Tag: gift cards

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Don’t Look a Gift Card in the Mouth: Beware of Liability Under the Electronic Fund Transfers Act
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Bureau Considers Enforceability of State Unclaimed Property Laws for Gift Cards

Don’t Look a Gift Card in the Mouth: Beware of Liability Under the Electronic Fund Transfers Act

By Robert W. Sparkes, III, Brian M. Forbes and Soyong Cho

Many of us have had a similar experience. We receive a gift card, put it in a “safe” place with other gift cards, and forget it exists. Inevitably, we uncover the gift card and find ourselves asking questions such as: Does this card still have any value? Has it expired? Can it expire? Will I be charged a fee for use (or non-use)? Should I call the 800 number? The experience invariably ends by putting the card aside and promising to deal with it later. But, what really does happen to the value of those cards?

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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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