SECOND REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 1522

95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY


 

 

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES KUESSNER (Sponsor), FISCHER (107), WALTON GRAY, MOLENDORP, McGHEE, ROORDA, TALBOY AND AULL (Co-sponsors).

3954L.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk


 

AN ACT

To repeal section 447.505, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to gift certificates, with penalty provisions.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:


            Section A. Section 447.505, RSMo, is repealed and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 407.1175 and 447.505, to read as follows:

            407.1175. 1. For the purposes of this section, the term "gift certificate" shall mean any tangible record evidencing a promise by the seller or issuer of the record that goods or services will be provided to the owner of the record to the value shown in the record. Gift certificate shall include, but is not limited to, a gift card, stored-value card, store card, or a similar record or card that contains a microprocessor chip, magnetic stripe, or other means for the storage of information, and for which that value is decreased upon each use. The term "gift certificate" shall not include:

            (1) Certificates distributed to a consumer under an awards, loyalty, or promotional program without any money or other thing of value being given in exchange for the certificate by the consumer; and

            (2) Certificates sold below face value at a volume discount to employers or to nonprofit and charitable organizations for fundraising purposes and whose expiration dates are not less than thirty days after the date of the sale.

            2. It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to sell a gift certificate that is subject to an expiration date or a service fee or charge of any kind, including, but not limited to, a service fee for dormancy or inactivity.

            3. At no time shall a gift certificate be considered abandoned under sections 447.500 to 447.595 or otherwise be subject to the provisions of sections 447.500 to 447.595.

            4. Violations of this section shall be considered unfair merchandising practices subject to the penalties in section 407.020.

            447.505. The following property held or owing by a banking or financial organization or by a business association is presumed abandoned; provided, however, that neither this section nor any other provision of sections 447.500 to 447.595 shall apply to an instrument issued as an offer to settle a claim when failure to present the instrument for payment may be deemed a refusal of the offer to settle:

            (1) Any deposit held in this state with a banking organization, together with any interest or dividend thereon that would be due had the owner not abandoned the account, excluding any charges that may lawfully be withheld, unless the owner has, within seven years or five years as provided in section 447.536:

            (a) Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit, or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the deposit for the crediting of interest; or

            (b) Corresponded in writing with, or accepted mail from, the banking organization concerning the deposit; and the term "accepted mail from the banking organization" shall mean the banking organization did send correspondence in writing to the owner by first class mail postage prepaid, marked "Address Correction Requested", and such correspondence was not returned by the post office; or

            (c) Otherwise indicated an interest in the deposit as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking organization;

            (2) Any funds paid in this state toward the purchase of shares or other interest in a financial organization, or any deposit made therewith in this state, and any interest or dividends thereon that would be due had the owner not abandoned the account, excluding any charges that may lawfully be withheld, unless the owner has within seven years or five years as provided in section 447.536:

            (a) Increased or decreased the amount of the funds or deposit, or presented an appropriate record for the crediting of interest or dividends; or

            (b) Corresponded in writing with, or accepted mail from, the financial organization concerning the funds or deposit; and the term "accepted mail from the financial organization" shall mean the financial organization did send correspondence in writing to the owner by first class mail postage prepaid, marked "Address Correction Requested", and such correspondence was not returned by the post office; or

            (c) Otherwise indicated an interest in the funds or deposit as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the financial organization;

            (3) Any sum payable on checks certified in this state or on written instruments issued in this state on which a banking or financial organization or business association is directly liable, including, by way of illustration but not of limitation, certificates of deposit, drafts, money orders, and traveler's checks, that, with the exception of traveler's checks and money orders, has been outstanding for more than seven years or five years as provided in section 447.536 from the date it was payable, or from the date of its issuance if payable on demand, or, in the case of traveler's checks, that has been outstanding for more than fifteen years from the date of its issuance, unless the owner has within seven years or five years as provided in section 447.536, or within fifteen years in the case of traveler's checks, corresponded in writing with the banking or financial organization or business association concerning it, or otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a memorandum on file with the banking or financial organization or business association;

            (a) No holder may deduct from the amount of any money order any charges imposed by reason of the failure to present those instruments for payment unless there is a valid and enforceable written contract between the issuer and the owner of the property pursuant to which the issuer may impose those charges and the issuer regularly imposes those charges and does not regularly reverse or otherwise cancel those charges with respect to the property. Disclosure of the amount of any such charges shall be deemed adequate if set forth on the money order;

            (b) No sum payable on a traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument (other than a third-party bank check) described in this subdivision may be subjected to the custody of this state as unclaimed property unless:

            a. The records of the issuer show that the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased in this state;

            b. The issuer has its principal place of business in this state and the records of the issuer do not show the state in which the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased; or

            c. The issuer has its principal place of business in this state, the records of the issuer show the state in which the traveler's check, money order, or similar written instrument was purchased and the laws of the state of purchase do not provide for the escheat or custodial taking of the property or its escheat or unclaimed property law is not applicable to the property;

            (4) Any funds or other personal property, tangible or intangible, removed from a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository or agency or collateral deposit box in this state on which the lease or rental period has expired due to nonpayment of rental charges or other reason, or any surplus amounts arising from the sale thereof pursuant to law, that have been unclaimed by the owner for more than seven years or five years as provided in section 447.536 from the date on which the lease or rental period expired;

            (5) [Gift certificates,] Credit memos and credit balances that are redeemable in merchandise only shall be reportable at a rate equal to sixty percent of their respective face value. The state treasurer shall reimburse the owner the full face value.