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12/20/17 8:03 AM

Corporate Asset Recovery - Legislative Changes For Consumer Protection

by Aaron Hatten

Blue dollar symbols isolated over a white background.jpegJurisdictions in which you do business may possibly be holding your company's abandoned or unclaimed property. You might not even know it's there. Unclaimed property is often generated unintentionally. Most companies have more dollars lying out there waiting for recovery than they realize. 

A majority of states operate and maintain their own searchable websites for property in their custody.  The states that don’t maintain their own website, may engage with a third party to manage their search process.  States looking to maximize the exposure of their properties will manage their own search platform while also publishing their items on a third-party search website.

The process for identifying and recovering unclaimed property has shifted and morphed for as long as unclaimed property compliance has existed. Decades ago, the process required contacting the states directly to locate any unclaimed property that was available or scouring the local paper for a list of items that could be held in your name. With the inception of the internet, the recovery of unclaimed funds has been made simpler. However, funds owed to you may not always be housed in easily searched sites.  Consequently, there has been a profusion of newly created corporate asset recovery firms that indicate they can help you recover “hard to find” unclaimed property.  However, companies should always check the bona fides of any firm making extravagant recovery promises to eliminate the possibility of fraudulent/improper activity.Issues with asset recovery firms have led states over the past months to introduce new legislation to bolster their consumer protections.  The newest potential changes to state legislation require proper registration by a firm who plans to contract and recover unclaimed or abandoned funds on behalf of another organization for a fee.  These changes could be as simple as a signed affidavit acknowledging the states unclaimed property laws (Massachusetts House Bill 35) or it could be a yearly renewal (Missouri House Bill 1422).

Regardless of the state, it has never been more imperative for an organization to ensure their corporate asset recovery provider has the proper registrations and credentials in place to perform asset recovery.  Without proper knowledge of state statutes, recoveries of abandoned property will be denied and inevitably delayed.   Furthermore, a firm unaware of state recovery statutes could be billing your organization rates far greater than the allowable amount dictated by state law. These bills further demonstrate the importance of companies properly vetting their corporate asset recovery provider before entering in to a contract.

However, working with a properly licensed third party locator is an efficient and practical way to uncover and return those hard to find unclaimed funds. Most organizations don’t have the time or resources needed in order to facilitate the process effectively and could overlook or not find funds because they lack the knowledge of where and how to seek out the unclaimed assets. Here are a few tips to help you seek out a reputable third party assister:

  • Never asks for an upfront fee
  • Locates, secures and completes crucial documentation that is required to complete the claim
  • Never attempts to charge a fee for funds that the client has already uncovered
  • Engages with the client on a regular basis providing status updates and reports

A reputable third party locator has the experience and dedicated resources to work on your behalf to uncover, recover and return unclaimed assets. More information can be found in the resource: Corporate Asset Recovery – A Guide To Uncovering And Recovering Unclaimed Funds.

Contact MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists if you have specific questions or if you would like to learn more about unclaimed funds recovery for your organization. 

Topics: Best Practices