What is the law regarding abandonment in Indiana?

Full Question:

What is the law regarding abandonment in Indiana?
01/31/2007   |   Category: Real Property   |   State: Indiana   |   #1260

Answer:

Indiana Law Summary Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property

Indiana Code

Title 32, Article 9, Chap. 1.5

Sec. 1.

(a) This chapter does not apply to any property held, due, and owing in a
foreign country and arising out of a foreign transaction.


(b) This chapter does not apply to stocks, dividends, capital credits,
patronage refunds, utility deposits, membership fees, account balances, or
book equities for which the owner cannot be found and that are the result of
distributable savings of a rural electric membership corporation formed
under IC 8-1-13, a rural telephone cooperative corporation formed under IC
8-1-17, or an agricultural cooperative association formed under IC 15-7-1.


(c) This chapter does not apply to unclaimed overpayments of utility bills
that become the property of a municipality under IC 36-9-23-28.5.


(d) This chapter does not apply to deposits required by a municipally owned
utility (as defined in

Sec. 3.

The attorney general may adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to carry out the
provisions of this chapter and to effectuate its general purposes.

Sec. 4.

As used in this chapter, "administrator" means the administrator of the
unclaimed property law of another state.

Sec. 5.

As used in this chapter, "apparent owner" means a person whose name
appears on the records of a holder as the person entitled to property held,
issued, or owing by the holder.

Sec. 6.

As used in this chapter, "business association" means a corporation, a
limited liability company, a joint stock company, an investment company, a
partnership, a business trust, a trust company, a savings association, a
savings bank, an industrial bank, a land bank, a safe deposit company, a
safekeeping depository, a bank, a banking organization, a financial
organization, an insurance company, a mutual fund, a credit union, a utility,
or other association for business purposes of two (2) or more individuals,
whether or not for profit.

Sec. 7.

As used in this chapter, "domicile" means the following:

(1) The state of incorporation of a corporation.

(2) The state of the principal place of business of a holder other than a
corporation.

Sec. 7.5.

As used in this chapter, "financial institution" means a depository financial
institution that is organized or reorganized under Indiana law, the law of
another state, or United States law. The term includes any of the following:

(1) A commercial bank.

(2) A trust company.

(3) A savings bank.

(4) A savings association.

(5) A credit union.

(6) An industrial loan and investment company.

(7) Any other entity that has powers similar to the powers of an entity
described in subdivisions (1) through (6).

Sec. 8.

As used in this chapter, "holder" means a person obligated to deliver or pay
to the owner property that is subject to this chapter.

Sec. 9.

As used in this chapter, "insurance company" means an association, a
corporation, or a fraternal or mutual benefit organization, whether or not for
profit, that is engaged in the business of providing insurance, including
accident, burial, casualty, credit life, contract performance, dental, fidelity,
fire, health, hospitalization, illness, life (including endowments and annuities),
malpractice, marine, mortgage, surety, and wage protection insurance.

Sec. 10.

(a) For purposes of sections 26, 32, and 44 of this chapter, "last known
address" means a description of the location of the apparent owner's
residence or business sufficient for the purpose of the delivery of mail or the
receipt of a communication by other means known to the holder.

(b) For purposes of sections 21 and 37 of this chapter, "last known
address" means a description indicating that the apparent owner was
located within Indiana, regardless of whether the description is sufficient to
direct the delivery of mail.

Sec. 11.

As used in this chapter, "mineral" means gas, oil, coal, and other gaseous,
liquid, and solid hydrocarbons, shale, oil shale, cement material, sand and
gravel, road material, building stone, chemical substance, gemstone,
metallic, fissionable and nonfissionable ores, colloidal and other clay, steam
and other geothermal resource, and any other substance defined as a
mineral under Indiana law.

Sec. 12.

As used in this chapter, "mineral proceeds" means proceeds currently
payable and unclaimed and, upon the abandonment of those proceeds, all
proceeds that would have become payable thereafter, including the
following:

(1) Obligations to pay resulting from the extraction, production, or sale of
minerals, including net revenue interests, royalties, overriding royalties,
extraction and production payments, joint operating agreements, and
pooling arrangements.


(2) Obligations for the acquisition and retention of a mineral lease, including
bonuses, delay rentals, shut-in royalties, and minimum royalties.

Sec. 13.

As used in this chapter, "money order" includes an express money order and
a personal money order on which the remitter is the purchaser. The term
does not include the following:

(1) A bank money order on which the remitter is the purchaser.

(2) A bank money order or any other instrument sold by a banking or
financial institution if the seller has obtained the name and address of the
payee.

Sec. 14.

As used in this chapter, "owner" means a person who has a legal or an
equitable interest in property subject to this chapter or the person's legal
representative, including the following:

(1) A depositor in the case of property that is a deposit.

(2) A beneficiary in the case of property that is a trust other than a deposit
in trust.

(3) A creditor, claimant, or payee in the case of other property.

Sec. 15.

As used in this chapter, "person" means an individual, a corporation, a
business trust, an estate, a trust, a partnership, an association, a joint
venture, a government, a governmental subdivision, agency, or
instrumentality, a public corporation, a joint or common owner, or any other
legal or commercial entity.

Sec. 16.

For purposes of section 49 of this chapter, "political subdivision" includes any
Indiana municipality, county, civil township, civil incorporated city or town,
public school corporation, university or college supported in part by state
funds, or any other territorial subdivision of the state recognized or
designated in any law, including judicial circuits, a public utility entity not
privately owned, special taxing district or entity, and public improvement
district authority or entity authorized to levy taxes or assessments. The
term does not include any retirement system supported entirely or in part
by the state.

Sec. 17.

(a) The definition in this section does not apply to section 24 of this chapter.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), as used in this chapter, "property"
means an interest in intangible personal property, except an unliquidated
claim, and all income or increment derived from the interest, including that
which is referred to as or evidenced by:
(1) money, a check, a draft, a deposit, an interest, or a dividend;

(2) a credit balance, a customer overpayment, a gift certificate, a security
deposit, a refund, a credit memorandum, an unpaid wage, an unused airline
ticket, mineral proceeds, or an unidentified remittance;

(3) stock and other ownership interest in a business association;

(4) a bond, debenture, note, or other evidence of indebtedness;

(5) money deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, and other
securities or to make distributions;

(6) an amount due and payable under the terms of an insurance policy; and

(7) an amount distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under
a plan to provide health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement,
death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental
unemployment insurance, or similar benefits.


(c) As used in this chapter, "property" does not include transactions
between business entities and:
(1) a motor carrier (as defined in IC 8-2.1-17-10); or

(2) a carrier (as defined in 49 U.S.C. 13102(3)).

Sec. 19.

As used in this chapter, "utility" means a person that owns or operates for
public use any plant, equipment, property, franchise, or license for the
transmission of communications or the production, storage, transmission,
sale, delivery, or furnishing of electricity, water, steam, or gas.

Sec. 20.

(a) For purposes of this section, an indication of interest in the property by
the owner:
(1) does not include a communication with an owner by an agent of the
holder who has not identified in writing the property to the owner; and

(2) includes the following:
(A) The cashing of a dividend check or other instrument of payment
received or evidence that the distribution has been received if the distribution
was made by electronic or similar means, with respect to an account or
underlying shares of stock or other interest in a business association or
financial organization.

(B) A deposit to or withdrawal from a bank account.

(C) The payment of a premium with respect to a property interest in an
insurance policy.

(D) The mailing of any correspondence in writing from a financial institution
to the owner, including:
(i) a statement;

(ii) a report of interest paid or credited; or

(iii) any other written advice; relating to a demand, savings, or matured
time deposit account, including a deposit account that is automatically
renewable, or any other account or other property the owner has with the
financial institution if the correspondence is not returned to the financial
institution for nondelivery.


(E) Any activity by the owner that concerns:
(i) another demand, savings, or matured time deposit account or other
account that the owner has with a financial institution, including any activity
by the owner that results in an increase or decrease in the amount of any
other account; or

(ii) any other relationship with the financial institution, including the payment
of any amounts due on a loan; if the mailing address for the owner
contained in the financial institution's books and records is the same for both
an inactive account and for a related account.


(b) The application of an automatic premium loan provision or other
nonforfeiture provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent the
policy from maturing or terminating if the insured has died or the insured or
the beneficiary of the policy otherwise has become entitled to the proceeds
before the depletion of the cash surrender value of the policy by the
application of those provisions.

(c) Property that is held, issued, or owed in the ordinary course of a holder's
business is presumed abandoned if the owner or apparent owner has not
communicated in writing with the holder concerning the property or has not
otherwise given an indication of interest in the property during the following
times:
(1) For traveler's checks, fifteen (15) years after issuance.

(2) For money orders, seven (7) years after issuance.

(3) For consumer credits, three (3) years after the credit becomes payable.

(4) For gift certificates, three (3) years after December 31 of the year in
which the gift certificate was sold. If the gift certificate is redeemable in
merchandise only, the amount abandoned is considered to be sixty percent
(60%) of the certificate's face value.

(5) For amounts owed by an insurer on a life or an endowment insurance
policy or an annuity contract:
(A) if the policy or contract has matured or terminated, three (3) years after
the obligation to pay arose; or

(B) if the policy or contract is payable upon proof of death, three (3) 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.


(6) For property distributable by a business association in a course of
dissolution, one (1) year after the property becomes distributable.

(7) Until January 1, 2002, for property or proceeds held by a court, ten
(10) years after the property or proceeds become distributable. Beginning
January 1, 2002, for property or proceeds held by a court or a court clerk,
other than property or proceeds related to child support, five (5) years after
the property or proceeds become distributable. The property or proceeds
must be treated as unclaimed property under IC 32-9-8. Beginning January
1, 2002, for property or proceeds related to child support held by a court or
a court clerk, ten (10) years after the property or proceeds become
distributable.

(8) For property held by a state or other government, governmental
subdivision or agency, or public corporation or other public authority, one
(1) year after the property becomes distributable.

(9) For compensation for personal services, one (1) year after the
compensation becomes payable.

(10) For deposits and refunds held for subscribers by utilities, one (1) year
after the deposits or refunds became payable.

(11) For stock or other interest in a business association, five (5) years
after the earlier of:
(A) the date of the last 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:
(i) returned as undeliverable; or

(ii) made after the holder discontinued mailings to the apparent owner.


(12) For property in an individual retirement account or another account or
plan that is qualified for tax deferral under the Internal Revenue Code, three
(3) years after the earliest of:
(A) the actual date of the distribution or attempted distribution;

(B) the distribution date as stated in the plan or trust agreement governing
the plan; or

(C) the date specified in the Internal Revenue Code by which distribution
must begin in order to avoid a tax penalty.


(13) For a demand, savings, or matured time deposit, including a deposit
that is automatically renewable, five (5) years after maturity or five (5)
years after the date of the last indication by the owner of interest in the
property, whichever is earlier. Property that is automatically renewable is
considered matured for purposes of this section upon the expiration of its
initial period, unless the 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.

(14) For all other property, the earlier of five (5) years after:
(A) the owner's right to demand the property; or

(B) the obligation to pay or distribute the property; arose.


(d) Property is payable or distributed for purposes of this chapter
notwithstanding the owner's failure to make demand or present an
instrument or a document otherwise required to receive payment.

Sec. 21.

Subject to any other state statute to the contrary, property located in
Indiana or another state is subject to the custody of this state as unclaimed
property if the property is presumed abandoned and if:

(1) the last known address of the apparent owner, as shown on the records
of the older, is in Indiana;

(2) the records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled
to the property and it is established that the last known address of the
person entitled to the property is in Indiana;

(3) the records of the holder do not reflect the last known address of the
apparent owner and it is established that:
(A) the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in
Indiana; or

(B) the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision
or agency of this state and has not previously paid or delivered the property
to the state of the last known address of the apparent owner or other
person entitled to the property;


(4) the last known address of the apparent owner, as shown on the records
of the holder, is in a state that does not provide for the escheat or custodial
taking of the property and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or
governmental subdivision or agency of this state;

(5) the last known address of the apparent owner, as shown on the records
of the holder, is in a foreign country and the holder is a domiciliary or a
government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state;

(6) the transaction out of which the property arose occurred in Indiana, the
holder is a domiciliary of a state that does not provide for the escheat or
custodial taking of the property, and the last known address of the apparent
owner or other person entitled to the property is:
(A) unknown; or

(B) in a state that does not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of
the property; or


(7) the property is a traveler's check or money order:
(A) purchased in Indiana; or

(B) for which the issuer of the traveler's check or money order has its
principal place of business in Indiana and the issuer's records:
(i) do not show the state in which the instrument was purchased; or

(ii) show that the instrument was purchased in a state that does not provide
for the escheat or custodial taking of the property.

Sec. 22.

(a) A holder may not deduct from property presumed abandoned a charge
imposed by reason of the owner's failure to claim the property within a
specified time unless:
(1) there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the holder and
the owner that allows the holder to impose the charge; and

(2) the holder regularly imposes the charge, which is not regularly reversed
or otherwise canceled.


(b) Whenever the holder under this section is a financial institution, the
dormancy charges of the department of financial institutions apply.

Sec. 23.

(a) A record of the issuance of a check, draft, or similar instrument is prima
facie evidence of an obligation.

(b) When the attorney general claims property from a holder who is also the
issuer, the attorney general's burden of proof as to the existence and
amount of the property and the abandonment of the property is satisfied by
showing issuance of the instrument and passage of the requisite period of
abandonment.

(c) The defenses of payment, satisfaction, discharge, or want of
consideration are affirmative defenses that must be established by the
holder.

Sec. 24.

All tangible and intangible property held in a safe deposit box or any other
safekeeping depository in Indiana in the ordinary course of the holder's
business and the proceeds resulting from the sale of the property permitted
by other law, which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than five (5)
years after expiration of the lease or rental period on the box or other
depository, is presumed abandoned.

Sec. 25.

Any business association, banking organization, or financial institution
organized under Indiana law or created in this state and undergoing
voluntary dissolution shall file a notice of the voluntary dissolution with the
attorney general not later than ten (10) days after the adoption of the
resolution to dissolve by members or shareholders.

Sec. 26.

(a) A holder of property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as
unclaimed property under this chapter shall report in writing to the attorney
general concerning the property. Items of value of less than fifty dollars
($50) may be reported by the holder in the aggregate.

(b) For each item with a value of fifty dollars ($50) or more, the report
required under subsection (a) must be verified and include the following:
(1) Except with respect to traveler's checks and money orders, the
apparent owner's:
(A) name, if known;

(B) last known address, if any; and

(C) Social Security number or taxpayer identification number, if readily
ascertainable.


(2) In the case of the contents of a safe deposit box or other safekeeping
depository of tangible property:
(A) a description of the property;

(B) the place where the property is held and may be inspected by the
attorney general; and

(C) any amounts owing to the holder.


(3) The date:
(A) the property became payable, demandable, or returnable; and

(B) of the last transaction with the apparent owner with respect to the
property.


(4) Other information that the attorney general requires by rules adopted
under IC 4-22-2 as necessary for the administration of this chapter.


(c) If a holder of property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as
unclaimed property is a successor to another person who previously held
the property for the apparent owner or if the holder has changed its name
while holding the property, the holder shall file with the report the former
names of the holder, if any, and the known names and addresses of all
previous holders of the property.

(d) The report required by subsection (a) must be filed as follows:
(1) The report of a life insurance company must be filed before May 1 of
each year for the calendar year preceding the year in which the report is
filed.

(2) All other holders must file the report before November 1 of each year to
cover the year preceding July 1 of the year in which the report is filed.


(e) The holder of property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as
unclaimed property under this chapter shall send written notice to the
apparent owner, not more than one hundred twenty (120) days or less
than sixty (60) days before filing the report required by this section, stating
that the holder is in possession of property subject to this chapter if:
(1) the holder has a record of an address for the apparent owner that the
holder's records do not show as inaccurate;

(2) the claim of the apparent owner is not barred by the statute of
limitations; and

(3) the value of the property is at least fifty dollars ($50).


(f) Before the date of filing the report the holder may request the attorney
general to extend the time for filing the report. The attorney general may
grant the extension upon a showing of good cause. The holder, upon receipt
of the extension, may make an interim payment on the amount the holder
estimates will ultimately be due, which will suspend the accrual of interest on
the amount paid.

(g) The holder shall file with the report an affidavit stating that the holder has
complied with this section.

Sec. 27.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), on the date a report is
filed under section 26 of this chapter, the holder shall pay or deliver to the
attorney general the property described in the report as unclaimed.

(b) In the case of an automatically renewable deposit, if at the time of
delivery under subsection (a), a penalty or forfeiture in the payment of
interest would result from the delivery of the property, the time for delivery
is extended until the earliest date upon which a penalty or forfeiture would
not result.

(c) Tangible property held in a safe deposit box or other safekeeping
depository may not be delivered to the attorney general until one hundred
twenty (120) days after the date the report describing the property under
section 26 of this chapter is filed.

(d) If the property reported to the attorney general is a security or security
entitlement under IC 26-1-8.1, the attorney general is an appropriate
person to make an endorsement, instruction, or entitlement order on behalf
of the apparent owner to invoke the duty of the issuer or its transfer agent
or the securities intermediary to transfer or dispose of the security or the
security entitlement in accordance with IC 26-1-8.1.

(e) If the holder of property reported to the attorney general is the issuer of
a certificated security, the attorney general has the right to obtain a
replacement certificate under IC 26-1-8.1-405, but an indemnity bond is not
required.

(f) An issuer, the holder, and any transfer agent or other person acting
under the instructions of and on behalf of the issuer in accordance with this
section is not liable to the apparent owner and must be indemnified against
the claims of any person in accordance with section 29 of this chapter.

Sec. 28.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (e), the attorney general shall cause a
notice to be published not later than November 30 of the year immediately
following the year in which unclaimed property has been paid or delivered to
the attorney general.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), the notice required by subsection
(a) must be published at least once each week for two (2) successive
weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in
Indiana of the last known address of any person named in the notice.

(c) If the holder does not report an address for the apparent owner, or
reports an address outside Indiana, the notice must be published in the
county in which the holder has its principal place of business within Indiana or
such other county as the attorney general may reasonably select.

(d) The advertised notice required by this section must be in a form that, in
the judgment of the attorney general, will attract the attention of the
apparent owner of the unclaimed property and must contain the following
information:
(1) The name of each person appearing to be an owner of property
presumed abandoned, as set forth in the report filed by the holder.

(2) The last known address or location of each person appearing to be an
owner of property presumed abandoned, if an address or a location is set
forth in the report filed by the holder.

(3) A statement explaining that property of the owner is presumed to be
abandoned and has been taken into the protective custody of the attorney
general.

(4) A statement that information about the abandoned property and its
return to the owner is available to a person having a legal or beneficial
interest in the property, upon request to the attorney general.


(e) The attorney general is not required to publish the following in the
notice:
(1) Any item of less than fifty dollars ($50) in value.

(2) Information concerning a traveler's check, money order, or similar
instrument.

Sec. 29.


(a) For purposes of this section, payment or delivery is made in good faith
if:
(1) payment or delivery was made in a reasonable attempt to comply with
this chapter;

(2) the holder was not a fiduciary then in breach of trust with respect to the
property and had a reasonable basis for believing, based on the facts then
known, that the property was abandoned; and

(3) there is no showing that the records under which the delivery was made
did not meet reasonable commercial standards of practice in the industry.


(b) Upon the payment or delivery of property to the attorney general, the
state assumes custody and responsibility for the safekeeping of the
property. A holder who pays or delivers property to the attorney general in
good faith is relieved of all liability with respect to the property after the
payment and delivery.

(c) A holder who has paid money to the attorney general under this chapter
may later make payment to a person who, in the opinion of the holder,
appears to be entitled to payment. The attorney general shall promptly
reimburse the holder for the payment without imposing a fee or other
charge when the holder files proof of payment and proof that the payee was
entitled to the payment. If reimbursement is sought for a payment made on
a negotiable instrument, including a traveler's check or money order, the
holder must be reimbursed upon filing proof that the instrument was duly
presented and that payment was made to a person who appeared to be
entitled to payment. The holder must be reimbursed for payment made
even if the payment was made to a person whose claim was barred under
section 42 of this chapter.

(d) A holder who has delivered property, including a certificate of any
interest in a business association, other than money to the attorney general
under this chapter may reclaim the property if the property is still in the
possession of the attorney general, without paying a fee or other charge,
upon filing proof that the apparent owner has claimed the property from the
holder.

(e) The attorney general may accept the holder's affidavit as sufficient proof
of the holder's right to recover money and property under this section.

(f) If the holder pays or delivers property to the attorney general in good
faith and later another person claims the property from the holder or
another state claims the money or property under that state's laws relating
to escheat or abandoned or unclaimed property, the attorney general, upon
written notice of the claim, shall defend the holder against the claim and
indemnify the holder against any liability on the claim.

(g) Property removed from a safe deposit box or other safekeeping
depository is received by the attorney general subject to the holder's right
to be reimbursed for the cost of the opening and reasonable expenses
incurred in determining the current addresses of owners for whom the last
previous address contained in the holder's records appears to be inaccurate.
The property is subject to any valid lien or contract providing for the holder
to be reimbursed for unpaid rent or storage charges. The attorney general
shall reimburse or pay the holder out of the proceeds remaining after
deducting the attorney general's cost of selling the property.

Sec. 30.

If property other than money is paid or delivered to the attorney general
under this chapter, the owner is entitled to receive from the attorney
general any dividends, interest, or other increments realized or accruing on
the property at or before delivery to the attorney general. The owner is not
entitled to receive dividends, interest, or other increments accruing after
delivery of the property to the attorney general unless the property was
paid or delivered under section 40(b) of this chapter.

Sec. 31.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), the attorney general, not
later than three (3) years after the receipt of abandoned property, shall sell
the property to the highest bidder at public sale in a city in Indiana that in the
judgment of the attorney general affords the most favorable market for the
property. The attorney general may decline the highest bid and reoffer the
property for sale if in the judgment of the attorney general the bid is
insufficient. If in the judgment of the attorney general the probable cost of
sale exceeds the value of the property, the property need not be offered for
sale. A sale held under this section must be preceded by one (1) publication
of notice, at least three (3) weeks before the sale, in a newspaper of
general circulation published in the county in which the property is to be sold.

(b) If the property is of a type that is customarily sold on a recognized
market or that is subject to widely distributed standard price quotations, and
if in the opinion of the attorney general the probable cost of a public sale to
the highest bidder would:
(1) exceed the value of the property; or

(2) result in a net loss; the attorney general may sell the property privately,
without notice by publication, at or above the prevailing price for the
property at the time of sale.


(c) All securities shall be sold as soon as reasonably possible following
receipt. If a valid claim is made for any securities in the possession of the
attorney general, the attorney general may:
(1) transfer the securities to the claimant; or

(2) pay the claimant the value of the securities as of the date the securities
were delivered to the attorney general.


Notice of the sale of securities is not required. Securities listed on an
established stock exchange must be sold at prices prevailing at the time of
sale on the stock exchange. Other securities may be sold over the counter
at prices prevailing at the time of sale or by any other method the attorney
general considers reasonable.


(d) A purchaser of property at a sale conducted by the attorney general
under this chapter takes the property free of all claims of the owner or
previous holder and of all persons claiming through or under them. The
attorney general shall execute all documents necessary to complete the
transfer of ownership.

(e) A person does not have a claim against the attorney general for any
appreciation of property after the property is delivered to the attorney
general, except in case of intentional misconduct or malfeasance by the
attorney general.

Sec. 32.

(a) All money received by the attorney general under section 40(b) of this
chapter shall be delivered to the treasurer of state for deposit in the
property custody fund established under this section. Subject to any claim of
the owner allowed by the attorney general under this chapter, the money
shall be held in the property custody fund for safekeeping until the date the
money is presumed abandoned under sections 20 and 24 of this chapter
and transferred to the abandoned property fund as required by this section.

(b) On the publication date for the notice prescribed under section 28 of this
chapter that follows the date on which the property is presumed to be
abandoned, the attorney general shall publish the notice required under
section 28 of this chapter. The notice shall specify the latest date the
apparent owner may claim the property from the property custody fund.
Notice must also be mailed to each person having a last known address
listed in the report filed under section 26 of this chapter.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d), not later than twenty-five (25)
days after the date specified in the notice under subsection (b), the
treasurer of state, upon order of the attorney general, shall transfer the
principal of the property custody fund to the abandoned property fund
created by section 33 of this chapter.

(d) The attorney general may allow a claim of the apparent owner before
the principal of the property custody fund is transferred to the abandoned
property fund under subsection (c). After the twenty-five (25) days have
elapsed under subsection (c), the funds are considered abandoned property
instead of property received under section 40(b) of this chapter for
purposes of this chapter.

Sec. 33.

(a) Except as provided in section 32 of this chapter and subsection (b),
money received by the attorney general under this chapter, including the
proceeds from the sale of abandoned property under section 31 of this
chapter, shall be transferred by the attorney general to the treasurer of
state for deposit in the abandoned property fund established under this
section.

(b) Money received under this chapter that was originally drawn from a fund
under the control of a local unit of government shall be transferred to the
fund from which the money was originally drawn.

Sec. 34.

(a) Except as provided in section 43(d) of this chapter, the treasurer of
state shall, on order of the attorney general, pay the necessary costs of the
following:
(1) Selling abandoned property.

(2) Mailing notices.

(3) Making publications required by this chapter.

(4) Paying other operating expenses and administrative expenses, including:
(A) salaries and wages reasonably incurred by the attorney general in the
administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; and

(B) costs incurred in examining records of holders of property and in
collecting the property from holders.


(b) Whenever the balance of the principal of the abandoned property fund
exceeds five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), the treasurer of state
may, and at least once each fiscal year shall, transfer to the common school
fund of the state the balance of the principal of the abandoned property fund
that exceeds five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).

(c) If a claim is allowed or a refund is ordered under this chapter that is
more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), the treasurer of state
shall transfer from the state general fund sufficient money to make prompt
payment of the claim. There is appropriated sufficient money to the
treasurer of state to implement this subsection.

(d) Before making a deposit into the abandoned property fund, the attorney
general shall record the name and last known address of each person
appearing from the holder's reports to be entitled to the abandoned
property, and the name and last known address of each insured person or
annuitant, and with respect to each policy or contract listed in the report of
a life insurance company, its number, the name of the corporation, and the
amount due.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (f), earnings on the property custody
fund and the abandoned property fund shall be credited to each fund.

(f) On July 1 of each year, the interest balance in the property custody fund
and the abandoned property fund shall be transferred to the state general
fund.

Sec. 35.

(a) The treasurer of state shall keep safely the money in the property
custody fund and the abandoned property fund, and the money shall not be
transferred or assigned except as specifically authorized and directed in this
chapter. At any time, upon certification of the attorney general and the
treasurer of state that there is cash on deposit in either fund in excess of the
cash requirements of the fund anticipated for the next succeeding
semiannual fiscal period, the state board of finance may authorize the
treasurer of state to invest and reinvest the money as authorized for other
funds of the state by IC 5-13, including the purchase of certificates of
deposit, provided that an investment shall not be made in a certificate of
deposit with a maturity or redemption date that is more than six (6) months
after the date of purchase, subscription, or deposit. Any interest or other
accretions derived from investments made under this subsection become a
part of the fund invested.

(b) Sufficient money from the abandoned property fund is appropriated to
the treasurer of state to pay claims, costs, and expenses ordered paid from
the abandoned property fund under this chapter, and sufficient money from
the property custody fund is hereby appropriated to the treasurer of state
to pay claims ordered paid from the property custody fund under this
chapter.

Sec. 36.

(a) A person, not including another state, claiming an interest in property
paid or delivered to the attorney general may file a claim on a form
prescribed by the attorney general and verified by the claimant.

(b) Not later than ninety (90) days after a claim is filed, the attorney general
shall:
(1) consider the claim; and

(2) give written notice to the claimant that the claim is granted or the claim
is denied in whole or in part.


(c) Not later than thirty (30) days after a claim is allowed, the attorney
general shall pay over or deliver to the claimant the property or the net
proceeds of the sale of property if the property has been sold by the
attorney general, together with any additional amount to which the claimant
may be entitled under section 30 of this chapter.

(d) A holder who pays the owner for property that has been delivered to the
state and that, if claimed from the attorney general by the owner, would be
subject to an increment under section 30 of this chapter shall recover the
amount of such increment from the attorney general.

(e) A person may file a claim under subsection (a) at any time within twenty-
five (25) years after the date on which the property was first presumed
abandoned under this chapter, notwithstanding the expiration of any other
time specified by statute, contract, or court order during which an action or
a proceeding may be commenced or enforced to obtain payment of a claim
for money or recovery of property.

Sec. 37.

(a) At any time within twenty-five (25) years after the date on which the
property was presumed abandoned under this chapter, notwithstanding the
expiration of any other time specified by statute, contract, or court order
during which an action or proceeding may be commenced or enforced to
obtain payment of a claim for money or recovery of property, another state
may recover the property if:
(1) the property was delivered to the custody of this state because the
records of the holder did not reflect the last known address of the apparent
owner when the property was presumed abandoned under this chapter,
and:
(A) the other state establishes that the last known address of the apparent
owner or other person entitled to the property was in that state; and

(B) under the laws of that state the property escheated to or was subject
to a claim of abandonment by that state;


(2) the property was paid or delivered to the custody of this state because
the laws of the other state did not provide for the escheat or custodial
taking of the property, and under the laws of that state subsequently
enacted the property has escheated to or become subject to a claim of
abandonment by that state;

(3) the records of the holder did not accurately identify the owner of the
property and:
(A) the last known address of the owner is in the other state; and

(B) under the laws of the other state the property escheated to or was
subject to a claim of abandonment by that state;


(4) the property was subject to custody by this state under section 21(7)
of this chapter and under the laws of the state of domicile of the holder the
property has escheated to or become subject to a claim of abandonment by
that state; or

(5) the property is a sum payable on a traveler's check, money order, or
similar instrument that was delivered into the custody of this state under
section 21(7) of this chapter, and:
(A) the instrument was purchased in the other state; and

(B) under the laws of the other state the property escheated to or is subject
to a claim of abandonment by that state.


(b) A claim of another state to recover escheated or abandoned property
must be presented in a form prescribed by the attorney general, who shall
consider the claim and give written notice not more than ninety (90)days
after the presentation of the claim to the other state that the claim is
granted or denied in whole or in part. The attorney general shall allow the
claim upon a determination that the other state is entitled to the abandoned
property under subsection (a).

(c) The attorney general shall require another state, before recovering
property under this section, to agree to indemnify this state and its officers
and employees against any liability on a claim for the property.

Sec. 38.1.

A person:

(1) aggrieved by a decision of the attorney general; or

(2) whose claim has not been acted upon within ninety (90) days after its
filing; under this chapter, may maintain an original action to establish the
claim in a court with jurisdiction, naming the attorney general as a
defendant.

Sec. 40.

(a) The attorney general may decline to receive property reported under this
chapter that the attorney general considers to have a value less than the
expenses of notice and sale.

(b) A holder, with the written consent of the attorney general and upon
conditions and terms prescribed by the attorney general, may report and
deliver property before the property is presumed abandoned. Property
delivered under this subsection must be held by the attorney general as set
forth under section 32 of this chapter, and is not presumed abandoned until
the property otherwise would be presumed abandoned under this chapter.

Sec. 41.

If the attorney general determines after investigation that property delivered
under this chapter has no substantial commercial value, the attorney general
may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property at any time. An action or
a proceeding may not be maintained against the state, an officer of the
state, or the holder for or on account of any acts taken by the attorney
general under this section, except for acts constituting intentional
misconduct or malfeasance.

Sec. 42.

(a) The expiration, before or after July 1, 1996, of any time specified by
contract, statute, or court order, during which a claim for money or
property can be made or an action or a proceeding may be commenced or
enforced to obtain payment of a claim for money or to recover property,
does not preclude the money or property from being presumed abandoned
or affect any duty to file a report or to pay or deliver abandoned property to
the attorney general as required by this chapter.

(b) An action or a proceeding may not be commenced by the attorney
general to enforce the provisions of this chapter more than ten (10) years
after the holder either specifically reported the property to the attorney
general or gave express notice to the attorney general of a dispute
regarding the property. In the absence of a report the period of limitations is
tolled. The period of limitations is also tolled by the filing of a false or
fraudulent report.

Sec. 43.

(a) The attorney general may require a person who has not filed a report, or
a person who the attorney general believes has filed an inaccurate, an
incomplete, or a false report, to file a verified report in a form prescribed by
the attorney general stating the following:
(1) Whether the person is holding any unclaimed property reportable or
deliverable under this chapter.

(2) Describing any property not previously reported or as to which the
attorney general has made inquiry.

(3) Specifically identifying and stating the amounts of property that may be
in issue.


(b) The attorney general, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice,
may examine the records of a person to determine whether the person has
complied with this chapter. The attorney general may conduct the
examination even if the person believes the person is not in possession of
any property reportable or deliverable under this chapter. When making an
examination under this chapter the attorney general may retain attorneys,
appraisers, independent actuaries, independent certified public accountants,
or other professionals and specialists as examiners.

(c) The attorney general may examine the records of an agent, including a
dividend disbursing agent or transfer agent, of a business association that is
the holder of property presumed abandoned if the attorney general has
given the notice required by subsection (b) to both the business association
and the agent at least ninety (90) days before the examination.

(d) If an examination of the records of a person results in the disclosure of
property reportable and deliverable under this chapter, the attorney general
may assess the cost of the examination against the holder at the rate of
two hundred dollars ($200) a day for each examiner. The cost of the
examination made under subsection (c) may be imposed only against the
business association.

(e) If a holder fails after July 1, 1996, to maintain the records required under
section 44 of this chapter and the available records of the holder are
insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, the attorney general may
require the holder to report and pay such amounts as may reasonably be
estimated from any available records of the holder or on the basis of any
other reasonable estimating technique that the attorney general may select.

Sec. 44.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and subject to rules adopted by the
attorney general under IC 4-22-2, a holder required to file a report under
section 26 of this chapter as to any property for which the holder has the
last known address of the owner shall maintain a record of the information
required to be in the report for at least ten (10) years after the property
becomes reportable.

(b) A business association that sells in Indiana traveler's checks, money
orders, or other similar written instruments, other than third-party bank
checks on which the business association is directly liable, or that provides
those instruments to others for sale in Indiana, shall maintain a record of
outstanding instruments indicating the state and date of issue for at least
three (3) years after the date the property is reportable.

Sec. 45.

The attorney general may maintain an action in a court of competent
jurisdiction to enforce this chapter.

Sec. 46.

(a) The attorney general may enter into agreements with other states to
exchange information relating to unclaimed property or the possible
existence of unclaimed property. The agreements may permit other states,
or a person acting on behalf of a state, to examine records as authorized in
section 43 of this chapter. The attorney general may by rule require the
reporting of information needed to enable compliance with agreements
made under this section and prescribe the form.

(b) The attorney general may join with other states to seek enforcement of
this chapter against a person who is or may be holding property reportable
under this chapter.

(c) At the request of another state, the attorney general may commence an
action on behalf of the administrator of the other state to enforce in Indiana
the unclaimed property laws of the other state against a holder of property
subject to escheat or a claim of abandonment by the other state, if the
other state has agreed to pay expenses incurred by the attorney general in
maintaining the action.

(d) The attorney general may request that the attorney general of another
state or any other attorney commence an action on behalf of the attorney
general in another state. The attorney general may retain another attorney
to commence an action in Indiana on behalf of the attorney general. This
state shall pay all expenses including attorney's fees in maintaining an action
under this subsection. With the attorney general's approval, the expenses
and attorney's fees may be paid from money received under this chapter.
The attorney general may agree to pay the person bringing the action
attorney's fees based in whole or in part on a percentage of the value of any
property recovered in the action. Expenses or attorney's fees paid under this
subsection may not be deducted from the amount that is subject to the
claim by the owner under this chapter.

(e) Documents and working papers obtained or compiled by the attorney
general or the attorney general's agents, employees, or designated
representatives in the course of conducting an audit under section 43 of this
chapter are confidential and are not public records except:
(1) when used by the attorney general to maintain an action to collect
unclaimed property or otherwise enforce this chapter;

(2) when used in joint audits conducted with or under agreements with
other states, the federal government, or other governmental entities; or

(3) pursuant to subpoena or court order.
The documents and working papers may be disclosed to the abandoned
property office of another state for that state's use in circumstances
equivalent to those described in this subsection if the other state is bound to
keep the documents and papers confidential.


(f) The attorney general's final completed audit reports are public records,
available for inspection and copying under IC 5-14-3. A final report may not
contain confidential documentation or working papers unless an exception
under subsection (e) applies.

Sec. 47.

(a) A holder that fails to pay or deliver the property within the time required
by this chapter shall pay to the attorney general interest for the time the
holder is delinquent at the following rates:
(1) The annual interest rate for a period of one (1) year or less after the
time required by this chapter for payment or delivery of the property is:
(A) the one (1) year Treasury Bill rate published in the Wall Street Journal or
its successor on the third Tuesday of the month the remittance was due; plus

(B) one (1) percentage point.


(2) The interest rate for each year after the time set forth in subdivision (1)
is:
(A) the one (1) year Treasury Bill rate published in the Wall Street Journal or
its successor on the third Tuesday of the immediately preceding anniversary
month and year; plus

(B) one (1) percentage point.


For purposes of this subdivision, anniversary month and year means the
anniversary of the date the property was due to be paid or delivered under
this chapter.


(b) A holder who fails to render any report or perform other duties required
under this chapter shall pay a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for
each day for the first fifteen (15) days that the report is withheld or the duty
not performed. Thereafter the holder shall pay a civil penalty the greater of:
(1) one hundred dollars ($100) a day for each additional day, not to exceed
five thousand dollars ($5,000); or

(2) ten percent (10%) of the value of the property at issue not to exceed
five thousand dollars ($5,000). Upon a showing by the holder of good cause
sufficient in the discretion of the attorney general to excuse the failure, the
attorney general may waive the penalty in whole or in part.


(c) A holder who knowingly or intentionally fails to pay or deliver property to
the attorney general as required under this chapter shall pay additionally a
civil penalty equal to ten percent (10%) of the value of the property that
must be paid or delivered under this chapter. If the attorney general believes
it is in the best interests for the administration of this chapter, the attorney
general may waive the penalty in whole or in part.

(d) A holder who willfully refuses after written demand by the attorney
general, to pay or deliver property to the attorney general as required under
this chapter commits a Class B misdemeanor.

Sec. 48.

(a) An agreement by an owner, the primary purpose of which is to pay
compensation to locate, deliver, recover, or assist in the recovery of
property presumed abandoned under this chapter that is entered into not
earlier than the date the property was presumed abandoned and not later
than twenty-four (24) months after the date the property is paid or
delivered to the attorney general is void and unenforceable. This subsection
does not apply to an owner's agreement with an attorney to file a claim as
to identified property or to contest the attorney general's denial of a claim.

(b) An agreement by an owner, the primary purpose of which is to locate,
deliver, recover, or assist in the recovery of property, is valid only if:
(1) the fee or compensation agreed upon is not more than ten percent
(10%) of the amount collected unless the amount collected is fifty dollars
($50) or less;

(2) the agreement is in writing;

(3) the agreement is signed by the apparent owner;

(4) the agreement clearly sets forth:
(A) the nature and value of the property; and

(B) the value of the apparent owner's share after the fee or compensation
has been deducted; and


(5) the agreement contains the provision set forth in subsection (d).

Ask Legal Question

Your Privacy is 100% Confidential!