Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately place abandoned property in the custody of the state treasurer, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 3 of chapter 200A of the General Laws, as most recently amended by section 102 of chapter 351 of the acts of 1981, is hereby further amended by striking out clause (4) and inserting in place thereof the following three clauses:-
(4) Increased or decreased the amount of deposit; or
(5) Owned other property for which clause (1), (2), (3) or (4) is applicable; provided, however, that the holder communicates in writing with the owner with regard to such property that would otherwise be presumed abandoned under this section at the address at which communications regarding such other property regularly are received; or
(6) Had another relationship with the holder concerning which the owner has:
(i) communicated in writing with the holder, or
(ii) otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum on file prepared by an employee of the holder; provided, however, that if the holder communicates in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be presumed abandoned under this section at the address at which communications regarding the other relationship regularly are received.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 200A is hereby further amended by inserting after section 3 the following section:- Section 3A. The abandonment period of any property set forth in section three that is automatically renewable shall commence upon the expiration of its initial time period except that, in the case of any renewal to which the owner consents at or about the time of renewal by communicating in writing with the person holding the property or otherwise indicating such consent as evidenced by a memorandum on file prepared by an employee, the abandonment period shall commence upon the expiration of the last time period for which consent was given.
SECTION 3. Clause (1) of paragraph (b) of section 7 of said chapter 200A, as appearing in section 8 of chapter 130 of the acts of 1980, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 5, the word "twenty-five" and inserting in place thereof the word:- fifty.
SECTION 4. Clause (3) of said paragraph (b) of said section 7 of said chapter 200A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 3 and 4, the words "twenty-five dollars each may" and inserting in place thereof the words:- fifty dollars each shall.
SECTION 5. Said chapter 200A is hereby further amended by striking out section 7A, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 7A. If the person in possession of property in an amount of ten dollars or more presumed abandoned under this chapter has the last known address of the apparent owner which the person's records do not disclose to be inaccurate, the holder shall at least sixty days before filing the annual report send a notice by first class mail to inform the owner of the process necessary to rebut the presumption of abandonment.
SECTION 6. Section 8 of said chapter 200A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (d) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(d) The treasurer is not required to publish in such notice any items of less than fifty dollars value unless he deems such publication to be in the public interest.
SECTION 7. Section 8A of said chapter 200A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (c) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(c) In the case of sums payable on traveler's checks, registered checks and money orders presumed abandoned under section six B, or any sums reported pursuant to clauses (1) and (2) of paragraph (b) of section seven are less than fifty dollars or any other sums for which the person holding the property does not know the names of the owners, such sums shall be paid to the treasurer at the time of filing the report.
SECTION 8. Section 9 of said chapter 200A is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (b), as amended by section 8 of chapter 377 of the acts of 1969, and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(b) The treasurer shall proceed with the liquidation of property not earlier than one year after its delivery to him under the provisions of this chapter except that property presumed abandoned pursuant to subsection (b) of section five B shall not be liquidated earlier than three years after it was delivered unless the treasurer shall in his opinion find it is in the best interests of the state to do so. If the treasurer sells any securities delivered pursuant to section five B before the expiration of the three year period, any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter before the end of the three year period is entitled to either the proceeds of the sale of the securities or the market value of the securities at the time the claim is made, whichever amount is greater. A person making a claim under this chapter after the expiration of this period is entitled to receive either the securities delivered to the treasurer by the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the treasurer, or the proceeds received from sale, but no person has any claim under this chapter against the commonwealth, the holder, any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the treasurer.
SECTION 9. Section 10 of said chapter 200A is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:- (h) If the claim is for property presumed abandoned under section five B which was sold by the treasurer within three years after the date of delivery, the amount payable for that claim is the value of the property at the time the claim was made or the net proceeds of sale, whichever is greater.
SECTION 10. Said chapter 200A is hereby further amended by inserting after section 10 the following section:-
Section 10A. Whenever any property is paid or delivered to the treasurer other than money under this act, the treasurer upon receipt, shall credit to the owner's account any dividends, interest or other increments realized or accruing on the property at or before liquidation or conversion thereof into money.
SECTION 11. Said chapter 200A is hereby further amended by striking out section 15B, as appearing in section 13 of chapter 130 of the acts of 1980, and inserting in place thereof the following section:- Section 15B. The holder of an interest under section five B shall deliver a duplicate certificate or other evidence of ownership if the holder does not issue certificates of ownership to the treasurer. Upon delivery of a duplicate certificate to the treasurer, the holder and any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder in executing or delivering the duplicate is relieved of all liability of every kind in accordance with the provision of section fifteen D to every person, including any person acquiring the original certificate or the duplicate of the certificate issued to the treasurer, for any losses or damages resulting to any person by the issuance and delivery to the treasurer of the duplicate certificate.
SECTION 12. Said chapter 200A is hereby further amended by inserting after section 15C the following section:-
Section 15D. (1) If the holder pays or delivers property to the treasurer in good faith and thereafter another person claims the property from the holder or another state claims the money or property under its laws relating to escheat or abandoned or unclaimed property, the commonwealth, upon written notice to the treasurer of the claim, shall defend the holder against the claim and indemnify the holder against any liability on the claim.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "good faith" shall mean: (1) payment or delivery was made in a reasonable attempt to comply with this chapter; (2) the person delivering the property was not a fiduciary then in breach of trust in respect to the property and had reasonable basis for believing, based on the facts then known to him, that the property was abandoned for the purposes of this chapter; and (3) there is no showing that the records pursuant to which the delivery was made did not meet reasonable commercial standards of practice in the industry.