Tag: Unclaimed Property

Delaware Unclaimed Property Audit Notices to Be Issued Within Days: Privately Held Companies a Focus

The Delaware Secretary of State announced in late August 2020 that his office was mailing nearly 200 letters to businesses identified as “holders” of unclaimed property. These Delaware-formed companies were deemed likely to be out of compliance in reporting dormant, abandoned or unclaimed property under Delaware law.The 200 holders –many of which are privately held companies– were afforded... Continue Reading

Delaware Overreach? Chancery Criticizes Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Audit Program, Limits Information Holders Must Produce and Places Burden on the State to Show Voided Checks Are Unclaimed Property

Earlier this month, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued an opinion in Department of Finance v. AT&T, Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0985-JTL (Del. Ch., July 10, 2020). The opinion itself is narrow in scope but its result, and several of its findings regarding Delaware’s administration of its unclaimed property program, should be assessed carefully by holders and their advocates. The opinion may... Continue Reading

State of Delaware Provides Additional 30 Days—Until July 18, 2020—for Companies to Enter Its Voluntary Disclosure Program: Audit Notices Will Be Sent to Those Who Do Not Enter the Program

Virtually all companies generate unclaimed property. This type of property includes unclaimed payroll or accounts payable checks, unapplied customer credits, and unclaimed dividends or shares. Under laws that exist in every state, property that is unclaimed by the owner after a defined period of time must be paid to the state of the last known address of the owner or, if that address is unknown,... Continue Reading

Court of Chancery Holds Delaware Has the Power to Compel Holders to Produce Information Sought in Unclaimed Property Audits

On May 21, 2020, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued an opinion denying a holder’s ripeness challenge to an administrative subpoena for documents issued by the Delaware Department of Finance pursuant to the amended provisions of the State’s abandoned and unclaimed property law.  In State of Delaware Department of Finance v. Univar, Inc., the Delaware Department of Finance filed a summary... Continue Reading

Unclaimed Property: A Delicate Balance for Delaware — Enforcing the Law in the Face of Ongoing Legal Challenges and Economic Uncertainty

Unclaimed property is an arcane concept, a modern outgrowth of ancient legal principles. These principles, as recognized in a series of U.S. Supreme Court opinions, provide the State the right to take custody of abandoned property – uncashed checks, unclaimed bank accounts, stock certificates and much more – in the possession of a person or company (i.e., “holders”), which has not been... Continue Reading

Delaware Extends Deadline to Respond to February 2020 VDA Invitations

On February 20, 2020, Delaware’s VDA Administrator mailed invitations to enter into the State’s Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Program (“VDA Program”) to more than 100 companies identified as likely being out of compliance with Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Laws. By statute, an invitee has 60 days from the invitation’s mailing to enroll in the VDA... Continue Reading

New Unclaimed Property Litigation Filed Against the State of Delaware Does Not Delay Another Round of VDA Invitations

The State of Delaware’s unclaimed property program faces continued legal challenges from the holder community.  In December 2019 alone, four new holders filed complaints in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware raising a series of constitutional challenges to Delaware’s conduct of its unclaimed property audits.  These new complaints in many ways mirror the lawsuit filed... Continue Reading

Unclaimed Property Audit Alert: New Round of Delaware Voluntary Compliance “Invitations” Will Be Issued This Week

On Monday, May 20th, the Delaware Secretary of State issued a notice announcing that the State will distribute letters this week inviting companies to enter the Abandoned or Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Program (“VDA Program”).  This is a continuation of the State’s heightened enforcement initiative that we highlighted earlier this year.  We believe this round of... Continue Reading

Be On Alert—State of Delaware Ramps Up Unclaimed Property Enforcement

For those who thought the State of Delaware had gone out of the unclaimed property business—think again. After a 2017 overhaul of Delaware’s unclaimed property laws and an increased emphasis on voluntary compliance with those laws, Delaware is sending out dozens of “invitations” to companies to enter its Abandoned or Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Program (the “VDA... Continue Reading

Significant Changes To Delaware Unclaimed Property Laws With Important Dates Approaching

Delaware enacted a major overhaul of its unclaimed property statute on February 2, 2017 as Senate Bill 13, which was later amended by Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill 79 on June 29, 2017 (the “New Act”). The New Act affects companies currently under audit, companies in the Delaware voluntary disclosure program (a “VDA”) and any other companies that have unclaimed property reporting... Continue Reading

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