Tag: escheat escheatment

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Bureau Considers Enforceability of State Unclaimed Property Laws for Gift Cards

Bureau Considers Enforceability of State Unclaimed Property Laws for Gift Cards

By: David L. Beam

The gift card provisions of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (“EFTA”) and Regulation E (which implements the EFTA) do not allow funds on most gift cards to expire sooner than five years after issuance (or, if the card is reloadable, five years after the last load). But the unclaimed property laws in some states require gift card issuers to turn over the funds on dormant gift cards sooner than five years after the last activity. The state unclaimed property laws generally relieve the issuer of the obligation to honor a card after it has turned the funds over to the state. Instead, the owner of the card must apply to the state treasurer to recover the funds. (If the card issuer decides to honor the card anyway—and many do for customer service reasons—then the issuer may apply to the state for reimbursement.)

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