We mail out membership check refunds, and some are returned as undeliverable.Should we reach out to the member by phone or email? If we can't make contact, can we void the checks, or do we need to follow the escheatment process?

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Yes, you should reach out to the member to get updated information in order to be able to send the refund check.  If you cannot locate the owner, then yes, after the proper dormancy period (depending on the state of the last known location of the owner), you must conduct due diligence once again, and if you still cannot locate the owner, report and escheat the refund to the state. Refunds are subject to unclaimed property laws.

Escheatment laws vary by state. Please see the extensive resources available on The AP Network. In particular, depending on your familiarity with unclaimed property reporting, you might want to begin with the following, found in The AP Network’s Unclaimed Property Basics section:

An Escheatment Primer
State Escheatment Requirements
Unclaimed Property Reporting Dates by State

In the Tools section, you can find adaptable templates for due diligence letters:
• Vendor Escheatment Due Diligence Letter
• Vendor Escheatment Due Diligence Letter - Alternate

California’s UP web page is here.

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