The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 27: Property

Chapter 14: UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

27 V.S.A. § 1242. Presumptions of abandonment



§ 1242. Presumptions 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 check, 15 years after issuance;

(2) money order, seven years after issuance;

(3) all forms of checks, or any similar instrument, three years after issuance;

(4) stock or other equity interest in a business association or financial organization, including a security entitlement under article 8 of Title 9A, 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;

(5) debt of a business association or financial organization, other than a bearer bond or an original issue discount bond, three years after the date of the most recent interest payment unclaimed by the apparent owner;

(6) a demand, savings, bank money order or time deposit, including a deposit that is automatically renewable, three years after the earlier of the maturity or the date of the last indication by the owner of interest in the property; however, a deposit that is automatically renewable is deemed matured for purposes of this section upon its initial date of maturity;

(7) money or credits owed to a customer as a result of a retail business transaction, three years after the obligation accrued;

(8) 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;

(9) property distributable by a business association or financial organization in a course of dissolution, one year after the property becomes distributable;

(10) property received by a court as proceeds of a class action, and not distributed pursuant to the judgment, one year after the distribution date;

(11) property held by a court, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, one year after the property becomes distributable;

(12) wages or other compensation for personal services, one year after the compensation becomes payable;

(13) deposit or refund owed to a subscriber by a utility, three years after the deposit or refund becomes payable;

(14) 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 earliest of the following dates:

(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; and

(15) 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 occurs first.

(b) At the time that an interest is presumed abandoned under subsection (a) of this section, 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) of this section, 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 interest in property includes:

(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, or in another account of the owner's held by the same business association or financial organization, 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;

(4) the payment of a premium with respect to a property interest in an insurance policy; however, 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;

(5) in the case of any demand, savings, or matured time deposits with a banking or financial organization, including deposits that are automatically renewable, the holder has sent the owner by first class mail a statement of account or other associated mailing from the bank or financial institution, which has not been returned by the postal service as undeliverable. In the event the mailing was returned as undeliverable, the property shall be considered abandoned three years after the return, unless the owner during that three years takes any action described in subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this subsection; and

(6) an electronic record of an internet account inquiry or action, when made via the use of the owner's unique personal identification information, may establish an indication of the owner's interest in the property, provided that the inquiry or action is traceable to the owner and not to a third party and was not caused by an event within the electronic system.

(e) Property is payable or distributable for purposes of this chapter notwithstanding the owner's failure to make demand or present an instrument or document otherwise required to obtain payment. (Added 2005, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)