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Unclaimed Paychecks: Escheatment Trends & Best Practices


Gain a clear understanding of what is encompassed under unclaimed property as it relates to payroll and how to avoid legal pitfalls of unclaimed checks.

When checks and other types of instruments are provided to employees for the payment of wages, bonuses, or reimbursements, or to other vendors as compensation for personal services, are not cashed or utilized; payments are not made when due or are issued in the correct amounts; or checks and instruments are lost and replaced, businesses many years later may be subject to audits that result in substantial liabilities under state unclaimed property and escheat laws. These laws are often enforced on behalf of states by contingent fee auditors who will scrutinize records for errors and omissions over a 10-to-15-year period and utilize statistical projections to determine amounts not paid to states when due. Many states add punitive rates of interest of up to 12% to the amounts determined to be due and may also add civil penalties. This topic will help managers of payroll and human relations departments and other company personnel and consultants understand the purpose of unclaimed property and escheat laws; what their obligations are under these laws; how to determine to which states reports must be filed and unclaimed property remitted; when reports must be filed, and payments made; and how to reduce exposure for liabilities under these laws.



Raymond P. Pepe

Raymond P. Pepe

K&L Gates LLP

  • Of Counsel, K&L Gates LLP
  • Has a wide-ranging state administrative law practice that includes state and local taxation, unclaimed property, and the representation of financial institutions
  • He has been involved with unclaimed property issues throughout his career, including being engaged in amending Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law when he served as Legislative Counsel to former Governor, Dick Thornburgh; serving as a member of the Drafting Committee of the Uniform Law Commission that revised the Uniform Unclaimed Property Law in 1995 and 2015; and by assisting clients with unclaimed property audits, evaluations of the impact of mergers and acquisitions on unclaimed property liabilities, and assisting in the modernization of state unclaimed property laws
  • Member of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Professionals and has been a Pennsylvania delegate to the Uniform Law Commission since 1983
  • Has served clients as a member of K&L Gates since 1991 as an equity partner, and more recently as Of Counsel
  • Graduate, Georgetown University and the Georgetown University Law School
  • Can be contacted at 717-231-5988 or [email protected]

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