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Bill Analysis

Legislative Service Commission

H.B. 108
125th General Assembly
(As Reported by H. State Government)

Current law
Current law generally requires that a holder of unclaimed funds (see comment) send notice by first class mail to each owner of each item of unclaimed funds having a value of $50 or more. In the case of life insurance policies, the holder also must so mail notice to each beneficiary unless the address and the surname of the beneficiary is the same as that of the insured. (Sec. 169.03(D).)
The holder must mail the notice to the owner's or beneficiary's last known address as shown by the holder's records. The holder must not report an item of unclaimed funds in the holder's annual report to the Director of commerce earlier than the 30th day after the notice's mailing. (Sec. 169.03(D).)
The notice must (1) set forth the nature and any identifying number, or a description, of the unclaimed funds and the amount appearing on the holder's records as being due the owner or beneficiary and (2) inform the owner or beneficiary that, 30 days after the notice's mailing, the unclaimed funds will be reported to the Director of Commerce. The notice must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope that its recipient may use to inform the holder of the recipient's continued interest in the unclaimed funds and to not report them to the Director of Commerce. (Sec. 169.03(D).)
The mailing of the notice discharges the holder from any further responsibility to give notice to the owner or a beneficiary. But, if there is no address of record for the owner or a beneficiary, the holder has no responsibility for mailing the notice to that person. An officer of the holder apparently must execute verification of the mailing of the notice when making an annual report to the Director of Commerce. (Sec. 169.03(D) and (E).)
Changes proposed by the bill
The bill requires that a holder of an item of unclaimed funds mail notice of the item to an owner or beneficiary (1) by first class mail if the item has a value of $50 or more but less than $1,000 or (2) by certified mail, return receipt requested, if the item has a value of $1,000 or more. A holder that sends the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, may charge the item of unclaimed funds up to $20 for providing that notice. (Sec. 169.03(D).)
"Unclaimed funds" are moneys, rights to moneys, or intangible property as described in existing law when, as shown by the records of their holder, the owner has not done any of the following within specified time periods: (1) increased, decreased, or adjusted their amount, (2) assigned, paid premiums on, or encumbered them, (3) presented an appropriate record for their crediting or received payment of them by check, draft, or otherwise, (4) corresponded with their holder concerning them, (5) indicated an interest in or knowledge of them, or (6) transacted business with their holder (sec. 169.01(B)(1), not in the bill).

03-06-03p. 213
    Reported, H. State Government
05-01-03p. 446