Glossary of Terms

Abandoned/Unclaimed Property - Tangible or intangible property that is unclaimed by its rightful owner after a significant period of time, usually 3 years. (Does not include real estate, animals and vehicles).

Abandonment Period - See Dormancy Period.

Activity - An action taken on property by the owner, which may include making a deposit or withdrawal, writing a memorandum to the holder, or taking any action that according to the law is adequate to determine that the owner is aware of the property.

Affidavit - A written declaration made under oath before a notary public or other authorized officer of the court.

Aggregate - A group of multiple individual owner accounts reported in one lump sum total. Please include an electronic copy of the aggregate detail (names, addresses, SSNs, and amounts) with your report. Paper copies are acceptable when electronic copies are unavailable.

Claimant - An entity or individual making the claim for unclaimed property.

Demutualization {} - A reorganization, in which a mutual insurance company becomes a stock company. This is accomplished through the payment of stock or cash to policyholders upon the discontinuation of the mutual company. Demutalization has no impact on the actual insurance policy.

Claim ID - A unique record identifier in the claims database.

Date of Last Activity - the most recent date that the owner and the holder of the property made "active" contact with each other. This is also known as the "date of last activity." Examples of activity dates include the issue date of a check and a customer's date of deposit into a checking account.

Dormancy Period - the period of time, also referred to as the abandonment period, during which an owner of property does not take action on his property. (See Activity.) The dormancy period is determined by the type of property and may vary from 1 to 15 years.

Due Diligence - the degree of effort required by law that an unclaimed property holder must exert to find the rightful owner before the property is sent to the state. Usually this is in the form of an Owner Notification Letter (RTF 9kb).

Escheat - when the title to property is transferred to the state, making the state the legal owner. The State of Maine acts as the custodian of reported property without taking title by escheat.

Gift Card - Please see Gift Obligation.

Gift Certificate - Please see Gift Obligation.

Gift Obligation - An obligation of a business association arising from a transaction between the business association and a consumer to provide goods or services at a future date. This includes, but is not limited to, a gift certificate, gift card, on-line gift account or other representation or evidence of the obligation.

Heir - A person who inherits or is entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit the estate of another.

Heirfinder/Locator - An entity that assists owners or heirs to locate and/or recover unclaimed property for a fee.

Holder - The entity or person who controls the unclaimed property until it is transferred to the owner or the state on behalf of the owner.

Indemnification - An agreement that protects a party from loss by transferring the responsibilities to a third party. The state of Maine indemnifies the holder, protecting the holder from liability, and assumes the responsibility to return the property to the owner.

Indemnity Bond - An insurance policy that protects the state from future claims against property once paid to a claimant.

Intangible Property - Property that cannot be held in your hand, something that is abstract, or represented by a symbol. For example, an ownership interest in a company is represented by a stock certificate; a bank balance is represented by a passbook or a statement.

NAUPA - National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, an organization of state representatives who have responsibility for overseeing state unclaimed property programs. {}

Owner - A person having legal or equitable claim to the unclaimed property.

Person - Any individual, business association, governmental subdivision or agency, public corporation or authority, estate, trust, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.

Property ID - A unique record identifier in the property database.

Rightful Owner - A person who has the legal right to property.

Stored Value Card - A card that provides a way to make financial transactions by using a magnetic stripe technology to store information about funds that have been prepaid on it.

Tangible Property - Personal property that is physical in nature. A diamond ring and a silver coin are examples.