Leawood, KS – February 14, 2022: On May 20, 2021, Special Master Pierre N. Level, appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court, issued an Interim Report regarding an unclaimed property dispute between states.
The State of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit in February 2016, and was subsequently joined by 29 other states, against the State of Delaware for wrongfully claiming millions of dollars’ worth of abandoned property. The dispute revolves around uncashed “official checks,” a check-like form of money order payment, purchased by customers in Pennsylvania and issued by the money transfer company MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., which has its corporate domicile in Delaware. At issue in the lawsuit is whether these unclaimed funds should be escheated to Delaware, consistent with the federal priority rules set forth in Texas v. New Jersey, or if the funds should be escheated to Pennsylvania, aligning with the rules set forth in the Disposition of Abandoned Money Orders and Traveler’s Checks Act (“Disposition Act”).
Special Master Pierre N. Level issued an Interim Report concluding that Delaware improperly demanded and received the property, thereby siding with the priority rules set under the Disposition Act. The Special Master further determined that the unclaimed funds should be returned to the state in which they were originally purchased. This Interim Report applied to all states joined in the litigation.
To read the Interim Report click here: First Interim Report of the Special Master.
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