2005 Florida Code - REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTYChapter 717

CHAPTER 717

DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

717.001  Short title.

717.101  Definitions.

717.102  Property presumed unclaimed; general rule.

717.103  General rules for taking custody of intangible unclaimed property.

717.1035  Property originated or issued by this state, any political subdivision of this state, or any entity incorporated, organized, created, or otherwise located in the state.

717.104  Traveler's checks and money orders.

717.105  Checks, drafts, and similar instruments issued or certified by banking and financial organizations.

717.106  Bank deposits and funds in financial organizations.

717.107  Funds owing under life insurance policies.

717.1071  Lost owners of unclaimed demutualization, rehabilitation, or related reorganization proceeds.

717.108  Deposits held by utilities.

717.109  Refunds held by business associations.

717.1101  Unclaimed equity and debt of business associations.

717.111  Property of business associations held in course of dissolution.

717.112  Property held by agents and fiduciaries.

717.113  Property held by courts and public agencies.

717.115  Wages.

717.116  Contents of safe-deposit box or other safekeeping repository.

717.117  Report of unclaimed property.

717.118  Notification of apparent owners of unclaimed property.

717.119  Payment or delivery of unclaimed property.

717.1201  Custody by state; holder relieved from liability; reimbursement of holder paying claim; reclaiming for owner; defense of holder; payment of safe-deposit box or repository charges.

717.121  Crediting of dividends, interest, or increments to owner's account.

717.122  Public sale of unclaimed property.

717.123  Deposit of funds.

717.124  Unclaimed property claims.

717.12403  Unclaimed demand, savings, or checking account in a financial institution held in the name of more than one person.

717.12404  Claims on behalf of a business entity or trust.

717.12405  Claims by estates.

717.12406  Joint ownership of unclaimed securities or dividends.

717.1241  Conflicting claims.

717.1242  Restatement of jurisdiction of the circuit court sitting in probate and the department.

717.1243  Small estate accounts.

717.1244  Determinations of unclaimed property claims.

717.1245  Garnishment of unclaimed property.

717.125  Claim of another state to recover property; procedure.

717.126  Administrative hearing; burden of proof; proof of entitlement; venue.

717.1261  Death certificates.

717.1262  Court documents.

717.127  Election to take payment or delivery.

717.128  Destruction or disposition of property having insubstantial commercial value; immunity from liability.

717.129  Periods of limitation.

717.1301  Investigations; examinations; subpoenas.

717.1311  Retention of records.

717.1315  Retention of records by claimant's representatives and buyers of unclaimed property.

717.132  Enforcement; cease and desist orders; fines.

717.1322  Administrative and civil enforcement.

717.1323  Prohibited practice.

717.133  Interstate agreements and cooperation; joint and reciprocal actions with other states.

717.1331  Actions against holders.

717.1333  Evidence; estimations; audit reports, examiner's worksheets, investigative reports, other related documents.

717.134  Penalties and interest.

717.1341  Invalid claims, recovery of property, interest and penalties.

717.135  Power of attorney to recover reported property in the custody of the department.

717.1351  Acquisition of unclaimed property.

717.1355  Theme park and entertainment complex tickets.

717.136  Foreign transactions.

717.138  Rulemaking authority.

717.1381  Void unclaimed property powers of attorney and purchase agreements.

717.139  Uniformity of application and construction.

717.1400  Registration.

717.1401  Repeal.

717.001  Short title.--This chapter may be cited as the "Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act."

History.--s. 1, ch. 87-105.

717.101  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1)  "Aggregate" means the amounts reported for owners of unclaimed property of less than $50 or where there is no name for the individual or entity listed on the holder's records, regardless of the amount to be reported.

(2)  "Apparent owner" means the person whose name appears on the records of the holder as the person entitled to property held, issued, or owing by the holder.

(3)  "Banking organization" means any state or national bank, international banking entity or similar entity, trust company, savings bank, industrial savings bank, land bank, safe-deposit company, private bank, or any organization otherwise defined by law as a bank or banking organization.

(4)  "Business association" means any corporation (other than a public corporation), joint stock company, investment company, business trust, partnership, or association for business purposes of two or more individuals, whether or not for profit, including a banking organization, financial organization, insurance company, dissolved pension plan, or utility.

(5)  "Claimant" means the person on whose behalf a claim is filed.

(6)  "Credit balance" means an account balance in the customer's favor.

(7)  "Department" means the Department of Financial Services.

(8)  "Domicile" means the state of incorporation, in the case of a corporation incorporated under the laws of a state, and the state of the principal place of business, in the case of a person not incorporated under the laws of a state.

(9)  "Due diligence" means the use of reasonable and prudent methods under particular circumstances to locate apparent owners of inactive accounts using the taxpayer identification number or social security number, if known, which may include, but are not limited to, using a nationwide database, cross-indexing with other records of the holder, mailing to the last known address unless the last known address is known to be inaccurate, or engaging a licensed agency or company capable of conducting such search and providing updated addresses.

(10)  "Financial organization" means a state or federal savings association, savings and loan association, bank, trust company, international bank agency, cooperative bank, building and loan association, or credit union.

(11)  "Health care provider" means any state-licensed entity that provides and receives payment for health care services. These entities include, but are not limited to, hospitals, outpatient centers, physician practices, and skilled nursing facilities.

(12)  "Holder" means a person, wherever organized or domiciled, who is:

(a)  In possession of property belonging to another;

(b)  A trustee in case of a trust; or

(c)  Indebted to another on an obligation.

(13)  "Insurance company" means an association, corporation, or fraternal or mutual benefit organization, whether or not for profit, which is engaged in providing insurance coverage, including, by way of illustration and not limitation, accident, burial, casualty, credit life, contract performance, dental, fidelity, fire, health, hospitalization, illness, life (including endowments and annuities), malpractice, marine, mortgage, surety, and wage protection insurance.

(14)  "Intangible property" includes, by way of illustration and not limitation:

(a)  Moneys, checks, drafts, deposits, interest, dividends, and income.

(b)  Credit balances, customer overpayments, security deposits and other instruments as defined by chapter 679, refunds, unpaid wages, unused airline tickets, and unidentified remittances.

(c)  Stocks, and other intangible ownership interests in business associations.

(d)  Moneys deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, bearer bonds, original issue discount bonds, coupons, and other securities, or to make distributions.

(e)  Amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies.

(f)  Amounts distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under a plan to provide any health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental unemployment insurance, or similar benefit.

(15)  "Last known address" means a description of the location of the apparent owner sufficient for the purpose of the delivery of mail. For the purposes of identifying, reporting, and remitting property to the department which is presumed to be unclaimed, "last known address" includes any partial description of the location of the apparent owner sufficient to establish the apparent owner was a resident of this state at the time of last contact with the apparent owner or at the time the property became due and payable.

(16)  "Lawful charges" means charges against dormant accounts that are authorized by statute for the purpose of offsetting the costs of maintaining the dormant account.

(17)  "Managed care payor" means a health care plan that has a defined system of selecting and limiting health care providers as evidenced by a managed care contract with the health care providers. These plans include, but are not limited to, managed care health insurance companies and health maintenance organizations.

(18)  "Owner" means a depositor in the case of a deposit, a beneficiary in the case of a trust or a deposit in trust, or a payee in the case of other intangible property, or a person having a legal or equitable interest in property subject to this chapter or his or her legal representative.

(19)  "Public corporation" means a corporation created by the state, founded and owned in the public interest, supported by public funds, and governed by those deriving their power from the state.

(20)  "Reportable period" means the calendar year ending December 31 of each year.

(21)  "State," when applied to a part of the United States, includes any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession, and any other area subject to the legislative authority of the United States.

(22)  "Ultimate equitable owner" means a natural person who, directly or indirectly, owns or controls an ownership interest in a corporation, a foreign corporation, an alien business organization, or any other form of business organization, regardless of whether such natural person owns or controls such ownership interest through one or more natural persons or one or more proxies, powers of attorney, nominees, corporations, associations, partnerships, trusts, joint stock companies, or other entities or devices, or any combination thereof.

(23)  "Utility" means a person who owns or operates, for public use, any plant, equipment, property, franchise, or license for the transmission of communications or the production, storage, transmission, sale, delivery, or furnishing of electricity, water, steam, or gas.

History.--s. 2, ch. 87-105; s. 23, ch. 91-110; s. 1, ch. 96-301; s. 1770, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 2001-36; s. 1, ch. 2003-21; s. 1887, ch. 2003-261; s. 110, ch. 2004-390; s. 1, ch. 2005-163.

717.102  Property presumed unclaimed; general rule.--

(1)  All intangible property, including any income or increment thereon less any lawful charges, that is held, issued, or owing in the ordinary course of the holder's business and the owner fails to claim such property for more than 5 years after the property becomes payable or distributable is presumed unclaimed, except as otherwise provided by this chapter.

(2)  Property is payable or distributable for the purpose of this chapter notwithstanding the owner's failure to make demand or to present any instrument or document required to receive payment.

History.--s. 3, ch. 87-105; s. 2, ch. 2001-36.

717.103  General rules for taking custody of intangible unclaimed property.--Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by other statute of this state, intangible property is subject to the custody of the department as unclaimed property if the conditions leading to a presumption that the property is unclaimed as described in ss. 717.102 and 717.105-717.116 are satisfied and:

(1)  The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in this state;

(2)  The records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person entitled to the property, and it is established that the last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this state;

(3)  The records of the holder do not reflect the last known address of the apparent owner, and it is established that:

(a)  The last known address of the person entitled to the property is in this state; or

(b)  The holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state and has not previously paid the property to the state of the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property;

(4)  The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property, or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property, and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state;

(5)  The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a foreign nation and the holder is a domiciliary or a government or governmental subdivision or agency of this state; or

(6)  The transaction out of which the property arose occurred in this state, and;

(a)1.  The last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is unknown; or

2.  The last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property is in a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property, or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property; and

(b)  The holder is a domiciliary of a state that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the property, or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.

History.--s. 4, ch. 87-105; s. 3, ch. 2001-36.

717.1035  Property originated or issued by this state, any political subdivision of this state, or any entity incorporated, organized, created, or otherwise located in the state.--

(1)  All intangible property, including, but not limited to, any interest, dividend, or other earnings thereon, less any lawful charges, held by a business association, federal, state, or local government or governmental subdivision, agency, or entity, or any other person or entity, regardless of where the holder may be found, if the owner has not claimed or corresponded in writing concerning the property within 3 years after the date prescribed for payment or delivery, is presumed to be unclaimed property and subject to the custody of this state as such if:

(a)  The last known address of the owner is unknown; and

(b)  The person or entity originating or issuing the intangible property is this state or any political subdivision of this state, or the person or entity is incorporated, organized, created, or otherwise located in this state.

(2)  The provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply to property which is or may be presumed unclaimed and subject to the custody of this state pursuant to any other provision of law containing a dormancy period different than that prescribed in subsection (1).

(3)  The provisions of subsection (1) shall apply to all property held at the time of enactment, or at any time thereafter, regardless of when such property became or becomes presumptively unclaimed.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-113; s. 2, ch. 92-169; s. 4, ch. 2001-36.

717.104  Traveler's checks and money orders.--

(1)  Subject to subsection (4), any sum payable on a traveler's check that has been outstanding for more than 15 years after its issuance is presumed unclaimed unless the owner, within 15 years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the issuer.

(2)  Subject to subsection (4), any sum payable on a money order or similar written instrument, other than a third party bank check, that has been outstanding for more than 7 years after its issuance is presumed unclaimed unless the owner, within 7 years, has communicated in writing with the issuer concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the issuer.

(3)  No holder may deduct from the amount of any traveler's check or money order any charges imposed by reason of the failure to present those instruments for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the issuer and the owner of the property pursuant to which the issuer may impose those charges and the issuer regularly imposes those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to the property.

(4)  No sum payable on a traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument, other than a third party bank check, described in subsections (1) and (2) may be subjected to the custody of this state as unclaimed property unless:

(a)  The records of the issuer show that the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased in this state;

(b)  The issuer has its principal place of business in this state and the records of the issuer do not show the state in which the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased; or

(c)  The issuer has its principal place of business in this state; the records of the issuer show the state in which the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased; and the laws of the state of purchase do not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property, or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property.

(5)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, subsection (4) applies to sums payable on traveler's checks, money orders, and similar written instruments presumed unclaimed on or after February 1, 1965, except to the extent that those sums have been paid over to a state prior to January 1, 1974.

History.--s. 5, ch. 87-105; s. 5, ch. 2001-36.

717.105  Checks, drafts, and similar instruments issued or certified by banking and financial organizations.--

(1)  Any sum payable on a check, draft, or similar instrument, except those subject to ss. 717.104 and 717.115, on which a banking or financial organization is directly liable, including, but not limited to, a cashier's check or a certified check, which has been outstanding for more than 5 years after it was payable or after its issuance if payable on demand, is presumed unclaimed unless the owner, within 5 years, has communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning it or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the banking or financial organization.

(2)  No holder may deduct from the amount of any instrument subject to this section any charges imposed by reason of the failure to present the instrument for encashment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the holder and the owner of the instrument pursuant to which the holder may impose those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to the instrument.

History.--s. 6, ch. 87-105; s. 2, ch. 96-301; s. 6, ch. 2001-36.

717.106  Bank deposits and funds in financial organizations.--

(1)  Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit with a banking or financial organization, including deposits that are automatically renewable, and any funds paid toward the purchase of shares, a mutual investment certificate, or any other interest in a banking or financial organization is presumed unclaimed unless the owner has, within 5 years:

(a)  Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit for the crediting of interest;

(b)  Communicated in writing or by documented telephone contact with the banking or financial organization concerning the property;

(c)  Otherwise indicated an interest in the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the banking or financial organization;

(d)  Owned other property to which paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c) is applicable and if the banking or financial organization communicates in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be presumed unclaimed under this subsection at the address to which communications regarding the other property regularly are sent; or

(e)  Had another relationship with the banking or financial organization concerning which the owner has:

1.  Communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization; or

2.  Otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the banking or financial organization and if the banking or financial organization communicates in writing with the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be unclaimed under this subsection at the address to which communications regarding the other relationship regularly are sent.

(2)  For purpose of paragraph (1)(a), property includes any interest or dividends thereon.

(3)  No holder may impose with respect to property described in subsection (1) any charges due to dormancy or inactivity or cease payment of interest unless:

(a)  There is an enforceable written contract between the holder and the owner of the property pursuant to which the holder may impose those charges or cease payment of interest.

(b)  For property in excess of $2, the holder, no more than 3 months prior to the initial imposition of those charges or cessation of interest, has given written notice to the owner of the amount of those charges at the last known address of the owner stating that those charges shall be imposed or that interest shall cease, but the notice provided in this section need not be given with respect to charges imposed or interest ceased before July 1, 1987.

(c)  The holder regularly imposes those charges or ceases payment of interest and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges or retroactively credit interest with respect to such property.

(4)  Any property described in subsection (1) that is automatically renewable is matured for purposes of subsection (1) upon the expiration of its initial time period except that, in the case of any renewal to which the owner consents at or about the time of renewal by communicating in writing with the banking or financial organization or otherwise indicating consent as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the organization, the property is matured upon the expiration of the last time period for which consent was given. If, at the time provided for delivery in s. 717.119, a penalty or forfeiture in the payment of interest would result from the delivery of the property, the time for delivery is extended until the time when no penalty or forfeiture would result.

(5)  If the documents establishing a deposit described in subsection (1) state the address of a beneficiary of the deposit, and the account has a value of at least $50, notice shall be given to the beneficiary as provided for notice to the apparent owner under s. 717.117(4). This subsection shall apply to accounts opened on or after October 1, 1990.

History.--s. 7, ch. 87-105; s. 2, ch. 90-113; s. 63, ch. 91-110; s. 3, ch. 96-301; s. 7, ch. 2001-36; s. 111, ch. 2004-390; s. 2, ch. 2005-163.

717.107  Funds owing under life insurance policies.--

(1)  Funds held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or terminated are presumed unclaimed if unclaimed for more than 5 years after the funds became due and payable as established from the records of the insurance company holding or owing the funds, but property described in paragraph (3)(b) is presumed unclaimed if such property is not claimed for more than 2 years. The amount presumed unclaimed shall include any amount due and payable under s. 627.4615.

(2)  If a person other than the insured or annuitant is entitled to the funds and no address of the person is known to the company or it is not definite and certain from the records of the company who is entitled to the funds, it is presumed that the last known address of the person entitled to the funds is the same as the last known address of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the company.

(3)  For purposes of this chapter, a life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract not matured by actual proof of the death of the insured or annuitant according to the records of the company is deemed matured and the proceeds due and payable if:

(a)  The company knows that the insured or annuitant has died; or

(b)1.  The insured has attained, or would have attained if he or she were living, the limiting age under the mortality table on which the reserve is based;

2.  The policy was in force at the time the insured attained, or would have attained, the limiting age specified in subparagraph 1.; and

3.  Neither the insured nor any other person appearing to have an interest in the policy within the preceding 2 years, according to the records of the company, has assigned, readjusted, or paid premiums on the policy; subjected the policy to a loan; corresponded in writing with the company concerning the policy; or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file prepared by an employee of the company.

(4)  For purposes of this chapter, the application of an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision contained in an insurance policy does not prevent the policy from being matured or terminated under subsection (1) if the insured has died or the insured or the beneficiaries of the policy otherwise have become entitled to the proceeds thereof before the depletion of the cash surrender value of a policy by the application of those provisions.

(5)  If the laws of this state or the terms of the life insurance policy require the company to give notice to the insured or owner that an automatic premium loan provision or other nonforfeiture provision has been exercised and the notice, given to an insured or owner whose last known address according to the records of the company is in this state, is undeliverable, the company shall make a reasonable search to ascertain the policyholder's correct address to which the notice must be mailed.

(6)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the company learns of the death of the insured or annuitant and the beneficiary has not communicated with the insurer within 4 months after the death, the company shall take reasonable steps to pay the proceeds to the beneficiary.

(7)  Commencing 2 years after July 1, 1987, every change of beneficiary form issued by an insurance company under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract to an insured or owner who is a resident of this state must request the following information:

(a)  The name of each beneficiary, or if a class of beneficiaries is named, the name of each current beneficiary in the class.

(b)  The address of each beneficiary.

(c)  The relationship of each beneficiary to the insured.

History.--s. 8, ch. 87-105; s. 849, ch. 97-102; s. 8, ch. 2001-36; s. 112, ch. 2004-390.

1717.1071  Lost owners of unclaimed demutualization, rehabilitation, or related reorganization proceeds.--

(1)  Property distributable in the course of a demutualization, rehabilitation, or related reorganization of an insurance company is deemed abandoned 2 years after the date the property is first distributable if, at the time of the first distribution, the last known address of the owner on the books and records of the holder is known to be incorrect or the distribution or statements are returned by the post office as undeliverable; and the owner has not communicated in writing with the holder or its agent regarding the interest or otherwise communicated with the holder regarding the interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the holder or its agent.

(2)  Property distributable in the course of demutualization, rehabilitation, or related reorganization of a mutual insurance company that is not subject to subsection (1) shall be reportable as otherwise provided by this chapter.

(3)  Property subject to this section shall be reported and delivered no later than May 1 as of the preceding December 31; however, the initial report under this section shall be filed no later than November 1, 2003, as of December 31, 2002.

History.--s. 2, ch. 2003-21; s. 75, ch. 2003-281.

1Note.--As enacted by s. 75, ch. 2003-281. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, "Statutory Construction." Section 717.1071 was also enacted by s. 2, ch. 2003-21, and that version reads:

717.1071  Unclaimed demutualization proceeds.--Unclaimed property payable or distributable in the course of a demutualization of an insurance company is presumed unclaimed 5 years after the earlier of the date of last contact with the policyholder or the date the property became payable or distributable.

717.108  Deposits held by utilities.--Any deposit, including any interest thereon, made by a subscriber with a utility to secure payment or any sum paid in advance for utility services to be furnished, less any lawful charges, that remains unclaimed by the owner for more than 1 year after termination of the services for which the deposit or advance payment was made is presumed unclaimed.

History.--s. 9, ch. 87-105; s. 4, ch. 96-301; s. 9, ch. 2001-36.

717.109  Refunds held by business associations.--Except as otherwise provided by law, any sum that a business association has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency which has been unclaimed by the owner for more than 1 year after it became payable in accordance with the final determination or order providing for the refund, regardless of whether the final determination or order requires any person entitled to a refund to make a claim for it, is presumed unclaimed.

History.--s. 10, ch. 87-105; s. 10, ch. 2001-36; s. 113, ch. 2004-390.

717.1101  Unclaimed equity and debt of business associations.--

(1)(a)  Stock or other equity interest in a business association is presumed unclaimed 3 years after the earliest of:

1.  The date of the most recent dividend, stock split, or other distribution unclaimed by the apparent owner;

2.  The date of a statement of account or other notification or communication that was returned as undeliverable; or

3.  The date the holder discontinued mailings, notifications, or communications to the apparent owner.

(b)  Unmatured or unredeemed debt, other than a bearer bond or an original issue discount bond, is presumed unclaimed 3 years after the date of the most recent interest payment unclaimed by the owner.

(c)  Matured or redeemed debt is presumed unclaimed 3 years after the date of maturity or redemption.

(d)  At the time property is presumed unclaimed under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), any other property right accrued or accruing to the owner as a result of the property interest and not previously presumed unclaimed is also presumed unclaimed.

(2)  The running of such 3-year period ceases if the person:

(a)1.  Communicates in writing with the association or its agent regarding the interest or a dividend, distribution, or other sum payable as a result of the interest; or

2.  Otherwise communicates with the association regarding the interest or a dividend, distribution, or other sum payable as a result of the interest, as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the association or its agent.

(b)  Presents an instrument issued to pay interest or a dividend or other cash distribution. If any future dividend, distribution, or other sum payable to the owner as a result of the interest is subsequently not claimed by the owner, a new period in which the property is presumed unclaimed commences and relates back only to the time a subsequent dividend, distribution, or other sum became due and payable.

(3)  At the same time any interest is presumed unclaimed under this section, any dividend, distribution, or other sum then held for or owing to the owner as a result of the interest, is presumed unclaimed.

(4)  Any dividend, profit, distribution, interest redemption, payment on principal, or other sum held or owing by a business association for or to a shareholder, certificateholder, member, bondholder, or other security holder, who has not claimed such amount or corresponded in writing with the business association concerning such amount, within 3 years after the date prescribed for payment or delivery, is presumed unclaimed.

History.--s. 11, ch. 87-105; s. 5, ch. 96-301; s. 11, ch. 2001-36; s. 3, ch. 2003-21; s. 3, ch. 2005-163.

717.111  Property of business associations held in course of dissolution.--All intangible property distributable in the course of a voluntary or involuntary dissolution of a business association which is not claimed by the owner for more than 6 months after the date specified for final distribution is presumed unclaimed.

History.--s. 12, ch. 87-105; s. 12, ch. 2001-36.

717.112  Property held by agents and fiduciaries.--

(1)  All intangible property and any income or increment thereon held in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person is presumed unclaimed unless the owner has within 5 years after it has become payable or distributable increased or decreased the principal, accepted payment of principal or income, communicated concerning the property, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the fiduciary.

(2)  Funds in an individual retirement account or a retirement plan for self-employed individuals or similar account or plan established pursuant to the Internal Revenue laws of the United States are not payable or distributable within the meaning of subsection (1) unless, under the terms of the account or plan, distribution of all or part of the funds would then be mandatory.

(3)  For the purpose of this section, a person who holds property as an agent for a business association is deemed to hold the property in a fiduciary capacity for that business association alone, unless the agreement between said person and the business association provides otherwise.

(4)  For the purposes of this chapter, a person who is deemed to hold property in a fiduciary capacity for a business association alone is the holder of the property only insofar as the interest of the business association in the property is concerned, and the business association is the holder of the property insofar as the interest of any other person in the property is concerned.

(5)  All intangible property, and any income or increment thereon, issued by a government or governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, or public authority and held in an agency capacity for the governmental subdivision, agency, public corporation, or public authority for the benefit of the owner of record, is presumed unclaimed unless the owner has, within 1 year after such property has become payable or distributable, increased or decreased the principal, accepted payment of the principal or income, communicated concerning the property, or otherwise indicated an interest in the property as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the fiduciary.

History.--s. 13, ch. 87-105; s. 6, ch. 96-301; s. 13, ch. 2001-36.

717.113  Property held by courts and public agencies.--All intangible property held for the owner by any court, government or governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation, or public authority that has not been claimed by the owner for more than 1 year after it became payable or distributable is presumed unclaimed. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, funds deposited in the Minerals Trust Fund pursuant to s. 377.247 are presumed unclaimed only if the funds have not been claimed by the owner for more than 5 years after the date of first production from the well.

History.--s. 14, ch. 87-105; s. 4, ch. 94-193; s. 71, ch. 96-321; s. 14, ch. 2001-36.

717.115  Wages.--Unpaid wages, including wages represented by unpresented payroll checks, owing in the ordinary course of the holder's business that have not been claimed by the owner for more than 1 year after becoming payable are presumed unclaimed.

History.--s. 16, ch. 87-105; s. 15, ch. 2001-36.

717.116  Contents of safe-deposit box or other safekeeping repository.--All tangible and intangible property held by a banking or financial organization in a safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository in this state in the ordinary course of the holder's business, and proceeds resulting from the sale of the property permitted by law, that has not been claimed by the owner for more than 3 years after the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has expired are presumed unclaimed.

History.--s. 17, ch. 87-105; s. 8, ch. 96-301; s. 16, ch. 2001-36; s. 114, ch. 2004-390.

717.117  Report of unclaimed property.--

(1)  Every person holding funds or other property, tangible or intangible, presumed unclaimed and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall report to the department on such forms as the department may prescribe by rule. In lieu of forms, a report identifying 25 or more different apparent owners must be submitted by the holder via electronic medium as the department may prescribe by rule. The report must include:

(a)  Except for traveler's checks and money orders, the name, social security number or taxpayer identification number, and date of birth, if known, and last known address, if any, of each person appearing from the records of the holder to be the owner of any property which is presumed unclaimed and which has a value of $50 or more.

(b)  For unclaimed funds which have a value of $50 or more held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract, the full name, taxpayer identification number or social security number, date of birth, if known, and last known address of the insured or annuitant and of the beneficiary according to records of the insurance company holding or owing the funds.

(c)  For all tangible property held in a safe-deposit box or other safekeeping repository, a description of the property and the place where the property is held and may be inspected by the department, and any amounts owing to the holder. Contents of a safe-deposit box or other safekeeping repository which consist of documents or writings of a private nature and which have little or no apparent value shall not be presumed unclaimed.

(d)  The nature and identifying number, if any, or description of the property and the amount appearing from the records to be due. Items of value under $50 each may be reported in the aggregate.

(e)  The date the property became payable, demandable, or returnable, and the date of the last transaction with the apparent owner with respect to the property.

(f)  Any person or business association or public corporation holding funds presumed unclaimed and having a total value of $10 or less may file a zero balance report for that reporting period. The balance brought forward to the new reporting period is zero.

(g)  Such other information as the department may prescribe by rule as necessary for the administration of this chapter.

(h)  Credit balances, customer overpayments, security deposits, and refunds having a value of less than $10 shall not be presumed unclaimed.

(2)  If the holder of property presumed unclaimed and subject to custody as unclaimed property is a successor holder or if the holder has changed the holder's name while in possession of the property, the holder shall file with the holder's report all known names and addresses of each prior holder of the property. Compliance with this subsection means the holder exercises reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the names of all prior holders.

(3)  The report must be filed before May 1 of each year. The report shall apply to the preceding calendar year. The department may impose and collect a penalty of $10 per day up to a maximum of $500 for the failure to timely report or the failure to include in a report information required by this chapter. The penalty shall be remitted to the department within 30 days after the date of the notification to the holder that the penalty is due and owing. As necessary for proper administration of this chapter, the department may waive any penalty due with appropriate justification. On written request by any person required to file a report and upon a showing of good cause, the department may postpone the reporting date. The department must provide information contained in a report filed with the department to any person requesting a copy of the report or information contained in a report, to the extent the information requested is not confidential, within 45 days after the report has been processed and added to the unclaimed property database subsequent to a determination that the report is accurate and that the reported property is the same as the remitted property.

(4)  Holders of inactive accounts having a value of $50 or more shall use due diligence to locate apparent owners. Not more than 120 days and not less than 60 days prior to filing the report required by this section, the holder in possession of property presumed unclaimed and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall send written notice to the apparent owner at the apparent owner's last known address informing the apparent owner that the holder is in possession of property subject to this chapter, if the holder has in its records an address for the apparent owner which the holder's records do not disclose to be inaccurate.

(5)  Any holder of intangible property may file with the department a petition for determination that the property is unclaimed requesting the department to accept custody of the property. The petition shall state any special circumstances that exist, contain the information required by subsection (2), and show that a diligent search has been made to locate the owner. If the department finds that the proof of diligent search is satisfactory, it shall give notice as provided in s. 717.118 and accept custody of the property.

(6)  Upon written request by any entity or person required to file a report, stating such entity's or person's justification for such action, the department may place that entity or person in an inactive status as an unclaimed property "holder."

(7)(a)  This section does not apply to the unclaimed patronage refunds as provided for by contract or through bylaw provisions of entities organized under chapter 425.

(b)  This section does not apply to intangible property held, issued, or owing by a business association subject to the jurisdiction of the United States Surface Transportation Board or its successor federal agency if the apparent owner of such intangible property is a business association. The holder of such property does not have any obligation to report, to pay, or to deliver such property to the department.

(c)  This section does not apply to credit balances, overpayments, refunds, or outstanding checks owed by a health care provider to a managed care payor with whom the health care provider has a managed care contract, provided that the credit balances, overpayments, refunds, or outstanding checks become due and owing pursuant to the managed care contract.

(8)  Social security numbers and financial account numbers contained in reports required under this section, held by the department, are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Notwithstanding this exemption, social security numbers shall be released, for the limited purpose of locating owners of abandoned or unclaimed property, to an attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, private investigator who is duly licensed in this state, or a private investigative agency licensed under chapter 493 and registered with the department under this chapter. This exemption applies to social security numbers and financial account numbers held by the department before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption. This subsection is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed October 2, 2007, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

History.--s. 18, ch. 87-105; s. 1, ch. 92-169; s. 30, ch. 92-319; s. 1, ch. 93-280; s. 9, ch. 96-301; s. 1771, ch. 97-102; s. 17, ch. 2001-36; s. 1, ch. 2002-64; s. 1888, ch. 2003-261; s. 115, ch. 2004-390; s. 4, ch. 2005-163.

717.118  Notification of apparent owners of unclaimed property.--

(1)  It is specifically recognized that the state has an obligation to make an effort to notify owners of unclaimed property in a cost-effective manner. In order to provide all the citizens of this state an effective and efficient program for the recovery of unclaimed property, the department shall use cost-effective means to make at least one active attempt to notify owners of unclaimed property accounts valued at more than $250 with a reported address or taxpayer identification number. Such active attempt to notify apparent owners shall include any attempt by the department to directly contact the owner. Other means of notification, such as publication of the names of owners in the newspaper, on television, on the Internet, or through other promotional efforts and items in which the department does not directly attempt to contact the owner are expressly declared to be passive attempts. Nothing in this subsection precludes other agencies or entities of state government from notifying owners of the existence of unclaimed property or attempting to notify apparent owners of unclaimed property.

(2)  Notification provided directly to individual apparent owners shall consist of a description of the property and information regarding recovery of unclaimed property from the department.

(3)  This section is not applicable to sums payable on traveler's checks, money orders, and other written instruments presumed unclaimed under s. 717.104.

History.--s. 19, ch. 87-105; s. 2, ch. 88-256; s. 31, ch. 92-319; s. 2, ch. 93-280; s. 10, ch. 96-301; s. 18, ch. 2001-36; s. 116, ch. 2004-390; s. 5, ch. 2005-163.

717.119  Payment or delivery of unclaimed property.--

(1)  Every person who is required to file a report under s. 717.117 shall simultaneously pay or deliver to the department all unclaimed property required to be reported. Such payment or delivery shall accompany the report as required in this chapter for the preceding calendar year.

(2)  Payment of unclaimed funds may be made to the department by electronic funds transfer.

(3)  If the owner establishes the right to receive the unclaimed property to the satisfaction of the holder before the property has been delivered to the department or it appears that for some other reason the presumption that the property is unclaimed is erroneous, the holder need not pay or deliver the property to the department. In lieu of delivery, the holder shall file a verified written explanation of the proof of claim or of the error in the presumption that the property was unclaimed.

(4)  All stock or other intangible ownership interest reported under this chapter on the annual report filing required in s. 717.117 shall be remitted to the department with the report. Upon delivery of the stock or other intangible ownership interest to the department, the holder and any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder is relieved of all liability of every kind in accordance with the provisions of s. 717.1201 to every person for any losses or damages resulting to the person by the delivery to the department of the stock or other intangible ownership interest.

(5)  All intangible and tangible property held in a safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository reported under s. 717.117 shall not be delivered to the department until 120 days after the report due date. The delivery of the property, through the United States mail or any other carrier, shall be insured by the holder at an amount equal to the estimated value of the property. Each package shall be clearly marked on the outside "Deliver Unopened." A holder's safe-deposit box contents shall be delivered to the department in a single shipment. In lieu of a single shipment, holders may provide the department with a single detailed shipping schedule that includes package tracking information for all packages being sent pursuant to this section.

(a)  Holders may remit the value of cash and coins found in unclaimed safe-deposit boxes to the department by cashier's check or by electronic funds transfer, unless the cash or coins have a value above face value. The department shall identify by rule those cash and coin items having a numismatic value. Cash and coin items identified as having a numismatic value shall be remitted to the department in their original form.

(b)  Any firearm or ammunition found in an unclaimed safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository shall be delivered by the holder to a law enforcement agency for disposal pursuant to s. 705.103(2)(b) with the balance of the proceeds deposited into the State School Fund if the firearm is sold. However, the department is authorized to make a reasonable attempt to ascertain the historical value to collectors of any firearm that has been delivered to the department. Any firearm appearing to have historical value to collectors may be sold by the department pursuant to s. 717.122 to a person having a federal firearms license. Any firearm which is not sold pursuant to s. 717.122 shall be delivered by the department to a law enforcement agency in this state for disposal pursuant to s. 705.103(2)(b) with the balance of the proceeds deposited into the State School Fund if the firearm is sold. The department shall not be administratively, civilly, or criminally liable for any firearm delivered by the department to a law enforcement agency in this state for disposal.

(c)  If such property is not paid or delivered to the department on or before the applicable payment or delivery date, the holder shall pay to the department a penalty for each safe-deposit box shipment received late. The penalty shall be $100 for a safe-deposit box shipment container that is late 30 days or less. Thereafter, the penalty shall be $500 for a safe-deposit box shipment container that is late for each additional successive 30-day period. The penalty assessed against a holder for a late safe-deposit box shipment container shall not exceed $4,000 annually. The penalty shall be remitted to the department within 30 days after the date of the notification to the holder that the penalty is due and owing.

(d)  The department may waive any penalty due with appropriate justification, as provided by rule.

(6)  Any holder may request an extension in writing of up to 60 days for the delivery of property if extenuating circumstances exist for the late delivery of the property. Any such extension the department may grant shall be in writing.

History.--s. 20, ch. 87-105; s. 11, ch. 96-301; s. 19, ch. 2001-36; s. 4, ch. 2003-21; s. 117, ch. 2004-390; s. 6, ch. 2005-163.

717.1201  Custody by state; holder relieved from liability; reimbursement of holder paying claim; reclaiming for owner; defense of holder; payment of safe-deposit box or repository charges.--

(1)  Upon the payment or delivery of property to the department, the state assumes custody and responsibility for the safekeeping of property. Any person who pays or delivers property to the department in good faith is relieved of all liability to the extent of the value of the property paid or delivered for any claim then existing or which thereafter may arise or be made in respect to the property.

(2)  Any holder who has paid money to the department pursuant to this chapter may make payment to any person appearing to be entitled to payment and, upon filing proof that the payee is entitled thereto, the department shall forthwith repay the holder without deduction of any fee or other charges. If repayment is sought for a payment made on a negotiable instrument, including a traveler's check or money order, the holder must be repaid under this subsection upon filing proof that the instrument was duly presented and that the payee is entitled to payment. The holder shall be repaid for payment made under this subsection even if the payment was made to a person whose claim was barred under s. 717.129(1).

(3)  Any holder who has delivered property, including a certificate of any interest in a business association, other than money to the department pursuant to this chapter may reclaim the property if still in the possession of the department, without payment of any fee or other charges, upon filing proof that the owner has claimed the property from the holder.

(4)  The department may accept an affidavit of the holder stating the facts that entitle the holder to recover money and property under this section as sufficient proof.

(5)  If the holder pays or delivers property to the department in good faith and thereafter any other person claims the property from the holder paying or delivering, or another state claims the money or property under that state's laws relating to escheat or abandoned or unclaimed property, the department, upon written notice of the claim, shall defend the holder against the claim and indemnify the holder against any liability on the claim.

(6)  For the purposes of this section, "good faith" means that:

(a)  Payment or delivery was made in a reasonable attempt to comply with this chapter.

(b)  The person delivering the property was not a fiduciary then in breach of trust in respect to the property and had a reasonable basis for believing, based on the facts then known to that person, that the property was unclaimed for the purposes of this chapter.

(c)  There is no showing that the records pursuant to which the delivery was made did not meet reasonable commercial standards of practice in the industry.

(7)  Property removed from a safe-deposit box or other safekeeping repository is received by the department subject to the holder's right under this subsection to be reimbursed for the actual cost of the opening and to any valid lien or contract providing for the holder to be reimbursed for unpaid rent or storage charges. The department shall make the reimbursement to the holder out of the proceeds remaining after the deduction of the department's selling cost.

History.--s. 21, ch. 87-105; s. 20, ch. 2001-36; s. 118, ch. 2004-390.

717.121  Crediting of dividends, interest, or increments to owner's account.--Whenever property other than money is paid or delivered to the department under this chapter, the owner is entitled to receive from the department any dividends, interest, or other increments realized or accruing on the property at or before liquidation or conversion thereof into money.

History.--s. 22, ch. 87-105.

717.122  Public sale of unclaimed property.--

(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2)(a), the department after the receipt of unclaimed property shall sell it to the highest bidder at public sale on the Internet or at a specified physical location wherever in the judgment of the department the most favorable market for the property involved exists. The department may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if in the judgment of the department the bid is insufficient. The department shall have the discretion to withhold from sale any unclaimed property that the department deems to be of benefit to the people of the state. If in the judgment of the department the probable cost of sale exceeds the value of the property, it need not be offered for sale and may be disposed of as the department determines appropriate. Any sale at a specified physical location held under this section must be preceded by a single publication of notice, at least 3 weeks in advance of sale, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the property is to be sold. The department shall proportionately deduct auction fees, preparation costs, and expenses from the amount posted to the owner's account when safe-deposit box contents are sold. No action or proceeding may be maintained against the department for or on account of any decision to decline the highest bid or withhold any unclaimed property from sale.

(2)(a)  Securities listed on an established stock exchange must be sold at prices prevailing at the time of sale on the exchange. Other securities may be sold over the counter at prices prevailing at the time of sale or by any other method the department deems advisable. The department may authorize the agent or broker acting on behalf of the department to deduct fees from the proceeds of these sales at a rate agreed upon in advance by the agent or broker and the department. The department shall reimburse owners' accounts for these brokerage fees from the State School Fund unless the securities are sold at the owner's request.

(b)  Unless the department deems it to be in the public interest to do otherwise, all securities presumed unclaimed and delivered to the department may be sold upon receipt. Any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter is entitled to receive either the securities delivered to the department by the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the department, or the proceeds received from sale, but no person has any claim under this chapter against the state, the holder, any transfer agent, any registrar, or any other person acting for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the state.

(c)  Certificates for unclaimed stock or other equity interest of business associations that cannot be canceled and registered in the department's name or that cannot be readily liquidated and converted into the currency of the United States may be sold for the value of the certificate, if any, in accordance with subsection (1) or may be destroyed in accordance with s. 717.128.

(3)  The purchaser of property at any sale conducted by the department pursuant to this chapter is entitled to ownership of the property purchased free from all claims of the owner or previous holder thereof and of all persons claiming through or under them. The department shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of ownership.

(4)  The sale of unclaimed tangible personal property is not subject to tax under chapter 212 when such property is sold by or on behalf of the department pursuant to this section.

History.--s. 23, ch. 87-105; s. 3, ch. 90-113; s. 12, ch. 96-301; s. 21, ch. 2001-36; s. 119, ch. 2004-390; s. 7, ch. 2005-163.

717.123  Deposit of funds.--

(1)  All funds received under this chapter, including the proceeds from the sale of unclaimed property under s. 717.122, shall forthwith be deposited by the department in the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund. The department shall retain, from funds received under this chapter, an amount not exceeding $15 million from which the department shall make prompt payment of claims allowed by the department and shall pay the costs incurred by the department in administering and enforcing this chapter. All remaining funds received by the department under this chapter shall be deposited by the department into the State School Fund.

(2)  The department shall record the name and last known address of each person appearing from the holder's reports to be entitled to the unclaimed property in the total amounts of $5 or greater; the name and the last known address of each insured person or annuitant; and with respect to each policy or contract listed in the report of an insurance corporation, its number, the name of the corporation, and the amount due.

History.--s. 24, ch. 87-105; s. 13, ch. 96-301; s. 22, ch. 2001-36; s. 120, ch. 2004-390.

717.124  Unclaimed property claims.--

(1)  Any person, excluding another state, claiming an interest in any property paid or delivered to the department under this chapter may file with the department a claim on a form prescribed by the department and verified by the claimant or the claimant's representative. The claimant's representative must be an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, or a private investigator licensed under chapter 493. The claimant's representative must be registered with the department under this chapter. The claimant, or the claimant's representative, shall provide the department with a legible copy of a valid driver's license of the claimant at the time the original claim form is filed. If the claimant has not been issued a valid driver's license at the time the original claim form is filed, the department shall be provided with a legible copy of a photographic identification of the claimant issued by the United States, a state or territory of the United States, a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or agency thereof or other evidence deemed acceptable by the department by rule. In lieu of photographic identification, a notarized sworn statement by the claimant may be provided which affirms the claimant's identity and states the claimant's full name and address. The claimant must produce to the notary photographic identification of the claimant issued by the United States, a state or territory of the United States, a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or agency thereof or other evidence deemed acceptable by the department by rule. The notary shall indicate the notary's full address on the notarized sworn statement. Any claim filed without the required identification or the sworn statement with the original claim form and the original power of attorney or purchase agreement, if applicable, is void.

(a)  Within 90 days after receipt of a claim, the department may return any claim that provides for the receipt of fees and costs greater than that permitted under this chapter or that contains any apparent errors or omissions. The department may also request that the claimant or the claimant's representative provide additional information. The department shall retain a copy or electronic image of the claim.

(b)  A claimant or the claimant's representative shall be deemed to have withdrawn a claim if no response to the department's request for additional information is received by the department within 60 days after the notification of any apparent errors or omissions.

(c)  Within 90 days after receipt of the claim, or the response of the claimant or the claimant's representative to the department's request for additional information, whichever is later, the department shall determine each claim. Such determination shall contain a notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The 90-day period shall be extended by 60 days if the department has good cause to need additional time or if the unclaimed property:

1.  Is owned by a person who has been a debtor in bankruptcy;

2.  Was reported with an address outside of the United States;

3.  Is being claimed by a person outside of the United States; or

4.  Contains documents filed in support of the claim that are not in the English language and have not been accompanied by an English language translation.

(d)  The department shall deny any claim under which the claimant's representative has refused to authorize the department to reduce the fees and costs to the maximum permitted under this chapter.

(2)  A claim for a cashier's check or a stock certificate without the original instrument may require an indemnity bond equal to the value of the claim to be provided prior to issue of the stock or payment of the claim by the department.

(3)  The department may require an affidavit swearing to the authenticity of the claim, lack of documentation, and an agreement to allow the department to provide the name and address of the claimant to subsequent claimants coming forward with substantiated proof to claim the account. This shall apply to claims equal to or less than $250. The exclusive remedy of a subsequent claimant to the property shall be against the person who received the property from the department.

(4)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, if a claim is determined in favor of the claimant, the department shall deliver or pay over to the claimant the property or the amount the department actually received or the proceeds if it has been sold by the department, together with any additional amount required by s. 717.121.

(b)  If an owner authorizes an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, Florida-certified public accountant, or private investigator licensed under chapter 493, and registered with the department under this chapter, to claim the unclaimed property on the owner's behalf, the department is authorized to make distribution of the property or money in accordance with such power of attorney. The original power of attorney must be executed by the owner and must be filed with the department.

(c)1.  Payments of approved claims for unclaimed cash accounts shall be made to the owner after deducting any fees and costs authorized pursuant to a written power of attorney. The contents of a safe-deposit box shall be delivered directly to the claimant notwithstanding any power of attorney or agreement to the contrary.

2.  Payments of fees and costs authorized pursuant to a written power of attorney for approved claims shall be made or issued to the law firm of the designated attorney licensed to practice law in this state, the public accountancy firm of the licensed Florida-certified public accountant, or the designated employing private investigative agency licensed by this state. Such payments shall be made by electronic funds transfer and may be made on such periodic schedule as the department may define by rule, provided the payment intervals do not exceed 31 days. Payment made to an attorney licensed in this state, a Florida-certified public accountant, or a private investigator licensed under chapter 493, operating individually or as a sole practitioner, shall be to the attorney, certified public accountant, or private investigator.

(5)  The department shall not be administratively, civilly, or criminally liable for any property or funds distributed pursuant to this section, provided such distribution is made in good faith.

(6)  This section does not supersede the licensing requirements of chapter 493.

History.--s. 25, ch. 87-105; s. 3, ch. 89-291; s. 8, ch. 89-299; s. 4, ch. 90-113; s. 14, ch. 96-301; s. 295, ch. 96-410; s. 31, ch. 97-93; s. 1772, ch. 97-102; s. 23, ch. 2001-36; s. 121, ch. 2004-390; s. 8, ch. 2005-163.

717.12403  Unclaimed demand, savings, or checking account in a financial institution held in the name of more than one person.--

(1)(a)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking account in a financial institution is reported as an "and" account in the name of two or more persons who are not beneficiaries, it is presumed that each person must claim the account in order for the claim to be approved by the department. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the account has been transferred to another person or by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the account should have been reported by the financial institution as an "or" account.

(b)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking account in a financial institution is reported as an "and" account and one of the persons on the account is deceased, it is presumed that the account is a survivorship account. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the account has been transferred to another person or by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the account is not a survivorship account.

(2)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking account in a financial institution is reported as an "or" account in the name of two or more persons who are not beneficiaries, it is presumed that either person listed on the account may claim the entire amount held in the account. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the account has been transferred to another person or by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the account should have been reported by the financial institution as an "and" account.

(3)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking account in a financial institution is reported in the name of two or more persons who are not beneficiaries without identifying whether the account is an "and" account or an "or" account, it is presumed that the account is an "or" account. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the account has been transferred to another person or by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the account should have been reported by the financial institution as an "and" account.

(4)  The department shall be deemed to have made a distribution in good faith if the department remits funds consistent with this section.

History.--s. 122, ch. 2004-390.

717.12404  Claims on behalf of a business entity or trust.--

(1)(a)  Claims on behalf of an active or dissolved corporation, for which the last annual report is not available from the Department of State through the Internet, must be accompanied by a microfiche copy of the records on file with the Department of State or, if the corporation has not made a corporate filing with the Department of State, the claim must be accompanied by a uniform resource locator for the address of a free Internet site operated by the state of incorporation of the corporation that provides access to the last corporate filing identifying the officers and directors of the corporation. If available, the claim must be accompanied by a printout of the officers and directors from the Department of State Internet site or the free Internet site operated by the state of incorporation of the corporation. If the free Internet site is not available, the claim must be accompanied by an authenticated copy of the last corporate filing identifying the officers and directors from the appropriate authorized official of the state of incorporation.

(b)  A claim on behalf of a corporation must be made by an officer or director identified on the last corporate filing.

(2)  Claims on behalf of a dissolved corporation, a business entity other than an active corporation, or a trust must include a legible copy of a valid driver's license of the person acting on behalf of the dissolved corporation, business entity other than an active corporation, or trust. If the person has not been issued a valid driver's license, the department shall be provided with a legible copy of a photographic identification of the person issued by the United States, a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or agency thereof. In lieu of photographic identification, a notarized sworn statement by the person may be provided which affirms the person's identity and states the person's full name and address. The person must produce his or her photographic identification issued by the United States, a state or territory of the United States, a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or agency thereof or other evidence deemed acceptable by the department by rule. The notary shall indicate the notary's full address on the notarized sworn statement. Any claim filed without the required identification or the sworn statement with the original claim form and the original power of attorney, if applicable, is void.

History.--s. 123, ch. 2004-390; s. 9, ch. 2005-163.

717.12405  Claims by estates.--An estate or any person representing an estate or acting on behalf of an estate may claim unclaimed property only after the heir or legatee of the decedent entitled to the property has been located. Any estate, or any person representing an estate or acting on behalf of an estate, that receives unclaimed property before the heir or legatee of the decedent entitled to the property has been located, is personally liable for the unclaimed property and must immediately return the full amount of the unclaimed property or the value thereof to the department in accordance with s. 717.1341.

History.--s. 124, ch. 2004-390.

717.12406  Joint ownership of unclaimed securities or dividends.--For the purpose of determining joint ownership of unclaimed securities or dividends, the term:

(1)  "TEN COM" means tenants in common.

(2)  "TEN ENT" means tenants by the entireties.

(3)  "JT TEN" or "JT" means joint tenants with the right of survivorship and not as tenants in common.

(4)  "And" means tenants in common with each person entitled to an equal pro rata share.

(5)  "Or" means that each person listed on the account is entitled to all of the funds.

History.--s. 10, ch. 2005-163.

717.1241  Conflicting claims.--

(1)  When conflicting claims have been received by the department for the same unclaimed property account or accounts, the property shall be remitted in accordance with the claim filed by the person as follows, notwithstanding the withdrawal of a claim:

(a)  To the person submitting the first claim received by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the department that is complete or made complete.

(b)  If a claimant's claim and a claimant's representative's claim are received by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the department on the same day and both claims are complete, to the claimant.

(c)  If a buyer's claim and a claimant's claim or a claimant's representative's claim are received by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the department on the same day and the claims are complete, to the buyer.

(d)  As between two or more claimant's representative's claims received by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the department that are complete or made complete on the same day, to the claimant's representative who has agreed to receive the lowest fee. If the two or more claimant's representatives whose claims received by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the department were complete or made complete on the same day are charging the same lowest fee, the fee shall be divided equally between the claimant's representatives.

(e)  If more than one buyer's claim received by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the department is complete or made complete on the same day, the department shall remit the unclaimed property to the buyer who paid the highest amount to the seller. If the buyers paid the same amount to the seller, the department shall remit the unclaimed property to the buyers divided in equal amounts.

(2)  The purpose of this section is solely to provide guidance to the department regarding to whom it should remit the unclaimed property and is not intended to extinguish or affect any private cause of action that any person may have against another person for breach of contract or other statutory or common-law remedy. A buyer's sole remedy, if any, shall be against the claimant's representative or the seller, or both. A claimant's representative's sole remedy, if any, shall be against the buyer or the seller, or both. A claimant's or seller's sole remedy, if any, shall be against the buyer or the claimant's representative, or both. Nothing in this section forecloses the right of a person to challenge the department's determination of completeness in a proceeding under ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

(3)  A claim is complete when entitlement to the unclaimed property has been established.

History.--s. 15, ch. 96-301; s. 24, ch. 2001-36; s. 125, ch. 2004-390; s. 11, ch. 2005-163.

717.1242  Restatement of jurisdiction of the circuit court sitting in probate and the department.--

(1)  It is and has been the intent of the Legislature that, pursuant to s. 26.012(2)(b), circuit courts have jurisdiction of proceedings relating to the settlement of the estates of decedents and other jurisdiction usually pertaining to courts of probate. It is and has been the intent of the Legislature that, pursuant to s. 717.124, the department determines the merits of claims for property paid or delivered to the department under this chapter. Consistent with this legislative intent, any estate or beneficiary, as defined in s. 731.201, of an estate seeking to obtain property paid or delivered to the department under this chapter must file a claim with the department as provided in s. 717.124.

(2)  If any estate or heir of an estate seeks or obtains an order from a circuit court sitting in probate directing the department to pay or deliver to any person property paid or delivered to the department under this chapter, the estate or heir shall be ordered to pay the department reasonable costs and attorney's fees in any proceeding brought by the department to oppose, appeal, or collaterally attack the order if the department is the prevailing party in any such proceeding.

History.--s. 16, ch. 96-301; s. 126, ch. 2004-390; s. 12, ch. 2005-163.

717.1243  Small estate accounts.--

(1)  A claim for unclaimed property made by a beneficiary, as defined in s. 731.201, of a deceased owner need not be accompanied by an order of a probate court if the claimant files with the department an affidavit, signed by all beneficiaries, stating that all the beneficiaries have amicably agreed among themselves upon a division of the estate and that all funeral expenses, expenses of the last illness, and any other lawful claims have been paid, and any additional information reasonably necessary to make a determination of entitlement. If the owner died testate, the claim shall be accompanied by a copy of the will.

(2)  Each person receiving property under this section shall be personally liable for all lawful claims against the estate of the owner, but only to the extent of the value of the property received by such person under this section, exclusive of the property exempt from claims of creditors under the constitution and laws of this state.

(3)  Any heir or devisee of the owner, who was lawfully entitled to share in the property but did not receive his or her share of the property, may enforce his or her rights in appropriate proceedings against those who received the property and shall be awarded taxable costs as in chancery actions, including attorney's fees.

(4)  This section only applies if all of the unclaimed property held by the department on behalf of the owner has an aggregate value of $5,000 or less and no probate proceeding is pending.

(5)  Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as precluding the use of live testimony in order to establish entitlement.

History.--s. 17, ch. 96-301; s. 25, ch. 2001-36; s. 23, ch. 2003-154; s. 13, ch. 2005-163.

717.1244  Determinations of unclaimed property claims.--In rendering a determination regarding the merits of an unclaimed property claim, the department shall rely on the applicable statutory, regulatory, common, and case law. Agency statements applying the statutory, regulatory, common, and case law to unclaimed property claims are not agency statements subject to s. 120.56(4).

History.--s. 127, ch. 2004-390.

717.1245  Garnishment of unclaimed property.--If any person files a petition for writ of garnishment seeking to obtain property paid or delivered to the department under this chapter, the petitioner shall be ordered to pay the department reasonable costs and attorney's fees in any proceeding brought by the department to oppose, appeal, or collaterally attack the petition or writ if the department is the prevailing party in any such proceeding.

History.--s. 14, ch. 2005-163.

717.125  Claim of another state to recover property; procedure.--

(1)  At any time after property has been paid or delivered to the department under this chapter, another state may recover the property if:

(a)  The property was subjected to custody by this state because the records of the holder did not reflect the last known address of the apparent owner when the property was presumed unclaimed under this chapter, and the other state establishes that the last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property was in that state and under the laws of that state the property escheated to or was subject to a claim of abandonment or being unclaimed by that state;

(b)  The last known address of the apparent owner or other person entitled to the property, as reflected by the records of the holder, is in the other state and under the laws of that state the property has escheated to or become subject to a claim of abandonment by that state;

(c)  The records of the holder were erroneous in that they did not accurately reflect the actual owner of the property and the last known address of the actual owner is in the other state and under laws of that state the property escheated to or was subject to a claim of abandonment by that state;

(d)  The property was subject to custody by this state under s. 717.103(6) and under the laws of the state of domicile of the holder the property has escheated to or become subject to a claim of abandonment by that state; or

(e)  The property is the sum payable on a traveler's check, money order, or other similar instrument that was subjected to custody by this state under s. 717.104, and the instrument was purchased in the other state, and under the laws of that state the property escheated to or became subject to a claim of abandonment by that state.

(2)  The claim of another state to recover escheated or unclaimed property under this section must be presented in a form prescribed by the department, and the department shall determine the claim within 90 days after it is presented. Such determination shall contain a notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

(3)  The department shall require a state, prior to recovery of property under this section, to indemnify this state and its officers and employees against any liability on a claim for the property.

History.--s. 26, ch. 87-105; s. 296, ch. 96-410; s. 26, ch. 2001-36.

717.126  Administrative hearing; burden of proof; proof of entitlement; venue.--

(1)  Any person aggrieved by a decision of the department may petition for a hearing as provided in ss. 120.569 and 120.57. In any proceeding for determination of a claim to property paid or delivered to the department under this chapter, the burden shall be upon the claimant to establish entitlement to the property by a preponderance of evidence. Having the same name as that reported to the department is not sufficient, in the absence of other evidence, to prove entitlement to unclaimed property.

(2)  Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, venue shall be in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida. However, upon the request of a party, the presiding officer may, in the presiding officer's discretion, conduct the hearing at an alternative remote video location.

History.--s. 27, ch. 87-105; s. 297, ch. 96-410; s. 128, ch. 2004-390.

717.1261  Death certificates.--Any person who claims entitlement to unclaimed property by means of the death of one or more persons shall file a copy of the death certificate of the decedent or decedents that has been certified as being authentic by the issuing governmental agency.

History.--s. 129, ch. 2004-390.

717.1262  Court documents.--Any person who claims entitlement to unclaimed property by reason of a court document shall file a certified copy of the court document with the department.

History.--s. 130, ch. 2004-390.

717.127  Election to take payment or delivery.--The department may decline to receive any property reported under this chapter that the department considers to have a value less than the expense of giving notice and of sale. If the department elects not to receive custody of the property, the holder shall be notified within 120 days after filing the report required under s. 717.117 or remitting the property required under s. 717.119.

History.--s. 28, ch. 87-105; s. 18, ch. 96-301.

717.128  Destruction or disposition of property having insubstantial commercial value; immunity from liability.--If the department after investigation finds that any property delivered under this chapter has insubstantial commercial value, the department may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property. No action or proceeding may be maintained against the state or any officer or against the holder for or on account of any action taken by the department pursuant to this section with respect to the property.

History.--s. 29, ch. 87-105.

717.129  Periods of limitation.--

(1)  The expiration before or after July 1, 1987, of any period of time specified by contract, statute, or court order, during which a claim for money or property may be made or during which an action or proceeding may be commenced or enforced to obtain payment of a claim for money or to recover property, does not prevent the money or property from being presumed unclaimed or affect any duty to file a report or to pay or deliver unclaimed property to the department as required by this chapter.

(2)  No action or proceeding may be commenced by the department with respect to any duty of a holder under this chapter more than 10 years after the duty arose.

History.--s. 30, ch. 87-105; s. 27, ch. 2001-36.

717.1301  Investigations; examinations; subpoenas.--

(1)  The department may make investigations and examinations within or outside this state of claims, reports, and other records as it deems necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. In such investigations and examinations the department may administer oaths, examine witnesses, issue subpoenas, and otherwise gather evidence. The department may request any person who has not filed a report under s. 717.117 to file a verified report stating whether or not the person is holding any unclaimed property reportable or deliverable under this chapter.

(2)  Subpoenas for witnesses whose evidence is deemed material to any investigation or examination under this section may be issued by the department under seal of the department, or by any court of competent jurisdiction, commanding such witnesses to appear before the department at a time and place named and to bring such books, records, and documents as may be specified or to submit such books, records, and documents to inspection. Such subpoenas may be served by an authorized representative of the department.

(3)  If any person shall refuse to testify, produce books, records, and documents, or otherwise refuse to obey a subpoena issued under this section, the department may present its petition to a court of competent jurisdiction in or for the county in which such person resides or has its principal place of business, whereupon the court shall issue its rule nisi requiring such person to obey forthwith the subpoena issued by the department or show cause for failing to obey said subpoena. Unless said person shows sufficient cause for failing to obey the subpoena, the court shall forthwith direct such person to obey the same subject to such punishment as the court may direct including, but not limited to, the restraint, by injunction or by appointment of a receiver, of any transfer, pledge, assignment, or other disposition of such person's assets or any concealment, alteration, destruction, or other disposition of subpoenaed books, records, or documents as the court deems appropriate, until such person has fully complied with such subpoena and the department has completed its investigation or examination. The department is entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011, and the court shall advance the cause on its calendar. Costs incurred by the department to obtain an order granting, in whole or in part, its petition shall be taxed against the subpoenaed person, and failure to comply with such order shall be a contempt of court.

(4)  Witnesses shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage as they may be entitled by law for attending as witnesses in the circuit court, except where such examination or investigation is held at the place of business or residence of the witness.

(5)  The material compiled by the department in an investigation or examination under this chapter is confidential until the investigation or examination is complete. The material compiled by the department in an investigation or examination under this chapter remains confidential after the department's investigation or examination is complete if the department has submitted the material or any part of it to any law enforcement agency or other administrative agency for further investigation or for the filing of a criminal or civil prosecution and such investigation has not been completed or become inactive.

(6)  If an investigation or an examination of the records of any person results in the disclosure of property reportable and deliverable under this chapter, the department may assess the cost of investigation or the examination against the holder at the rate of $100 per 8-hour day for each investigator or examiner. Such fee shall be calculated on an hourly basis and shall be rounded to the nearest hour. The person shall also pay the travel expense and per diem subsistence allowance provided for state employees in s. 112.061. The person shall not be required to pay a per diem fee and expenses of an examination or investigation which shall consume more than 30 worker-days in any one year unless such examination or investigation is due to fraudulent practices of the person, in which case such person shall be required to pay the entire cost regardless of time consumed. The fee shall be remitted to the department within 30 days after the date of the notification that the fee is due and owing. Any person who fails to pay the fee within 30 days after the date of the notification that the fee is due and owing shall pay to the department interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum on such fee from the date of the notification.

History.--s. 31, ch. 87-105; s. 1, ch. 94-262; s. 131, ch. 2004-390.

717.1311  Retention of records.--

(1)  Every holder required to file a report under s. 717.117 shall maintain a record of the specific type of property, amount, name, and last known address of the owner for 5 years after the property becomes reportable, except to the extent that a shorter time is provided in subsection (2) or by rule of the department.

(2)  Any business association that sells in this state its traveler's checks, money orders, or other similar written instruments, other than third-party bank checks on which the business association is directly responsible, or that provides such instruments to others for sale in this state, shall maintain a record of those instruments while they remain outstanding, indicating the state and date of issue for 3 years after the date the property is reportable.

History.--s. 32, ch. 87-105; s. 24, ch. 91-110; s. 19, ch. 96-301; s. 15, ch. 2005-163.

717.1315  Retention of records by claimant's representatives and buyers of unclaimed property.--

(1)  Every claimant's representative and buyer of unclaimed property shall keep and use in his or her business such books, accounts, and records of the business conducted under this chapter to enable the department to determine whether such person is complying with this chapter and the rules adopted by the department under this chapter. Every claimant's representative and buyer of unclaimed property shall preserve such books, accounts, and records, including every power of attorney or agreement between the owner and such claimant's representative or buyer, for at least 3 years after the date of the initial power of attorney or agreement.

(2)  A claimant's representative or buyer of unclaimed property, operating at two or more places of business in this state, may maintain the books, accounts, and records of all such offices at any one of such offices, or at any other office maintained by such claimant's representative or buyer of unclaimed property, upon the filing of a written notice with the department designating in the written notice the office at which such records are maintained.

(3)  A claimant's representative or buyer of unclaimed property shall make all books, accounts, and records available at a convenient location in this state upon request of the department.

History.--s. 28, ch. 2001-36; s. 132, ch. 2004-390; s. 16, ch. 2005-163.

717.132  Enforcement; cease and desist orders; fines.--

(1)  The department may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce or administer any provision of this chapter, any rule or order promulgated under this chapter, or any written agreement entered into with the department.

(2)  In addition to any other powers conferred upon it to enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter, the department may issue and serve upon a person an order to cease and desist and to take corrective action whenever the department finds that such person is violating, has violated, or is about to violate any provision of this chapter, any rule or order promulgated under this chapter, or any written agreement entered into with the department. For purposes of this subsection, the term "corrective action" includes refunding excessive charges, requiring a person to return unclaimed property, requiring a holder to remit unclaimed property, and requiring a holder to correct a report that contains errors or omissions. Any such order shall contain a notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

(3)  In addition to any other powers conferred upon it to enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter, the department or a court of competent jurisdiction may impose fines against any person found to have violated any provision of this chapter, any rule or order promulgated under this chapter, or any written agreement entered into with the department in an amount not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. All fines collected under this subsection shall be deposited as received in the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund.

History.--s. 33, ch. 87-105; s. 4, ch. 93-280; s. 20, ch. 96-301; s. 298, ch. 96-410; s. 29, ch. 2001-36; s. 133, ch. 2004-390; s. 17, ch. 2005-163.

717.1322  Administrative and civil enforcement.--

(1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter and constitute grounds for an administrative enforcement action by the department in accordance with the requirements of chapter 120 and for civil enforcement by the department in a court of competent jurisdiction:

(a)  Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter, any rule or order adopted under this chapter, or any written agreement entered into with the department.

(b)  Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or gross negligence in any matter within the scope of this chapter.

(c)  Fraudulent misrepresentation, circumvention, or concealment of any matter required to be stated or furnished to an owner or apparent owner under this chapter, regardless of reliance by or damage to the owner or apparent owner.

(d)  Willful imposition of illegal or excessive charges in any unclaimed property transaction.

(e)  False, deceptive, or misleading solicitation or advertising within the scope of this chapter.

(f)  Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available for examination all books, accounts, or other documents required by this chapter, by any rule or order adopted under this chapter, or by any agreement entered into with the department under this chapter.

(g)  Refusal to permit inspection of books and records in an investigation or examination by the department or refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the department under this chapter.

(h)  Criminal conduct in the course of a person's business.

(i)  Failure to timely pay any fine imposed or assessed under this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter.

(j)  Requesting or receiving compensation for notifying a person of his or her unclaimed property or assisting another person in filing a claim for unclaimed property, unless the person is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, a Florida-certified public accountant, or a private investigator licensed under chapter 493, or entering into, or making a solicitation to enter into, a power of attorney to file a claim for unclaimed property owned by another, or a contract or agreement to purchase unclaimed property, unless such person is registered with the department pursuant to this chapter and an attorney licensed to practice law in this state in the regular practice of her or his profession, a Florida-certified public accountant who is acting within the scope of the practice of public accounting as defined in chapter 473, or a private investigator licensed under chapter 493. This subsection does not apply to a person who has been granted a durable power of attorney to convey and receive all of the real and personal property of the owner, is the court-appointed guardian of the owner, has been employed as an attorney or qualified representative to contest the department's denial of a claim, or has been employed as an attorney to probate the estate of the owner or an heir or legatee of the owner.

(k)  Failure to authorize the release of records in the possession of a third party after being requested to do so by the department regarding a pending examination or investigation.

(l)  Receipt or solicitation of consideration to be paid in advance of the approval of a claim under this chapter.

(2)  Upon a finding by the department that any person has committed any of the acts set forth in subsection (1), the department may enter an order:

(a)  Revoking for a minimum of 5 years or suspending for a maximum of 5 years a registration previously granted under this chapter during which time the registrant may not reapply for a registration under this chapter;

(b)  Placing a registrant or an applicant for a registration on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the department may specify;

(c)  Placing permanent restrictions or conditions upon issuance or maintenance of a registration under this chapter;

(d)  Issuing a reprimand;

(e)  Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed $2,000 for each such act; or

(f)  Prohibiting any person from being a director, officer, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in an employer of a registrant.

(3)  A registrant is subject to civil enforcement and the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) for violations of subsection (1) by an agent or employee of the registrant's employer if the registrant knew or should have known that such agent or employee was violating any provision of this chapter.

(4)(a)  The department shall adopt, by rule, and periodically review the disciplinary guidelines applicable to each ground for disciplinary action which may be imposed by the department under this chapter.

(b)  The disciplinary guidelines shall specify a meaningful range of designated penalties based upon the severity or repetition of specific offenses, or both. It is the legislative intent that minor violations be distinguished from more serious violations; that such guidelines consider the amount of the claim involved, the complexity of locating the owner, the steps taken to ensure the accuracy of the claim by the person filing the claim, the acts of commission and omission of the ultimate owners in establishing themselves as rightful owners of the funds, the acts of commission or omission of the agent or employee of an employer in the filing of the claim, the actual knowledge of the agent, employee, employer, or owner in the filing of the claim, the departure, if any, by the agent or employee from the internal controls and procedures established by the employer with regard to the filing of a claim, the number of defective claims previously filed by the agent, employee, employer, or owner; that such guidelines provide reasonable and meaningful notice of likely penalties that may be imposed for proscribed conduct; and that such penalties be consistently applied by the department.

(c)  A specific finding of mitigating or aggravating circumstances shall allow the department to impose a penalty other than that provided for in such guidelines. The department shall adopt by rule disciplinary guidelines to designate possible mitigating and aggravating circumstances and the variation and range of penalties permitted for such circumstances. Such mitigating and aggravating circumstances shall also provide for consideration of, and be consistent with, the legislative intent expressed in paragraph (b).

(d)  In any proceeding brought under this chapter, the administrative law judge, in recommending penalties in any recommended order, shall follow the penalty guidelines established by the department and shall state in writing any mitigating or aggravating circumstances upon which the recommended penalty is based.

(5)  The department may seek any appropriate civil legal remedy available to it by filing a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against any person who has, directly or through a claimant's representative, wrongfully submitted a claim as the ultimate owner of property and improperly received funds from the department in violation of this chapter.

History.--s. 134, ch. 2004-390; s. 18, ch. 2005-163.

717.1323  Prohibited practice.--No person may knowingly enter false information onto the Internet website of the Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

History.--s. 19, ch. 2005-163.

717.133  Interstate agreements and cooperation; joint and reciprocal actions with other states.--

(1)  The department may enter into agreements with other states to exchange information needed to enable this or another state to audit or otherwise determine unclaimed property that it or another state may be entitled to subject to a claim of custody. The department may require the reporting of information needed to enable compliance with agreements made pursuant to this section and prescribe the form.

(2)  The department may join with other states to seek enforcement of this chapter against any person.

(3)  At the request of another state, the department may bring an action in the name of the other state in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the unclaimed property laws of the other state against a holder in this state of property subject to escheat or a claim of abandonment by the other state, if the other state has agreed to pay expenses incurred in bringing the action.

(4)  The department may request that the attorney general of another state or any other person bring an action in the name of the department in the other state. The department may pay all expenses including attorneys' fees in any action under this subsection.

(5)  As necessary for proper administration of this chapter, the department may enter into contracts for the location or collection of property subject to payment or delivery to the department under this chapter.

History.--s. 34, ch. 87-105.

717.1331  Actions against holders.--The department may initiate, or cause to be initiated, an action against a holder to enforce a subpoena or recover unclaimed property. If the department prevails in a civil or administrative action to enforce a subpoena or recover unclaimed property initiated by or on behalf of the department, the holder shall be ordered to pay the department reasonable costs and attorney's fees.

History.--s. 135, ch. 2004-390; s. 20, ch. 2005-163.

717.1333  Evidence; estimations; audit reports, examiner's worksheets, investigative reports, other related documents.--

(1)  In any proceeding involving a holder under ss. 120.569 and 120.57 in which an auditor, examiner, or investigator acting under authority of this chapter is available for cross-examination, any official written report, worksheet, or other related paper, or copy thereof, compiled, prepared, drafted, or otherwise made or received by the auditor, examiner, or investigator, after being duly authenticated by the auditor, examiner, or investigator, may be admitted as competent evidence upon the oath of the auditor, examiner, or investigator that the report, worksheet, or related paper was prepared or received as a result of an audit, examination, or investigation of the books and records of the person audited, examined, or investigated, or the agent thereof.

(2)  If the records of the holder that are available for the periods subject to this chapter are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report of the unclaimed property due and owing by a holder, the amount due may be reasonably estimated.

History.--s. 136, ch. 2004-390; s. 21, ch. 2005-163.

717.134  Penalties and interest.--

(1)  The department may impose and collect a penalty of $500 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 and 25 percent of the value of property not reported until a report is rendered for any person who willfully fails to render any report required under this chapter. Upon a holder's showing of good cause, the department may waive said penalty or any portion thereof. If the holder acted in good faith and without negligence, the department shall waive the penalty provided herein.

(2)  The department may impose and collect a penalty of $500 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 and 25 percent of the value of property not paid or delivered until the property is paid or delivered for any person who willfully refuses to pay or deliver abandoned property to the department as required under this chapter.

(3)  Any person who willfully or fraudulently conceals, destroys, damages, or makes unlawful disposition of any property or of the books, records, or accounts pertaining to property which is subject to the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(4)  In addition to any damages, penalties, or fines for which a person may be liable under any other provision of law, any person who fails to report or pay or deliver unclaimed property within the time prescribed by this chapter shall pay to the department interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum on such property, or value thereof, from the date such property shall have been paid or delivered. The department may waive any penalty due under this subsection with appropriate justification.

(5)  The department may impose and collect a penalty of $500 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 and 25 percent of the value of property willfully not reported with all of the information required by this chapter. Upon a holder's showing of good cause, the department may waive the penalty or any portion thereof. If the holder acted in good faith and without negligence, the department shall waive the penalty provided herein.

History.--s. 35, ch. 87-105; s. 21, ch. 96-301; s. 137, ch. 2004-390.

717.1341  Invalid claims, recovery of property, interest and penalties.--

(1)(a)  No person shall receive unclaimed property that the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who receives, or assists another person to receive, unclaimed property that the person is not entitled to receive is strictly, jointly, personally, and severally liable for the unclaimed property and shall immediately return the property, or the reasonable value of the property if the property has been damaged or disposed of, to the department plus interest at the rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1). Assisting another person to receive unclaimed property includes executing a claim form on the person's behalf.

(b)1.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have been sold, the proceeds from the sale shall be returned to the department plus any dividends or interest received thereon plus an amount equal to the brokerage fee plus interest at a rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) on the proceeds from the sale of the stocks or bonds, the dividends or interest received, and the brokerage fee.

2.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have not been sold, the stocks or bonds and any dividends or interest received thereon shall be returned to the department, together with interest on the dividends or interest received, at a rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) of the value of the property.

(2)  The department may maintain a civil or administrative action:

(a)  To recover unclaimed property that was paid or remitted to a person who was not entitled to the unclaimed property or to offset amounts owed to the department against amounts owed to an owner representative;

(b)  Against a person who assists another person in receiving, or attempting to receive, unclaimed property that the person is not entitled to receive; or

(c)  Against a person who attempts to receive unclaimed property that the person is not entitled to receive.

(3)  If the department prevails in any proceeding under subsection (2), a fine not to exceed three times the value of the property received or sought to be received may be imposed on any person who knowingly, or with reckless disregard or deliberate ignorance of the truth, violated this section. If the department prevails in a civil or administrative proceeding under subsection (2), the person who violated subsection (1) shall be ordered to pay the department reasonable costs and attorney's fees.

(4)  No person shall knowingly file, knowingly conspire to file, or knowingly assist in filing, a claim for unclaimed property the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who violates this subsection regarding unclaimed property of an aggregate value:

(a)  Greater than $50,000, is guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

(b)  Greater than $10,000 up to $50,000, is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

(c)  Greater than $250 up to $10,000, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

(d)  Greater than $50 up to $250, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; or

(e)  Up to $50, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 138, ch. 2004-390.

717.135  Power of attorney to recover reported property in the custody of the department.--

(1)  A power of attorney executed by a claimant to a claimant's representative for compensation to recover or assist in the recovery of property reported to the department under s. 717.117 shall be in 10-point type or greater.

(2)  A power of attorney described in subsection (1) must:

(a)  Limit the fees and costs for services to 20 percent per unclaimed property account held by the department. Fees and costs for cash accounts shall be based on the value of the property at the time the power of attorney is signed by the claimant. Fees and costs for accounts containing securities or other intangible ownership interests, which securities or interests are not converted to cash, shall be based on the purchase price of the security as quoted on a national exchange or other market on which the property is regularly traded at the time the securities or other ownership interest is remitted to the claimant or the claimant's representative. Fees and costs for tangible property or safe-deposit box accounts shall be based on the value of the tangible property or contents of the safe-deposit box at the time the ownership interest is transferred or remitted to the claimant. Total fees and costs on any single account owned by a natural person residing in this country must not exceed $1,000; or

(b)  Fully disclose that the property is held by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services pursuant to this chapter, the mailing address of the bureau, the Internet address of the bureau, the person or name of the entity that held the property prior to the property becoming unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property, and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed property the claimant's representative is seeking to recover, as reported by the holder:

1.  Cash accounts.

2.  Stale dated checks.

3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

4.  Utility deposits.

5.  Securities or other interests in business associations.

6.  Wages.

7.  Accounts receivable.

8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

This subsection shall not apply if probate proceedings must be initiated on behalf of the claimant for an estate that has never been probated or if the unclaimed property is being claimed by a person outside of the United States.

(3)(a)  A power of attorney described in paragraph (2)(b) must state in 12-point type or greater in the order indicated with the blank spaces accurately completed:

FULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

The property is currently held by the State of Florida Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Unclaimed Property, pursuant to chapter 717, Florida Statutes. The mailing address of the Bureau of Unclaimed Property is _______________. The Internet address of the Bureau of Unclaimed Property is _______________.

The property was Remitted by: _______________.

Date of last contact: _______________.

Property category: _______________.

(b)  Immediately above the signature line for the claimant, a power of attorney described in paragraph (2)(b) must state in 12-point type or greater:

Claimant agrees, by signing below, that the FULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT has been read and fully understood.

(4)(a)  Powers of attorney for recovery of cash accounts shall state the value of the unclaimed property, the unclaimed property account number, and the percentage value of the unclaimed property account to be paid to the claimant and shall also state the percentage value of compensation to be paid to the claimant's representative, if applicable.

(b)  Powers of attorney for recovery of accounts containing securities, safe-deposit box accounts, other intangible or tangible ownership interests, or other types of accounts, except cash accounts, shall state the unclaimed property account number, the number of shares of stock, if applicable, the approximate value of the unclaimed property, and the percentage value of compensation to be paid to the claimant's representative, if applicable.

(c)  All powers of attorney shall include:

1.  The name and professional license number of the claimant's representative.

2.  The name, address, and telephone number of the claimant's representative's firm or employer.

3.  The name, address, and telephone number of the claimant.

4.  If applicable, the taxpayer identification number or social security number, address, and telephone number of the claimant.

5.  The name and address to whom the warrant is to be issued, if different than the claimant's name and address.

(d)  The original of all such disclosures and powers of attorney shall be signed and dated by the claimant of the property and shall be filed with the claim form.

(e)  All powers of attorney executed by a claimant to a claimant's representative for compensation to recover or assist in the recovery of property reported to the department under s. 717.117 must use the following form on 8 and 1/2-inch by 11-inch paper or on 8 and 1/2-inch by 14-inch paper with all of the text on one side of the paper and with the other side of the paper left blank. The power of attorney must be accurately completed and executed. The title of the power of attorney shall be in bold 14-point type or greater and underlined. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the rest of the power of attorney shall be in 10-point type or greater. All unclaimed property accounts claimed must be identified on the power of attorney by account number. The power of attorney must state in bold 12-point type or greater at the top of the power of attorney in the order indicated:

LIMITED POWER OF ATTORNEY



$__________ = Approximate Dollar Value of the Property


__________ = Number of Shares of Stock to be Recovered (If Applicable)



__________ Percent to be Paid as Compensation to the Claimant's Representative


$__________ = Amount to be Paid to Claimant's Representative


$__________ = Net Amount to be Paid to Claimant


Property Account Numbers: __________

(f)  All fees, whether expressed as a percentage or as a flat fee, are subject to the limitations and requirements of subsection (2).

(g)  This section does not prohibit the:

1.  Use of bolding, italics, print of different colors, and text borders as a means of highlighting or stressing certain selected items within the text.

2.  Placement of the name, address, and telephone number of the representative's firm or company in the top margin above the words "POWER OF ATTORNEY." No additional writing of any kind may be placed in the top margin including, but not limited to, logos, license numbers, Internet addresses, or slogans.

3.  Placement of the word "pending" prior to the words "NET AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO CLAIMANT," if it is not yet possible to determine the percentage interest of an heir or legatee prior to a determination on the issue by the probate court.

4.  Deletion of the words "Number of Shares of Stock (If Applicable)" if the agreement does not relate to the recovery of securities.

5.  Deletion of the words "Percent to Be Paid as Compensation to Claimant's Representative" if the power of attorney provides for a flat fee to be paid as compensation to the claimant's representative.

(5)  As used in this section, "claimant" means the person on whose behalf a claim is filed.

(6)  This section does not supersede the licensing requirements of chapter 493.

History.--s. 36, ch. 87-105; s. 1, ch. 91-261; s. 2, ch. 94-191; s. 22, ch. 96-301; s. 30, ch. 2001-36; s. 1889, ch. 2003-261; s. 139, ch. 2004-390; s. 22, ch. 2005-163.

717.1351  Acquisition of unclaimed property.--

(1)  A person desiring to acquire ownership of or entitlement to property reported to the department under s. 717.117 must be an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, a private investigator licensed under chapter 493, or an employer of a licensed private investigator which employer possesses a Class "A" license under chapter 493 and must be registered with the department under this chapter.

(2)  All contracts to acquire ownership of or entitlement to unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to the unclaimed property must be in 10-point type or greater and must:

(a)  Have a purchase price that discounts the value of the unclaimed property at the time the agreement is executed by the seller at no greater than 20 percent per account held by the department. An unclaimed property account must not be discounted in excess of $1,000. However, the $1,000 discount limitation does not apply if probate proceedings must be initiated on behalf of the seller for an estate that has never been probated or if the seller of the unclaimed property is not a natural person or is a person outside the United States; or

(b)  Fully disclose that the property is held by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services pursuant to this chapter, the mailing address of the bureau, the Internet address of the bureau, the person or name of the entity that held the property prior to the property becoming unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property, and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed property the buyer is seeking to purchase as reported by the holder:

1.  Cash accounts.

2.  Stale dated checks.

3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

4.  Utility deposits.

5.  Securities or other interests in business associations.

6.  Wages.

7.  Accounts receivable.

8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

The purchase agreement described in this paragraph must state in 12-point type or greater in the order indicated with the blank spaces accurately completed:



FULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

The property is currently held by the State of Florida Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Unclaimed Property, pursuant to chapter 717, Florida Statutes. The mailing address of the Bureau of Unclaimed Property is _______________. The Internet address of the Bureau of Unclaimed Property is _______________.

The property was remitted by: _______________.

Date of last contact: _______________.

Property category: _______________.



Immediately above the signature line for the seller, the purchase agreement described in this paragraph must state in 12-point type or greater:

Seller agrees, by signing below, that the FULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT has been read and fully understood.


(3)  The originals of all such disclosures and agreements to transfer ownership of or entitlement to unclaimed property shall be signed and dated by the seller and shall be filed with the claim form. The claimant shall provide the department with a legible copy of a valid driver's license of the seller at the time the original claim form is filed. If a seller has not been issued a valid driver's license at the time the original claim form is filed, the department shall be provided with a legible copy of a photographic identification of the seller issued by the United States or a foreign nation, a state or territory of the United States or a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or agency thereof. In lieu of photographic identification, a notarized sworn statement by the seller may be provided which affirms the seller's identity and states the seller's full name and address. The seller must produce to the notary his or her photographic identification issued by the United States, a state or territory of the United States, a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or agency thereof or other evidence deemed acceptable by department rule. The notary shall indicate the notary's full address on the notarized sworn statement. If a claim is filed without the required identification or the sworn statement with the original claim form and the original agreement to acquire ownership of or entitlement to the unclaimed property, the claim is void.

(4)  Any contract to acquire ownership of or entitlement to unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to the unclaimed property must provide for the purchase price to be remitted to the seller or sellers within 10 days after the execution of the contract by the seller or sellers. The contract must specify the unclaimed property account number, the name of the holder who reported the property to the department, the category of unclaimed property, the value of the unclaimed property account, and the number of shares of stock, if applicable. Proof of payment by check must be filed with the department with the claim.

(5)  All agreements to purchase unclaimed property from an owner must use the following form on 8 and 1/2-inch by 11-inch paper or on 8 and 1/2-inch by 14-inch paper with all of the text on one side of the paper and with the other side of the paper left blank. The agreement must be accurately completed and executed. The title of the agreement shall be in bold 14-point type or greater and underlined. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the rest of the agreement shall be in 10-point type or greater. All unclaimed property accounts to be purchased must be identified on the agreement by account number. The agreement must state, in bold 12-point type or greater at the top of the agreement in the order indicated:



PURCHASE AGREEMENT



$__________ = Approximate Dollar Value of the Property

_______________ = Number of Shares of Stock (If Applicable)

_______________ = Percent of Property to be Paid to the Buyer

$__________ = Amount to be Paid to Buyer

$__________ = Net Amount to be Paid to Seller

Property Account Number(s): _________________________

(6)  All agreements shall include:

(a)  The name and professional license number of the registrant.

(b)  The name, address, and telephone number of the registrant's firm or employer.

(c)  The name, address, and telephone number of the seller.

(d)  The taxpayer identification number or social security number of the seller, if available.

(e)  The name and address to whom the warrant is to be issued if it is different from the seller's name and address.

(f)  The original signature of the registrant and the date signed by the registrant.

(7)  This section does not prohibit the:

(a)  Use of bolding, italics, print of different colors, or text borders as a means of highlighting or stressing certain selected items within the text.

(b)  Placement of the name, address, and telephone number of the registrant's firm or company in the top margin above the words "PURCHASE AGREEMENT." No additional writing of any kind may be placed in the top margin, including, but not limited to, logos, license numbers, Internet addresses, or slogans.

(c)  Deletion of the words "Number of Shares of Stock (If Applicable)" if the agreement does not relate to the recovery of securities.

(d)  Deletion of the words "Percent of Property to be Paid to Buyer," if the purchase agreement provides for a flat fee to be paid as compensation to the buyer.

(8)  This section does not supersede the licensing requirements of chapter 493.

History.--s. 140, ch. 2004-390; s. 23, ch. 2005-163.

717.1355  Theme park and entertainment complex tickets.--This chapter does not apply to any tickets for admission to a theme park or entertainment complex as defined in s. 509.013(9), or to any tickets to a permanent exhibition or recreational activity within such theme park or entertainment complex.

History.--s. 23, ch. 96-301.

717.136  Foreign transactions.--This chapter does not apply to any property held, due, and owing in a foreign country and arising out of foreign transaction.

History.--s. 37, ch. 87-105.

717.138  Rulemaking authority.--The department shall administer and provide for the enforcement of this chapter. The department has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter. The department may adopt rules to allow for electronic filing of fees, forms, and reports required by this chapter.

History.--s. 39, ch. 87-105; s. 220, ch. 98-200; s. 31, ch. 2001-36; s. 1890, ch. 2003-261.

717.1381  Void unclaimed property powers of attorney and purchase agreements.--

(1)  Protecting the interests of owners of unclaimed property is declared to be the public policy of this state. It is in the best interests of the owners of unclaimed property that they have the opportunity to receive the full amount of the unclaimed property returned to them without deduction of any fees. Further, it is specifically recognized that the Legislature has mandated and the state has an obligation to make a meaningful and active effort to notify owners concerning their unclaimed property. The state recognizes that this policy and obligation cannot be fulfilled without providing the state with the first opportunity to notify the owners of unclaimed property that they may file a claim for their property with the department. In furtherance of this policy and obligation:

(a)  Any oral or written agreement or power of attorney for compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or gain, that includes an unclaimed property account valued at more than $250 which was made on or before 45 days after the holder or examination report was processed and added to the unclaimed property database, subsequent to a determination that the report was accurate and that the reported property was the same as the remitted property, is void as contrary to public policy.

(b)  Any oral or written purchase agreement that includes an unclaimed property account valued at more than $250, owned by another and made on or before 45 days after the holder or examination report was processed and added to the unclaimed property database, subsequent to a determination that the report was accurate and that the reported property was the same as the remitted property, is void as contrary to public policy.

(2)  A person may not enter into a power of attorney or an agreement, or make a solicitation to enter into a power of attorney or an agreement, that is void under this section.

History.--s. 24, ch. 2005-163.

717.139  Uniformity of application and construction.--This chapter shall be applied and construed as to effectuate its general purpose of protecting the interest of missing owners of property, while providing that the benefit of all unclaimed and abandoned property shall go to all the people of the state, and to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this chapter among states enacting it.

History.--s. 40, ch. 87-105.

717.1400  Registration.--

(1)  In order to file claims as a claimant's representative, acquire ownership of or entitlement to unclaimed property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, numbers of reported shares of stock, and social security numbers held by the department, a private investigator holding a Class "C" individual license under chapter 493 must register with the department on such form as the department shall prescribe by rule, and must be verified by the applicant. To register with the department, a private investigator must provide:

(a)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "A" business license under chapter 493 or that of the applicant's firm or employer which holds a Class "A" business license under chapter 493.

(b)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "C" individual license issued under chapter 493.

(c)  The business address and telephone number of the applicant's private investigative firm or employer.

(d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are designated to act on behalf of the private investigator, together with a legible copy of their photo identification issued by an agency of the United States, or a state, or a political subdivision thereof.

(e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

(f)  The tax identification number of the private investigator's firm or employer which holds a Class "A" business license under chapter 493.

(2)  In order to file claims as a claimant's representative, acquire ownership of or entitlement to unclaimed property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, numbers of reported shares of stock, and social security numbers held by the department, a Florida-certified public accountant must register with the department on such form as the department shall prescribe by rule, and must be verified by the applicant. To register with the department a Florida-certified public accountant must provide:

(a)  The applicant's Florida Board of Accountancy number.

(b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's license showing the full name and current address of such person. If a current driver's license is not available, another form of identification showing the full name and current address of such person or persons shall be filed with the department.

(c)  The business address and telephone number of the applicant's public accounting firm or employer.

(d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are designated to act on behalf of the Florida-certified public accountant, together with a legible copy of their photo identification issued by an agency of the United States, or a state, or a political subdivision thereof.

(e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

(f)  The tax identification number of the accountant's public accounting firm employer.

(3)  In order to file claims as a claimant's representative, acquire ownership of or entitlement to unclaimed property, receive a distribution of fees and costs from the department, and obtain unclaimed property dollar amounts, numbers of reported shares of stock, and social security numbers held by the department, an attorney licensed to practice in this state must register with the department on such form as the department shall prescribe by rule, and must be verified by the applicant. To register with the department, such attorney must provide:

(a)  The applicant's Florida Bar number.

(b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's license showing the full name and current address of such person. If a current driver's license is not available, another form of identification showing the full name and current address of such person or persons shall be filed with the department.

(c)  The business address and telephone number of the applicant's firm or employer.

(d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are designated to act on behalf of the attorney, together with a legible copy of their photo identification issued by an agency of the United States, or a state, or a political subdivision thereof.

(e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

(f)  The tax identification number of the attorney's firm or employer.

(4)  Information and documents already on file with the department prior to the effective date of this provision need not be resubmitted in order to complete the registration.

(5)  If a material change in the status of a registration occurs, a registrant must, within 30 days, provide the department with the updated documentation and information in writing. Material changes include, but are not limited to: a designated agent or employee ceasing to act on behalf of the designating person, a surrender, suspension, or revocation of a license, or a license renewal.

(a)  If a designated agent or employee ceases to act on behalf of the person who has designated the agent or employee to act on such person's behalf, the designating person must, within 30 days, inform the Bureau of Unclaimed Property in writing of the termination of agency or employment.

(b)  If a registrant surrenders the registrant's license or the license is suspended or revoked, the registrant must, within 30 days, inform the bureau in writing of the surrender, suspension, or revocation.

(c)  If a private investigator's Class "C" individual license under chapter 493 or a private investigator's employer's Class "A" business license under chapter 493 is renewed, the private investigator must provide a copy of the renewed license to the department within 30 days after the receipt of the renewed license by the private investigator or the private investigator's employer.

(6)  A registrant's firm or employer may not have a name that might lead another person to conclude that the registrant's firm or employer is affiliated or associated with the United States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an agency or political subdivision of a state. The department shall deny an application for registration or revoke a registration if the applicant's or registrant's firm or employer has a name that might lead another person to conclude that the firm or employer is affiliated or associated with the United States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an agency or political subdivision of a state. Names that might lead another person to conclude that the firm or employer is affiliated or associated with the United States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an agency or political subdivision of a state, include, but are not limited to, the words United States, Florida, state, bureau, division, department, or government.

(7)  The licensing and other requirements of this section must be maintained as a condition of registration with the department.

History.--s. 141, ch. 2004-390; s. 133, ch. 2005-2; s. 25, ch. 2005-163.

717.1401  Repeal.--This chapter shall not repeal, but shall be additional and supplemental to the existing provisions of ss. 43.18, 43.19, and 402.17 and chapter 716.

History.--s. 41, ch. 87-105; s. 62, ch. 92-348.
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