By: Robert Grosshandler | October 1, 2020

The “use it or lose it” law

Escheatment is a big word that roughly translates to: if we have your property, and you abandon or don’t receive it, we have to give it away to your state. Sort of “use it or lose it”. But different.

Almost every state has laws governing lost or abandoned property. Fundamentally, the state is trying to protect its citizens who, for whatever reason, didn’t get something that they were owed, because of non-delivery.

It could be checks that were sent to you but were returned by the Post Office; it could be abandoned safe deposit boxes. I once visited Illinois’ abandoned property vault. They had war medals and suits of armor in there. It was really cool.

In preparation for writing this post, I checked out my state’s information about me and stuff they may have that I didn’t receive. Turns out there is some money just waiting for me. From 1991! Sent to a very old work address. Another chunk of money owed me had a different problem. It seems that there was a misspelling in the name of my city on a refund check (and I didn’t even know I was due a refund). Free money. Yowza!

If we don’t have an address for you, if we don’t know where you live, and you abandon property, iConsumer doesn’t really know what rules to follow (since we don’t which states’ rules apply).

We don’t like confusion. To help avoid confusion, we have rules of our own. One of those rules is: if you don’t have activity you’ve agreed that we can treat your account as a “dormant account”. It’s spelled out in our Terms of Service (I know you read our Terms cover to cover). For a dormant account, we’ll gradually reduce any amounts in your account until the account balance reaches zero.

Wake up your account

We have NOT done this process yet, but it’ll start this month. We’ll be sending out notices to those folks who’s accounts are dormant. Best way to make sure your account isn’t dormant? Go Shop!

P.S. This discussion does not apply to accounts you may hold at our transfer agent (currently Issuer Direct) or in your brokerage account. Issuer Direct and your brokerage firm administer their obligations under state escheatment laws separately from iConsumer.



Melissa M Weathersby, October 1, 2020 at 2:11 pm

I have been asking to have my shares sent to me, and I do not get an answer… I just want my shares… how can I get them sent to me, without SHOPPING more.

Linda McNulty, October 1, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Should I move my shares to a different source or is it best to leave with you?
I have moved to a different address since connecting with you years ago.

Linda McNulty, October 1, 2020 at 3:41 pm

I have moved to a different city since my startup with you.
Should I move my shares to a stock exchange?

    Robert Grosshandler, October 1, 2020 at 4:37 pm


    You’d move your shares first to the transfer agent, and then, if you have a broker who will take a deposit from you, into a stock brokerage account. Unless you want to sell your shares in the near future, moving them into a brokerage account doesn’t do much for you.

William Baumann, October 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm

How do I find out how much I have in my account?

Damon J Richardson, October 1, 2020 at 5:12 pm

I’ve been trying to cash out for awhile !

Lucretia, October 2, 2020 at 6:56 am

I want to sell mines

Brandi Clark, October 2, 2020 at 8:54 am

I don’t agree with that at all. This is a bully tactic to make us use the site for you. I don’t have time fpr certain things and this is one of them. Stop lying. Use it or lose it law… That how your getting at people. You greed is showing when you talk like this

    Robert Grosshandler, October 2, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, the state laws are very, very real. The states sue companies all the time if they don’t follow the escheatment laws (abandoned property laws). Here’s a link to Illinois’ site for abandoned property. You can understand why the states do it … it makes them into heroes.

    Sending your stock or cash to your state (if we even know what state you live in) is costly and messy. Not sending it probably means a lawsuit (very costly and very, very messy). Neither is good for our stockholders (you).

    When we launched, we wanted to make sure we avoided the problem, so from day one our terms have included language about dormant accounts that protects our shareholders (that’s still you) and hopefully makes the various states happy.

    You are so right that when we wrote those rules, we were glad that those laws give our members more incentive to continue to use iConsumer. That’s a good thing. More use means we get to pay our bills and helps to increase the value of our stock.

Reece mak, October 5, 2020 at 12:48 am

Do whatever you want. The company and the share are pretty much worthless. The preferred share is the non-voting power share. Even if I have 51%, I cannot even cast my vote to kick out the management that I don’t like. With the financial positions and the strategy the company has, the company will not grow at all. With the pandemic hit, the company is still hardly growing. I have been using other shopping referral apps because they are more user and policy friendly to members.

In the previous response from Mr. Grosshandler, he said that iconsumer is focusing on differentiating itself from other competitors, I think you guys did it. You guys just differentiate as a worst-run company and strategy in the referral app space. Differciattion is the process of distinguishing a product or service from others, to make it more attractive to a particular target market. By enforcing more useless rules to members, this makes your products more unattractive.

You guys just don’t even know how to run a negative cash-flow company, and this is why the company is difficult to get finance and attract new investors.

David, October 11, 2020 at 3:27 am

I am a relatively new member to iConsumer. Reading this post doesn’t give me a good feeling about this company. Characterizing escheatment as “use it or lose it” is a bit disingenuous. Escheatment is a process to ensure property does not remain in some kind of limbo land. A person dying with no will and no known heirs would result in property being in limbo. Escheatment is a way to preserve the property. Yes, in many cases, that does mean the state sits on the assets indefinitely. When it is a suit of armor or other physical items, they have to lock them down. When it is money, it is put into state funds. It is fair to say that the process of recovering assets varies greatly between states. But, calling it “use it or lose it” isn’t an accurate statement. I specifically object to the characterization that iConsumer doesn’t have address information on its members and wouldn’t know which state’s rules apply. My account has that information. Even if contact it lost with me, iConsumer would reference the state of the last known address. That isn’t difficult or time consuming. I recently discovered a utility deposit refund that got sent to the last known address the utility had, but it got lost because I switched units at that apartment complex before I formally moved in. That company followed proper escheatment procedures and turned over the funds to the state of the last known address. There is NO requirement that companies spend vast amounts of money trying to track down a person or his/her heirs. Further, the characterization that keeping records is too costly is absurd. In the era of electronic records, it is easy to maintain account information. You can flag accounts as “inactive” and if it remains in that status long enough, then you follow the applicable state’s escheatment rules. By going the path of dormant account practices, iConsumer is saying it doesn’t want to respect the property rights of its members. Not that I am expecting to die anytime soon, this dormant account practice would deprive potential heirs of the assets I may accumulate on this site. In other words, iConsumer has adopted a “use it or we steal it” policy.

    Robert Grosshandler, October 11, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Great post. I’d like to respond to one fundamental point.

    We DO have a problem with inadequate information. For MOST of our members, we do NOT have mailing addresses.

    As to separating folks from their earned property, I agree with you, that’s a terrible thing from almost any perspective. So we haven’t actually done anything yet, other than the post you’re commenting about.

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