We are a Canadian company with branches in the United States. Payments are issued from our office. What is our responsibility to conform with the U.S. unclaimed property laws? Where can I find information on Unclaimed/Abandoned Property for Canada?

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As you have branches located in the U.S., the states are likely to consider you as having sufficient presence to have an obligation under the states' escheatment laws, even though payments are issued from the Canadian office. However, it will depend on the location of the owner (payee) and where you have branches. We recommend that you contact the state of the last known location of the owner/payee, explain your situation and ask whether you are required to report and escheat.

Within Canada, Canadian banks have a legal obligation to attempt contact of owners with inactive accounts, and must protect the funds, but do not escheat the money to the government. Visit the Unclaimed Assets and the Bank of Canada Web sites.

However, two Canadian provinces do have unclaimed property laws, Quebec and British Columbia. (Click to visit the province Web sites).

You may want to contact an unclaimed property specialist, such as Karen Anderson of Abandoned Property Services (317-577-9530), or other UP&E organizations listed in AP Supplier Source under Unclaimed Property & Escheatment. .

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