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Press Release

September 11, 2015

Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691

NYDFS DIRECTS NEW YORK BANKS TO COMPLY WITH ABANDONED PROPERTY LAW TO HELP ENSURE CUSTOMERS GET PAID WHAT THEY ARE OWED

Several Recent Public Notices from Banks Were Confusing or Non-compliant with Unclaimed Property Law

The New York State Department of Financial Services has directed New York banks to comply with New York's abandoned property law -- a statute that helps ensure consumers and businesses receive old, unclaimed account funds. NYDFS has identified several recent public notices issued by banks regarding unclaimed account funds that are confusing or non-compliant with the law -- such as newspaper notices of unclaimed accounts that are organized alphabetically by first, rather than last name, or listed haphazardly without any discernible organization at all, making it more difficult for consumers to find their funds.

Section 302 of New York’s Abandoned Property Law requires banks to publish notices of unclaimed property exceeding $50. These lists are required to be published by September 1 each year, and the names of the people and businesses entitled to receive such property must be listed alphabetically.  Furthermore, guidance from the Office of State Comptroller states that the listing should be alphabetical by last name.

All unclaimed funds are ultimately paid to the Comptroller’s office and then become available to be searched on the Comptroller’s unpaid funds website: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/. Consumers are encouraged to visit that website to see if there are funds listed that they may be owed.

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