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.