Intangible property and any income or increment derived from it held in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person is presumed abandoned unless the owner, within 5 years after it has become payable or distributable, has 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 prepared by the fiduciary.
Funds in an individual retirement account or a retirement plan for self-employed individuals or similar account or plan established pursuant to the U.S. internal revenue code are not payable or distributable within the meaning of sub. (1)
unless, under the terms of the account or plan, distribution of all or part of the funds would then be mandatory.
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 the holder and the business association provides otherwise.
For the purposes of this section, 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.
History: 1983 a. 408
Property held by courts and public agencies.
Except as provided in ss. 40.08 (8)
, 800.095 (8)
, 852.01 (3)
, 863.37 (2)
, intangible property held for the owner by a court, state or other government, governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation or public authority that remains unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after it became payable or distributable is presumed abandoned.
A credit memo issued in the ordinary course of the issuer's business that remains unclaimed by the owner for more than 5 years after becoming payable or distributable is presumed abandoned.
The amount presumed abandoned under sub. (1)
is the amount credited to the recipient of the credit memo.
History: 1983 a. 408
; 2001 a. 109
Unpaid wages, including wages represented by unpresented payroll checks, owing in the ordinary course of the holder's business, which remain unclaimed by the owner for more than one year after becoming payable are presumed abandoned.
History: 1983 a. 408
Contents of safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository.
All tangible and intangible property held 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 other law, which remain unclaimed by the owner for more than 5 years after the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has expired, are presumed abandoned.
History: 1983 a. 408
Proceeds from sale of property in self-service storage facility.
Notwithstanding s. 177.02 (1)
, the proceeds of a sale under s. 704.90 (6)
of personal property stored in a leased facility located within a self-service storage facility after satisfaction of the operator's lien under s. 704.90 (3) (a)
is presumed abandoned.
History: 1987 a. 23
While excess proceeds from sales under s. 704.90 (6) are presumed abandoned, nothing in ch. 177 suggests that this presumption may not be overcome. Nothing suggests that the holder may continue to hold the excess proceeds even if the person whose property was sold presents himself or herself in person to the holder or otherwise contacts the holder. Cook v. Public Storage, Inc. 2008 WI App 155
, 314 Wis. 2d 426
, 761 N.W.2d 645
Reporting, payment, and delivery of abandoned property. 177.17(1)(1)
A person holding tangible or intangible property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall report to the administrator concerning the property as provided in this section.
The report shall be verified and shall include all of the following:
Except with respect to travelers checks and money orders, the name, if known, and last-known address, if any, of each person appearing from the records of the holder to be the owner of property with a value of $50 or more presumed abandoned under this chapter.
In the case of unclaimed funds of $50 or more held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract, the full name and last-known address of the insured or annuitant and of the beneficiary according to the records of the insurance company holding or owing the funds.
In the case of the contents of a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository or of other tangible property, a description of the property and the place where it is held and may be inspected by the administrator, and any amounts owing to the holder.
The nature and identifying number, if any, or description of the property and the amount appearing from the records to be due, but items with a value of less than $50 each may be reported in the aggregate.
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.
Other information the administrator prescribes by rule as necessary for the administration of this chapter.
If the person holding property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property is a successor to other persons who previously held the property for the apparent owner or if the holder has changed his or her name while holding the property, the holder shall file with his or her report all known names and addresses of each previous holder of the property.
Before November 1 of each year, each holder shall file a report covering the previous fiscal year. In this paragraph, "fiscal year" means the period beginning on July 1 and ending on the following June 30. On written request by any person required to file a report, the administrator may extend the deadline established in this paragraph.
Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision and s. 177.06 (4)
, upon filing the report under subd. 1.
, the holder shall pay or deliver to the administrator all abandoned property required to be reported. This subdivision does not apply to abandoned property that is in the form of amounts credited under s. 20.912 (1)
to the support collections trust fund or amounts not distributable from the support collections trust fund to the persons for whom the amounts were awarded.
The holder of an interest under s. 177.10
or a stock or other intangible ownership interest presumed abandoned under s. 177.075 (1)
shall deliver to the administrator, upon filing the report required under this section, a duplicate certificate or other evidence of ownership if the holder does not issue certificates of ownership. Upon delivery of a duplicate certificate to the administrator, the holder and any transfer agent, registrar or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder in executing or delivering the duplicate certificate are relieved of all liability, as provided under s. 177.20
, to any person, including any person acquiring the original certificate or the duplicate of the certificate issued to the administrator, for any loss or damage caused by the issuance and delivery of the duplicate certificate to the administrator.
Not more than 120 days before filing the report required by this section, the holder in possession of property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall send written notice to the apparent owner at his or her last-known address informing him or her that the holder is in possession of property subject to this chapter if all of the following exist:
The holder has in its records an address for the apparent owner which the holder's records do not disclose to be inaccurate.
The claim of the apparent owner is not barred by the statute of limitations.
Notice and publication of lists of abandoned or escheated property. 177.18(1)(1)
Before July 1 of each year, the administrator shall publish a notice entitled "Notice of names of persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property". Except as provided in sub. (1m)
, the notice shall include the name of each person identified in a report filed under s. 177.17
since the publication of the previous notice. The administrator shall publish the notice as a class 1 notice under ch. 985
, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which is located the last-known address of the person to be named in the notice. If no address is listed or the address is outside this state, the notice shall be published in the county in which the holder of the property has its principal place of business within this state.
Effective date note
Sub. (1) is amended eff. 7-1-15 by 2013 Wis. Act 308
Effective date text
(1) Before July 1 of each year, the administrator shall publish on an Internet site maintained by the administrator a notice of the names of persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property. Except as provided in sub. (1m), the notice shall include the name and last-known address of each person identified in a report filed under s. 177.17 since the publication of the previous notice. The administrator shall also publish the notice as a class 1 notice under ch. 985, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which is located the last-known address of the person to be named in the notice. If no address is listed or the address is outside this state, the notice shall be published in the county in which the holder of the property has its principal place of business within this state.
If the address of a person to be named in a notice under sub. (1)
is outside this state, and if the administrator has entered into an agreement under s. 177.33 (1)
with the state in which the address is located, the administrator may omit the information specified in sub. (2)
with respect to that person from the notice published under sub. (1)
A notice under sub. (1)
shall contain all of the following:
The names in alphabetical order and last-known address, if any, of persons listed in the report and entitled to notice within the county as specified in sub. (1)
A statement that information concerning the property and the name and last-known address of the holder may be obtained by any person possessing an interest in the property by addressing an inquiry to the administrator.
For money or other property received under s. 852.01 (3)
, 863.37 (2)
or 863.39 (1)
, a notice shall be published at least annually in the official state newspaper and shall include the name of the decedent, the time and place of the decedent's death, the amount paid to the administrator, the name of the decedent's personal representative, the county in which the estate is probated and a statement that the money will be paid to the heirs or legatees without interest, on proof of ownership, if claimed within 10 years from the date of publication as provided in s. 863.39 (3)
The administrator is not required to publish notice of any item with a value of less than $50 unless the administrator determines the publication to be in the public interest.
This section does not apply to sums payable on travelers checks, money orders and other written instruments presumed abandoned under s. 177.04
Tax return identification of apparent owners of abandoned property. 177.19(1)(1)
Annually, before July 1, the administrator shall notify the department of revenue of the names of all persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property under s. 177.18 (1)
. The administrator shall also provide to the department of revenue the social security numbers of the persons, if available.
The department of revenue shall notify the administrator if any person under sub. (1)
has filed a Wisconsin income tax return in that year and shall provide the administrator with the address of the person that appears on the tax return. The department shall also notify the administrator if any person under sub. (1)
is a debtor under s. 71.93
For any person who is identified under sub. (2)
, the administrator shall do all of the following:
If the person is a debtor under s. 71.93
, the administrator shall first pay to the department from the amount that is owed the person all setoffs against the person's debt under s. 71.93
If the value of the property that is owed the person is $2,000 or less after any setoff is paid under par. (a)
, the person is not required to file a claim under s. 177.24
and the administrator shall deliver the property or pay the amount owing to the person in the manner provided under s. 177.24 (3)
If the value of the property that is owed the person is greater than $2,000 after any setoff is paid under par. (a)
, the administrator shall send written notice to the person, informing the person that he or she is the owner of abandoned property held by the state and may file a claim with the administrator for return of the property under s. 177.24
History: 2013 a. 308
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. 177.20(1)
Upon the payment or delivery of property to the administrator, this state assumes custody and responsibility for the safekeeping of the property. Any person who pays or delivers property to the administrator in good faith is relieved of all liability for any claim which exists or which may arise or be made with respect to the property.
A holder who has paid money to the administrator under this chapter may make payment to any person who appears to the holder to be entitled to payment. Upon receiving proof of the payment and proof that the payee was entitled to payment, the administrator shall immediately reimburse the holder without imposing a fee or other charge. If reimbursement is sought for a payment made on a negotiable instrument, including a travelers check or money order, the holder shall be reimbursed upon filing proof that the instrument was duly presented and that payment was made to a person who appeared to the holder to be entitled to payment. The holder shall be reimbursed for payment made under this subsection even if the payment was made to a person whose claim was barred under s. 177.29 (1)
A holder who has delivered property, including a certificate of any interest in a business association, but not including money, to the administrator under this chapter may reclaim the property if it is still in the possession of the administrator, without payment of a fee or other charge, upon filing proof that the owner has claimed the property from the holder.
The administrator may accept the holder's affidavit as sufficient proof of the facts that entitle the holder to recover money and property under this section.
If the holder pays or delivers property to the administrator in good faith and thereafter another person claims the property from the holder or if another state claims the money or property under its laws relating to escheat or abandoned or unclaimed property, the administrator, upon written notice of the claim, shall defend the holder against the claim and indemnify the holder against any liability on the claim.
For the purposes of this section, "good faith" means that all of the following exist:
Payment or delivery was made in a reasonable attempt to comply with this chapter.
The person delivering the property was not a fiduciary then in breach of trust with respect to the property and that the person had a reasonable basis for believing, based on the facts then known to that person, that the property was abandoned for the purposes of this chapter.
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.
Property removed from a safe deposit box or other safekeeping repository is received by the administrator subject to the holder's right 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 and subject to any 3rd-party lien. The administrator shall reimburse the holder from the proceeds remaining after deducting the administrator's selling cost.
History: 1983 a. 408
; 2005 a. 253
Crediting of dividends, interest or increments to owner's account.
Whenever property other than money is paid or delivered to the administrator under this chapter, the owner is entitled to receive from the administrator any dividends, interest or other increments realized or accruing on the property at or before liquidation or conversion of the property into money.
History: 1983 a. 408
Public sale of abandoned property. 177.22(1)
Except as provided in subs. (2)
, the administrator, within 3 years after the receipt of abandoned property, shall sell it to the highest bidder in a manner that, in the judgment of the administrator, affords the most favorable market for the property. The administrator may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if, in his or her judgment, the bid is insufficient. If the administrator determines that the probable cost of sale exceeds the value of the property, it need not be offered for sale. Any public sale under this section held in a city, village, or town in this state shall be preceded by the publication of one 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.
Securities listed on an established stock exchange shall 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 administrator considers advisable.
Unless the administrator determines that it is in the best interest of this state to do otherwise, he or she shall hold all securities for at least one year before selling them. No person has any claim under this chapter against this state, the holder, any transfer agent, registrar or 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 administrator.
The purchaser of property at any sale conducted by the administrator under this chapter takes the property free of all claims of the owner or previous holder and of all persons claiming through or under them. The administrator shall execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer of ownership.
Deposit of funds. 177.23(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (2)
, the administrator shall deposit in the school fund all funds received under this chapter, including the clear proceeds from the sale of abandoned property under s. 177.22
. Before making the deposit, the administrator shall record the name and last-known address of each person appearing from the holders' reports to be entitled to the property and the name and last-known address of each insured person or annuitant and beneficiary and, with respect to each policy or contract listed in the report of an insurance company, its number, the name of the company and the amount due. The information recorded by the administrator under this subsection is not available for inspection or copying under s. 19.35 (1)
until 12 months after payment or delivery of the property is due under s. 177.17 (4) (a)
The administrator shall deposit in the general fund an amount necessary for the payment of claims under ss. 177.24
and administrative expenses. Administrative expenses consist of any of the following:
Any costs in connection with the sale of abandoned property.
Costs of mailing and publication in connection with any abandoned property.
Costs incurred in examining records of holders of property and in collecting the property from those holders.
Salaries of the employees of the office of the state treasurer and the department of revenue that are attributable to the administration of this chapter.