Alabama Disposition of Unclaimed Property Law


Abandoned Property – Disposition of Unclaimed Property Law – Alabama

Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of abandoned property law, but does include basic provisions. You should check the State Laws for updates.

Title 35 Property
Chapter 12
LOST OR UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
Article 1 – General Provisions

When finder becomes depositary.
One who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it; but if he does so he is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 1, Section 35-12-1

Proof of ownership of claimant.
The finder of a thing may in good faith, before giving it up, require reasonable proof of ownership from any person claiming it. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 1, Section 35-12-2

Compensation and reward for finder.
The finder of a thing is entitled to compensation for all expenses necessarily incurred by him in its preservation, and for any other service necessarily performed by him about it, and to a reasonable reward for keeping it. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 1, Section 35-12-3

Placing thing found in storage.
The finder of a thing may exonerate himself from liability at any time by placing it on storage with any responsible person of good character at a reasonable expense. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 1, Section 35-12-4

Sale.

(a) The finder of a thing may sell it, if it is a thing which is commonly the subject of sale, when the owner cannot, with reasonable diligence, be found, or, being found, refuses upon demand to pay the lawful charges of the finder in the following cases:

(1) When the thing is in danger of perishing, or losing the greater part of its value; or,

(2) When the lawful charges of the finder amount to two thirds of its value.

(b) A sale under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section must be made in the same manner as the sale of a thing pledged.Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 1, Section 35-12-5

Disposition of unclaimed articles left for service.
Any person who is regularly engaged in the business of performing services upon articles left in his custody for that purpose may, subject to the provisions of this section, make disposition of such articles in any manner he sees fit after notice to the owner 10 days prior to such disposition. Such notice may be made by letter mailed to the owner’s last known address, by advertisement in a local newspaper of general circulation or by posting at the courthouse. Such person shall not incur any liability to owners thereof, if such articles have been unclaimed after certain periods of time as herein defined.

(1) Any automobile, truck, tractor, motorcycle, bicycle, agricultural or construction machinery, lawn mowers, bush hogs or any other type of vehicular equipment, must be retained for at least one year.

(2) All laundry, dry cleaning or clothing of any type must be retained for at least one year.

(3) All televisions, radios, irons, kitchen appliances and all other appliances of any type must be retained for at least six months.

(4) All articles not included above must be retained for at least six months. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 1, Section 35-12-6

Article 2 – Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act
Division 1 – In General

Short title.
This article may be cited as the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-20

Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:

(1) ALLOWED CLAIM. A claim completed and approved by the Treasurer for payment from the Unclaimed Property Claims Fund.

(2) BANKING ORGANIZATION. Any bank, trust company, savings bank, industrial bank, land bank, safe deposit company, or a private banker engaged in business in this state.

(3) BUSINESS ASSOCIATION. Any corporation other than a public corporation, joint stock company, business trust, partnership, broker, or any association for business purposes of two or more individuals.

(4) COMPLETED CLAIM. Any claim completed, executed, submitted, pursuant to all requirements set forth by the Treasurer pursuant to this article.

(5) FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION. Any savings and loan association, building and loan association, industrial loan organization, credit union, cooperative bank, or investment company engaged in business in this state.

(6) HOLDER. Any person in possession of property subject to this article belonging to another, or who is trustee in case of a trust or is indebted to another on an obligation subject to this article.

(7) INSURANCE CORPORATION. Any association or corporation transacting the business of insurance on the lives of persons or property, or insurance appertaining thereto, including, but not by way of limitation, endowments and annuities, and also including disability, accident and health, casualty and surety insurance companies.

(8) OWNER. A depositor in case of a deposit, a beneficiary in case of a trust, a creditor, claimant, or payee in case of other choses in action, or any person having a legal or equitable interest in property subject to this article, or his or her legal representative.

(9) PERSON. Any individual, business association, government or political subdivision, public corporation, public authority, public official, estate, trust, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(10) PROCEEDS. Any funds received by the Treasurer pursuant to this article, including, without limitation, funds received from the sale of property pursuant to this article, and all increments, dividends, and interest.

(11) TREASURER. The Treasurer of the State of Alabama.

(12) UTILITY. Any person who owns or operates within this state, 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. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-21

Property held by banking or financial organizations or business associations.
The following property held or owing by a banking or financial organization or by a business association is presumed abandoned:

(1) Any demand, savings or matured time deposit made in this state with a banking organization, together with any interest or dividend thereon, excluding any charges that may lawfully be withheld, unless the owner has, within five years:

a. Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit, or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit for the crediting of interest; or

b. Corresponded in writing with the banking organization concerning the deposit; or

c. Otherwise indicated an interest in the deposit as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking organization. Any correspondence in writing from a banking organization to the owner, such as the mailing of a statement, report of interest paid or credited or other written advice relating to the deposit shall be construed to mean that the owner has indicated an interest in the deposit if the correspondence in writing is not returned to the banking organization for nondelivery thereof.

d. For the purposes of paragraphs (1)a, (1)b, and (1)c of this section, any activity or indication of interest by an owner in any other deposits in a banking organization shall be construed to be activity and indication of interest in all other deposits of the owner in the banking organization.

(2) Any funds paid toward the purchase of shares or other interest in a financial organization or any deposit made therewith and any interest or dividends thereon, excluding any charges that may lawfully be withheld, unless the owner has within five years:

a. Increased or decreased the amount of the funds or deposit or presented an appropriate record for the crediting of interest or dividends; or

b. Corresponded in writing with the financial organization concerning the funds or deposit; or

c. Otherwise indicated an interest in the funds or deposit as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the financial organization. Any correspondence in writing from a financial organization to the owner, such as the mailing of a statement, report of interest or dividends paid or credited, or other written advice relating to the shares or other interest in the financial organization shall be construed to mean that the owner has indicated an interest in such shares if the correspondence in writing is not returned to the financial organization for nondelivery thereof.

d. For the purposes of paragraphs (2)a, (2)b, and (2)c of this section, any activity or indication of interest by an owner in any other shares in a financial organization shall be construed to be activity and indication of interest in all other shares of the owner in the financial organization.

(3) Any sum payable on checks certified in this state or on written instruments issued in this state on which a banking or financial organization or business association is directly liable, including, by way of illustration but not of limitation, certificates of deposit, drafts, money orders, and traveler’s checks, that, with the exception of traveler’s checks, has been outstanding for more than five years from the date it was payable, or from the date of its issuance if payable on demand, or in the case of traveler’s checks, that has been outstanding for more than 15 years from the date of its issuance, unless the owner has within five years, or within 15 years in the case of traveler’s checks, corresponded in writing with the banking or financial organization or business association concerning it, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking or financial organization or business association.

(4) Any funds or other personal property, tangible or intangible, removed from a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository or agency or collateral deposit box in this state on which the lease or rental period has expired due to nonpayment of the rental charges or other reason, or any surplus amounts arising from the sale thereof pursuant to law, that have been unclaimed by the owner for more than five years from the date on which the lease or rental period expired. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-22

Unclaimed funds held by insurance corporations.

(a) Unclaimed funds, as defined in this section, held and owing by an insurance corporation shall be presumed abandoned if the last known address, according to the records of the corporation, of the person entitled to the funds is within this state. If a person other than the insured or annuitant is entitled to the funds and no address of such person is known to the corporation or if it is not definite and certain from the records of the corporation what person 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 corporation.

(b) “Unclaimed funds,” as used in this section, means all moneys held and owing by any insurance corporation unclaimed and unpaid for more than five years after the moneys became due and payable as established from the records of the corporation. In the case of life insurance corporations, this shall only include any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or terminated. A life insurance policy not matured by actual proof of the death of the insured is deemed to be matured and the proceeds thereof are deemed to be due and payable if such policy was in force when the insured attained the limiting age under the mortality table on which the reserve is based, unless the person appearing entitled thereto has within the preceding five years, assigned, readjusted or paid premiums on the policy or subjected the policy to loan or corresponded in writing with the life insurance corporation concerning the policy. Moneys otherwise payable according to the records of the corporation are deemed due and payable although the policy or contract has not been surrendered as required. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art, 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-23

Deposits and refunds held by utilities.
The following funds held or owing by any utility are presumed abandoned:

(1) Any deposit made by a subscriber with a utility to secure payment for, or any sum paid in advance for, utility services to be furnished in this state, less any lawful deductions, that has remained unclaimed by the person appearing on the records of the utility entitled thereto for more than two years after the termination of the services for which the deposit or advance payment was made; provided, that any such deposit made by a subscriber with a utility to secure payment for, or any sum payable in advance for, utility services to be furnished in this state shall not be deemed unclaimed so long as the subscriber remains a subscriber of such utility and such deposit or payment continues to secure the payment or an advance payment for utility services to be furnished in this state.

(2) Any sum which a utility has been ordered to refund and which was received for utility services rendered in this state, together with any interest thereon, less any lawful deductions, that has remained unclaimed by the person appearing on the records of the utility entitled thereto for more than two years after the date it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-24

Exemption from Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.
Electric cooperatives organized under chapters 6 and 7 of Title 37, as amended, shall be exempted from all provisions of the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act, which act is codified in sections 35-12-20 through 35-12-48, as amended. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-24.1

Undistributed dividends and distributions of business associations.
Any stock or other certificate of ownership, or any dividend, profit, distribution, royalty, interest, payment on principal, or other sum held or owing by a business association, broker or person for or to a shareholder, certificate holder, member, bondholder, or other security holder, or a participating patron of a cooperative, who has not claimed it or corresponded in writing with the business association, broker or person concerning it within five years after the date prescribed for payment or delivery is presumed abandoned if:

(1) It is held or owing by a business association, broker or person organized under the laws of or created in this state; or

(2) It is held or owing by a business association, broker or person doing business in this state, but not organized under the laws of or created in this state, and the records of the business association, broker or person indicate that the last known address of the person entitled thereto is in this state. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-25

Intangible property of business associations and banking or financial organizations held in course of dissolution.
Except as otherwise provided by the laws of this state, all intangible personal property distributable in the course of a voluntary dissolution of a business association, banking organization or financial organization organized under the laws of or created in this state that is unclaimed by the owner within two years after the date for final distribution is presumed abandoned. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-26

Intangible property held by fiduciaries.
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 becomes payable or distributable, 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 on file with the fiduciary:

(1) If the property is held by a banking organization or a financial organization or by a business association organized under the laws of or created in this state; or

(2) If it is held by a business association, a banking organization or a financial organization doing business in this state, but not organized under the laws of or created in this state, and the records of the business association, a banking organization or a financial organization indicate that the last known address of the person entitled thereto is in this state; or

(3) If it is held in this state by another person. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-27

Property held by federal courts, officers, authorities or agencies.
Funds, tangible and intangible personal property held for the owner by any federal court, federal officer, authority or agency in this state, or funds, tangible and intangible personal property held for the owner whose last known address is in this state by any federal court, federal officer, authority or agency that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than three years is presumed abandoned. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-28

Miscellaneous personal property not otherwise covered by article.
All tangible and intangible personal property, not otherwise covered by this article, including, but not limited to and by way of illustration, money, stocks, bonds, certificates of membership in corporations, income, amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies not covered by section 35-12-23, pension trust agreements, profit-sharing plans, security deposits, refunds, funds deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons and other securities, or to make a distribution thereof, together with any income, interest or increment thereon and deducting any lawful charges, that is held or owing in this state 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 or distributable is presumed abandoned; provided, that unclaimed or unpaid wages and salaries which have remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after becoming payable are presumed abandoned. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-29

Reciprocity for property abandoned or escheated under laws of another state.
If specific property which is subject to the provisions of sections 35-12-22, 35-12-25 through 35-12-27 and 35-12-29 is held for or owed or distributable to an owner whose last known address is in another state by a holder who is subject to the jurisdiction of that state, the specific property is not presumed abandoned in this state and subject to this article 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 held for or owed or distributable to an owner whose last known address is within this state by a holder who is subject to the jurisdiction of this state. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-30

Report of abandoned property.

(a) Every person holding funds or other property, tangible or intangible, presumed abandoned under this article shall report to the Treasurer with respect to the property and deliver the property to the Treasurer as hereinafter provided. Unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Treasurer, the holder of the property shall simultaneously with the filing of the report as required in this section deliver such property to the Treasurer.

(b) The report shall be verified and shall include:

(1) Except with respect to traveler’s checks and money orders, the name, if known, and last known address, if any, of each person appearing from the records of the holder to be the owner of any property of a value reasonably believed to be ten dollars ($10) or more presumed abandoned under this section. No appraisal shall be required of the holder to determine the value of the property, and the holder may also include in property of a value less than ten dollars ($10) in the report;

(2) In case of unclaimed funds of life insurance corporations, the full name of the insured or annuitant and his or her last known address according to the life insurance corporation’s records;

(3) The nature and identifying number, if any, or description of the property and the amount appearing from the records to be due;

(4) 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;

(5) A sworn statement that the holder has exercised due diligence pursuant to subsection (e) of this section; and

(6) Other information which the Treasurer prescribes by rule as necessary for the administration of this article.

(c) If the person holding property presumed abandoned is successor to other persons who previously held the property for the owner or if the holder’s name has changed since the holder acquired the property, the holder shall file with the holder’s report all prior known names and addresses of each holder of the property.

(d) Reports required under this article shall be filed before November 1 of each year as of June 30 next preceding, but the reports filed by insurance corporations shall be filed before May 1 of each year as of December 31 next preceding. Any request for postponement must be submitted to the Treasurer, in writing, and prior to the expiration of the reporting period required in this section. Any decision regarding any postponement of the required reporting date shall be within the Treasurer’s discretion.

(e) If the holder of property presumed abandoned under this article knows the whereabouts of the owner and if the owner’s claim has not been barred by the statute of limitations, the holder shall, before filing the annual report, attempt to communicate with the owner and take necessary steps to prevent abandonment from being presumed. The holder shall exercise due diligence to ascertain the whereabouts of the owner. The holder’s obligations under this subsection shall be satisfied if the holder mails written notice by certified mail, or any other method approved by the State Treasurer, regarding the property to the owner at the last address of the owner known to the holder, if any, at least 30 days prior to filing the annual report.

(f) Verification, if made by a partnership, shall be executed by a partner; if made by an unincorporated association or private corporation, by an officer; and if made by a public corporation, by its chief fiscal officer. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-31

Notice to be published and mailed by Treasurer.

(a) Within 120 days from the filing of the reports and delivery of the property as required by Section 35-12-31, the Treasurer shall mail notice regarding the subject property to each person whose name and address appears on the report of the property delivered to the Treasurer. As close as is practicable within the Treasurer’s discretion to the date on which the Treasurer mails the notices, the Treasurer shall also cause notice regarding the subject property to be published at the time and in the manner and place determined by the Treasurer in his or her discretion to provide actual notice to potential owners of property. Other than as provided in this section, the mailed and published notices shall be of a form and content which in the Treasurer’s discretion is likely to provide actual notice to potential owners of such property.

(b) The mailed notice shall contain:

(1) A statement that the Treasurer is holding property to which the addressee appears entitled.

(2) A statement that, if satisfactory proof of claim is not presented by the owner to the Treasurer by the date specified in the published notice, the property may, at the discretion of the Treasurer, be disposed of by the Treasurer as provided by this article.

(c) The published notice shall be entitled “notice of names of persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property,” and shall contain:

(1) The names in alphabetical order and last known addresses, if any, of persons listed in the report and entitled to notice as hereinbefore specified.

(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 person possessing an interest in the property by addressing a written inquiry to the Treasurer. The written inquiry shall contain a statement of the nature of the interest in the property claimed by the person requesting the information.

(3) A statement that, if a completed claim is not presented by the owner to the Treasurer within one year from the date on which notice is published pursuant to this section, the Treasurer may at his or her discretion dispose of the property pursuant to this article.

(d) The Treasurer is not required to publish in the notice any item which in the Treasurer’s opinion is of a value less than fifty dollars ($50) unless the Treasurer deems the publication to be in the public interest. The Treasurer is not required to obtain an appraisal of the property to determine value under this section.

(e) In addition to the methods provided above, the Treasurer may use any other method of providing notice or further information to potential owners of abandoned property if the Treasurer determines that the other method would be likely to provide notice to potential owners of abandoned property.

(f) This section is not applicable to sums payable on traveler’s checks or money orders presumed abandoned under Section 35-12-22. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-32

Payment or delivery of abandoned property ; Generally.
Every person who files a report pursuant to this article shall simultaneously, and in no event later than 20 days after the filing of the report, unless a written extension is obtained from the Treasurer, pay or deliver to the Treasurer all abandoned property specified in the report; except, that if it reasonably appears that the presumption of abandonment is erroneous, the holder need not pay or deliver the property, which will no longer be presumed abandoned, to the Treasurer, but in lieu thereof shall file with the Treasurer a verified written explanation of the proof of claim or of the error in the presumption of abandonment. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-33

Payment or delivery of abandoned property; Relief from liability; rights become obligations of state; reimbursement.
Upon the payment or delivery of abandoned property to the Treasurer, the state shall assume custody and shall be responsible for the safekeeping thereof. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person who pays or delivers abandoned property to the Treasurer under this article is relieved of all liability to the extent of the value of the property so paid or delivered for any claim which then exists or which thereafter may arise or be made in respect to the property. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the payment or delivery of abandoned property to the Treasurer shall operate as a full, absolute and unconditional release and discharge of the person making the payment or delivery from any and all claims or demands of or liability to any person entitled thereto, or to any other claimant or state, and the payment or delivery may be pleaded as an absolute bar to any action brought against the person making the payment or delivery by any other person entitled thereto, or by any other claimant or state. Except as otherwise provided by this section, the person making the payment or delivery shall immediately and thereafter be relieved of and held harmless by the State of Alabama from any and all liabilities for any claim or claims which exist at the time with reference to the abandoned property or which may thereafter be made or may come into existence on account of or in respect to any such abandoned property. This section does not relieve any person from any fine or civil penalty imposed pursuant to Section 35-12-45. Any right to the abandoned property which any other person entitled thereto or any claimant or state may have against the person making the payment or delivery to the Treasurer shall thereby become the obligation of the State of Alabama. Any holder who has paid moneys to the Treasurer pursuant to this article may make payment to any person appearing to the holder to be entitled thereto; and, upon proof of the payment, proof that the payee was entitled thereto, and unless the Treasurer has already paid a claim for the property, the Treasurer shall forthwith reimburse the holder for the payment. In the event a holder pays a claim before confirming with the Treasurer the Treasurer’s receipt of the holder’s notice of intent to pay a claim for the property, the holder’s payment of the claim shall be at the holder’s risk, and the Treasurer shall not be required to reimburse the holder for the payment of the claim. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-34

Payment or delivery of abandoned property; Owner not entitled to income or other increments accruing after payment or delivery.
When property is paid or delivered to the Treasurer under this article, the owner is not entitled to receive income, interest, or other increments accruing thereafter. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-35

Disposition of property by Treasurer.
The Treasurer may destroy or otherwise dispose of property which in the Treasurer’s opinion has insubstantial commercial value, but in no instance shall such destruction or other disposition occur before the expiration of one calendar year from the date on which the later of the mailing or publishing notice pursuant to Section 35-12-32 occurs. Except as otherwise provided by this article, the destruction or disposition of property under this section is excepted from all requirements in this article relating to the sale or disposition of abandoned property. Any proceeds received by the Treasurer upon sale or disposition of property under this section shall be deposited according to the requirements set forth in Section 35-15-39. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-36

Duties, etc., not affected by expiration of limitation period.
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 nor affect any duty to file a report required by this article or to pay or deliver abandoned property to the Treasurer. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-37

Sale of abandoned property or securities; presentation of matured bonds for payment; publication of notice.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), all abandoned property other than money delivered to the Treasurer under this article shall, within one year after notice published pursuant to Section 35-12-32, be sold by the Treasurer to the highest bidder at public sale in whatever city in the state affords in his or her judgment the most favorable market for the property involved.

The Treasurer may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if the Treasurer considers the price bid insufficient. The Treasurer need not offer any property for sale if, in the Treasurer’s opinion, the probable cost of sale exceeds the value of the property. The Treasurer is not required to obtain an appraisal to determine value under this section.

(b) Securities listed on an established stock exchange may be sold through that exchange at the prevailing prices on such exchange. Other securities may be sold over the counter at prevailing prices.

(c) Bonds issued by the United States, or any state, or any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of any state, or any other governmental body or agency of any governmental body, foreign or domestic, or any corporation, which have reached maturity may be presented to the issuer for payment.

(d) Any sale held under this section shall be preceded by a single publication of notice thereof, at least three weeks in advance of sale in an English language newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property is to be sold.

(e) The purchaser at any sale conducted by the Treasurer pursuant to this article shall receive title to the property purchased, free from all claims of the owner or prior holder thereof and of all persons claiming through or under them. The Treasurer shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of title. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-38

Deposit of funds.

(a) The following funds shall be, and are hereby, created within the State Treasury:

(1) The Unclaimed Property Claims Fund, the purpose of which shall be to pay any and all allowed claims, as that term is defined in this article.

(2) The Unclaimed Property Administrative Fund, the purpose of which shall be to serve as a source of payment of all costs and expenses of administering the unclaimed property program under this article, including without limitation, any costs or expenses for which holders are due to be reimbursed pursuant to Section 35-12-22(4)(a) of this article.

(3) The Unclaimed Property Reserve Fund, the purpose of which shall be to indemnify the Unclaimed Property Claims Fund and the Unclaimed Property Administrative Fund.

(b) An amount sufficient to meet all administrative costs and expenses of the Treasurer in fulfilling the requirements of this article shall be appropriated from the General Fund.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by this section, all funds received under this article, including proceeds from the sale of abandoned property under Section 35-12-38, shall be deposited as follows:

(1) First, into the Unclaimed Property Administrative Fund an amount sufficient to meet the administrative costs and expenses incurred by the Treasurer in meeting the requirements of this article.

(2) Second, into the Unclaimed Property Claims Fund an amount sufficient to pay allowed claims or maintain a minimum balance of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), whichever is greater, up to a maximum balance of one million dollars ($1,000,000).

(3) Third, all monies remaining shall be deposited into the Unclaimed Property Reserve Fund. Surpluses in this fund shall be deposited into the State General Fund on a quarterly schedule.

(d) The Treasurer may at the Treasurer’s discretion use any funds in the Unclaimed Property Reserve Fund to satisfy any requirement of this article, including, by way of example, maintaining balances required by this section to be maintained in the Unclaimed Property Administrative Fund and Unclaimed Property Claims Fund.

(e) Any funds remaining in the Unclaimed Property Reserve Fund after the requirements of this section have been met as to the Unclaimed Property Claims Fund and Unclaimed Property Administrative Fund shall be deposited into the State General Fund on a quarterly basis.

(f) Funds derived under this article from all estates of deceased persons who die without leaving a will or heir shall be used or applied to the furtherance of education in accordance with the provisions of Section 258 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended by Amendment No. 3, and shall be deposited in the public school fund. All other funds recovered under this article shall be deposited in accordance with the requirements of this section. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-39

Claims for property or proceeds of sale; Filing of claim.
Any person claiming an interest in any property delivered to the state under this article may file at any time a claim thereto or to the proceeds from the sale thereof on the form prescribed by the Treasurer. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-40

Claims for property or proceeds of sale; Determination and payment by Treasurer.

(a) The Treasurer shall consider any claim filed under this article and may hold a hearing and receive evidence concerning it. 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 Treasurer shall make payment forthwith. The claim shall be paid without deduction for costs of notices or sale or for service charges. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-41

Claims for property or proceeds of sale; Judicial review.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Treasurer or as to whose claim the Treasurer has failed to act within 90 days after the filing of the claim may commence a civil action for a declaratory judgment against the Treasurer in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, or in the circuit court of the county in Alabama of residence of the person aggrieved, to determine or establish the claimant’s rights. The proceeding shall be brought within 90 days after the decision of the Treasurer or within 180 days from the filing of the claim if the Treasurer fails to act. The action shall be tried de novo without a jury. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-42

Examination of records by Treasurer.
The Treasurer may at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice examine the records of any person if the Treasurer has reason to believe that the person has failed to report property that should have been reported pursuant to this article.

In order to effectuate the purposes of this article, all departments, offices, and other divisions of state and local government or any agent or employee thereof shall make available to the Treasurer any pertinent records pertaining to property which should have been reported pursuant to this article or potential holders of the property. Information obtained through the examination which is not relevant to the object of the inquiry shall not be divulged. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-43

Proceedings to compel delivery of abandoned property.
If any person refuses to deliver property to the Treasurer as required under this article, the Treasurer may bring an action in a court of appropriate jurisdiction to enforce the delivery in the name of the State of Alabama on the relation of the Treasurer. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-44

Penalties.

(b) Any person who willfully refuses to pay or deliver abandoned property to the Treasurer as required under this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both, at the discretion of the court.

(c) If the Treasurer determines that any person has willfully failed to either file any report required under this article or pay or deliver to the Treasurer any property required to be delivered to the Treasurer pursuant to this article or willfully violated the confidentiality provision of Section 35-12-46, the Treasurer may order the person to pay to the Treasurer a civil penalty in an amount equal to the Treasurer’s determination of the value of the property at the time it should have been respectively reported or delivered pursuant to this article, whichever is earlier, or in the case of a breach of confidentiality, the value of the property on the date the breach first occurred. In the event the Treasurer assesses a civil penalty pursuant to this section, then the State of Alabama shall have a lien in the amount of the assessment in the property of the person against whom the assessment was made. The lien shall be perfected by the filing of a notice of lien in the office of the judge of probate for the county in which the holder resides, or in the event the holder does not reside within the state, the county in which the property is located. Once the lien is perfected as previously described, the Treasurer may enforce the lien by filing suit for enforcement within six months of the date of perfection in the county in which the holder resides, or if the holder resides outside this state, then in the county where the property is located. The civil penalty is in addition to any criminal fine levied pursuant to this section. In no event shall the total amount of civil penalties assessed pursuant to this section total more than the value of the subject property.

(d) Any penalty provided in this section may be reduced or remitted in whole or in part by the Treasurer for good cause. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-45
Confidentiality of information; rules and regulations of Treasurer; employees; special counsel.

(a) Information regarding any property which is the subject of this article, including, without limitation, descriptions of the property and names, addresses, or any other information which may be used, directly or indirectly, to attempt to contact actual or potential owners of the property, is confidential and is hereby excepted from any and all laws relating to the disclosure of public records. Except as expressly authorized by the Treasurer, it shall be unlawful for any person to print, publish, or divulge any information regarding property subject to this article, including, without limitation, descriptions of the property and names, addresses, or any information which may be used to contact owners or potential owners of the property. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall have committed a Class A misdemeanor for each unlawful act of disclosure and shall be further subject to the penalties set forth in Section 35-12-45.

(b) The Treasurer is exclusively authorized to make any necessary rules and regulations necessary to carry out this article, and, under the provisions of the merit system, shall have the authority to appoint or employ the accountants, examiners, clerks, and other employees necessary to carry out the duties conferred upon the Treasurer, and the salaries therefor shall be fixed according to the provisions of the merit system. The Treasurer shall also have the authority to employ one employee whose salary shall be set by the Treasurer and who shall not be subject to the merit system and, by and with the approval of the Governor, have authority to employ and fix the compensation of the special counsel or attorneys as he or she may deem necessary and expedient to carry out this article and pay the same out of the Unclaimed Property Administrative Fund provided for in Section 35-12-39. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-46

Property presumed abandoned or escheated under laws of another state.
This article shall not apply to any property that has been presumed abandoned or escheated under the laws of another state prior to April 27, 1971. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-47

Construction of article.
This article shall be so construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact it. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-48

When intangible property presumed abandoned.

(a) All intangible property, including but not limited to any interest, dividend, or other earnings thereon, less any lawful charges, held by a business association, federal, state or local government or governmental subdivision, agency or entity, or any other person or entity, regardless of where the holder may be found, if the owner has not claimed or corresponded in writing concerning the property within three years after the date prescribed for payment or delivery, is presumed abandoned and subject to the custody of this state as unclaimed property if:

(1) The address of the owner is unknown; and

(2) The person or entity originating or issuing the intangible property is this state or any political subdivision of this state, or is incorporated, organized or created in this state.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to property which is or may be presumed abandoned and subject to the custody of this state pursuant to any other provision of law containing a dormancy period different than that prescribed in subsection (a)

(c) The provisions of subsection (a) shall apply to all property held at the time of enactment, or at any time thereafter, regardless of when such property became or becomes presumptively abandoned. Title 35, Chap. 12, Art. 2, Div. 1, Section 35-12-50