480.621.6657 or

Keep Your Stock Account Active

crying girl

States can take your bank or stock account!

It's true, escheatment, as it's called, is the process of reverting ownership of property to the custody of the state.   It's an old concept intended to make sure unclaimed, abandoned, or uninherited property passes to the custody of the state rather than staying in limbo or being pocketed by the financial institution.

The problem is that, nowadays, financially strapped states are getting much more aggressive (too aggessive in our opinion) in pursuing  these accounts. 

Recently many states have begun to require institutions like transfer agents and brokerages, to report property as abandoned based on “inactivity” in addition to, or instead of, being considered lost based on returned mail. The states generally define activity as the shareholder initiating some kind of direct contact, such as those shown in the yellow box. 

The bottom line:

-- Keep your account active (see yellow box).

-- Know your states requirements

-- Periodically check your state's list of unclaimed property.

Escheat Summary & Pointers

1) Important - Make sure your transfer agent has your current address!

2) Set up on-line access to your accout at your transfer agent website

3) Keep your account from being deemed "inactive"
    (do one of the following every two years:)
  • Make sure you cash dividend checks timely (even if small).
  • Vote your proxy (mail or web).
  • Write to your transfer agent (via letter, fax or email).
  • Call the transfer agent.
Helpful links:
-- State's escheat rules.

-- Search your state's unclaimed property listing for any of your property.
    If you find any, go through the process to reclaim it.

-- Computershare escheat info

 

 

Below is an email from Computershare sent to Coca Cola shareholders in 2017 explaining escheatment.  The important point apply to all stocks although your transfer agent may be different and you stock may not pay dividends.


computerhare

 

 

To: GIVEASHARE.COM

Your Plan Statement for The Coca-Cola Company is now available online. Just log in at www.computershare.com/coca-cola to access it securely through the Investor Center website.

BEWARE OF ABANDONED PROPERTY LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Did you know that all U.S. states have laws regarding abandoned property?
Abandoned property laws in the United States require all shareowners to keep their account information current to avoid shares and/or funds from being taken over as a result of an account being deemed abandoned or lost. All companies in the U.S. are required to follow these abandoned property regulations, depending on their state of incorporation. Abandoned property includes assets such as stocks, bonds, bank accounts, tax refunds, uncashed checks, etc.

These laws require shareowners to:

  • Cash your dividend checks in a timely manner.
    If your checks remain uncashed for a specified period of time, The Coca-Cola Company is required by law to turn over the uncashed funds and in some cases, your shares, to the state of your last known residence. Some states may even liquidate your shares when they receive them.
  • Keep your account current.
    Some states require proof of current contact with us. This can be established by accessing your account on-line or by voting your proxy. Please also ensure that Computershare has your correct address on file. If any of your statements or dividend checks are returned to Computershare as undeliverable, The Coca-Cola Company may be required by law to turn over your uncashed checks and your shares to the state of your last known residence. You can change your mailing address at any time by logging on to your shareowner account at www.computershare.com/coca-cola. Please note, if you reside outside the U.S., your shares and/or funds would be turned over to Delaware, our state of incorporation.

If your dividends and/or shares are turned over to the state, you will be required to contact the state directly and file a claim, which can be a lengthy process. In some cases, if the state has liquidated your shares, then the state would only return the liquidated proceeds to you and accumulated dividends, if possible.

To prevent property from being turned over to the state, cash your checks promptly, keep your address current and vote your proxy (voting materials sent each spring). Even if you haven't moved and your statements are delivered quarterly, according to some states, your account could be deemed abandoned if you have not accessed your account or contacted Computershare within three years.

Account access at www.computershare.com/coca-cola can be used to update your account and to obtain additional account information. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may also contact Computershare by telephone at 888-265-3747 or 781-575-2653 for assistance.

Thank you,

Computershare Investor Services

Please note: You are receiving this email because you signed up for eDelivery, our environmentally friendly service. You can unsubscribe to email notifications at any time on Investor Center.

Questions? For additional assistance regarding your account please visit www.computershare.com/contactus. Our virtual agent, Penny, provides answers to many frequently asked questions.

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response.