TITLE 12

Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Descent and Distribution; Escheat

CHAPTER 11. ESCHEATS

Subchapter II. Abandoned or Unclaimed Property


As used in this subchapter:

"Banking organization'' includes any organization, corporation or association organized and existing under Chapter 7, 15 or 17 of Title 5 or the corresponding provisions of statutes in effect prior to February 12, 1953, or any bank or credit union created under the laws of the United States or any state.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1130; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 267, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 327, § 49.;

(a) Subject to limitations contained in § 6102(s) of Title 29, the State Escheator shall deposit into the General Fund all moneys or proceeds of property received pursuant to this subchapter.

(b) The payment of all claims, the right to which is established pursuant to this subchapter, shall be made from the General Fund upon voucher signed by the State Escheator.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1131; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 48B; 60 Del. Laws, c. 598, § 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 79, § 29.;

The expiration of any period of time specified by law during which an action or proceeding may be commenced or enforced to secure payment of a claim for money or recovery of property shall not prevent any money or property from being deemed abandoned property as defined in this subchapter, nor affect any duty to file a report required by this subchapter or to pay or deliver to the State Escheator any such abandoned property, and shall not serve as a defense in any action or proceeding by or on behalf of the State Escheator to compel the filing of any report or the payment or delivery of any abandoned property required by this subchapter or to enforce or collect any penalty provided by this subchapter.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1140; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1.;

The State Escheator shall maintain a public record of all names and last known addresses of the person or persons appearing to be entitled to abandoned property paid or delivered to the State Escheator pursuant to this chapter. Other identifying information set forth in any report or record made or delivered to the State Escheator shall be retained by the State Escheator but shall be considered confidential and may be disclosed only in the discretion of the State Escheator. The State Escheator shall not reveal the amount of any abandoned property, except to a person who has presented satisfactory proof of an interest in or title to such property or except for purposes directly connected with the administration of this chapter.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1141; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 2, § 1.;

(a) In the month of October of each year the State Escheator shall publish in a daily newspaper of this State a statement of abandoned or unclaimed property or funds paid to the Escheator during the 12 months ending July 1 next preceding such publication which shall not have been paid to claimants and which shall not have been previously advertised under the provisions of § 1161, § 1172 or § 1183 of this title.

(b) Such statement shall be in such form and classified in such manner as the State Escheator shall determine, except that names of persons appearing to be entitled to any such abandoned property shall be listed in alphabetical order within each such classification.

(c) Such statement shall set forth:

(1) The names and last known addresses of all persons appearing from the records in the State Escheator's office to be entitled to receive such abandoned property consisting of money not less than $10 in amount;

(2) The names and last known addresses of all persons appearing from the records in the State Escheator's office to be entitled to receive such abandoned property consisting of personal property other than money and which the State Escheator shall not have determined, as provided in § 1143 of this title, to be valueless or of such little value that a sale thereof would cost in excess of the probable proceeds therefrom;

(3) Where any such abandoned property consisted of personal property other than money and was converted into money pursuant to § 1143 of this title and such money amounts to $10 or more, the names and last known addresses of the persons appearing from the records in the State Escheator's office to be entitled to receive the same;

(4) Such other information as the State Escheator may determine; and

(5) A statement:

a. That a public record is maintained in the office of the State Escheator of all abandoned property in accordance with § 1141 of this title; and

b. That a claim for any such abandoned property should be filed with the State Escheator at the Escheator's office in the City of Wilmington.

(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the State Escheator may omit from such statement the name and last known address of any person where special circumstances make it desirable that such information be withheld.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1142; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 4.;

(a) All abandoned property, other than money, delivered to the State Escheator pursuant to this subchapter may be sold or disposed of at public auction to the highest bidder or in such manner and at such times as the State Escheator, in the Escheator's discretion, shall determine to be in the best interest of the State. In the case of stocks, bonds or other securities, disposition may be made by sale through a registered broker on a recognized securities exchange or over the counter market or, if there is no ready market for such security, by negotiation or public auction.

(b) The proceeds from the sale of any such abandoned property, less all costs incurred in connection with such sale, shall be held in the place of such property and any claimant for abandoned property shall be entitled only to the money so received, less lawful service charges.

(c) The State Escheator shall not be liable in any action for any act made in good faith pursuant to this section.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1143; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 16, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 245, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The care and custody, subject only to the duty of conversion prescribed in § 1143 of this title, of all abandoned property paid to the State Escheator is assumed for the benefit of those entitled to receive the same and the State shall hold itself responsible for the payment of all claims established thereto pursuant to law, less any lawful deductions, which cannot be paid from the General Fund.

(b) Any person, court, copartnership, unincorporated association or corporation making a payment of abandoned property to the State Escheator shall immediately and thereafter be relieved and held harmless from any or all liability for the property so paid and no action shall be maintained against them or it for:

(1) The recovery of abandoned property paid to the State Escheator pursuant to this subchapter or for interest thereon subsequent to the date of the report of such abandoned property to the State Escheator pursuant to this subchapter; and

(2) Damages alleged to have resulted from any such payment.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve any person, court, copartnership, unincorporated association or corporation from liability for:

(1) Any property not paid to the State Escheator;

(2) Damages for negligence or the mishandling of funds or property prior to the time such funds or property are paid to the State Escheator.

(d) Whenever it appears to the satisfaction of the State Escheator that because of some mistake of fact, error in calculation or erroneous interpretation of a statute any person has paid or delivered to the State Escheator, pursuant to any provision of this subchapter, any moneys or other property not required by this subchapter to be so paid or delivered, the Escheator shall have power, during the 6 years immediately succeeding such erroneous payment or delivery, to refund or redeliver such moneys or other property to such person; provided that such moneys or property shall not have been paid or delivered to a claimant or otherwise disposed of in accordance with this subchapter. Any such cash refund shall be paid from the General Fund without the deduction of any service charge. The State Escheator shall not be liable for any interest or other charge for the money or property so refunded or redelivered.

(e) Whenever, because of some mistake of fact, error in calculation or erroneous interpretation of a statute, any person pays or delivers to the State Escheator any moneys or other property not required by this subchapter to be so paid or delivered, such moneys or other property shall, for the purposes of this subchapter, be deemed to be abandoned property, unless and until refunded or redelivered by the State Escheator to the person who paid or delivered the same.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1144; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 598, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person entitled to or owner of abandoned property shall be entitled to receive interest on account of such abandoned property from and after the date a report of such abandoned property is made to the State Escheator pursuant to this subchapter whether or not the person was entitled to interest on such property prior to such date.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1145; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Claim may be filed with the State Escheator for any abandoned property amounting to over $3 paid to the State Escheator pursuant to this subchapter.

(b) The State Escheator shall possess full and complete authority to determine all such claims and shall forthwith send written notice of such determination to the claimant. At any time within 4 months thereafter such claimant may apply for a hearing and determination of claim by the Tax Appeal Board. The procedure before the Tax Appeal Board for such hearings shall be the same as that provided for by § 329 of Title 30 and the Board shall have the same power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence as is provided in § 330 of Title 30.

(c) Within 30 days after notice of a decision upon such hearing, the State Escheator or any claimant may appeal such decision to the Court of Chancery upon notice to all parties to the proceeding before the Tax Appeal Board and upon such other notice as the Court of Chancery may order.

(d) The Court of Chancery may make such rules as it may deem proper for the perfection, hearing and determination of such appeals.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1146; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 718, § 18; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 48C; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any claim which is allowed by, or ordered to be paid by, the State Escheator pursuant to § 1146 of this title, together with such costs and disbursements as may be allowed by the Court or the Tax Appeal Board, shall be paid out of the General Fund and the State Escheator shall not be liable in any action for any claim paid in good faith.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1147; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 48C; 60 Del. Laws, c. 598, §§ 4, 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any report required to be verified by this subchapter shall be verified if made by a person, by such person, if made by a partnership, by 1 of the members thereof, if made by an unincorporated association or private corporation, by 1 principal officer thereof if made by a public corporation, by the chief fiscal officer thereof and if made by a court, by a judge or the clerk of such court.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1148; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1.;

Any amount paid by a person to a newspaper or newspapers for any publication of names as required by this subchapter may be charged equally against all abandoned property held or owing by such person at the time of such publication, except abandoned property of individual amounts of less than $25.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1149; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1.;

Any notice required by this subchapter shall be published in such newspapers as shall be designated by the State Escheator.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1150; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1.;

The State Escheator may waive the publication of any notice required by this subchapter, except a notice required by § 1142 of this title, whenever in the Escheator's opinion the cost of publishing such notice would be unreasonable in relation to the amount of abandoned property.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1151; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

epealed by 73 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 3, effective July 22, 2002, and effective for reports filed or required to be filed on or after July 22, 2002;

The making of a wilful false oath in any report required under this subchapter shall be perjury and punishable as such according to law.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1153; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1.;

The State Escheator may make such rules and regulations as the Escheator may deem necessary to enforce this subchapter.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1154; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The State Escheator may at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice examine the records of any person or business association or organization to determine whether the person has complied with any provision of this chapter and may by summons require the attendance of any person having knowledge in the premises, and may take testimony and require proof material for the investigation, with the power to administer oaths to such person or persons; provided, however, that the State Bank Commissioner shall act on behalf of the State Escheator with regard to examinations of banking organizations. The State Escheator is authorized to reimburse the State Bank Commissioner for the cost of examinations undertaken on the Commissioner's behalf and may pay for such reimbursement out of custodian accounts held for the State Escheator. The State Escheator may disclose such information as the Escheator possesses to the State Bank Commissioner as may aid in the Commissioner's examination of any banking organization and may disclose any information received from the State Bank Commissioner as may be required:

(1) In conjunction with enforcement proceedings; or

(2) In summary form to the extent necessary for the proper disposition of the property.

Where the records of the holder available for the periods subject to this chapter are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, the State Escheator may require the holder to report and pay to the State the amount of abandoned or unclaimed property that should have been but was not reported that the State Escheator reasonably estimates to be due and owing on the basis of any available records of the holder or by any other reasonable method of estimation.

67 Del. Laws, c. 267, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 4.;

(a) If, after examining any report required by this chapter and filed by or on behalf of a holder (as defined in § 1198 of this title) or after the conclusion of an examination of a holder, the Abandoned Property Audit Manager (hereinafter the "Audit Manager'') determines that a holder has underreported abandoned or unclaimed property due and owing under this chapter, the Audit Manager shall mail a statement of findings and request for payment to the holder that filed, or on whose behalf the report was filed, or that was the subject of an examination. Sixty days after the date on which the Audit Manager mails a statement of findings and request for payment, it shall constitute the Audit Manager's final determination of the amount of the holder's liability, including interest and penalties, if any, for the abandoned or unclaimed property specified in the statement of findings and request for payment, excepting only the property types and amounts included in the statement of findings and request for payment as to which the holder files a timely protest with the Audit Manager pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The State Escheator may thereafter enforce any final determination in accordance with subsection (k) of this section.

(b) Within 60 days after the date of the mailing of a statement of findings and request for payment under subsection (a) of this section the holder may file with the Audit Manager a written protest of the statement of findings and request for payment in which the holder shall set forth the property type or types and amount of abandoned or unclaimed property protested, and the specific grounds upon which the protest is based. The protest is intended to allow the holder to have its objections to the final request for payment reconsidered in the first instance internally within the Department of Finance by the Audit Manager as a means of expediting resolution of any dispute. If the holder elects to file a protest and to have its objections to the final request for payment reconsidered internally within the Department of Finance, as provided by subsections (b) through (k) of this section, the holder shall exhaust these administrative remedies before initiating any proceeding in any Delaware court of competent jurisdiction.

(c) The only matters that the Audit Manager shall reconsider on a protest are those property types, amounts and issues related to the examination that are set out in the written protest of the holder. The holder shall remit with the protest any abandoned or unclaimed property liability attributable to property types for which payment is requested in the statement of findings and request for payment that are not protested and shall also remit with the protest the amount of abandoned or unclaimed property liability, if any, that the holder believes to be due and owing with respect to the property types or liability that are the subject of the protest. The pendency of a protest shall not prevent the accrual of interest on any protested amount finally found to be due and owing. Holders may remit the entire amount in the statement of findings and request for payment in order to prevent the accrual of additional interest without waiving any rights for reconsideration or review of protested amounts under subsections (a) through (j) of this section, and such remittance shall be subject to refund, without interest, to the extent not finally determined to be due and owing. Failure to remit amounts required by this subsection shall result in termination of the protest and the State Escheator may thereafter enforce any final determination in accordance with subsection (k) of this section.

(d) The holder may submit additional documentation and written submissions to the Audit Manager in support of the protest, provided, however, that such additional documentation and written submissions shall be made no later than 30 days following receipt of the holder's protest. The Audit Manager may convene meetings with the holder to facilitate review of the statement of findings and request for payment and the protest thereof.

(e) The Audit Manager shall, within 60 days of the receipt of the holder's protest, or if additional documentation is submitted, no later than 90 days after the receipt of the holder's protest, make a written determination on the protest setting forth the Audit Manager's basis of any determination that is adverse, in whole or in part, to the holder, provided, however, that the time periods set forth in this subsection shall be subject to extension by the Audit Manager for good cause, but in no event shall any extension hereunder exceed 540 days from the day the Audit Manager received the holder's protest. The Audit Manager shall mail the written determination on the protest to the holder by certified or registered mail at the address set forth in the holder's protest.

(f) Thirty days after the date on which it is mailed, the determination by the Audit Manager of a holder's protest shall be final, unless within that time a holder files a notice of appeal with the Secretary of Finance. If the holder does not file a timely notice of appeal with the Secretary of Finance, the State Escheator may enforce any final determination in accordance with subsection (k) of this section. The notice of appeal shall set forth the holder's name, mailing address, telephone number, the name of the person or persons representing the holder, the mailing address and telephone number of such persons and the matters in which the holder asserts that the Audit Manager erred in the determination on the protest of the holder.

(g) After receipt of a holder's written notice of appeal, the Secretary of Finance shall as soon as practicable, but in no event later than 90 days after receipt, appoint a person who is not otherwise currently employed by the Department of Finance to act as an independent reviewer to consider the appeal of the Audit Manager's findings and make a written report to the Secretary of Finance. The independent reviewer shall be a former member of the Delaware judiciary, an individual who has been previously appointed and served as a master of any Delaware court, or an attorney licensed in the State who is qualified by experience or training to serve.

(h) The appeal to the independent reviewer is de novo on the record. The record on the appeal to the independent reviewer shall be based solely upon documents submitted during the course of the examination to the Audit Manager or a person who conducted an examination on the Audit Manager's behalf, other nonprivileged materials prepared by or for the Audit Manager during the conduct of an examination, expert reports submitted to the Audit Manager by the person filing a protest, other nonprivileged materials and expert reports prepared by or for the Audit Manager during the consideration of a protest.

(i) The independent reviewer shall hold an oral hearing on the appeal, which shall be held, absent agreement of the parties, within 90 days after the date on which the Secretary of Finance appoints the independent reviewer pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. At least 5 days prior to the oral hearing date, or at such other time ordered by the independent reviewer, the holder and Audit Manager shall each submit to the independent reviewer and each other a brief containing argument and referencing supporting documentation from the record before the Audit Manager or an explanation as to why such supporting documentation is not available. A decision in writing by the independent reviewer setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be submitted by the independent reviewer to the Secretary of Finance within 90 days from the date of the conclusion of the oral hearing or the completion of any post-hearing briefing requested by the independent reviewer, whichever is later. The independent reviewer shall assess costs, including the independent reviewer's fee, against a party or between the parties in the independent reviewer's discretion.

(j) The Secretary of Finance may adopt or reject the independent reviewer's determination in whole or in part. If the Secretary of Finance modifies or rejects, in whole or in part, the determination of the independent reviewer, the Secretary of Finance shall issue a decision in writing setting forth the basis of any rejection or modification of the determination of the independent reviewer. Within 60 days of the receipt by the Secretary of Finance of the independent reviewer's decision, a copy of the Secretary of Finance's determination, if any along with, the independent reviewer's written decision shall be sent to the holder by certified or registered mail at the address set forth in the holder's notice of appeal. The determination of the Secretary of Finance as to those liabilities that are the subject of the appeal shall be final as to the Department of Finance, and amounts determined to be due and owing shall be subject to collection by the State Escheator under subsection (k) of this section below if unpaid after the review. The holder may, within 30 days after the Secretary's written decision was mailed, appeal the Secretary's determination to the Court of Chancery. The Court's review shall be limited to whether the Secretary's determination was supported by substantial evidence on the record. If the Court determines that the record is insufficient for its review, it shall remand the case to the agency for further proceedings on the record.

(k) If any person refuses to pay or deliver property, including penalty or interest thereon, to the State Escheator as required by this chapter, the State Escheator may bring an action in the Court of Chancery in the county wherein the holder resides or has a principal place of business (or if none such exists, in New Castle County) to enforce such payment or delivery.

(l) Whenever a holder disputes whether reasonable cause exists for abating penalty or interest determined by the State Escheator to be due under this chapter, such holder may bring an action in the Court of Chancery for the purpose of showing an abuse of discretion by the State Escheator in making the determination that penalty or interest was due.

68 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 1.;

(a) All tangible personal property or intangible personal property, including choses in action in amounts certain, and all debts owed or entrusted funds or other property held by the federal government, or any federal agency, or any officer or appointee thereof, shall be presumed abandoned in this State if the last known address of the owner of the property is in this State and the property has remained unclaimed for 5 years.

(b) This section shall apply to all abandoned property held by the federal government, or any federal agency, or any officer or any appointee thereof, as of July 8, 1991, or at any time thereafter, regardless of when such property became presumptively abandoned.

68 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 14.;

(a) The State Escheator, as soon as is practicable after receipt of any report required by this chapter, shall examine it to determine if it is correct. If the Escheator finds that the report is not correct, the Escheator shall notify the holder in writing by certified or registered mail of the amount of any underreported abandoned or unclaimed property due and owing. Notice of the proposed deficiency in payment shall be mailed to the holder within 3 years from the date the report was filed. A report filed before the due date shall be deemed to have been filed on the due date for purposes of this section. No suit to enforce the payment of a deficiency in payment of abandoned or unclaimed property shall be brought under § 1156 of this title against a holder unless the notice of deficiency in payment is mailed to the holder within the 3-year period provided in this subsection. In the case of an omission of abandoned or unclaimed property from a report having a value in excess of 25% of the amount of abandoned or unclaimed property disclosed in a report, a notice of deficiency in payment may be mailed to the holder within 6 years from the date the report was filed.

(b) If no report is filed, or if a false or fraudulent report is filed with the intent to evade the obligation to pay over abandoned property, a notice of deficiency in payment may be mailed to the holder at any time.

(c) If the holder shall file an amended report changing or correcting the amount of any abandoned or unclaimed property previously reported, a notice of deficiency in payment may be mailed to the holder at any time within 2 years from the date the amended report is filed.

(d) Where, before the expiration of time prescribed in this section for the mailing of a notice of deficiency in payment, both the Escheator and the holder have consented in writing to the extension of the time within which a notice of deficiency in payment may be mailed, a notice of deficiency may be mailed at any time prior to the expiration of the time agreed upon. The time agreed upon may be extended by subsequent agreements in writing made before the expiration of the time previously agreed upon.

(e) The running of the period of limitations provided for in this section for the mailing of a notice of deficiency in payment shall, in a case under Title 11 of the United States Code, be suspended for the period during which the Escheator is prohibited by reason of such case from mailing a deficiency in payment plus 60 days.

73 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 1.;

(a) In the case of the failure to file any report required by this chapter on or before the due date prescribed therefor (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing), unless it is shown that such failure is due to reasonable cause and not wilful neglect, there shall be added to the amount of abandoned or unclaimed property required to be shown on the report 5% of the amount thereof if the failure is not for more than 1 month, with an additional 5% for each additional month or fraction thereof during which such failure continues, not to exceed 50% in the aggregate. For purposes of this section the amount of abandoned or unclaimed property required to be shown on any report shall be reduced by the amount of property which is paid on or before the date prescribed for payment of the abandoned or unclaimed property.

(b) In the case of the failure to pay the amount of abandoned or unclaimed property required to be shown on any report required by this chapter on or before the due date prescribed for the payment of such property (determined with regard to any extension of time for payment), unless it is shown that such failure is due to reasonable cause and not wilful neglect, there shall be added to the amount of such property required to be shown on any report 0.5% of the amount of such property if the failure is for not more than 1 month, with an additional 0.5% for each additional month or fraction thereof during which such failure continues, not to exceed 25% in the aggregate. For purposes of this subsection, the amount of property shown on any report shall be reduced by the amount of any property which is paid on or before the beginning of the month for which a calculation is made under this subsection.

(c) If any part of a deficiency in payment of abandoned or unclaimed property required to be shown on any report is due to fraud, there shall be added to the property required to be shown on the report an amount equal to 75% of the portion of the deficiency in payment which is attributable to fraud. The penalty prescribed by this section shall apply only in cases where a report of abandoned or unclaimed property is filed and only to that part of the deficiency in payment the Escheator establishes is attributable to fraud.

(d) Interest at .5% per month on outstanding unpaid amounts, including penalty shall accrue from the date the amounts or property were due under this subchapter until paid. Interest due in accordance with this subsection shall in no event exceed 50% of the amount required to be paid; provided, however, that penalties under subsection (a), (b) or (c) of this section shall not be deemed to be interest for purposes of this subsection.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1207; 58 Del. Laws, c. 426, § 12; 63 Del. Laws, c. 311, § 3; 68 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 6; 73 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 2.;

(a) The following property shall be deemed abandoned property:

(1) Any legacy, residue of intestate personal estate, distributive share or trust fund paid into the Court of Chancery by any executor, administrator or trustee because the person entitled thereto was absent from the State, unknown or incompetent to receive the same or because the shares of the persons entitled to receive the same were unknown and as to which no action has been taken in any proceeding in the Court of Chancery to recover the same within a period of 5 years; provided, however, that if the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor shall be of the opinion that the person entitled to any funds deposited in or held by the Court of Chancery is living and intends to claim such funds when able, but is prevented from doing so by reasons beyond the person's control, the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor shall so certify to the State Escheator in lieu of the report otherwise required by this subchapter and such funds shall not be deemed abandoned in any year in which such certification is made;

(2) Any money or other property held by the Court of Chancery, on account of the receivership or creditors' composition of any person or organization, for distribution to a creditor, owner or shareholder and as to which no claim or request for payment has been made by the person appearing to be entitled thereto within 5 years after any order discharging the receiver or trustee; provided, however, that if the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor shall be of the opinion that the person entitled to any funds deposited in or held by the Court of Chancery is living and intends to claim such funds when able, but is prevented from doing so by reasons beyond the person's control, the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor shall so certify to the State Escheator in lieu of the report otherwise required by this subchapter and such funds shall not be deemed abandoned in any year in which such certification is made.

(b) Any abandoned property held or owing by any court or by the clerk of any court to which or to whom the right to receive the same is established to the satisfaction of such court or clerk shall cease to be abandoned.

(c) Any abandoned property defined by this section which, under this section, would have become abandoned prior to January 1, 1956, shall be deemed abandoned on January 1, 1956.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1160; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 122, §§ 8, 9; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) On or before February 1 in each year, any court or any clerk of a court having abandoned property in the court's or the clerk's possession shall cause to be published a notice entitled:

"NOTICE OF NAMES OF PERSONS APPEARING AS OWNERS OF CERTAIN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY HELD BY (name of court or title of officer).''

(b) As to all abandoned property payable in New Castle County, such notice shall be published at least once in a daily newspaper published in said County. As to all abandoned property payable in Kent County or Sussex County, such notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper published at least weekly in the County in which said abandoned property is payable.

(c) Such notice shall be classified as the State Escheator shall prescribe and shall set forth:

(1) The names and last known addresses, in alphabetical order, of all persons appearing to be entitled to any such abandoned property as of January 1 next preceding amounting to $25 or more, except the names of persons appearing to be the owners of abandoned property which since such date has ceased to be abandoned. With the consent of the State Escheator, the name and last known address of any person may be omitted from such notice where special circumstances make it desirable that such information be withheld;

(2) Such other information as the State Escheator may require; and

(3) A statement:

a. That a list of the names contained in such notice is on file and open to public inspection at a place designated therein;

b. That such unclaimed moneys or other property will be paid or delivered by the court or officer on or before March 31 to persons establishing to the court's or officer's satisfaction their right to receive the same; and

c. That in the succeeding month of April and on or before April 10, such unclaimed moneys or other property still remaining will be paid or delivered to the State Escheator and that the court or officer shall thereupon cease to be liable therefor.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1161; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) In such succeeding month of April, and on or before April 10, the Court of Chancery shall pay or deliver to the State Escheator all property held by it and which was abandoned as specified in § 1160(a)(1) of this title, as of January 1 next preceding.

(b) In such succeeding month of April, and on or before April 10, the Court of Chancery shall pay or deliver to the State Escheator all abandoned property specified in § 1160(a)(2) of this title, which was so abandoned as of January 1 next preceding.

(c) With respect to items of property of a value of less than $25 deemed abandoned under § 1160 of this title, the last known address of any person appearing to be entitled to such property shall be presumed to be an address within this State. This presumption may be rebutted by filing a claim with the State Escheator pursuant to § 1146 of this title.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1162; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 451, § 1.;

Each such payment of abandoned property, pursuant to § 1162 of this title, shall be accompanied by a verified written report classified as the State Escheator shall prescribe, setting forth:

(1) The names and last known addresses, if any, of the persons appearing to be entitled to receive any such abandoned property of the value of $25 or more;

(2) The title of any proceeding relating to such abandoned property; and

(3) Such other identifying information as the State Escheator may require.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1163; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 451, § 2.;

(a) The following unclaimed property held or owing by banking organizations shall be deemed abandoned property:

(1) Any amounts due on deposits or any amounts to which a shareholder of a savings and loan association, building and loan association or credit union is entitled held or owing by a banking organization which shall have remained unclaimed for 5 years by the person or persons appearing to be entitled thereto, including any interest or dividends credited thereon, excepting:

a. Any such amount which has been reduced or increased, exclusive of dividend or interest payment, within 5 years; or

b. Any such amount which is represented by a passbook not in the possession of the banking organization which has been presented for entry of dividend or interest credit within 5 years; or

c. Any such amount with respect to which the banking organization has on file written evidence received within 5 years that the person or persons appearing to be entitled to such amounts had knowledge thereof; or

d. Any such amount payable only at or by a branch office located in a foreign country or payable in currency other than United States currency; or

e. Any amount held or owing by the banking organization as agent or as trustee of an express trust (active or passive) for the purpose of making payment to holders of or in respect of stocks, bonds or other securities of a governmental or other public issuer or of a corporation, association or joint stock company, other than a corporation, association or joint stock company which shall have discontinued the conduct of its business or the corporate existence of which shall have terminated, without the right to receive such amount having passed to a successor or successors.

(2) Any amount held or owing by a banking organization for the payment of a negotiable instrument or a certified check whether negotiable or not on which such organization is directly liable, which instrument shall have been outstanding for more than 5 years from the date it was payable or from the date of its issuance, if payable on demand; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply:

a. To any negotiable instrument payable outside the continental limits of the United States; or

b. To any instrument payable in currency other than United States currency; or

c. To any negotiable instrument issued to pay out any amount held or owing by the banking organization as agent or as trustee of an express trust (active or passive) for the purpose of making payment to holders of or in respect of stocks, bonds or other securities of a governmental or other public issuer or of a corporation, association or joint stock company which shall have discontinued the conduct of its business or the corporate existence of which shall have terminated without the right to receive such amount having passed to a successor or successors.

(3) Any surplus amounts arising from a sale by a banking organization of the contents of a safe or box, pursuant to law.

(4) Any amount representing a dividend or other payment received by a banking organization or its nominee as the record holder of any stock, bond or other security of any corporation, association or joint stock company to which amount an unknown person (except a person entitled to such dividend or other payment upon the surrender of other outstanding securities) is entitled and which shall have remained unclaimed by the person entitled thereto for 5 years after receipt thereof by such banking organization or its nominee.

(5) Any amount which shall have become payable by a banking organization (other than a foreign banking corporation) to a holder or owner of its capital stock and which shall have remained unclaimed for 5 years by the person or persons appearing to be entitled thereto.

(b) Any abandoned property held or owing by a banking organization to which the right to receive the same is established to the satisfaction of such banking organization shall cease to be deemed abandoned.

(c) Any abandoned property defined by this section which, under this section, would have become abandoned prior to June 30, 1956, shall be deemed abandoned on June 30, 1956.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1170; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 140, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 379, § 1.;

(a) On or before November 10 in each year every banking organization shall make a verified written report to the State Escheator which shall contain a true and accurate statement, as of June 30 next preceding, of all abandoned property specified in § 1170 of this title, held owing by it.

(b) Such report shall, with respect to amounts specified in § 1170(a)(1) of this title which are abandoned property, set forth:

(1) The name and last known address, if any, of the person or persons appearing from the records of such banking organization to be the owner of any such abandoned property;

(2) The amount appearing from such records to be due such person or persons;

(3) The date of the last transaction with respect to such abandoned property if such date is subsequent to December 31, 1909;

(4) The nature and identifying number, if any, of such abandoned property; and

(5) Such other identifying information as the State Escheator may require.

(c) Such report shall, with respect to amounts specified in § 1170(a)(2) of this title which are abandoned property, set forth:

(1) The name and last known address, if any, of the person or persons appearing from the records of such banking organization to be entitled to receive such abandoned property;

(2) A description of such abandoned property including identifying numbers, if any, and the amount appearing from such records to be due or payable;

(3) The amount of any interest or other increment due thereon;

(4) The date such abandoned property was payable or demandable;

(5) The amount and identifying number of any such instrument where the payee thereof is unknown to the banking organization; and

(6) Such other identifying information as the State Escheator may require.

(d) Such report shall, with respect to amounts specified in § 1170(a)(3) of this title which are abandoned property, set forth:

(1) The name and last known address, if any, of the person or persons appearing from the records of such banking organization to be the owner of any such abandoned property;

(2) The articles sold and price obtained therefor;

(3) Such other information as the State Escheator may require.

(e) Such report shall, with respect to amounts specified in § 1170(a)(4) of this title which are abandoned property, set forth:

(1) The name and last known address, if any, of the person or persons appearing from the records of such banking organization to be the owner of any such abandoned property;

(2) The amount appearing from such records to be due such person or persons;

(3) The date when such property was received by the banking organization and the date when it became payable to the owner;

(4) A description of the stock or security on account of which such property was received;

(5) Such other identifying information as the State Escheator may require.

(f) Such report shall, with respect to amounts specified in § 1170(a)(5) of this title which are abandoned property, set forth:

(1) The name and last known address, if any, of the person or persons appearing from the records of such banking organization to be the owner of any such abandoned property;

(2) The amount appearing from such records to be due such person or persons;

(3) The date when such property became payable to the said owner;

(4) A description of the capital stock on account of which the said property is payable; and

(5) Such other identifying information as the State Escheator may require.

(g) Such report shall be in such form as the State Escheator may prescribe. All names of persons appearing in the section of such report relating to deposits, appearing to be the owners thereof, shall be listed in alphabetical order. Abandoned property other than deposits listed in such report shall be classified in such manner as the State Escheator may prescribe and names of persons appearing to be entitled to such abandoned property appearing in such report shall be listed alphabetically within each such classification.

(h) In case any banking organization shall on June 30 in any year neither hold nor owe any abandoned property specified in § 1170 of this title, it shall on or before November 10 next succeeding make a verified written report to the State Escheator so stating.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1171; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 50 Del. Laws, c. 628, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 5.;

(a) A minimum of 60 days prior to making a report of abandoned property and remitting payment pursuant to §§ 1171 and 1173 of this title, such banking organization shall cause to be published a notice entitled:

"NOTICE OF NAMES OF PERSONS APPEARING AS OWNERS OF CERTAIN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY HELD BY (name of banking organization).''

(b) For all abandoned property payable in New Castle County, such notice shall be published at least twice in a daily newspaper published in said County. For all abandoned property payable in Kent County or Sussex County, such notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper published at least weekly in the County in which said abandoned property is payable.

(c) Such notice shall, in accordance with the classification prescribed by the State Escheator for the report pursuant to § 1171 of this title, set forth:

(1) The names and last known addresses, which were in such report, of all persons appearing to be entitled to any such abandoned property amounting to $25 or more; provided, however, that with the consent of the State Escheator the name and last known address of any person may be omitted from such notice where special circumstances make it desirable that such information be withheld. Such names shall be listed in alphabetical order. If, however, such banking organization has reported abandoned property payable in more than 1 county, the names shall be listed alphabetically for each such county and such notice shall include only the names of the persons appearing to be entitled to abandoned property payable in such county;

(2) Such other information as the State Escheator may require; and

(3) A statement:

a. That such unclaimed moneys or other property will be paid or delivered by it on or before the succeeding October 31 to persons establishing to its satisfaction their right to receive the same; and

b. That in the succeeding month of November, and on or before November 10, such unclaimed moneys or other property still remaining will be paid or delivered to the State Escheator and that it shall thereupon cease to be liable therefor.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1172; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 417, §§ 6, 7.;

(a) In such succeeding month of November, and on or before November 10, every banking organization shall pay or deliver to the State Escheator all abandoned property specified in such report, excepting such abandoned property as since the date of such report shall have ceased to be abandoned.

(b) Such payment shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth such information as the State Escheator may require relative to such abandoned property as shall have ceased to be abandoned.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1173; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1.;

(a) All amounts held by the State Bank Commissioner as receiver of a banking organization, pursuant to § 131 of Title 5, which shall be payable to depositors of such banking organization and which shall not have been claimed and paid within 4 years after receipt by the State Bank Commissioner, shall be deemed abandoned property.

(b) Any such abandoned property held by the State Bank Commissioner to which the right to receive the same is established while in the Commissioner's hands shall cease to be deemed abandoned.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1174; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Not later than February 1 in each year the State Bank Commissioner shall pay to the State Escheator all such abandoned property held by the Commissioner which shall have become abandoned property at any time prior to the July 1 next preceding, excepting such abandoned property as since such July 1 shall have ceased to be abandoned.

(b) Such payment shall be accompanied by a statement signed by the State Bank Commissioner setting forth the name and last known address of and the amount owing to each person appearing to be the owner of any such abandoned property or, if the name is unknown, the nature and identifying number of the indebtedness and the name of the banking organization or foreign banking corporation from which such abandoned property was received together with such other identifying information as the State Escheator may require.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1175; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any banking organization which has paid to the State Escheator abandoned property held or owing for the payment of a negotiable instrument or a certified check may make payment to the person entitled thereto, upon presentation of the instrument by such person, and shall thereby be entitled to reimbursement of the amount paid to the State Escheator. Any issuer of money orders and traveler's checks who has paid to the State Escheator abandoned property held or owing for the payment of a money order or traveler's check may make payment to the person entitled thereto and shall thereby be entitled to reimbursement of the amount paid to the State Escheator upon proof of such payment in the form of the paid instrument, or in the absence of the paid instrument, the agreement of the issuer to hold harmless and indemnify the State and its State Escheator from any and all claims with regard to such instrument. Such reimbursement shall be made by the State Escheator after audit of a claim of the banking organization without the deduction of any service or other charge.

12 Del. C. 1953, § 1176; 50 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 2.;

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title or Chapter 23 of Title 29, the Secretary of State is authorized to resolve and compromise claims for abandoned property otherwise owing to the State Escheator pursuant to this chapter, provided that such holders must voluntarily disclose to the Secretary of State such abandoned property on or before the dates provided in this section. The Secretary of State shall possess full and complete authority to determine and resolve all such claims consistent with this chapter and exercise such authorities as are granted to the State Escheator pursuant to this chapter except that any unclaimed property disclosure agreement accepted by the Secretary of State shall be deemed as waiving the right of the Secretary of State and the State Escheator to seek payment of any amounts of property pursuant to § 1156 or § 1158 of this title with respect to the abandoned property voluntarily disclosed by the holder in the agreement, except in circumstances where there is evidence of fraud or wilful misrepresentation as to any such voluntary disclosure by the holder or those acting on the holder's behalf. In the event the Secretary is unable to resolve such claims by agreement, the Secretary of State may refer the resolution of such claims to the State Escheator at any time. The care and custody of all property paid pursuant to this section is assumed for the benefit of those entitled to receive the same and the State shall have all the responsibilities, duties, and obligations as if such property were recovered by the State Escheator. The Secretary of State may make such rules and regulations as deemed necessary to enforce this section.

(b) The Secretary of State may not initiate an examination of records or an investigation pursuant to § 1155 of this title, or seek payment of any amounts of property pursuant to § 1156 or § 1158 of this title, as to any calendar year prior to:

(1) 1996, with respect to any holder that has indicated in writing its intent to enter into an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement by completing, executing and delivering, on or before June 30, 2013, to the Secretary of State such form as is acceptable to the Secretary of State, and who enters an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement and makes payment in full or enters into a payment plan no later than June 30, 2015; or

(2) 1993, with respect to any holder that has indicated in writing its intent to enter into an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement by completing, executing and delivering, after June 30, 2013, and on or before June 30, 2014, to the Secretary of State such form as is acceptable to the Secretary of State, and who enters an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement and makes payment in full or enters into a payment plan on or before June 30, 2015.

(c) The Secretary of State shall have no authority to accept a notice in writing of intent to enter into an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement after June 30, 2014, and shall have no authority to enter an unclaimed property voluntary self-disclosure agreement with a holder or otherwise receive or seek payment of any amounts of abandoned property after June 30, 2015.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or of this chapter, the Secretary of State shall have no authority to enter an unclaimed property voluntary self-disclosure agreement with or otherwise receive or seek payment of any amounts of abandoned property from:

(1) Those holders that have indicated in writing their intent to enter into an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement by completing, executing and delivering, on or before June 30, 2012, the appropriate form promulgated by the State Escheator;

(2) Those holders that have entered a voluntary self-disclosure agreement with the State Escheator on or before June 30, 2012, provided that the Secretary of State shall be permitted to enter an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement with any holder with respect to property types or periods or both property types and periods that were not included in a voluntary self-disclosure agreement executed prior to June 30, 2012, or with respect to the holder, its subsidiaries or related entities that were not included in a voluntary self-disclosure agreement executed prior to June 30, 2012;

(3) Those holders to which a notice of examination has been mailed by the State Escheator; and

(4) Those holders that the Secretary of State has previously referred to the State Escheator.

(e) Each of the holders described in paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this section shall be accorded the benefit of the same deadlines established in subsection (b) of this section, but the State Escheator shall retain authority over all voluntary self-disclosure agreements so described.

(f) Unless referred by the Secretary of State pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the State Escheator shall not conduct, prior to July 1, 2015, any examination of records or an investigation pursuant to § 1155 of this title of any holder who has indicated in writing its intent to enter into an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement by completing, executing and delivering to the Secretary of State, on or before June 30, 2014, such form as is acceptable to the Secretary of State, unless such holder's participation is prohibited by subsection (d) of this section.

78 Del. Laws, c. 317, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 2, §§ 2, 3.;