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the best and worst of state unclaimed property laws

The unclaimed property laws in many states are woefully lacking in fairness and effectiveness according to a new study released today by the Council On State Taxation (COST).  States that have unclaimed property laws that unite owners with their property in a manner that is least burdensome to owners, holders and the states receive top grades in the COST study, while states like Delaware that have lost sight of the purpose for unclaimed property laws receive low—or failing—grades. 

“Unclaimed property laws authorize states to ‘stand in the shoes’ of the lost property owner until she can be reunited with her lost property,” said Doug Lindholm, COST’s President & Executive Director. “Unfortunately, in many states, these laws lack clarity, fairness, and consistency and often result in an arbitrary ‘taking’ of property from businesses.”

COST Pushes States Toward Reform of Unclaimed Property Laws
Improving the laws governing unclaimed property laws is a priority for COST and its membership of over 600 major companies.  Compliance with unclaimed property laws demands a system perceived by holders of unclaimed property to be balanced, fair and effective.  This new study provides a roadmap for legislators who seek to ensure that their state’s unclaimed property laws accomplish those objectives. 


Click here to view the study.