177.255 177.255 Claim to recover abandoned U.S. savings bond. Notwithstanding s. 177.225, any person who could have claimed an interest in a U.S. savings bond immediately before this state became the owner of the U.S. savings bond pursuant to a judgment entered under s. 177.225 (4) may file a claim under s. 177.24, and another state may file a claim under s. 177.25. Notwithstanding s. 177.24 (3) or 177.25 (2), if the claim is allowed, the administrator shall pay the claimant the amount the administrator received from redeeming the U.S. savings bond under s. 177.225 (5), minus any amounts that were deposited in the general fund to pay administrative expenses under s. 177.23 (2) that are attributable to the U.S. savings bond, or, if the U.S. savings bond has not been redeemed, the amount the administrator estimates the administrator will receive from redeeming the U.S. savings bond under s. 177.225 (5), minus any amounts the administrator estimates will be deposited in the general fund to pay administrative expenses under s. 177.23 (2) that are attributable to the U.S. savings bond.
177.255 History History: 2015 a. 309.
177.26 177.26 Action to establish claim. A person aggrieved by a decision of the administrator or whose claim has not been acted upon within 90 days after its filing may bring an action to establish the claim in the circuit court, naming the administrator as a defendant. The action shall be brought within 90 days after the decision of the administrator or within 180 days after the filing of the claim if the administrator has failed to act on it. If the person establishes the claim in an action against the administrator, the court shall award the person costs and reasonable attorney fees.
177.26 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.265 177.265 Reimbursement for claims and administrative expenses.
177.265(1)(1)At least quarterly, the department of children and families shall reimburse the administrator, based on information provided by the administrator, for all of the following:
177.265(1)(a) (a) Any claims paid under ss. 177.24 to 177.26, since the last reimbursement was made, with respect to abandoned property in the form of amounts credited under s. 20.912 (1) to the support collections trust fund and amounts not distributable from the support collections trust fund to the persons for whom the amounts were awarded.
177.265(1)(b) (b) Any administrative expenses specified in s. 177.23 (2) (a) to (e), incurred since the last reimbursement was made, with respect to abandoned property in the form of amounts credited under s. 20.912 (1) to the support collections trust fund and amounts not distributable from the support collections trust fund to the persons for whom the amounts were awarded.
177.265(2) (2)The administrator shall deposit in the general fund all moneys received under sub. (1).
177.265 History History: 2001 a. 16; 2007 a. 20.
177.27 177.27 Election to take payment or delivery.
177.27(1)(1)The administrator may decline to receive any property reported under this chapter if the administrator considers the property to have a value that is less than the anticipated expense of notice and sale. If the administrator elects not to receive custody of the property, the holder shall be notified within 120 days after filing the report required under s. 177.17.
177.27(2) (2)A holder may report and deliver property before the property is presumed abandoned with the written consent of the administrator and upon the conditions and terms prescribed by the administrator.
177.27 History History: 1983 a. 408; 2005 a. 400.
177.28 177.28 Destruction or disposition of property having insubstantial commercial value; immunity from liability. If the administrator determines after investigation that any property delivered under this chapter has insubstantial commercial value, the administrator may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property at any time. No action or proceeding may be maintained against this state or any of its officers or against the holder for or on account of any action taken by the administrator under this section.
177.28 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.29 177.29 Periods of limitation.
177.29(1)(1)The expiration, before, on or after December 31, 1984, of any period of time specified by contract, statute or court order, during which an owner may make a claim for money or property or during which an owner may commence or enforce an action or proceeding to obtain payment of a claim for money or to recover property, does not prevent the money or property from being presumed abandoned or affect any duty to file a report or to pay or deliver abandoned property to the administrator as required by this chapter, subject to sub. (2).
177.29(2) (2)
177.29(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), no civil action or proceeding with respect to any duty of a holder under this chapter may be commenced more than 5 years after the duty arose.
177.29(2)(b) (b) The expiration of any period of time during which an action or proceeding may be commenced or enforced to obtain payment of a claim for money or to recover property may not serve as a defense to an action or proceeding brought by or on behalf of the administrator against a governmental entity, or an officer or employee thereof, for the payment or delivery of abandoned property to the administrator or for the enforcement of a penalty.
177.29 History History: 1983 a. 408; 1991 a. 299.
177.30 177.30 Requests for reports and examination of records.
177.30(2)(2)The administrator, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, may examine the records of any person to determine whether the person has complied with this chapter. The administrator may designate the division of banking or other appropriate regulatory authority to examine the records of regulated institutions to determine if the institutions have complied with this chapter. The administrator may conduct the examination even if the person believes it is not in possession of any property reportable or deliverable under this chapter.
177.30(3) (3)If a person is treated under s. 177.12 as the holder of the property only insofar as the interest of the business association in the property is concerned, the administrator may examine the records of the person as provided under sub. (2) if the administrator has given the required notice to both the person and the business association at least 90 days before the examination.
177.30(4) (4)If an examination of the records of a person results in the disclosure of property reportable and deliverable under this chapter, the administrator may assess the cost of the examination against the holder at the rate of $150 a day for each examiner, but the charges may not exceed the value of the property found to be reportable and deliverable. The cost of examination under sub. (3) may be imposed only against the business association.
177.30(5) (5)If a holder, after December 31, 1984, fails to maintain the records required under s. 177.31, and the records of the holder available for the periods subject to this chapter are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, a court may determine the liability of such holder based on the court's findings as to a reasonable estimate of the amount due.
177.30(6) (6)
177.30(6)(a)(a) Except as provided in pars. (b) and (c), the administrator may not enter into a contract or other agreement to allow any person to engage in an audit on a contingent fee basis of another person's documents or records as part of an effort to administer this chapter or to purchase information or documents arising from the audit.
177.30(6)(b) (b) If a person whose documents or records are audited is not domiciled in this state, the administrator may enter into a contract or agreement described under par. (a) related to the person if the amount of the contingent fee under the contract or agreement does not exceed 12 percent of the total amount of property reportable and deliverable under this chapter that is disclosed by the audit.
177.30(6)(c) (c) This subsection does not apply to information received from the federal government.
177.30(7) (7)The administrator may not enter into a contract or other agreement as part of an effort to administer this chapter that allows a person that is engaging in an audit of another person's documents or records to use statistical sampling to estimate the other person's liability unless the other person consents to the use of an estimate.
177.30 History History: 1983 a. 408; 1995 a. 27; 2017 a. 235.
177.31 177.31 Retention of records.
177.31(1)(1)Every holder required to file a report under s. 177.17 shall, as to any property for which it has obtained the last-known address of the owner, maintain a record of the name and last-known address of the owner for 5 years after the property is reported, unless a shorter time is provided in sub. (2) or by rule of the administrator.
177.31(2) (2)Any business association that sells in this state its travelers checks, money orders or other similar written instruments, other than 3rd-party bank checks on which the business association is directly liable, or that provides such instruments to others for sale in this state, shall, for 3 years after the date the property is reportable, maintain a record of those instruments while they remain outstanding, indicating the state and date of issue.
177.31 History History: 1983 a. 408; 2005 a. 253.
177.32 177.32 Enforcement. The attorney general may bring an action in circuit court or in federal court to enforce this chapter.
177.32 History History: 1983 a. 408; 1991 a. 299.
177.33 177.33 Interstate agreements and cooperation; joint and reciprocal actions with other states.
177.33(1)(1)The administrator 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 administrator may by rule require the reporting of information needed to enable compliance with agreements made under this section and may prescribe the form of the required reports.
177.33(2) (2)To avoid conflicts between the administrator's procedures and the procedures of administrators in other jurisdictions that enact the uniform unclaimed property act, the administrator shall, consistent with the purposes, policies and provisions of this chapter, before adopting, amending or repealing rules, advise and consult with administrators in other jurisdictions that enact substantially the uniform unclaimed property act and shall take into consideration the rules of administrators in other jurisdictions that enact the uniform unclaimed property act.
177.33(3) (3)The administrator may join with other states to seek enforcement of this chapter against any person who is or may be holding property reportable under this chapter.
177.33(4) (4)At the request of another state, the attorney general may bring an action in the name of the administrator of the other state in the circuit court 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 by the attorney general in bringing the action.
177.33(5) (5)The administrator may request the attorney general of another state or any other person to bring an action in the other state in the name of the administrator. This state shall pay all expenses including attorney fees in any action under this subsection. The administrator may agree to pay the person bringing the action attorney fees based in whole or in part on a percentage of the value of any property recovered in the action. No expenses paid under this subsection may be deducted from the amount that is subject to the claim by the owner under this chapter.
177.33 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.34 177.34 Interest and penalties.
177.34(1)(1)A person who fails to pay or deliver property within the time prescribed by this chapter shall pay the administrator interest at the annual rate of 18 percent on the property or value thereof from the date the property should have been paid or delivered.
177.34(2) (2)A person who willfully fails to file a report or perform any other duty required under this chapter is subject to a forfeiture of not less than $100 for each day the report is withheld or the duty is not performed, but not more than $5,000.
177.34(3) (3)A person who willfully fails to pay or deliver property to the administrator as required under this chapter is subject to a forfeiture equal to 25 percent of the value of the property that should have been paid or delivered.
177.34(4) (4)A person who willfully refuses, after written demand by the administrator, to pay or deliver property to the administrator as required under this chapter may be fined not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
177.34 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.35 177.35 Agreement to locate reported property.
177.35(1)(1)Except for agreements made under s. 177.33, if a person agrees, for compensation and on behalf of the owner of property reported under s. 177.17, to locate, deliver, recover or assist in the recovery of the reported property, the agreement shall be in writing and shall include all of the following:
177.35(1)(a) (a) A description of the property and the value of the property.
177.35(1)(b) (b) A clear and prominent statement of the fee or other compensation to be paid by or on behalf of the owner, which may not exceed 20 percent of the actual value of the property recovered.
177.35(1)(c) (c) A clear and prominent statement disclosing the name and address of the holder and whether the property has been paid to the administrator.
177.35(1)(d) (d) The notarized signature of the owner.
177.35(2) (2)
177.35(2)(a)(a) An agreement entered into under this section is not enforceable if the agreement is entered into within 12 months after payment or delivery of the property is due under s. 177.17 (4) (a).
177.35(2)(b) (b) An agreement entered into under this section that relates to 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 is not enforceable if the agreement is entered into within 12 months after December 1 following the reporting of the property under s. 177.17.
177.35(3) (3)An agreement entered into under this section shall be submitted with a claim filed under s. 177.24 (1) (b).
177.35 History History: 1983 a. 408; 1987 a. 399; 2001 a. 16; 2011 a. 231.
177.36 177.36 Foreign transactions. This chapter does not apply to any property held, due and owing in a foreign country and arising out of a foreign transaction.
177.36 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.37 177.37 Effect of new provisions; clarification of application.
177.37(1)(1)This chapter does not relieve a holder of a duty that arose before December 31, 1984 to report, pay or deliver property. A holder who did not comply with the law in effect before December 31, 1984 is subject to the applicable enforcement and penalty provisions that then existed and they are continued in effect for the purpose of this subsection, except as provided in s. 177.29 (2).
177.37(2) (2)The initial report filed under this chapter for property that was not required to be reported before December 31, 1984, but which is subject to this chapter, shall include all items of property that would have been presumed abandoned during the 10-year period preceding December 31, 1984 as if this chapter had been in effect during that period.
177.37 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.38 177.38 Rules. The administrator may adopt any rules necessary to administer this chapter.
177.38 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.40 177.40 Uniformity of application and construction. This chapter shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this chapter among states enacting it.
177.40 History History: 1983 a. 408.
177.41 177.41 Escheat of property to municipalities. If any statute provides for the escheat of abandoned or unclaimed property to a county, city, village or town, this chapter does not apply.
177.41 History History: 1983 a. 408.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 34 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on November 27, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after November 27, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 11-27-19)