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6/10/21 7:51 AM

UPDATE: Delaware's Next Round of VDA Invitations Scheduled for June 11, 2021

The Delaware Secretary of State (SOS) had previously indicated its intent to mail the latest round of VDA invitations on or about May 28, 2021. However, this date has changed to June 11, 2021.

Under Delaware law, the state cannot initiate an unclaimed property examination (audit) unless a company has first been notified in writing by the SOS that it may enter into the SOS VDA Program. Holders who do not enroll in the VDA Program within the 60-day notice period set forth in the letter will be referred to the Department of Finance for an unclaimed property audit.

As VDA invitations may be addressed to senior corporate executives, they often do not reach the person or group responsible for unclaimed property compliance in time to meet the 60-day deadline to prevent an audit.

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Topics: Delaware, Audit, Best Practices, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements

6/1/21 9:39 AM

Earnest Money & Escrowed Funds Can Also Become Unclaimed Property

There are many types of financial activities associated with real estate transactions that can ultimately result in unclaimed property. One type of activity is the use of earnest money, which is a good faith deposit often made by a buyer in connection with the purchase of real estate.  Another type is where funds are escrowed by a title company until certain conditions are met under the Sales/Purchase Agreement.  At closing, or once the conditions are met, the earnest money and/or escrowed funds are returned to the entitled parties.   If the buyer backs out of the contract, the seller is usually entitled to the funds.

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5/27/21 7:51 AM

Target Date for Delaware's Next Round of VDA Invitations: May 28, 2021

Unclaimed property holders need to stay vigilant about checking the mail. The DE Secretary of State (SOS) has indicated its intent to send out the latest round of VDA invitations on or about May 28, 2021. VDA invitations are sent several times per year to companies that are identified by the state as “likely being out of compliance” with Delaware’s unclaimed property law. 

Under Delaware law, the state cannot initiate an unclaimed property examination (audit) unless a company has first been notified in writing by the SOS that it may enter into the SOS VDA Program. Holders who do not enroll in the VDA Program within the 60-day notice period set forth in the letter will be referred to the Department of Finance for an unclaimed property audit.

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Topics: Delaware, Audit, Best Practices, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements

5/10/21 8:48 AM

Why Engage an Escheat Recovery Specialist?

Businesses may be surprised to learn that not only can their vendors, customers and employees be entitled to unclaimed property, but the organization itself may be entitled to unclaimed funds that are held by the states or by bankruptcy courts or county, local or federal agencies. As a holder of unclaimed property, an organization may also have escheated unclaimed property in error to a state’s unclaimed property department or paid an owner in error. Even if a business handles unclaimed property in-house, an organization may benefit from a recovery specialist to assist in the holder recovery and reimbursement process.

Why hire a recovery specialist to assist you in locating your own organization’s lost funds or handle reimbursements on your behalf for funds paid out or reported in error? For starters, there are hundreds of state and local reporting jurisdictions that may have recoverable items in their possession, with each of these jurisdictions potentially having their own protocols dealing with recovery.  Recovery specialists are accustomed to the complexities involved in recovering unclaimed property and can assist in navigating and managing the claims and/or reimbursement process efficiently, while tailoring and streamlining the process for each business.

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Topics: Compliance, Best Practices, Corporate Asset Recovery

5/5/21 1:11 PM

MarketSphere Welcomes Bill Berger as Vice President of Location Services

MarketSphere welcomes Bill Berger as the company’s new Vice President of location services. Mr. Berger’s experience in unclaimed property owner research and reunification provides him with the knowledge and expertise needed to help unclaimed property holders implement solutions to reunite customers with their funds and reduce escheat liability.

“The team here at MarketSphere is deeply committed to assisting holders with all facets of the unclaimed property transactional lifecycle via customized solutions” said Jon D’Amato, MarketSphere Managing Partner and Unclaimed Property Practice Leader. “Throughout his career, Mr. Berger has demonstrated that he shares this same passion and philosophy. In addition, his owner location expertise is unparalleled in the industry and will be an asset for all of our clients".

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Topics: Best Practices, Staffing, Corporate Asset Recovery

5/4/21 12:40 PM

Unclaimed Property Compliance: Accounts Receivable Credits

Accounts receivable credits (A/R credits) are often overlooked when it comes to unclaimed property compliance. This is problematic because A/R credits, if treated incorrectly, can create a substantial amount of unclaimed property, and can become a key focus in unclaimed property audits. Consequently, any effective escheat program should include formal policies and procedures for reviewing and including accounts receivable credits in the reporting process.

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Topics: Compliance, Reporting, Recordkeeping, Best Practices

4/21/21 10:11 AM

The Unclaimed Property Reporting Cycle and Holder Compliance

Businesses are required to report unclaimed property on an annual basis. States differ as to when particular property types are subject to escheat, the type and timing of the due diligence notices that holders must send to property owners before escheating the property, and how and when the property should be reported to the states. The risks of non-compliance can result in penalty and interest assessments and can subject a company to a lengthy unclaimed property audit. Businesses should conduct regular reviews of their unclaimed property processes to ensure compliance with all state unclaimed property laws.

A holder’s obligations during a typical unclaimed property reporting cycle can be summarized as follows, with each step discussed further below:

▪️ Identify dormant property; collect data and review records

▪️ Analyze and apply applicable state laws;

▪️ Perform state-mandated due diligence;

▪️ Report and remit unclaimed property to the states; and

▪️ Retain supporting documentation.

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Topics: Compliance, Due Diligence, Reporting, Recordkeeping, Best Practices

4/13/21 10:30 AM

Check Your Mail: Unclaimed Property Outreach From Maine & Massachusetts

We recently posted about the importance of checking the mail for letters inviting holders to participate in the Delaware Secretary of State’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) program. Delaware is scheduled to mail a new round of VDA invitations on May 14th. More states are beginning to join this outreach trend. Maine and Massachusetts appear to be joining states like Nevada and Washington in mailing targeted outreach to holders regarding their compliance with the unclaimed property laws, which can take the form of self-audit questionnaires or invitations to self-audit books and records, and often disclose that they will be assisted by a third-party auditor in the process.

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Topics: Compliance, Audit, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements, Massachusetts

4/2/21 10:30 AM

Phishing Email Leads to Data Breach at the California State Controller’s Office

The California State Controller’s Office (SCO) Unclaimed Property Division recently experienced a data breach after an employee clicked on a phishing email. According to the Notice of Data Breach posted on the SCO’s webpage, an unauthorized user had access to the employee’s email account from March 18, 2021 at 1:42pm to March 19, 2021 at 3:19pm.

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Topics: Risk, California, Fraud

3/26/21 10:35 AM

MarketSphere Recognized for Support of United Way

MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists is pleased to be recognized by the United Way of Greater Kansas City for our 100% employee participation during the United Way campaign of 2020 at our Overland Park, KS office. This is the 19th consecutive year of 100% participation, and we appreciate our team members ALL IN support of the United Way.

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Topics: Best Practices