respect to the property; and

6. Other information that the administrator prescribes by rule as reasonably necessary for the administration of this chapter.

C. If the person holding property presumed abandoned is a successor to other persons who previously held the property for the owner, or if the holder has changed his name while holding the property, he shall file with his report all prior known names and addresses of each holder of the property.

D. The report and remittance, including the remittance of unclaimed demutualization proceeds made pursuant to § 55.1-2509, shall be filed before November 1 of each year for the period ending June 30 of such year, but the report and remittance of insurance corporations shall be filed before May 1 of each year for the period ending December 31 of the previous year. When property is evidenced by certificate of ownership as set forth in § 55.1-2511, the holder shall deliver to the administrator a duplicate of any such certificate registered in the name "Treasurer of Virginia" or the Treasurer's designated nominee at the time of report and remittance. The administrator may postpone the reporting and remittance date upon written request by any person required to file a report.

E. If the holder of property presumed abandoned under this chapter knows the whereabouts of the owner, the holder shall, before filing the annual report, communicate with the owner and take necessary steps to prevent abandonment from being presumed. All holders shall exercise due diligence, as defined in § 55.1-2500, at least 60 days prior to the submission of the report to ascertain the whereabouts of the owner if (i) the holder has in its records an address for the apparent owner that the holder's records do not disclose to be inaccurate and (ii) the property has a value of $100 or more.

F. Verification shall be executed (i) if made by a partnership, by a partner; (ii) if made by an unincorporated association or private corporation, by an officer; and (iii) if made by a public corporation, by its chief fiscal officer.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.12; 1981, c. 47; 1982, c. 331; 1983, c. 190; 1984, c. 121; 1985, c. 294; 1987, c. 236; 1988, c. 378; 1992, c. 583; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2003, cc. 750, 765; 2004, c. 524; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2525. Notices to be published by administrator.

A. The administrator shall cause to be published notice of the report filed under subsection D of § 55.1-2524 once each year in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the last known address of any person to be named in the notice is located. If no address is listed or if the address is outside of the Commonwealth, the notice shall be published in the area in which the holder of the abandoned property has his principal place of business.

B. The published notice shall be entitled "Commonwealth of Virginia Unclaimed Property List" and shall contain:

1. The names in alphabetical order and account numbers of persons listed in the report and entitled to notice within the area as specified in subsection A; and

2. A statement that information concerning the amount or description of the property and the name and address of the holder may be obtained by any persons possessing an interest in the property by addressing an inquiry to the administrator.

C. The administrator is not required to publish in such notice any item of less than $100 unless he deems such publication to be in the public interest.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.13; 1981, c. 47; 1983, c. 190; 1987, c. 236; 1988, c. 378; 1990, c. 460; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2526. Holder relieved of liability for property paid or delivered to administrator; payment to owner by holder; proceedings against prior holder; notice to administrator and Attorney General; reimbursement of holder.

A. Upon the payment or delivery of abandoned property to the administrator, the Commonwealth shall assume custody and shall be responsible for the safekeeping of such property. Any person who pays or delivers abandoned property to the administrator under this chapter is relieved of all liability to the extent of the value of the property so paid or delivered for any claim that then exists or that thereafter may arise or be made in respect to the property. Any holder that has paid moneys to the administrator pursuant to this chapter may make payment to any person appearing to such holder to be entitled thereto, and upon proof of such payment and proof that the payee was entitled thereto, the administrator shall forthwith reimburse the holder for the payment.

B. In the event that legal proceedings are instituted against a prior holder in a court of the Commonwealth, or in any other state or federal court, by any other state claiming to be entitled to unclaimed funds or abandoned property previously paid or delivered to the administrator, such holder shall give written notice to the administrator and the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of such proceedings (i) within 10 days after service of process or (ii) at least 10 days before the return date on which an answer or similar pleading is required to be filed. The Attorney General may intervene or take such other action as he deems appropriate or necessary to protect the interests of the Commonwealth.

C. If the notice provided in subsection B is given by the holder and thereafter a judgment is entered against the holder for any amount paid to the administrator pursuant to the terms of this chapter, the administrator shall, upon being furnished with proof thereof, return to the holder the amount of such judgment, not to exceed, however, the amount of the abandoned property paid to the administrator.

D. Property removed from a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository that is received by the administrator shall be subject to the holder's right under this subsection to be reimbursed for the actual cost of the opening and to any valid lien or contract providing for the holder to be reimbursed for unpaid rent or storage charges. The administrator shall make the reimbursement to the holder out of the proceeds remaining after the deduction of the administrator's selling cost.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.15; 1964, c. 466; 1984, c. 121; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2527. Crediting of dividends, interest, or increments to owner's account.

Whenever property other than money is paid or delivered to the administrator under this chapter, the owner is entitled to receive from the administrator any dividends, interest, or other increments realized or accruing on the property at or before liquidation or conversion of such property into money.

1984, c. 121, § 55-210.16:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2528. Periods of limitation.

A. The expiration of any period of time specified by statute 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 shall not prevent the money or property from being presumed abandoned property or affect any duty to file a report required by this chapter or to pay or deliver abandoned property to the administrator.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, an action or proceeding shall not be maintained by the administrator to enforce this chapter more than five years after the earlier of (i) the date on which the holder identified the property on a report filed with the administrator, (ii) the date on which the holder first filed a report with the administrator wherein the holder should have but failed to report the property, or (iii) the date on which the holder filed a report with the administrator giving reasonable notice to the administrator of a dispute regarding the property.

C. An action or proceeding shall not be maintained by the administrator to enforce this chapter with respect to any property more than 10 years following the date on which such property first became reportable if the holder (i) filed a materially false or fraudulent report with the intent to evade delivery of property otherwise subject to this chapter or (ii) failed to file a report with the administrator.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.17; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2529. Sale of abandoned property by administrator.

A. Except as provided in subsection C, all abandoned property other than money or other certificate of ownership delivered to the administrator under this chapter shall be sold by him to the highest bidder at public sale (i) in such city, within or outside the Commonwealth, as affords in his judgment the most favorable market for the property involved or (ii) through the use of electronic media in a format approved by the administrator. The administrator may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if he considers the price bid insufficient. He need not offer any property for sale if, in his opinion, the probable cost of sale exceeds the value of the property.

B. Any sale held under this section within the Commonwealth shall be preceded by a single publication of notice of such sale at least three weeks in advance of the sale. Such notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city where the property is to be sold. If any sale is to occur outside the Commonwealth, then the administrator may use such forms of notice or advertising as he deems necessary to constitute reasonable notice, including post, print, visual, telecommunications, electronic media, or any combination thereof. For the purposes of this section, any sale through the use of electronic media, including the Internet, shall be deemed to be a sale outside of the Commonwealth.

C. Securities listed on an established stock exchange shall be sold at prices prevailing at the time of sale on the exchange. Other securities may be sold over the counter at prices prevailing at the time of sale or by any other method the administrator deems advisable.

Unless the administrator deems it to be in the best interest of the Commonwealth to do otherwise, all securities delivered to the administrator shall be held for at least one year before the securities may be sold. If the administrator sells any securities before the expiration of the one-year period, any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter before the end of the one-year period is entitled to either the proceeds of the sale of the securities or the market value of the securities at the time the claim is made, whichever amount is greater. Any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter after the expiration of the one-year period is entitled to receive either the securities delivered to the administrator by the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the administrator, or the proceeds of the sale, but no person has any claim under this chapter against the Commonwealth, the holder, or any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of the holder for any appreciation in the value of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the Commonwealth.

D. The purchaser of property at any sale conducted by the administrator pursuant to this chapter shall receive title to property purchased pursuant to subsections A or B and is entitled to ownership of property purchased pursuant to subsection C, free from all claims of the owner or previous holder thereof and of all persons claiming through or under such owner or previous holder. The administrator shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of ownership.

E. If the administrator determines after investigation that any property delivered to him pursuant to this chapter has insubstantial commercial value, he may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property at any time. No action or proceeding may be maintained against the Commonwealth or any officer or against the holder for or on account of any action taken by the administrator with respect to the property pursuant to this subsection.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.18; 1981, c. 47; 1982, c. 331; 1984, c. 121; 1985, c. 294; 1994, c. 83; 2004, c. 535; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2530. Securities received in name of owner.

Whenever the administrator receives securities under this chapter in the name of the owner, he shall take appropriate action to transfer the record of ownership of such securities into the title of the State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia as soon as practical.

1981, c. 47, § 55-210.18:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2531. Disposition of funds received under chapter; records to be kept by administrator.

A. All funds received under this chapter, including the proceeds from the sale of abandoned property under § 55.1-2529, shall be deposited by the administrator in the Literary Fund of the Commonwealth as soon as practical, except that the administrator shall retain in a separate trust fund a sum sufficient from which he shall make prompt payment of claims duly allowed by him as provided by subsection B. Before making the deposit, he shall record the name and last known address of each person appearing from the holders' reports to be entitled to the abandoned property, the name and last known address of each insured person or annuitant, and, with respect to each policy or contract listed in the report of an insurance corporation, its number, the name of the corporation, and the amount due.

B. Before making any deposit to the credit of the Literary Fund, the administrator may deduct (i) any costs in connection with the sale of abandoned property, (ii) any costs of mailing and publication in connection with any abandoned property, (iii) operating expenses, and (iv) amounts required to make payments to other states, during the next fiscal year, through reciprocity agreements.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.19; 1981, c. 47; 1984, c. 121; 1985, c. 294; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2532. Filing claim to property or proceeds of sale of such property.

A. Any person claiming an interest in any property delivered to the Commonwealth under this chapter may file a claim to such property or to the proceeds from the sale of such property on a form prescribed by the administrator.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person claiming an interest in any property delivered to the Commonwealth under this chapter for a reported owner who is deceased shall submit evidence of the claimant's entitlement to payment together with a form prescribed by the administrator. In order of preference, such evidence may include (i) a certificate of qualification as the executor or an order of appointment as the administrator or personal representative of the decedent's estate under the laws of the state of the decedent's domicile; (ii) if applicable, an affidavit authorizing the claimant to be the designated successor under the Virginia Small Estate Act (§ 64.2-600 et seq.), or its equivalent under the laws of the state of the decedent's domicile that names the claimant as the designated successor; or (iii) the order of distribution or the final accounting for a closed estate that reflects payment due in whole or in part to the claimant. When, in the absence of any such evidence, (a) the death of the reported owner occurred at least one year prior to filing the claim and (b) the amount claimed is $25,000 or less, exclusive of any interest owed pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-2533, the administrator may allow the claimant to submit an affidavit stating the claimant's entitlement to payment in the absence of sufficient documentation, and the administrator may approve the claim in his discretion, returning or paying all or the appropriate share of the deceased owner's property to the claimant. The administrator may pay or deliver all of the deceased owner's property to a claimant who submits the prescribed affidavit evidencing his agreement to receive and distribute the property to the other rightful heirs or beneficiaries and acknowledging his assumption of liability to those beneficiaries or heirs for failure to do so.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when paying or delivering unclaimed property under subsection B to a claimant who is not authorized to represent the decedent's estate as the personal representative or the designated successor or the equivalent, the administrator is discharged and released to the same extent as if the administrator dealt with the authorized representative or designated successor for the decedent's estate. The administrator shall deny any subsequent claim to the same property. Any person subsequently claiming an equal or superior right to the deceased owner's property whose claim is denied by the administrator for this reason may seek redress from the claimant to whom payment was made.

D. The administrator shall develop and make available a plain English explanation of a person's right to make a claim, in accordance with the provisions of this section, for property delivered to the Commonwealth in cases where the reported owner of the property is deceased. The administrator shall also post such document on the Department of the Treasury's website.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.20; 2016, cc. 350, 529; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2533. Consideration of and hearing on claim by administrator; payment; interest.

A. The administrator shall consider any claim for property held by the administrator pursuant to the provisions of this chapter that is filed under this chapter and may hold a hearing and receive evidence concerning such claim. If a hearing is held, he shall prepare a finding and a decision in writing on each claim filed, stating the substance of any evidence heard by him and the reasons for his decision. The decision shall be a public record.

B. If the claim is allowed, the administrator shall make payment as soon as practical. The administrator is authorized to deduct from the claim the costs for notices, sales, and other related incurred expenses.

C. The administrator shall add interest at the rate of five percent or such lesser rate as the property earned while in the possession of the holder, compounded annually, to the amount of any claim paid to the owner, if the property claimed was interest-bearing to the owner while in the possession of the holder. If the holder fails to report an applicable rate of interest, the interest rate will be set at five percent or such lesser rate as determined by the one-year Treasury Constant Maturity Rate as published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as of November 1 of the report year. Such interest shall begin to accumulate on the date the property is delivered to the administrator and shall cease on the date on which payment is made to the owner. No interest shall be payable for any period prior to July 1, 1981.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.21; 1981, c. 47; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2004, c. 523; 2005, c. 118; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2534. Judicial review of decision of administrator.

Any person aggrieved by an act or decision of the administrator with respect to a claim for property held by the administrator pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may commence an action in the circuit court of the county or city in which the property claimed is situated to establish his claim. The proceeding shall be brought within three years after the decision of the administrator or, if the administrator fails to act, within three years from the filing of the claim.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.22; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2535. Election of administrator not to receive property or to postpone taking possession of funds.

The administrator, after receiving reports of property deemed abandoned pursuant to this chapter, may decline to receive any property reported that he deems to have a value less than the cost of giving notice and holding sale, or he may, if he deems it desirable because of the small sum involved, postpone taking possession until a sufficient sum accumulates. Unless the holder of the property is notified to the contrary within 120 days after filing the report required under § 55.1-2524, the administrator shall be deemed to have elected to receive the custody of the property.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.23; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2536. Requests for verified reports and examinations of records.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the administrator may require any person that has not filed a report to file a verified report stating whether or not the person is holding any unclaimed property reportable or deliverable under this chapter.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the administrator may at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice examine the records of any person to determine whether the person has complied with the provisions of this chapter. The administrator may conduct the examination even if the person believes it is not in possession of any property reportable or deliverable under this chapter. The administrator may examine all necessary records to determine the amount, if any, of property that would have been reportable or deliverable under this chapter for the 10 years prior to the fiscal year end preceding the opening of the examination; however, for any holder that has not previously filed any report under this chapter, the administrator may examine property presumed abandoned for report year 1985 and subsequent years.

C. If a holder fails to maintain the records required by § 55.1-2537 and the records of the holder available for the periods subject to this chapter are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, the holder shall be required to report and pay such amounts as may reasonably be estimated from any available records.

D. The administrator may contract with a person who is not an employee of the Commonwealth to perform an audit or examination under this article; however, with respect to any holder that is domiciled in the Commonwealth or that maintains its principal place of business in the Commonwealth, no such contract shall (i) be on a contingency fee basis or (ii) permit statistical estimation without the consent of the holder.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.24; 1983, c. 190; 1985, c. 294; 1991, c. 357; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2537. Retention of records.

A. Every holder required to file a report under § 55.1-2524, shall retain all books, records, and documents necessary to establish the accuracy and compliance of such report for five years after the report is filed pursuant to subsection B of § 55.1-2524. If no report is filed, the holder shall retain such books, records, and documents for 10 years after the property becomes reportable, except to the extent that shorter time is provided in accordance with the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.), in accordance with subsection B, or by rule of the administrator. As to any property for which it has obtained the last known address of the owner, the holder shall maintain a record of the name and last known address of the owner for the same retention period.

B. Any business association that sells in the Commonwealth its 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 such instruments to others for sale in the Commonwealth, shall maintain a record of those instruments while they remain outstanding, indicating the state and date of issue for three years after the date the property is reportable.

1983, c. 190, § 55-210.24:1; 1985, c. 294; 1988, c. 378; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2538. Confidentiality of information and records.

Any information or records required to be furnished to the Division of Unclaimed Property shall be confidential except as is otherwise necessary in the proper administration of this chapter.

1988, c. 378, § 55-210.24:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2539. Enforcement of chapter.

The administrator may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this chapter. The administrator shall commence enforcement for compliance with the provisions of this chapter within the period specified in § 55.1-2528. The holder may waive in writing the protection of this section.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.25; 1983, c. 190; 1988, c. 643; 1991, c. 357; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2540. Interest and penalties.

A. Any person who fails to pay or deliver property within the time prescribed by this chapter shall be required to pay to the administrator interest at the same annual rate as is applicable to delinquent taxes under § 58.1-1812 on the property or value thereof from the date the property should have been paid or delivered. Such interest rate shall vary with the rate specified in § 58.1-1812.

B. Any person who does not exercise due diligence as defined in § 55.1-2500 shall pay a civil penalty not to exceed $50 for each account upon which due diligence was not performed.

C. Except as otherwise provided in subsection D, a holder that (i) fails to report, pay, or deliver property within the time prescribed by this chapter; (ii) files a false report; or (iii) fails to perform other duties imposed by this chapter without good cause shall pay to the administrator, in addition to interest as provided in subsection A, a civil penalty of $100 for each day the report, payment, or delivery is withheld or the duty is not performed, up to a maximum of the lesser of $10,000 or 25 percent of the value of the property that should have been but was not reported.

D. A holder that (i) willfully fails to report, pay, or deliver property within the time prescribed by this chapter; (ii) willfully fails to perform other duties imposed by this chapter without good cause; or (iii) makes a fraudulent report to the administrator shall pay to the administrator, in addition to interest as provided in subsection A, a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day the report, payment, or delivery is withheld or the duty is not performed, up to a maximum of the lesser of $50,000 or 100 percent of the value of the property that should have been but was not reported.

E. The administrator for good cause may waive, in whole or in part, interest under subsection A and penalties under subsections B, C, and D. All civil penalties shall be payable to the State Treasurer and credited to the Literary Fund.

1984, c. 121, § 55-210.26:1; 1988, c. 378; 1992, c. 583; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2541. Determinations; appeal procedures; regulations of administrator.

A. For the purposes of this section, "jeopardized by delay" means a finding that the applicant intends to undertake a wrongful act with the intent to prejudice, or to render ineffectual, future proceedings to enforce this chapter.

B. The administrator may adopt necessary regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

C. If the administrator ascertains that any person has failed to pay or deliver abandoned property in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, he shall issue a written notice to such person demanding remittance of the property and payment of any penalties and interest prescribed by law. Every such notice shall be accompanied by a detailed explanation of the holder's right to secure an administrative or judicial review. The abandoned property, together with penalties and interest, if any, shall be remitted to the administrator within 90 days from the date notice is received by the holder unless the holder requests (i) an administrative review in accordance with regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection D or (ii) a judicial review in accordance with § 55.1-2534.

D. The administrator shall promulgate regulations pursuant to which any person (i) asserting ownership of property remitted to the Commonwealth under this chapter, (ii) required to pay or deliver abandoned property pursuant to this chapter, or (iii) otherwise aggrieved by a decision of the administrator may file an application for administrative appeal and correction of the administrator's determination.

E. On receipt of the application as provided in regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection D, or if regulations promulgated thereunder are not in effect, on receipt of an application requesting an administrative review by the State Treasurer, the administrator shall suspend collection activity until a final determination is issued by the State Treasurer, unless the administrator determines that collection would be jeopardized by delay. Interest shall continue to accrue in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-2540, but no further penalty shall be imposed while collection activity is suspended.

F. If the State Treasurer is satisfied, by evidence submitted or otherwise, that there has been an erroneous or improper demand for the remittance of property, the State Treasurer shall order that the applicant be exonerated from the remittance of such portion as is erroneously or improperly demanded, if not already collected, and that it be returned or refunded to the applicant, if already collected. The State Treasurer shall refrain from collecting a contested charge until he has made a final determination under this section unless he determines that collection may be jeopardized by delay.

G. Except as otherwise provided in regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection D, the State Treasurer shall issue a written determination to the applicant within 90 days of receipt of an application for correction, unless the applicant is notified that a longer period will be required. All determinations of the State Treasurer shall include a written finding of fact and supporting law, and all such determinations shall be publicly reported.

H. Following a determination by the State Treasurer, the applicant may apply (i) in the case of a claim for property by a purported owner, to the appropriate circuit court pursuant to § 55.1-2534 and (ii) in the case of a dispute between a holder and the State Treasurer, to the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, within the time period established in § 55.1-2534.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.27; 2000, cc. 733, 745; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2542. Agreements to locate reported property; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person to seek or receive from another person or contract with another person for a fee or compensation for locating property that he knows has been reported or paid or delivered to the administrator pursuant to this chapter prior to 36 months after the date of delivery of the property by the holder to the administrator as required by this chapter.

B. No agreement entered into after 36 months from the required date of delivery of the property by the holder to the administrator is valid if a person thereby undertakes to locate property included in a report for a fee or other compensation exceeding 10 percent of the value of the recoverable property. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an owner from asserting at any time that an agreement to locate property is based upon an excessive or unjust consideration.

C. State warrants that may be issued in payment and redemption of previously abandoned property or the liquidation proceeds of previously abandoned property may be issued in the discretion of the administrator directly to the person entitled to the money as the owner, heir, or legatee, or as fiduciary of the estate of the deceased owner, heir, or legatee, and not to a named attorney-in-fact, agent, or assignee or any other person regardless of a written instruction to the contrary. The administrator need not recognize nor is the administrator bound by any terms of a purported power of attorney or assignment that may be presented as having been executed by a person as the purported owner, heir, legatee, or fiduciary of the estate of a deceased owner of such abandoned property.

D. A person who violates subsection A or B is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.

1981, c. 47, § 55-210.27:1; 1988, c. 378; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2543. Property presumed abandoned or escheated under laws of another state.

This chapter shall not apply to any property that has been presumed abandoned or escheated under the laws of another state prior to January 1, 1961.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.28; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2544. Property held or payable pursuant to Title 51.1.

This chapter shall not apply to any funds or other property, tangible or intangible, held or payable pursuant to Title 51.1.

1983, c. 308, § 55-210.28:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2545. Construction of chapter.

This chapter shall be construed so as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states that enact it.

1960, c. 330, § 55-210.29; 2019, c. 712.

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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