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I escheat you not!
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: January 27, 2020 10:47AM
I listened to an episode of Planet Money recently that discussed the ethical issues around escheat...the practice of the state taking possession of unclaimed assets. Each state has its own system to connect owners with unclaimed funds. Some states actively try to connect citizens to their funds, while others actively try to keep them separated so that they can claimed by the state. I'd looked a few years ago in WA and didn't see anything for me, but I looked in PA and found funds that are marked as belonging to my grandfather...who died in 1983. It might be worth your time to check if you're missing some unclaimed funds that you don't know about.

Washington's unclaimed property page:
[ucp.dor.wa.gov]

Pennsylvania's:
[www.patreasury.gov]



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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: GeneL
Date: January 27, 2020 11:09AM
Good point, ztirffritz! Thanks for the suggestion.



gl @ Dana Point, CA
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: neophyte
Date: January 27, 2020 11:46AM
Thanks. I found a PA entry for my father who died in 2017. Less than $100, but still maybe enough for dinner for 2 for my brother (who has the death certificate) and his wife.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 27, 2020 11:48AM
I received to separate checks from the State (CA) because of some overpayments somewhere, and I didn't know or forgot about them.

One of the very few pleasant surprises from the State.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: January 27, 2020 11:48AM
.....most states have it online......doesn't hurt to check......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: Harooneneutics
Date: January 27, 2020 11:50AM
I heard this episode too and was a bit surprised to hear about someone who went years without logging into an investment account, like the gentleman whose Amazon stock was escheated. Curiosity would get the best of me.

But mostly I'm bummed that I didn't have any unclaimed funds from the states where I've lived.

The Planet Money episode is here -- it's a good listen/read.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: datbeme
Date: January 27, 2020 11:50AM
I heard that the other day too. A good listen.

My state treasurer actually did send a letter last month. I went online, filled out a brief form, and received two checks (totaling about $120) within a week or two.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 27, 2020 11:57AM
I found money! Found some for family members as well!



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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: January 27, 2020 12:25PM
In the podcast, they talked about a guy in Italy who purchased Amazon stock back in the early 2000s. e-Trade passed it on to the state of Delaware in 2008 when he hadn't logged in for several years. It would have been worth more than $200k today, but instead, Delaware will only give him the value as of 2008. It was his retirement fund. He is understandably a little bit upset.



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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 27, 2020 12:43PM
Quote
ztirffritz
In the podcast, they talked about a guy in Italy who purchased Amazon stock back in the early 2000s. e-Trade passed it on to the state of Delaware in 2008 when he hadn't logged in for several years. It would have been worth more than $200k today, but instead, Delaware will only give him the value as of 2008. It was his retirement fund. He is understandably a little bit upset.

Very understandably!
How many years did he not log on for? One would think if it was his retirement fund, he'd check in on it every couple years.... or send a letter, or something.
Still, I'm on his side with the state of Delaware - He should get the value of WHEN IT WAS SEIZED, not original price.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 27, 2020 12:50PM
Found something in MD, but it doesn't give any info about what. Have to mail in a claim form...
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 27, 2020 12:58PM
I had a retirement fund I hadn't logged into in a decade.

I was one of those invest and forget people the ad refers to.

When I got ready pulled the pin, it was there, unmolested, and fatter than it had a right to be, left on its own.

I'd like to know how DL got a hold of the guy's account.

I would want e-Trade to contact me anyway possible before turning monies over to the State. The fact that he hadn't logged in whatever timeframe shouldn't mean that he's abandoned the account.

But that may be a requirement as shown on p.78 of the 112pp EULA.

$200,000 isn't much to retire on (maybe he had some years to go yet) but it will keep one in ramen for a few months.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: January 27, 2020 01:10PM
Apparently rules vary from state to state, but in Delaware, 5 years for bank accounts and 3 years for investments can be considered abandoned according to the Planet Money episode. Firms aren't required to turn over the funds to the state, but they are allowed to. I imagine in 2008, Amazon stock may have been costing them more to track than it was worth. My how things have changed....



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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 27, 2020 01:36PM
Quote
RAMd®d
I would want e-Trade to contact me anyway possible before turning monies over to the State. The fact that he hadn't logged in whatever timeframe shouldn't mean that he's abandoned the account.

But that may be a requirement as shown on p.78 of the 112pp EULA.

$200,000 isn't much to retire on (maybe he had some years to go yet) but it will keep one in ramen for a few months.

Imagine if AMZN had tanked shortly thereafter, would the guy still be upset?

Yes it seems very wrong for e-Trade to have divested his account, but agree that the state of Delaware cannot be held liable for what happened. I would like for eTrade to present very clearly their policies for defining an abandoned account. Where can we find the current terms by State?
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 27, 2020 01:41PM
Quote
mikebw
Imagine if AMZN had tanked shortly thereafter, would the guy still be upset?

Obviously not but his complaint is still valid.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: January 27, 2020 01:54PM
Unclaimed property laws by state:
[www.keaneunclaimedproperty.com]

SEC's rules:
[www.sec.gov]

Handy map that allows you to select which state to search. Takes you to each state's search tool:
[unclaimed.org]



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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 27, 2020 03:14PM
Imagine if AMZN had tanked shortly thereafter, would the guy still be upset?


Obviously not but his complaint is still valid.


Yes, it's irrelevant what AMZ might have done or did do.

I'll go out on a limb and say the guy knew investing is a risk.

What he apparently didn't know is that the State set an arbitrary limit on what constitutes abandoned, and maybe smacks a little as a money grab.

How long does DE allow before declaring a missing person officially dead.

Three years? Five years?


I would like for eTrade to present very clearly their policies for defining an abandoned account.

Hell yes.

Prominently displayed in three places:

First page of the site
First page of the beginning of the investment committment/selection/whatever page
Just above the SUBMIT or whatever button that gives e-Trade access to one's money.

THEN they can bury the same statement in the EULA.

(But they shouldn't.)

I admit I've never seen their site and that warning may be somewhere besides the EULA.

But if this had happened to me, the first thing I'd try is social media shaming, even if the best that could be hoped for was a cautionary tail.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: freeradical
Date: January 27, 2020 07:02PM
Escheatment
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: Don C
Date: January 27, 2020 08:24PM
Did not find anything for me but did find some entries for my brother. He might get a dinner out of it.

Thanks for posting.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: datbeme
Date: January 27, 2020 10:38PM
Quote
mikebw
Quote
RAMd®d
I would want e-Trade to contact me anyway possible before turning monies over to the State. The fact that he hadn't logged in whatever timeframe shouldn't mean that he's abandoned the account.

But that may be a requirement as shown on p.78 of the 112pp EULA.

$200,000 isn't much to retire on (maybe he had some years to go yet) but it will keep one in ramen for a few months.

Imagine if AMZN had tanked shortly thereafter, would the guy still be upset?

Yes it seems very wrong for e-Trade to have divested his account, but agree that the state of Delaware cannot be held liable for what happened. I would like for eTrade to present very clearly their policies for defining an abandoned account. Where can we find the current terms by State?

I sympathize with him greatly, but where the whole thing falls apart is that since lawyers apparently aren't interested in small potatoes claims like this ($100,000-200,000), he plans on waiting until Amazon increases another 10-20 fold. Hopefully, someone from NPR set him straight.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: raz
Date: January 28, 2020 09:52AM
Thanks. PA says I have some unclaimed dividends.

I wonder if it's greater than the cost of the stamp.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: I escheat you not!
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 28, 2020 11:18AM
Etrade docs say it follows states;
Quote
E*TRADE CUSTOMER AGREEMENT
Inactive Accounts/Escheatment

Inactive Accounts and the escheatment process are governed by the unclaimed-property laws of the state of the last known address of the Account Holder.

To avoid escheatment of assets in the Account, the Account Holder must demonstrate activity in the Account or contact E*TRADE. If the Account becomes inactive and the Account Holder does not reactivate the Account or respond to notification(s) regarding the status of the Account, state law requires E*TRADE to deliver the assets as unclaimed property to the state of the Account Holder's last known residence. If the Account Holder's last known address is outside the United States, assets will be delivered to the state of incorporation for E*TRADE. Once remitted, the assets will be held by the state for safekeeping in accordance with state regulations. The Account Holder will then need to contact the respective state agency to reclaim the property.

Liquidations and Disbursements of Assets

E*TRADE may be required to liquidate or close out Securities and/or other property in the Account to satisfy court orders, garnishments, tax levies, tax withholding obligations, escheatment obligations or other legal obligations. The Account Holder agrees to indemnify and hold E*TRADE harmless from any claims, losses, or damages caused by or related to any such transaction.


And MD says, in very general terms, 3 years: [www.marylandtaxes.gov]

Quote
MD legal diarrhea
§ 17-301.
(a) In general- Property valued at $100 or more and held by a banking or
financial organization or business association is presumed abandoned if
the depositor has been issued a notice by first class mail to the
depositors last known address of the fact that the property will be
considered abandoned and there is no response within 30 days to the
notification.
(1) Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit account made with a
banking organization, together with any interest or dividend on it, excluding any charges
that lawfully may be withheld, unless, within 3 years, the owner has:
(i) Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit;
(ii) Presented evidence of the deposit for the crediting of interest;
(iii) Corresponded in writing with the banking organization concerning the
deposit;
(iv) Engaged in any credit, trust, or other deposit transaction with the
banking organization; or
(v) Otherwise indicated an interest in the deposit as evidenced by a
memorandum on file with the banking organization;
(2) Any funds paid toward the purchase of shares or other interest in a
financial organization, or any deposit made with these funds, and any interest or
dividends on these, excluding any charges that lawfully may be withheld, unless, within 3
years, the owner has:
(i) Increased or decreased the amount of the funds or deposit, or presented
an appropriate record for the crediting of interest or dividends;
(ii) Corresponded in writing with the financial organization concerning the
funds or deposit;
(iii) Engaged in any credit, share, or other deposit transaction with the
financial organization; or
(iv) Otherwise indicated an interest in the funds or deposit as evidenced by
a memorandum on file with the financial organization;
(3) Any sum payable on a check certified in this State or on a written
instrument issued in this State on which a banking or financial organization or business
association is directly liable, including any certificate of deposit, draft, traveler's check,
Abandoned Property Act & Regulations
and money order, that has been outstanding for more than 3 years from the date it was
payable (or 15 years in the case of a traveler's check) or, if payable on demand, from the
date of its issuance, unless, within 3 years or 15 years in the case of a traveler's check, the
owner has:
(i) Corresponded in writing with the banking or financial organization or
business association concerning it; or
(ii) Otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum on file
with the banking or financial organization or business association; and
(4) Any property removed from a safekeeping repository on which the lease or
rental period has expired or any surplus amounts arising from the sale of the property
pursuant to law, that have been unclaimed by the owner for more than 3 years from the
date on which the lease or rental period expired.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any demand, savings, or
matured time deposits that are designated subject to the order of any court of this State.
(c) Property is subject to the custody of this State as unclaimed property if the
conditions raising a presumption of abandonment under this section are met and:
(1) The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the
apparent owner is in this State;
(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 State;
(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
State; or
(ii) The holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental
subdivision or agency of this State and has not previously paid or delivered 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 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 State;
(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 State; or
Abandoned Property Act & Regulations
(6) The transaction out of which the property arose occurred in this State and:
(i) 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.
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