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Posted by on in Unclaimed Property

As part of our continuing series of interviews with UPExchange users, our Roving Reporter traveled to Valparaiso, Indiana, to interview Sergeant Bud Gootee of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department. Sgt. Gootee became the Department’s business manager in 2007, after serving as a division commander in the Department’s police services.

His responsibility for unclaimed property reporting, an offshoot of his responsibilities as an inmate trust fund officer, has become a separate discipline, one Sgt. Gootee says would overwhelm the inmate trust fund officer with all that’s now required:

RR: I have to admit to being intrigued because I didn’t think that a sheriff’s office would be managing unclaimed property, so I’m about to learn something. What, precisely, is the nature of the unclaimed property you typically handle?

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Many companies file their unclaimed property reports to get them over with and don’t give the data another thought. This isn’t the best policy as states require you to keep certain information for a certain amount of time. Failure to keep this information can be harmful to a company that comes under audit.

What should you keep? You’ll want to keep a copy of your owner data. This is the information for the unclaimed property you are reporting. You’ll want to keep this in a spreadsheet, other electronic means, or in your unclaimed property reporting software. If you reported small dollar amount items in the aggregate, make sure to keep a copy of any owner detail you have on hand. This will save you from having to spend a lot of time researching information if the state contacts you about a claim for a small dollar amount.   

You’ll want to keep a copy of the NAUPA file you submitted to the state and the cover sheet. Keep a copy of the cancelled check that was used to pay the state or your receipt if you made an ACH payment.

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I received the most recent issue of the Keanotes Newsletter this week. It contains a very thorough and informative article about financial institutions including due diligence recommendations and special rules that may exclude accounts from escheatment.

There is also a great article on Life Insurance companies and the rising trend of states requiring proactive searches for lost policy holders.

If your company issues gift cards, you won't want to miss the piece about the 2010 New Jersey Act.

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