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Unclaimed Property: Key Dates for CUs to Remember
Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:30 AM

According to the Texas Comptroller, one in four Texans have unclaimed property from forgotten checking accounts, un-cashed checks, security deposits and utility refunds. Texas is currently holding more than $2.6 billion in cash and other valuables waiting for the rightful owners to claim.

Texas credit unions that are holding onto such accounts are reminded that HB 257, which was passed during the 2011 Texas legislative session, has shortened the abandonment period for several types of property to be escheated to the state. 

The abandonment period of checking accounts, savings accounts, and matured certificates, for example, has been reduced from five years to three years. And the abandonment period for money orders has dropped from seven to three years.

Additionally, if a holder imposes a service, maintenance, or other charges on a money order prior to the time of presumed abandonment, such charges may not exceed $1 a month (up from 50 cents) for each month the money order remains un-cashed prior to the month in which the money order is presumed abandoned.

Credit unions should make note that effective Jan. 1, 2013, the new due date for filing the Texas unclaimed property report and remitting the property has been changed from Nov. 1 to July 1. 

The credit union must also send notice to the affected member by May 1 [formerly Aug. 1], stating that the credit union is holding abandoned property and that it might be required to turn the property over to the comptroller on July 1 [formerly Nov. 1].

The Texas Comptroller says they are not mailing a Holder Report and Payment Form 53-119 this year. Holders paying by check should print the form located at www.window.state.tx.us/up/forms.html.  Credit unions should go to www.window.state.tx.us/up/reporting.html to find everything you need for filing, including free reporting software.

Credit unions should be aware that the Texas Comptroller has not updated all of the information on its web site. For example, the sample due diligence letter to members does not reflect the revised July 1 date.