Senator Elizabeth Warren Urges Changes to Help Consumers Recover Unclaimed Property

Washington, DC -(ENEWSPF)–July 8, 2016.  U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren today sent a letter raising concerns that the recent draft of the revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (UUPA) makes it too difficult for consumers to recover billions of dollars in unclaimed property. She called on the drafting committee to make several changes to the UUPA to better protect consumers.

“The revised UUPA could help consumers across the country more easily recover their unclaimed property,” Senator Warren wrote. “I urge the committee to prioritize the interests of consumers over corporations who stand to make millions if they can weaken unclaimed property laws.”

The letter notes that the Uniform Law Commission has described the UUPA as existing “to prevent people, ordinary people for the most part, from losing their rights to property that is justifiably theirs… The institutions that hold property are debtors. The real owners are the creditors. Safeguarding unclaimed property is a matter of protecting creditor’s rights.”

“Unfortunately, I am concerned that two pieces of the revised UUPA may not fully uphold these principles,” Senator Warren wrote.

The senator’s letter expressed concern that the current revised draft of the UUPA does not unequivocally include gift cards as unclaimed property and that it requires claimants to submit a paper copy of a death certificate to companies before those companies will begin determining whether property is abandoned. Senator Warren urged the drafting committee to address these concerns, as well as to consider additional consumer protections including shortening the time between the abandonment of property and deeming the property unclaimed, removing fees for claiming property, and prohibiting the use of different timelines for deeming property unclaimed based on payment method.

Read a PDF copy of Senator Warren’s letter here.