2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Doxey
AN ACT TO MAKE CERTAIN REVISIONS TO THE UNIFORM DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 89-12-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 89-12-5, 85-12-7 AND 89-12-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DORMANCY PERIOD; TO AMEND SECTION 89-12-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PRESUMED ABANDONMENT OF DIVIDEND, INTEREST AND THE LIKE; TO AMEND SECTION 89-12-13, 89-12-14, 89-12-15 AND 89-12-16, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DORMANCY PERIOD; TO AMEND SECTION 89-12-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 89-12-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PUBLICATION NOTICE OF NAMES OF PERSONS APPEARING TO OWN PROPERTY PRESUMED ABANDONED; TO PROVIDE FOR THE PRESUMPTION OF UNCLAIMED DEMUTUALIZATION PROCEEDS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 89-12-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-3. As used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Banking organization" means any national or state bank, trust company, savings bank, land bank, private banker, or any similar organization which is engaged in business in this state.
(b) "Business association" means any corporation, joint stock company, business trust, partnership, or any association for business purposes of two (2) or more individuals, whether organized for profit or nonprofit, including, but not limited to, a banking organization, financial organization, life insurance corporation and utility.
(c) "Financial organization" means any federal or state savings and loan association, building and loan association, credit union, cooperative bank or investment company, or any similar organization which is engaged in business in this state.
(d) "Holder" means any person in possession of property subject to the provisions of this act belonging to another, or who is trustee in case of a trust, or is indebted to another on an obligation subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(e) "Insurance corporation" means any association or corporation transacting in this state the business of insurance involving in any manner a person or property.
(f) "Intangible personal property" includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Monies, checks, drafts, deposits, interest, dividends, and income;
(ii) Credit balances, customer overpayments, gift certificates, security deposits, refunds, credit memos, unpaid wages, unused airline tickets, and unidentified remittances;
(iii) Monies deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, and other securities, or to make distributions;
(iv) Amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies;
(v) Amounts distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under a plan to provide health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental unemployment insurance, or similar benefits;
(vi) Shares of corporate stock and other intangible ownership interests in business associations; and
(vii) Bonds, notes and other debt obligations.
(g) "Owner" means 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 the provisions of this act, or his legal representative.
(h) "Apparent owner" means the person who appears from the records of the holder to be entitled to property held by the holder.
(i) "Person" means any individual, business association, government or political subdivision or agency, corporation, public authority, estate, trust, two (2) or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity whether such person is acting in his own right or in a representative capacity.
(j) "Treasurer" means the State Treasurer of the State of Mississippi.
(k) "Utility" means any person who owns or operates in 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.
(l) "Mineral" means gas; oil; coal; other gaseous, liquid and solid hydrocarbons; oil shale; cement material; sand and gravel; road material; building stone; chemical raw material; gemstone; fissionable and nonfissionable ores; colloidal and other clay; steam and other geothermal resource; or any other substance defined as a mineral by the law of this state.
(m) "Mineral proceeds" means amounts payable for the extraction, production or sale of minerals, or upon the abandonment of those payments, all payments that become payable thereafter. The term includes amounts payable:
(i) For the acquisition and retention of a mineral lease, including bonuses, royalties, compensatory royalties, shut-in royalties, minimum royalties and delay rentals;
(ii) For the extraction, production or sale of minerals, including net revenue interests, royalties, overriding royalties, extraction payments and production payments; and
(iii) Under an agreement or option, including a joint operating agreement, unit agreement, pooling agreement and farmout agreement.
SECTION 2. Section 89-12-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-5. (1) Subject to the provisions of Sections 89-12-17 and 89-12-19, the following property held or owing by a banking or financial organization or by a business association shall be presumed abandoned:
(a) Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit made in this state with a banking organization or financial organization, together with any interest or dividend thereon, excluding any charges that may have accrued, unless the owner has, within three (3) years:
(i) 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
(ii) Corresponded in writing with the banking organization or financial organization concerning the deposit; or
(iii) Otherwise indicated an interest in the deposit as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking organization or financial organization.
(b) 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, but not limited to, certificates of deposit, drafts, money orders and traveler's checks, that, with the exception of traveler's checks and money orders, has been outstanding for more than three (3) 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 fifteen (15) years from the date of its issuance, or, in the case of money orders, that has been outstanding for more than seven (7) years from the date of its issuance, unless the owner has within three (3) years, or within fifteen (15) years in the case of traveler's checks or within seven (7) years in the case of money orders, 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.
(2) Any certificate of deposit made in this state with a banking organization, together with an interest or dividend thereon, with a maturity date equal to or greater than ten (10) years shall be exempt from the time limit provisions of this chapter.
SECTION 3. Section 89-12-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-7. (1) Subject to the provisions of Section 89-12-17, funds held or owing by a life insurance corporation under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or terminated shall be presumed abandoned if unclaimed and unpaid for more than three (3) years after the funds became due and payable as established from the records of the corporation.
(2) 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 shall be 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. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.
(3) A life insurance policy not matured by actual proof of the death of the insured according to the records of the corporation shall be deemed to be matured and the proceeds due and payable if:
(a) 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;
(b) The policy was in force at the time the insured attained, or would have attained, the limiting age specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection; and
(c) Neither the insured nor any other person appearing to have an interest in the policy has, within the preceding three (3) years, according to the records of the corporation:
(i) Assigned, readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy,
(ii) Subjected the policy to loan, or
(iii) Corresponded in writing with the life insurance corporation concerning the policy.
(4) Any funds otherwise payable according to the records of the corporation shall be deemed due and payable although the policy or contract has not been surrendered as required.
SECTION 4. Section 89-12-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-9. Subject to the provisions of Section 89-12-17 of this act, the following funds held or owing by any utility shall be presumed abandoned:
(a) 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 three (3) years after the termination of the services for which the deposit or advance payment was made.
(b) 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 deduction, that has remained unclaimed by the person appearing on the records of the utility entitled thereto for more than three (3) years after the date it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund.
SECTION 5. Section 89-12-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-11. (1) (a) Stock or other equity interest in a business association is presumed unclaimed three (3) years after the earliest of:
(i) The date of the most recent dividend, stock split or other distribution unclaimed by the apparent owner;
(ii) The date of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable; or
(iii) The date the holder discontinued mailings, notifications or communications to the apparent owner.
This section applies to both the underlying stock, share or other intangible ownership interest of an owner, and any stock, share or other intangible ownership interest of which the business association is in possession of the certificate or other evidence or indicia of ownership, and to the stock, share or other ownership interest of dividend and nondividend paying business associations whether or not the interest is represented by a certificate.
(b) Unmatured or unredeemed debt, other than a bearer bond or an original issue discount bond, is presumed unclaimed three (3) years after the date of the most recent interest payment unclaimed by the owner.
(c) Matured or redeemed debt is presumed unclaimed three (3) years after the date of maturity or redemption.
(d) At the time property is presumed unclaimed under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), any other property right accrued or accruing to the owner as a result of the property interest and not previously presumed unclaimed is also presumed unclaimed.
(2) The running of the three-year period ceases if the person:
(a) (i) Communicates in writing with the association or its agent regarding the interest or a dividend, distribution or other sum payable as a result of the interest; or
(ii) Otherwise communicates with the association regarding the interest or a dividend, distribution or other sum payable as a result of the interest, as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the association or its agent.
(b) Presents an instrument issued to pay interest or a dividend or other cash distribution. If any future dividend, distribution or other sum payable to the owner as a result of the interest is subsequently not claimed by the owner, a new period in which the property is presumed unclaimed commences and relates back only to the time a subsequent dividend, distribution or other sum became due and payable.
(3) Any dividend, profit, distribution, interest, redemption, payment on principal or other sum held or owing by a business association for or to its shareholders, certificate holder, member, bondholder or other security holder who has not claimed it or corresponded in writing with the business association concerning it, within three (3) years after the date prescribed for payment or delivery is presumed unclaimed.
(4) At the time an interest is presumed abandoned under this section, any dividend, distribution or other sum then held for or owing to the owner as a result of the interest, and not previously abandoned, is presumed abandoned.
(5) This section does not apply to any stock or other intangible ownership of interest enrolled in a plan that provides for the automatic reinvestment of dividends, distributions or other sums payable as a result of the interest unless the records available to the State Treasurer show, with respect to any intangible ownership interest not enrolled in the reinvestment plan, that the owner has not within three (3) years communicated in any manner described in subsection (1) of this section.
(6) Notwithstanding anything in this section or any other section in this chapter to the contrary, the property presumed abandoned under this chapter shall not include capital credits or patronage refunds offered for payment by nonprofit cooperative electric power associations, nonprofit cooperative water and sewer associations, or nonprofit agricultural cooperative marketing associations, but rather such unclaimed funds shall be used for the benefit of the general membership of such associations.
SECTION 6. Section 89-12-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-13. Subject to the provisions of Section 89-12-17, any intangible personal property and any income or increment thereon, held in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person shall be presumed abandoned unless the owner has, within three (3) years after it became 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 or other record on file with the fiduciary.
SECTION 7. Section 89-12-14, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-14. (1) 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 (3) years after the date prescribed for payment or delivery, is presumed abandoned and subject to the custody of this state as unclaimed property if:
(a) The last known address of the owner is unknown; and
(b) The person or entity originating or issuing the intangible property is this state or any political subdivision of this state, or is incorporated, organized, created or otherwise located in this state.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to property that 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 (1) of this section.
(3) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall apply to all property held at the time of the effective date of this section, or at any time thereafter, regardless of when such property became or becomes presumptively abandoned.
(4) Insofar and only insofar as funds reflected by the cancellation of State of Mississippi warrants are unclaimed and presumed abandoned, the State Treasurer shall transfer such funds out of the Abandoned Property Fund established by Section 89-12-37 to the original fund source after the expiration of three (3) years as required herein.
SECTION 8. Section 89-12-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-15. All intangible personal property not otherwise covered by the provisions of this chapter, including any income or increment thereon and deducting any charges that may have accrued, that is held in the ordinary course of the holder's business and has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than three (3) years after it became payable or distributable shall be presumed abandoned.
SECTION 9. Section 89-12-16, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-16. (1) All tangible personal property or intangible personal property, including choses in action in amounts certain, and all debts owed or entrusted funds or other property held by the federal government, or any federal agency, or any officer, or appointee thereof, shall be presumed abandoned in this state if the last known address of the owner of the property is in this state and the property has remained unclaimed for three (3) years.
(2) This section shall apply to all abandoned property held by the federal government, or any federal agency, or any officer, or any appointee thereof, at the time of the effective date of this section, or at any time thereafter, regardless of when such property became presumptively abandoned.
SECTION 10. Section 89-12-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-23. (1) Every person holding funds or other intangible personal property presumed abandoned under the provisions of this chapter shall report to the Treasurer with respect to the property as hereinafter provided.
(2) The report shall be verified, shall be on a form prescribed or approved by the Treasurer, and shall include:
(a) 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 the value of more than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) presumed abandoned under the provisions of this chapter;
(b) In case of unclaimed funds of life insurance corporations, the full name of the insured or annuitant and his last known address according to the life insurance corporation's records;
(c) 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 One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) each may be reported in aggregate;
(d) Except for any property reported in the aggregate, 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
(e) Other information which the Treasurer prescribes by regulation as necessary for the administration of this act.
(3) If the person holding property presumed abandoned under the provisions of this act 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.
(4) The report shall be filed annually * * * before November 1 of each year in which a report is required as of June 30 next preceding unless otherwise provided herein. The Treasurer may postpone the reporting date upon written request by any person required to file a report.
(5) If the holder of property presumed abandoned under the provisions of this act 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 required report, endeavor to communicate with the owner and take reasonable steps to prevent abandonment from being presumed. The mailing of notice to the last-known address of the owner by the holder shall constitute compliance with this subsection and no further act on the part of the holder shall be necessary.
(6) 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.
(7) Every person who is requested in writing by the Treasurer shall file a report stating that such person is not holding any abandoned property which is reportable pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(8) The initial report filed under this chapter shall include all items of property that would have been presumed abandoned if this act had been in effect since July 1, 1969, and all such property shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
SECTION 11. Section 89-12-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
89-12-27. (1) The department shall notify apparent owners of unclaimed property in the manner and method set out in subsection (2) of this section. In deciding whether to use an additional method specified in subsection (2)(b) of this section, and which of those methods to use, the department shall employ the most cost-effective method available within its appropriations.
(2) The department:
(a) Shall notify all apparent owner of the unclaimed property in accordance with this section by means of posting on the department's website on the Internet;
(b) Many use any of the following to provide additional notice to the apparent owners:
(i) Publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the state in which the last known address of a person to be named in the notice is located or, if the address is unknown, in the area in which the holder has its principal place of business in the state;
(ii) Individual contact by regular or electronic mail, or by telephone, if the department has current contact information on file;
(iii) Any other manner and method that the department considers effective for providing notice and publication.
(3) In its notice and publication under subsection (2) of this section, the department shall provide the names of the apparent owners of the property and information regarding recovery of the unclaimed property.
(4) Within one hundred twenty (120) days from the receipt of the report required by Section 89-12-23, the Treasurer shall mail a notice to each person having an address listed therein who appears to be entitled to property valued at One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) or more and presumed abandoned under the provisions of this chapter.
(5) The mailed notice shall contain:
(a) A statement that property is being held to which the addressee appears entitled;
(b) A statement that any person claiming an interest in the property must file a proof of claim with the Treasurer as set forth in Section 89-12-39.
(6) This section shall not be applicable to sums payable on traveler's checks or money orders presumed abandoned under the provisions of Section 89-12-5.
SECTION 12. (1) Property distributable in the course of the demutualization of an insurance company is presumed abandoned as follows:
(a) Any funds two (2) years after the date of the demutualization, if the funds remain unclaimed and the owner has not otherwise communicated with the holder or its agent regarding the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the holder or its agent.
(b) Any stock two (2) years after the date of the demutualization, if instruments or statements reflecting the distribution are either mailed to the owner and returned by the post office as undeliverable or not mailed to the owner because of an address on the books and records of the holder or its agent regarding the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the holder or its agent.
(2) A holder of unclaimed property described in subsection (1) shall file an initial one-time report of unclaimed demutualization proceeds not later than October 1, 2005, for the period ending December 31, 2004.
(3) As used in this section, "demutualization" means the payment of consideration for the relinquishment of a mutual membership interest in a mutual insurance company, regardless if undertaken in conjunction with a plan of demutualization, liquidation, merger or other form of reorganization.
(4) Demutualization property not otherwise subject to this section is subject to Section 89-12-15.
SECTION 13. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.