Legislature(1995 - 1996)

1996-01-19 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2179
SB 228                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 228 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          
An Act relating to unclaimed property; and                                    
providing for an effective date.                                               
was read the first time and referred to the Judiciary and Finance              
Zero fiscal note published today from Department of Revenue.                   
Governors transmittal letter dated January 19:                                 
Dear President Pearce:                                                         
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a bill that would update Alaskas law governing the           
handling of unclaimed property to streamline the process for the               
convenience of both the state and the property holders.                        
Unclaimed, or abandoned, personal property includes money left in              
bank savings or insurance accounts or deposits left with utilities             
because the businesses cannot locate the owners.  The state acts as            
the custodian for such property and protects it until an owner or heir         
claims it.  This bill includes recommendations from an audit                   
performed last year that would reduce paperwork and improve efforts            
to locate unclaimed property owners.                                           

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2180
SB 228                                                                       
Under this bill, mutual funds would be defined in unclaimed property           
statutes, allowing for reporting and payment to the state of unclaimed         
interests in mutual funds.  This bill also requires that all unclaimed         
property holders report to the state at the same time.  This will              
eliminate duplicate reports and provide for payment of unclaimed               
interests at the time the report is made.  The value of interests that         
can be reported to the state without complete detail is raised from            
$25 and $50 to a uniform $100.  This will mean less paperwork and              
administrative overhead for unclaimed property holders.                        
The bill also puts a statutory limit on the amount of finders fee that         
a person can charge to search for owners of unclaimed property.                
There have been reports of some abuses nationwide of finders fees              
being charged at up to 50 percent of the value of the property, even           
when the person was easy to locate.  This bill would protect                   
Alaskans claiming property abandonment in this state by limiting               
these fees to 10 percent of the value of the property.                         
In addition, this bill places restrictions on agreements between               
owners of unclaimed property and their finders, in order to protect            
the property owners and the state.  An  agreement would be void if             
it does not disclose the value of the property involved or if the              
agreement was reached before the state has held the property for at            
least two years.                                                               
This bill represents an important step forward to update Alaskas               
unclaimed property laws.  I urge your support.                                 
						Tony Knowles