How long must I hold property before it is considered abandoned?

03/28/2007 - Abandoned Property - State: AL #2278

Full Question:

I live in Jefferson County Alabama and my garage is full of personal property consisting of clothes, household goods, misc. nothing of much value but the owner refuses to pick it up. First, I put it in storage but it was costing me a hundred a month so after 8 months I took it back to the garage. What are my obligations to the owner of this property she refuses to pick it up, wants it brought to her in Missouri, refuses to pay the costs to do that.. How long must I hold this junk before I can take it to the dump. I really want to use my garage?? Please help

Answer:

The following is an Alabama statute: Presumption of abandonment. (a) Property is presumed abandoned if it is unclaimed by the apparent owner during the time set forth below for the particular property: (1) Traveler's checks, 15 years after issuance. (2) Money order, five years after issuance. (3) A demand, savings, or time deposit including a deposit that is automatically renewable, three years after the earlier of maturity or the date of the last indication by the apparent owner of interest in the property, but a deposit that is automatically renewable is deemed matured for purposes of this section upon its initial date of maturity, unless the apparent owner has consented to a renewal at or about the time of the renewal and the consent is in writing or is evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the holder, or the apparent owner has indicated an interest in the deposit. (4) Tangible and intangible property held in a safe deposit box or other safekeeping depository in this state in the ordinary course of the holder's business and proceeds resulting from the sale of the property permitted by other law, three years after expiration of the lease or rental period on the box or other depository. (5) Money or credits owed to a customer as a result of a retail business transaction, one year after the obligation accrued. (6) Property in an individual retirement account, defined benefit plan, or other account or plan that is qualified for tax deferral under the income tax laws of the United States, three years after the earlier of a. the date of the distribution or attempted distribution of the property; b. the date of the required distribution as stated in the plan or trust agreement governing the plan; or c. the date, if determinable by the holder, specified in the income tax laws of the United States by which distribution of the property must begin in order to avoid a tax penalty. (7) Stock or other equity interest in a business association or financial organization, including a security entitlement under Article 8 of Title 7, the Uniform Commercial Code, three years after the earlier of a. the date of the most recent dividend, stock split, or other distribution unclaimed by the apparent owner; or b. the date of the second mailing of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable or after the holder discontinued mailings, notifications, or communications to the apparent owner. (8) Debt of a business association or financial organization, other than a bearer bond or an original issue discount bond covered under subdivision (18), three years after the date of the most recent interest payment unclaimed by the apparent owner. (9) Property distributable by a business association or financial organization in a course of dissolution, one year after the property becomes distributable. (10) Amount owed by an insurer on a life or endowment insurance policy or an annuity that has matured or terminated, three years after the obligation to pay arose or, in the case of a policy or annuity payable upon proof of death, three years after the insured has attained, or would have attained if living, the limiting age under the mortality table on which the reserve is based. (11) Property distributable in the course of a demutualization or related reorganization of an insurance company shall be deemed abandoned as follows: a. Any funds, two years after the date of the demutualization or reorganization, if the funds remain unclaimed, and the owner has not otherwise communicated with the holder or its agent regarding the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the holder or its agent. b. Any stock or other equity interest, two years after the date of the demutualization or reorganization if instruments or statements reflecting the distribution are either mailed to the owner and returned by the post office as undeliverable, or not mailed to the owner because of an address on the books and records of the holder that is known to be incorrect and the owner has not otherwise communicated with the holder or its agent regarding the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the holder or its agent. c. Property not subject to paragraphs a. or b. within two years of the distribution shall remain reportable under other sections of this article. (12) Property received by a court as proceeds of a class action, and not distributed pursuant to the judgment, one year after the distribution date. (13) Property held by a court, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, one year after the property becomes distributable. (14) Wages or other compensation for personal services, one year after the compensation becomes payable. (15) Deposit or refund owed to a subscriber by a utility, one year after the deposit or refund becomes payable. (16) Any check or warrant drawn on the State of Alabama Treasury, outstanding and unpaid one year from the date of issue. (17) Gift certificate, other than those exempt under Section 35-12-73, three years after June 30 of the year in which the certificate was sold, but if redeemable in merchandise only, the amount abandoned is deemed to be 60 percent of the certificate's face value. (18) All other property, three years after the owner's right to demand the property or after the obligation to pay or distribute the property arises, whichever first occurs. (b) At the time that an interest is presumed abandoned under subsection (a), any other property right accrued or accruing to the owner as a result of the interest, and not previously presumed abandoned, is also presumed abandoned. (c) Property is unclaimed if, for the applicable period set forth in subsection (a), the apparent owner has not communicated in writing, or by other means reflected in a contemporaneous record prepared by or on behalf of the holder, with the holder concerning the property or the account in which the property is held, and has not otherwise indicated an interest in the property. A communication with an owner by a person other than the holder or its representative who has not in writing identified the property to the owner is not an indication of interest in the property by the owner. (d) An indication of an owner's or apparent owner's interest in property includes any of the following: (1) The presentment of a check or other instrument of payment of a dividend or other distribution made with respect to an account or underlying stock or other interest in a business association or financial organization or, in the case of a distribution made by electronic or similar means, evidence that the distribution has been received. (2) Owner-directed activity in the account in which the property is held, including a direction by the owner to increase, decrease, or change the amount or type of property held in the account. (3) The making of a deposit to or withdrawal from a bank account. Any correspondence in writing from the holder to the apparent owner, such as the mailing of a statement, report of interest paid or credited, renewal of a deposit or other written information relating to the deposit shall be construed to mean that the apparent owner has indicated an interest in the deposit if the correspondence in writing is not returned to the holder for nondelivery thereof. Any activity or indication of interest by an apparent owner in the deposit or in any other deposits in a holder shall be construed to be activity and indication of interest in all other deposits of the apparent owner in the holder. (4) The payment of a premium with respect to a property interest in an insurance policy; but the application of an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent a policy from maturing or terminating if the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiary of the policy has otherwise become entitled to the proceeds before the depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by the application of those provisions. (e) Property is payable or distributable for purposes of this article notwithstanding the failure of the owner or apparent owner to make demand or present an instrument or document otherwise required to obtain payment.

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03/28/2007 - Category: Abandoned Property - State: AL #2278

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