2017 Massachusetts General Laws
PART II REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS
TITLE II DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION, WILLS, ESTATES OF DECEASED PERSONS AND ABSENTEES, GUARDIANSHIP, CONSERVATORSHIP AND TRUSTS
Chapter 200A DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
Section 10 Property surrendered to treasurer; claims; hearings; appeals
Section 10. (a) Any person claiming an interest in property surrendered to the state treasurer under the provisions of this chapter may establish his claim at any time thereafter. In the event that said property has not been liquidated at the time said claim is filed the state treasurer shall, forthwith, delay liquidation proceedings that may be in process until such time as the rights of the claimant have been finally determined.
(b) The state treasurer shall possess full and complete authority to determine all such claims and shall, forthwith, send a written notice of such determination to the claimant. At any time within twenty days thereafter such claimant may apply for a hearing and redetermination of his claim. After an appropriate hearing before the state treasurer, or person duly designated by him, the state treasurer shall make a final determination.
(c) The state treasurer, or any person duly designated by him, is empowered to take testimony under oath and shall have the power to subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers and documents which may be pertinent to such hearing.
(d) The state treasurer shall render a decision within thirty days after such hearing. A claimant adversely affected by such decision may appeal to the district, municipal or superior court of the county wherein he resides and shall be entitled to a trial de novo. Such appeal shall be perfected by the claimant within twenty days after receiving notice from the state treasurer. Any party adversely affected by a decree or order of the district, municipal or superior court may appeal to the supreme judicial court within twenty days from the date of the decree.
(e) If the validity of a claim shall be determined in favor of the claimant, the treasurer shall pay over to the claimant only that amount which the treasurer actually received together with interest at the rate of one-twelfth of one per cent per month from the time when it was received by the treasurer to the time when it was paid by him to the claimant; provided, however, that if the property claimed was interest bearing to the owner on the date of surrender by the holder then the treasurer shall instead add interest at a rate not to exceed five-twelfths of one per cent per month or such lesser rate as the property earned while in the possession of the holder. Such interest on interest bearing property shall begin to accumulate on the date property is delivered to the state treasurer and shall cease on the earlier of the expiration of fourteen years following delivery or the date on which payment is made to the owner. No interest on such interest bearing property shall be payable for any period prior to the effective date of this paragraph. Any holder who pays to the owner property which has been delivered to the commonwealth and which if claimed from the treasurer, would be subject to this section as interest-bearing property shall add interest as provided in this section. Such added interest shall be repaid to the holder by the treasurer in the same manner as the principal.
(f) If the claimant is domiciled in a country or state outside the United States or its territories and the state treasurer determines that there is not a reasonable assurance that the claimant will actually receive the payment to which he is entitled under this section in substantially full value, the superior court, upon petition of the state treasurer or an interested party, or in its discretion, may order that the state treasurer be permitted to liquidate the property if it has not already been liquidated and to turn over the amount of the payment to a recognized public or private agency for the purchase of goods in the form of necessaries of life, food, clothing and medicines, to be sent to the claimant upon his written request, order or assignment. Such order shall be final and binding upon all the parties in interest.
(g) All claims previously administered under the provisions of sections one hundred and forty-nine A to one hundred and forty-nine D, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and seventy-five shall be administered under the provisions of this section.
(h) If the claim is for property presumed abandoned under section five B which was sold by the treasurer within three years after the date of delivery, the amount payable for that claim is the value of the property at the time the claim was made or the net proceeds of sale, whichever is greater.
(i) On or about January 1 of each year and quarterly thereafter, the treasurer shall review information made available by the IV–D agency, as set forth in chapter 119A, and by the department of revenue to ascertain if any person, as defined in section 1, with an interest in property surrendered to the state treasurer under this chapter owes past due child support and is subject to a present child support lien pursuant to section 6 of said chapter 119A, and to ascertain if any person with an interest in property surrendered to the state treasurer owes any past due tax liability to the commonwealth and is subject to a present tax lien pursuant to section 50 of chapter 62C. If a person with an interest in property surrendered to the state treasurer under this chapter owes past due child support or any past due tax liability, the treasurer shall notify the IV–D agency or the department of revenue, respectively, of the person's name, address, social security number, and taxpayer identification number, if available.
(1) If the person with an interest in property surrendered to the state treasurer under the provisions of this chapter is the sole registered owner of the property surrendered to the state treasurer, the treasurer shall first disburse to the IV–D agency the full amount of the funds held in the Unclaimed Property Fund owing to the person or such portion of the property held that satisfies the person's past due child support obligation. If funds remain available after a disbursement to the IV–D agency, or if no such obligation to the IV–D agency is owed, the treasurer shall disburse to the department of revenue the full amount of the funds held in the Unclaimed Property Fund owing to the person or such portion of the property held that satisfies the person's past due tax liability.
(A) If any such property surrendered to the state treasurer is subject to possible liquidation in accordance with section 9, the property shall be held subject to an administrative lien preventing payment to the reported owner. Payment shall be made in accordance with paragraph (1) subsequent to any liquidation by the treasurer.
(B) The treasurer shall disburse to any person only that portion of the property surrendered not used to offset any child support obligation or outstanding tax liability.
(2) If the person with an interest in property surrendered to the state treasurer under this chapter is not the sole registered owner of the property surrendered to the state treasurer, the IV–D agency, or the department of revenue must notify all registered owners at the address provided by the treasurer of their right to request an administrative review pursuant to sections 6 and 17 of chapter 119A or sections 53 to 64, inclusive, of chapter 62C before any disbursement by the treasurer pursuant to paragraph (1) of this section. The treasurer shall notify the IV–D agency or the department of revenue, respectively, of the names and addresses of all registered owners, if available.
(3) Pursuant to paragraph (8) of subsection (b) of section 6 of chapter 119A and subsection (d) of section 54 of chapter 62C, if the treasurer makes a payment to the IV–D agency or the department of revenue under this section the treasurer shall be discharged from any obligation or liability arising from the payment.
(4) A person aggrieved by the transfer of property to the IV–D agency or the department of revenue may pursue administrative remedies pursuant to sections 6 and 17 of chapter 119A or sections 53 to 64, inclusive, of chapter 62C, respectively.
(5) Information provided by the IV–D agency or the department of revenue to the treasurer under this section may only be used for the purpose of assisting the IV–D agency in collecting past-due child support or the department of revenue in collecting past due tax liability. A person who uses the information for any other purpose shall be liable in a civil action to the IV–D agency or the department of revenue in the amount of $1,000 for each violation.