Unclaimed Property Law Removes Time Limitations
Boise, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Unclaimed property no longer has a ten year time limitation for individuals seeking that unclaimed property in Idaho according to State Treasurer Ron Crane who sponsored legislation this year and became law on July 1st.
“Prior to this legislation, after ten years the unclaimed property would be placed in the general fund and all owners and heirs lost their right to their unclaimed property. HB591 changed that and now Idahoans can reclaim their money in perpetuity,” Treasurer Crane said.
The Uniform Unclaimed Property Act has been adopted by all of the states in one form or another. Idaho law follows the 1981 Uniform Act, although revisions were last made to the act in 1995. Idaho’s unclaimed property law can be found under Idaho Code Title 14 Chapter 5.
The Unclaimed Property laws have 3 main goals:
• To reunite lost owners with their rightful property,
• Protect the holders (businesses) from liability after they’ve transferred the property to the state, &
• Ensure that any economic windfall is to benefit the state and its citizens, and not the holder.
The state of Idaho is currently holding approximately $70 million in assets for persons whose last known address was reported to be in the State of Idaho.
“With the support of the Idaho Legislature and the Governor we were able to put into place policy that is equitable for Idahoans who have been seeking lost property,” Crane added.
In 1997, legislation was passed that created a permanent transfer of unclaimed property funds to the state’s general fund if the state held the property for more than 10 years and the property remained unclaimed. At the end of the 10-year period, all owners and their heirs lost the right to reclaim their unclaimed property.
The amendments in HB591 eliminate the permanent provisions for all but two types of unclaimed property: certain property that is constitutionally required to be paid to the public school endowment fund; and, property with unidentified ownership.
An average of approximately $2,000,000 is put into the general fund annually. This represents that property which has gone 10 years without being claimed. This money will continue to be transferred to the general fund, but those funds will now be subject to redemption by the owner or their heirs without any time limitations.