Florida Most Recent State to Contract with Law Firm to Oversee Unclaimed Property Self Examination Program
Florida has given final approval for the law firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (“Faegre Drinker”) to begin enrolling companies into the Florida Contractor-Assisted Self Examination (“CASE”) program. Missouri and North Dakota have similar agreements with Faegre Biddle to assist companies in the self-review process for unclaimed property, and the firm also has an agreement to assist with Delaware’s Secretary of State Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (“DE VDA”) program. (A copy of the Florida CASE Enrollment Form is available here.)
Details about the Florida program and its interaction with the others managed by Faegre Drinker include the following:
- Participation in the Florida program is voluntary, but companies cannot enroll if they are already under audit in Florida.
- The look-back period for the FL, MO, and ND is 10 years plus dormancy.
- No Interest and penalties will be assessed for companies that successfully complete the CASE
- The expectation by FL, MO and ND is that the self-exam will be completed within one year.
- If the holder is an active participant in the DE VDA program, the records received in the DE VDA may also be used to help identify the unclaimed property liabilities owed to FL, MO or ND.
- Participation in the Delaware VDA program is not a requirement for the FL, MO or ND programs, and companies may participate in any of the state programs on a “stand-alone” basis.
- If a company’s DE VDA has been assigned to a firm other than Faegre Drinker, the company may still enter into FL, MO or ND voluntary self-examination program through Faegre Drinker.
Faegre Drinker’s agreement with Florida is the most recent example of the trend for states to use third-party firms to assist in managing their unclaimed property programs. While third-party contingent-fee auditors have been used by the states for decades, recently the role of third party agents has expand to include roles typically managed exclusively by the states, such as the voluntary reporting of past-due property and managing annual compliance. We expect to see this trend continue with the expanded role of Faegre Drinker and other third-party agents in state unclaimed property programs.
If your company is interested in entering into one of the programs offered by FL, MO or ND, or in reviewing similar programs available in other states, assess your options carefully. While many companies will benefit by entering into such programs, each company’s facts and circumstances are unique. In most cases, a good first step is to speak to counsel or a holder advocate familiar with unclaimed property to understand the best options for your company.
We at True Partners Consulting have helped hundreds of organizations determine the right approach when presented with these options and stand ready to discuss all this with you at any time. Please reach out to the members of the True Partners Consulting Unclaimed Property Management Team to set up a call to further discuss options and solutions for your specific situation.