Virginia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Law


Virginia Law Summary
Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act

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.

Code of Virginia
Title 55 – Property and Conveyances
Chapter 11.1 – Disposition of Unclaimed Property

Citation of chapter.
This chapter may be cited as “The Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.”
Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.1.

Definitions.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

“Administrator” means the State Treasurer or his designee.

“Apparent owner” means the person whose name appears on the records of the holder as the person entitled to property held, issued, or owing by the holder.

“Banking organization” means any bank, trust company, savings bank (industrial bank, land bank, safe deposit company), or a private banker, or any other organization defined by law as a bank or banking organization.

“Business association” means any corporation joint-stock company, investment company, business trust, partnership, limited liability company, cooperative, or association for business purposes of two or more individuals whether or not for profit, including a banking organization, financial organization, insurance company, or utility.

“Credit balance” means an item of intangible property resulting from or attributable to the sale of goods or services, which includes, by way of illustration, an overpayment, credit memo, refund, discount, rebate, unidentified remittance, or deposit.

“Domicile” means (i) the state of incorporation, in the case of a corporation incorporated under the laws of a state, (ii) the state of organization, in the case of an unincorporated business association formed under the laws of a state, (iii) the state of the principal place of business, in the case of a nonnatural person not incorporated or formed under the laws of a state, and (iv) the state of principal residency, in the case of a natural person.

“Due diligence” shall include, but not be limited to, the mailing of a letter by first-class mail to the last known address of the owner as indicated on the records of the holder.

“Financial organization” means any savings and loan association (cooperative bank), building and loan association, or credit union.

“Gift certificate” means a certificate, electronic card or other medium that evidences the giving of consideration in exchange for the right to redeem the certificate, electronic card or other medium for goods, food, services, credit or money of an equal value.

“Holder” means a person, wherever organized or domiciled, who is (i) in possession of property belonging to another, (ii) a trustee in case of a trust, or (iii) indebted to another on an obligation.

“Insurance company” means an association, corporation, fraternal or mutual benefit organization, whether or not for profit, which is engaged in providing insurance coverage, including, by way of illustration, accident, burial, casualty, credit life, contract performance, dental, fidelity, fire, health, hospitalization, illness, life (including endowments and annuities), malpractice, marine, mortgage, surety, and wage protection insurance.

“Intangible property” includes, by way of illustration, (i) moneys, checks, drafts, deposits, interest, dividend income; (ii) credits, customer overpayments, gift certificates, security deposits, refunds, unpaid wages, and unidentified remittances; (iii) stocks and other intangible ownership interests in business associations; (iv) moneys deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, and other securities, or to make distributions; (v) amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies; and (vi) amounts distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under a plan to provide any health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental unemployment insurance or similar benefit.

“Last known address” means a description of the location of the apparent owner sufficient to identify the state of residence of the apparent owner for the purpose of the delivery of mail.

“Owner” means a depositor in the case of a deposit, a beneficiary in case of a trust, other than a deposit in trust, a creditor, claimant, or payee in the case of other intangible property, or a person having a legal or equitable interest in property subject to this chapter or his legal representative.

“Payable” means the earliest date upon which the owner of property could become entitled to the payments, possession, delivery, or distribution of such property from a holder.

“Person” means an individual, business association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, public authority, estate, trust, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.

“Promotional incentive” means a coupon, rebate or other promotional device offered to induce a consumer to purchase goods, food or services and for which (i) no direct consideration is given by the consumer or (ii) the consideration given is less than the value of the goods, food or services to be received.

“State,” when applied to a part of the United States, includes any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession, and any other area subject to the legislative authority of the United States.

“Unclaimed property” means property for which the owner, as shown by the records of the holder of his property, has ceased, failed or neglected, within the times provided in this chapter, to make presentment and demand for payment and satisfaction or to do any other act in relation to or concerning such property. This definition shall be construed as excluding any act of a holder of unclaimed property not done at the express request or authorization of the owner.

“Utility” means a person who owns or operates, 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 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.2.

Property presumed abandoned; general rule.
All tangible and intangible property, including any income or increment thereon, less any lawful charges, that is held, issued or owing 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 is presumed abandoned, except as otherwise provided by this chapter. Property is payable for the purpose of this chapter notwithstanding the owner’s failure to make demand or to present any instrument or document required to receive payment.
Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.2:1.

General rules for taking custody of intangible unclaimed property.
Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by other law of this Commonwealth, intangible property is subject to the custody of this Commonwealth as unclaimed property if the conditions leading to a presumption of abandonment as described in §§55-210.2:1, 55-210.3:01 and 55-210.3:2 through 55-210.10:2 are satisfied, and:

1. The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in this Commonwealth;

2. The records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the property and it is established that the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this Commonwealth;

3. The records of the holder do not reflect the last known address of the apparent owner, and it is established that (i) the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this Commonwealth or (ii) the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth and has not previously paid the property to the state of the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property;

4. The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth;

5. The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a foreign nation and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth; or

6. (i) The transaction out of which the property arose occurred in this Commonwealth, and the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is unknown, or the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property, and (ii) the holder is a domiciliary of a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.2:2.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.3.

Bank deposits and funds in financial organizations.

A. Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit with a banking or financial organization, including deposits that are automatically renewable, and any funds paid toward the purchase of shares, a mutual investment certificate, or any other interest in a banking or financial organization is presumed abandoned unless the owner has, within five years:

1. In the case of a deposit or ownership of shares, increased or decreased the amount of the deposit or the number of shares owned, or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit or ownership of shares for the crediting of interest or dividends, or negotiated a check in payment of interest or dividends on a time deposit or ownership of shares;

2. Communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning the property;

3. Otherwise indicated an interest in the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization;

4. Owned other property to which subdivision A 1, A 2, or A 3 is applicable if the banking or financial organization communicated in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be presumed abandoned under this paragraph at the address to which communications regarding the other property regularly are sent;

5. Had another relationship with the banking or financial organization concerning which the owner has (i) communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization, or (ii) otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization if the banking or financial organization communicates in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be abandoned under this paragraph at the address to which communications regarding the other relationship regularly are sent; or

6. A deposit made with or purchase of shares in a banking or financial organization by a court or by a guardian pursuant to order of a court or by any other person for the benefit of a person who was an infant at the time of the making of such deposit or purchase of shares, which deposit or ownership of shares is subject to withdrawal or transfer only upon the further order of such court or such guardian or other person, shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter until one year after such infant attains the age of eighteen years or until one year after the death of such infant, whichever occurs sooner. These accounts are not subject to dormant service charges.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, share accounts of a member of a state or federally chartered credit union that is subject to or covered by life savings insurance provided by the credit union at no additional charge to the member shall be presumed abandoned five years after the date of the second mailing of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable, or after the date the credit union discontinued the mailings to the member, whichever is earlier. Funds held or owing under the life savings insurance policy are presumed abandoned pursuant to §55-210.4:01.

C. For purposes of this section, “property” includes any interest or dividends thereon. No banking or financial organization may deduct any service charge or cease to accrue interest on any account, from the date the account is declared dormant or inactive by such organization except in conformity with cessation of interest or service charges generally assessed upon active accounts. With respect to any property described in this section, a holder may not impose any charges due to dormancy or inactivity which differ from those imposed on active accounts or cease to pay interest unless:

1. There is an enforceable contract between the holder and the owner of the property pursuant to which the holder may impose those charges or cease payment of interest; and

2. For property in excess of $100, the holder, no more than three months prior to the initial imposition of those charges or cessation of interest, has given written notice to the owner of the amount of those charges at the last known address of the owner stating that those charges will be imposed or that interest will cease; however, such notice need not be given with respect to charges imposed or interest ceased before July 1, 1984; and

3. When the holder imposes those charges or ceases payment of interest, it does not for any reason other than to correct a documented internal error reverse or cancel those charges or retroactively credit interest with respect to such property.

D. Any automatically renewable property to which this section applies is matured upon the expiration of its initial time period. However, in the case of any renewal to which the owner consents at or about the time of renewal by communicating in writing with the banking or financial organization or otherwise indicates consent as specified in subsection A of this section, the property is matured upon the expiration of the last time period for which consent was given. If, at the time provided for delivery in § 55-210.14, a penalty or forfeiture in the payment of interest would result from the delivery of the property, the time for delivery is extended until the time when no penalty or forfeiture would result.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, any automatically renewable time deposit that has matured shall be presumed abandoned five years after the date of the second mailing of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable, or after the date the holder discontinued the mailings to the apparent owner, whichever is earlier. However, any automatically renewable time deposit for which no such statement or other notification or mailing is required to be sent by the banking or financial organization shall be presumed abandoned as otherwise provided in this section.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.3:01.

Travelers’ checks and money orders.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, any sum payable on a traveler’s check that has been outstanding for more than fifteen years after its issuance is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within fifteen years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the issuer.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, any sum payable on a money order or similar written instrument, other than a third-party bank check, that has been outstanding for more than seven years after its issuance is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within seven years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the issuer.

No holder may deduct from the amount of any traveler’s check or money order any charges imposed by reason of the failure to present those instruments for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the issuer and the owner of the property pursuant to which the issuer may impose those charges and the issuer regularly imposes those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to such property.

Any sum payable on a traveler’s check, money order, or similar written instrument, other than a third-party bank check, described in this section may not be subjected to the custody of this Commonwealth as unclaimed property unless:

1. The records of the issuer show that the traveler’s check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased in this Commonwealth;

2. The issuer has its principal place of business in this Commonwealth and the records of the issuer do not show the state in which the traveler’s check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased; or

3. The issuer has its principal place of business in this Commonwealth, the records of the issuer show the state in which the traveler’s check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased and the laws of the state of purchase do not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the provisions of the preceding paragraph relating to the requirements for subjecting certain written instruments to the custody of the Commonwealth apply to sums payable on travelers’ checks, money orders, and similar written instruments presumed abandoned on or after February 1, 1965, except to the extent that those sums have been paid over to a state prior to January 1, 1974.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.3:02.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.3:1.

Checks, drafts and similar instruments issued or certified by banking and financial organizations.
Any sum payable on a check, draft, or similar instrument, except money orders, travelers’ checks and other similar instruments subject to § 55-210.3:02, on which a banking or financial organization is directly liable, including but not limited to, cashier’s checks and certified checks, which has been outstanding for more than five years after it was payable or after its issuance if payable on demand, is presumed abandoned, unless the owner, within five years, has communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the banking or financial organization.

A holder may not deduct from the amount of any instrument subject to this section any charges imposed by reason of the failure to present the instrument for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the holder and the owner of the instrument pursuant to which the holder may impose those charges, and the holder regularly imposes those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to such instruments.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.3:2.

Contents of safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository.
All tangible and intangible property held in a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository in this Commonwealth in the ordinary course of the holder’s business and all proceeds resulting from the lawful sale of this property shall be presumed abandoned if unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has expired.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.3:3.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.4.

Funds owing under life insurance policies.

A. Funds held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or terminated are presumed abandoned if unclaimed for more than five years after the funds became due and payable as established from the records of the insurance company holding or owing the funds, except that property described in subsection C 2 is presumed abandoned if unclaimed for more than two years.

B. If a person other than the insured or annuitant is entitled to the funds and no address of the person is known to the company or it is not definite and certain from the records of the company who 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 company.

C. For purposes of this section, a life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract not matured by actual proof of the death of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the company is deemed matured and the proceeds due and payable if:

1. The company knows that the insured or annuitant has died; or

2. (i) The insured has attained, or would have attained if he were living, the limiting age under the mortality table on which the reserve is based; (ii) the policy was in force at the time the insured attained, or would have attained, the limiting age specified in paragraph (i); and (iii) neither the insured nor any other person appearing to have an interest in the policy within the preceding two years, according to the records of the company, has assigned, readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy, subjected the policy to a loan, corresponded in writing with the company concerning the policy, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the company.

D. For purposes of this section, the application of an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent a policy from being matured or terminated under subsection A if the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiaries of the policy otherwise have become entitled to the proceeds thereof before the depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by the application of those provisions.

E. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the company learns of the death of the insured or annuitant and the beneficiary has not communicated with the insurer within four months after the death, the company shall take reasonable steps to locate the beneficiary and pay the proceeds to the beneficiary.

F. Commencing July 1, 1986, every change of beneficiary form issued by an insurance company under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract to an insured or owner who is a resident of this Commonwealth must request the following information:

1. The name of each beneficiary, or if the class of beneficiaries is named, the name of each current beneficiary in the class;

2. The address of each beneficiary; and

3. The relationship of each beneficiary to the insured.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.4:01.

When intangible personal property held by insurance corporation subject to §55-210.2:1.
An insurance corporation holding any other intangible personal property not covered by subsection A of §55-210.4:01 shall be otherwise subject to §55-210.2:1.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.4:1.

Deposits held by utilities.
Any deposit, including any interest thereon, made by a subscriber with a utility to secure payment or any sum paid in advance for utility services to be furnished, less any lawful deductions, which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after termination of the services for which the deposit or advance payment was made is presumed abandoned.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.5.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.6.
Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 357.

When intangible interest in business association presumed abandoned.

A. Any intangible interest in a business association, as evidenced by the stock records or membership records of the association, is presumed abandoned five years after the date of the most recent dividend or other distribution unclaimed by the apparent owner with respect to the stock or other interest, or, if a dividend or other distribution has not been paid on the stock or other interest, or the stock or other interest is held pursuant to a plan that provides for the automatic reinvestment of dividends or other distributions, five years after the date of the second mailing of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable, or after the date the holder discontinued the mailings to the apparent owner, whichever is earlier. With respect to such interest, the business association shall be deemed the holder.

B. Any dividend or other distribution held for or owing to a person at the time the stock or other security to which such dividend or other distribution attaches, is considered abandoned at the same time.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.6:1.

Refunds held by business associations.
Except to the extent otherwise ordered by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction any sum that a business association has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency which has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund, regardless of whether the final determination or order requires any person entitled to a refund to make a claim for it, is presumed abandoned.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.6:2.

Property of business associations held in course of dissolution.
All intangible property distributable in the course of a voluntary or involuntary dissolution of a business association which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after the date for specified final distribution, is presumed abandoned.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.7.

When intangible personal property held in fiduciary capacity presumed abandoned.
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, 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 or other record on file with and prepared by the fiduciary or an employee of the fiduciary.

(a) through (d) [Repealed.]

Funds in an individual retirement account, a retirement plan for self-employed individuals or a similar account or plan established pursuant to the Internal Revenue laws of the United States are not payable within the meaning of this section unless, under the terms of the account or plan, distribution of all or part of the funds would then be mandatory.

For the purpose of this section, a person who holds property as an agent for a business association is deemed to hold the property in a fiduciary capacity for that business association alone, unless such person’s agreement with the business association provides otherwise. A person who is so deemed to hold property in a fiduciary capacity for a business association alone is the holder of the property only insofar as the interest of the business association in the property is concerned, and the business association is the holder of the property insofar as the interest of any other person in the property is concerned.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.8.

Gift certificates and credit balances.

A. Except as described in subsection B, a gift certificate or credit balance issued in the ordinary course of the issuer’s business that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after becoming payable is presumed abandoned.

B. The following property is exempt from the provisions of this chapter and shall not be assessed by the administrator as unclaimed property: (i) credit balances payable to a business association, (ii) outstanding checks resulting from or attributable to the sale of goods or services to a business association, (iii) promotional incentives, and (iv) credits, gift certificates, coupons, layaways, and similar items, provided such credits, gift certificates, coupons, layaways, and similar items are redeemable in merchandise, in services, or through future purchases.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.8:1.

Wages.
Unpaid wages, including wages represented by unpresented payroll checks owing in the ordinary course of the holder’s business, that have remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after becoming payable are presumed abandoned.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.8:2.

When intangible property held for owner by public agency presumed abandoned.
All intangible property held for the owner by any government or governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, or public authority that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable is presumed abandoned.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.9.

Property held by courts.
All intangible property held for the owner by any state or federal court that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable is presumed abandoned.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.9:1.

Responsibilities of general receiver and clerk.
The general receiver, if one has been appointed, and the clerk of each circuit court shall be responsible for identifying moneys held by them in their respective accounts which have remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after such moneys became payable and for petitioning the court to remit such money to the State Treasurer. There shall be no obligation to report or remit funds deposited as compensation and damages in condemnation proceedings pursuant to §25-46.24 prior to a final court order or pursuant to § 33.1-120.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.9:2.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.10.

Employee benefit trust distribution.

A. All employee benefit trust distributions and any income or other increment thereon are abandoned to this Commonwealth under the provisions of this chapter if the owner has not, within ten years after it becomes payable, accepted such distribution, corresponded in writing concerning such distribution, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the fiduciary of the trust or custodial fund or administrator of the plan under which such trust or fund is established.

B. An employee benefit trust distribution and any income or other increment thereon shall not be presumed abandoned to this Commonwealth under the provisions of this chapter if, at the time such distribution shall become payable to a participant in an employee benefit plan, such plan contains a provision for forfeiture or expressly authorizes the trustee to declare a forfeiture of a distribution to a beneficiary thereof who cannot be found after a period of time specified in such plan, and the trust or fund established under the plan has not terminated prior to the date on which such distribution would become forfeitable in accordance with such provision.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.10:1.

Holder of tangible or intangible personal property may voluntarily report same.
Any holder of tangible or intangible personal property, the owner of which is unlocatable, may voluntarily report the property to the State Treasurer, prior to the statutory due dates, whereupon the property shall be presumed abandoned under this chapter.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.10:2.

When certain property not presumed abandoned in this Commonwealth.
If specific property which is subject to the provisions of §§ 55-210.2:1, 55-210.3:01, 55-210.4:01, 55-210.6:1, 55-210.7, 55-210.8, 55-210.10:1, and 55-210.10:2 is payable 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 Commonwealth and subject to this chapter if:

(a) It may be claimed as abandoned or escheated under the laws of such other state; and

(b) The laws of such other state make reciprocal provision that similar specific property is not presumed abandoned or escheatable by such other state when payable to an owner whose last known address is within this Commonwealth by a holder who is subject to the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.11.

Interstate agreements and cooperation.
The administrator may enter into agreements with other states to exchange information needed to enable this or another state to audit or otherwise determine unclaimed property that it or another state may be entitled to subject to a claim of custody. The administrator may by rule require the reporting of information needed to enable compliance with agreements made pursuant to this section and prescribe the form.

To avoid conflicts between the administrator’s procedures and the procedures of administrators in other jurisdictions that enact the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, the administrator shall, so far as is consistent with the purposes, policies, and provisions of this chapter, before adopting, amending or repealing rules, advise and consult with administrators in other jurisdictions that enact substantially the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act and take into consideration the rules of administrators in other jurisdictions that enact the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.

The administrator may join with other states to seek enforcement of this Act against any person who is or may be holding property reportable under this Act. At the request of another state, the Attorney General of this Commonwealth may bring an action in the name of the administrator of the other state in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the unclaimed property laws of the other state against a holder in this Commonwealth of property subject to escheat or a claim of abandonment by the other state, if the other state has agreed to pay expenses incurred by the Attorney General in bringing the action.

Similarly, the administrator may request that the Attorney General of another state, or any other person, bring an action in the other state in the name of the administrator. This Commonwealth shall pay all expenses, including attorney’s fees, in any such action and such expenses shall not be deducted from the amount that is subject to the claim by the owner under this chapter.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.11:01.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.11:1.

Report and remittance to be made by holder of funds or property presumed abandoned; holder to exercise due diligence to locate owner.

A. Every person holding funds or other property, tangible or intangible, presumed abandoned under this chapter shall report and remit to the administrator with respect to the property as hereinafter provided.

B. The report shall be verified and shall include:

1. The name and social security or federal identification number, if known, and last known address, including ZIP code, if any, of each person appearing from the records of the holder to be the owner of any property of the value of $100 or more presumed abandoned under this chapter;

2. In case of unclaimed funds of insurance corporations, the full name of the insured or annuitant and any beneficiary, if known, and the last known address according to the insurance corporation’s records;

3. In the case of the contents of a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository or in the case of other tangible property, a description of the property and the place where it is held and may be inspected by the administrator, and any amounts owing to the holder;

4. The nature and identifying number, if any, or description of the property and the amount appearing from the records to be due, except that items of value under $100 each may be reported in aggregate;

5. 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; and

6. Other information which the administrator prescribes by rule as reasonably necessary for the administration of this chapter.

C. If the person holding property presumed abandoned is a successor to other persons who previously held the property for the owner, or if the holder has changed his name while holding the property, he shall file with his report all prior known names and addresses of each holder of the property.

D. The report and remittance shall be filed before November 1 of each year as of June 30 next preceding, but the report and remittance of insurance corporations shall be filed before May 1 of each year as of December 31 next preceding. When property is evidenced by certificate of ownership as set forth in § 55-210.6:1, the holder shall deliver to the State Treasurer a duplicate of any such certificate registered in the name “Treasurer of Virginia” or the Treasurer’s designated nominee at the time of report and remittance. The administrator may postpone the reporting and remittance date upon written request by any person required to file a report.

E. If the holder of property presumed abandoned under this chapter knows the whereabouts of the owner, the holder shall, before filing the annual report, communicate with the owner and take necessary steps to prevent abandonment from being presumed. All holders shall exercise due diligence, as defined in § 55-210.2, at least sixty days prior to the submission of the report to ascertain the whereabouts of the owner if (i) the holder has in its records an address for the apparent owner which the holder’s records do not disclose to be inaccurate and (ii) the property has a value of $100 or more.

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 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.12.

Repealed by Acts 1983, c. 190.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.12:1.

Notices to be published by State Treasurer.

A. The State Treasurer shall cause to be published notice of the report filed under subsection D of §55-210.12 once each year in an English language newspaper of general circulation in the area in which is located the last known address of any person to be named in the notice. If no address is listed or if the address is outside of the Commonwealth, the notice shall be published in the area in which the holder of the abandoned property has his principal place of business.

B. The published notice shall be entitled “Commonwealth of Virginia Unclaimed Property List” and shall contain:

1. The names in alphabetical order and account numbers of persons listed in the report and entitled to notice within the area 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 persons possessing an interest in the property by addressing an inquiry to the State Treasurer.

C. The administrator is not required to publish in such notice any item of less than $100 unless he deems such publication to be in the public interest.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.13.

Repealed by Acts 1988, c. 378.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.14.

Holder relieved of liability for property paid or delivered to administrator; payment to owner by holder; proceedings against prior holder; notice to administrator and Attorney General; reimbursement of holder.

(a) Upon the payment or delivery of abandoned property to the administrator, the Commonwealth shall assume custody and shall be responsible for the safekeeping thereof. Any person who pays or delivers abandoned property to the administrator under this chapter 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. Any holder who has paid moneys to the administrator pursuant to this chapter may make payment to any person appearing to such holder to be entitled thereto, and upon proof of such payment and proof that the payee was entitled thereto, the administrator shall forthwith reimburse the holder for the payment.

(b) In the event legal proceedings are instituted against a prior holder in a court of this Commonwealth, or in any other state or federal court, by any other state claiming to be entitled to unclaimed funds or abandoned property previously paid or delivered to the administrator, such holder shall give written notice to the administrator and the Attorney General of this Commonwealth of such proceedings within ten days after service of process, or in the alternative at least ten days before the return date on which an answer or similar pleading is required to be filed. The Attorney General may intervene or take such other action as he deems appropriate or necessary to protect the interests of this Commonwealth.

(c) If the notice provided in paragraph (b) is given by the holder and thereafter a judgment is entered against the holder for any amount paid to the administrator pursuant to the terms of this chapter, the administrator shall, upon being furnished with proof thereof, return to the holder the amount of such judgment, not to exceed, however, the amount of the abandoned property paid to the administrator.

(d) Property removed from a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository that is received by the administrator shall be subject to the holder’s right under this paragraph to be reimbursed for the actual cost of the opening and to any valid lien or contract providing for the holder to be reimbursed for unpaid rent or storage charges. The administrator shall make the reimbursement to the holder out of the proceeds remaining after the deduction of the administrator’s selling cost.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.15.

Repealed by Acts 1981, c. 47.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.16.

Crediting of dividends, interest, or increments to owner’s account.
Whenever property other than money is paid or delivered to the administrator under this chapter, the owner is entitled to receive from the administrator any dividends, interest, or other increments realized or accruing on the property at or before liquidation or conversion thereof into money.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.16:1.

Periods of limitation.

A. 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 chapter or to pay or deliver abandoned property to the State Treasurer.

B. Except as provided in subsection C of this section, an action or proceeding shall not be maintained by the administrator to enforce this chapter more than five years after the earlier of (i) the date on which the holder identified the property on a report filed with the administrator, (ii) the date on which the holder first filed a report with the administrator wherein the holder should have but failed to report the property, or (iii) the date on which the holder filed a report with the administrator giving reasonable notice to the administrator of a dispute regarding the property.

C. An action or proceeding shall not be maintained by the administrator to enforce this chapter with respect to any property more than ten years following the date on which such property first became reportable if the holder (i) filed a materially false or fraudulent report with the intent to evade delivery of property otherwise subject to this chapter or (ii) failed to file a report with the administrator.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.17.

Sale of abandoned property by administrator.
Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section:

(a) All abandoned property other than money or other certificate of ownership delivered to the administrator under this chapter shall be sold by him to the highest bidder at public sale in whatever city affords in his judgment the most favorable market for the property involved. The administrator may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if he considers the price bid insufficient. He need not offer any property for sale if, in his opinion, the probable cost of sale exceeds the value of the property.

(b) 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 or city where the property is to be sold, if such sale is to take place in a city or county within the Commonwealth. If such sale is to occur outside the Commonwealth then the administrator may use such alternative means of notice or advertising as he deems necessary to constitute reasonable notice.

(c) The purchaser at any sale conducted by the administrator pursuant to this chapter 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 administrator shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of title.

(d) Securities listed on an established stock exchange shall be sold at prices prevailing at the time of sale on the exchange. Other securities may be sold over the counter at prices prevailing at the time of sale or by any other method the administrator deems advisable.

(d1) Unless the administrator deems it to be in the best interest of the Commonwealth to do otherwise, all securities delivered to the administrator shall be held for at least one year before the securities may be sold. If the administrator sells any securities before the expiration of the one-year period, any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter before the end of the one-year period is entitled to either the proceeds of the sale of the securities or the market value of the securities at the time the claim is made, whichever amount is greater. Any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter after the expiration of the one-year period is entitled to receive either the securities delivered to the administrator by the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the administrator, or the proceeds received from sale, but no person has any claim under this chapter against the Commonwealth, the holder, any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the Commonwealth.

(d2) The purchaser of property at any sale conducted by the administrator pursuant to this chapter is entitled to ownership of the property purchased free from all claims of the owner or previous holder thereof and of all persons claiming through or under them. The administrator shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of ownership.

(e) If the administrator determines after investigation that any property delivered to him pursuant to this chapter has insubstantial commercial value, he may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property at any time. No action or proceeding may be maintained against the Commonwealth or any officer or against the holder for or on account of any action taken by the administrator with respect to the property pursuant to this paragraph.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.18.

When securities received in name of owner.
Whenever the State Treasurer shall receive securities under this chapter in the name of the owner, he shall forthwith take appropriate action to transfer the record of ownership of said securities into the title of the State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.18:1.

Disposition of funds received under chapter; records to be kept by administrator.

(a) All funds received under this chapter, including the proceeds from the sale of abandoned property under § 55-210.18, shall forthwith be deposited by the administrator in the Literary Fund of the Commonwealth, except that the administrator shall retain in a separate trust fund a sum sufficient from which he shall make prompt payment of claims duly allowed by him as hereinafter provided. Before making the deposit he shall record the name and last known address of each person appearing from the holders’ reports to be entitled to the abandoned property and of the name and last known address of each insured person or annuitant, and with respect to each policy or contract listed in the report of an insurance corporation, its number, the name of the corporation, and the amount due.

(b) Before making any deposit to the credit of the Literary Fund the administrator may deduct:

(1) any costs in connection with sale of abandoned property, (2) any costs of mailing and publication in connection with any abandoned property, (3) operating expenses, and (4) amounts required to make payments to other states, during the next fiscal year, through reciprocity agreements.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.19.

Filing claim to property or proceeds of sale thereof.
Any person claiming an interest in any property delivered to the Commonwealth under this chapter may file a claim thereto or to the proceeds from the sale thereof on the form prescribed by the State Treasurer.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.20.

Consideration of and hearing on claim by State Treasurer; payment; interest.

A. The State Treasurer shall consider any claim for property held by the State Treasurer pursuant to the provisions of this chapter that is filed under this chapter and may hold a hearing and receive evidence concerning such claim. 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 State Treasurer shall make payment forthwith. The claim shall be paid without deduction for costs of notices or sale or for service charges.

C. The State Treasurer shall add interest at the rate of five percent or such lesser rate as the property earned while in the possession of the holder, compounded annually, to the amount of any claim paid to the owner, if the property claimed was interest-bearing to the owner while in the possession of the holder. Such interest shall begin to accumulate on the date the property is delivered to the State Treasurer and shall cease on the date on which payment is made to the owner. No interest shall be payable for any period prior to July 1, 1981.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.21.

Judicial review of decision of State Treasurer.
Any person aggrieved by an act or decision of the State Treasurer with respect to a claim for property held by the State Treasurer pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may commence an action in the circuit or corporation court of the county or city wherein the property claimed is situated to establish his claim. The proceeding shall be brought within three years after the decision of the State Treasurer, or within three years from the filing of the claim if the State Treasurer fails to act.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.22.

Election of State Treasurer not to receive property or to postpone taking possession of funds.
The State Treasurer, after receiving reports of property deemed abandoned pursuant to this chapter, may decline to receive any property reported which he deems to have a value less than the cost of giving notice and holding sale, or he may, if he deems it desirable because of the small sum involved, postpone taking possession until a sufficient sum accumulates. Unless the holder of the property is notified to the contrary within 120 days after filing the report required under § 55-210.12, the State Treasurer shall be deemed to have elected to receive the custody of the property.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.23.

Requests for verified reports and examinations of records.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the administrator may require any person who has not filed a report to file a verified report stating whether or not the person is holding any unclaimed property reportable or deliverable under this chapter.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the administrator may at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice examine the records of any person to determine whether the person has complied with the provisions of this chapter. The administrator may conduct the examination even if the person believes it is not in possession of any property reportable or deliverable under this chapter. The administrator may examine all necessary records to determine the amount, if any, of property that would have been reportable or deliverable under this chapter for the ten years prior to the fiscal year end preceding the opening of the examination; provided, however, for any holder that has not previously filed any report under this chapter, the administrator may examine property presumed abandoned for report year 1985 and subsequent years.

C. If a holder fails to maintain the records required by §55-210.24:1 and the records of the holder available for the periods subject to this chapter are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, the holder shall be required to report and pay such amounts as may reasonably be estimated from any available records.

D. The State Treasurer may contract with a person who is not an employee of the Commonwealth to perform an audit or examination under this article; provided, however, with respect to any holder that is domiciled in the Commonwealth or that maintains its principal place of business in the Commonwealth, no such contract shall (i) be on a contingency fee basis or (ii) permit statistical estimation without the consent of the holder.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.24.

Retention of records.

A. Every holder required to file a report under § 55-210.12, shall retain all books, records and documents necessary to establish the accuracy and compliance of such report for five years after the report is filed pursuant to subsection B of § 55-210.12. If no report is filed, the holder shall retain such books, records and documents for ten years after the property becomes reportable, except to the extent that shorter time is provided in accordance with the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.), or in subsection B of this section or by rule of the administrator. As to any property for which it has obtained the last known address of the owner, the holder shall maintain a record of the name and last known address of the owner for the same retention period.

B. Any business association that sells in this Commonwealth its travelers checks, money orders, or other similar written instruments, other than third-party bank checks on which the business association is directly liable, or that provides such instruments to others for sale in this Commonwealth, shall maintain a record of those instruments while they remain outstanding, indicating the state and date of issue for three years after the date the property is reportable.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.24:1.

Confidentiality of information and records.
Any information or records required to be furnished to the Division of Unclaimed Property shall be confidential except as is otherwise necessary in the proper administration of this chapter.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.24:2.

Enforcement of chapter.
The administrator may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this chapter. The administrator shall commence enforcement for compliance with the provisions of this chapter within the period specified in § 55-210.17. The holder may waive in writing the protection of this section.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.25.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 121.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.26.

Interest and penalties.

A. Any person who fails to pay or deliver property within the time prescribed by this chapter shall be required to pay to the administrator interest at the same annual rate as is applicable to delinquent taxes under §58.1-1812 on the property or value thereof from the date the property should have been paid or delivered. Such interest rate shall vary with the rate specified in §58.1-1812.

B. Any person who does not exercise due diligence as defined in § 55-210.2 shall pay a civil penalty not to exceed fifty dollars for each account upon which due diligence was not performed.

C. Except as otherwise provided in subsection D, a holder who (i) fails to report, pay or deliver property within the time prescribed by this chapter, (ii) files a false report, or (iii) fails to perform other duties imposed by this chapter without good cause, shall pay to the administrator, in addition to interest as provided in subsection A, a civil penalty of $100 for each day the report , payment or delivery is withheld or the duty is not performed, up to a maximum of the lesser of $10,000 or twenty-five percent of the value of the property that should have been but was not reported.

D. A holder who (i) willfully fails to report, pay or deliver property within the time prescribed by this chapter, (ii) willfully fails to perform other duties imposed by this chapter without good cause, or (iii) makes a fraudulent report to the administrator shall pay to the administrator, in addition to interest as provided in subsection A, a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day the report, payment or delivery is withheld or the duty is not performed, up to a maximum of the lesser of $50,000 or 100 percent of the value of the property that should have been but was not reported.

E. The administrator for good cause may waive , in whole or in part, interest under subsection A and penalties under subsections B, C, and D. All civil penalties shall be payable to the State Treasurer.

Title 55, Chap. 11.1, §55-210.26:1.