After the Shareholder Services Association (SSA) and Securities Transfer Association (STA) voiced their concerns via a joint letter to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) regarding the interruption of international mail delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NAUPA sent a survey to its member states in May 2020.
The apprehensions raised were surrounding the suspension of mail service, which would prevent the successful completion of due diligence and ultimately the reporting property without a last attempt at reunification with the property owner. It is notable that states may liquidate securities property, making it difficult for the shareholder to retrieve it in its native form. In connection with ongoing concerns expressed by UPPO and the holder community, NAUPA recently released the responses from 19 states to the following questions:
◾ Would your state agree that "no accounts be escheated for shareholders whose address is in an impacted country until the restrictions are lifted and at least one mailing to the owner has been successful"?
◾ Would your state agree that “shareholders whose mail is returned by the post office due to a service suspension should not be deemed to be lost”?
◾ Would your state agree that “request a waiver of interest and penalties for any property that is considered late due to this mail issue”?
While international mail delivery has resumed in some of the countries previously impacted at the time that the states’ responses were collected, the pandemic continues to interrupt and/or prevent international mail delivery in several countries. For a current list of affected countries, visit https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm.
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*Content included in this article originally derived form a January 2021 blog shared from the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization (UPPO).
Content contained in this article is considered accurate as of the publish date.