New York Abandoned Property Law
Restriction on Agreement to Locate And/or Retrieve Abandoned Property
1416. Restriction on agreement to locate and/or retrieve abandoned property.
1. For the purposes of this section, “abandoned property location services” shall include any service for a fee providing assistance to consumers for the purposes of locating and/or retrieving property held by the comptroller pursuant to this chapter.
2. This section shall apply to any person, corporation, association, partnership or other entity which sells or offers to sell abandoned property location services for abandoned property delivered to the state and held by the state comptroller; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to a clients agreement with an attorney or accountant where:
(a) the services in question can only be performed by an attorney or accountant; or
(b) there is a pre-existing relationship between the attorney or accountant and the client; or
(c) the agreement results from an effort initiated by the client to engage the attorney or accountant.
3. No agreement for abandoned property location services pursuant to this chapter shall be valid unless such agreement:
(i) in such form as may be prescribed by the comptroller;
(iii) signed by the property owner; and
(iv) witnessed and acknowledged by a notary public;
(b) discloses the nature of the property;
(c) discloses the name and address of the comptroller; and
(d) discloses, in a clear and conspicuous manner, and in at least twelve-point boldface type: “Abandoned funds held by the State can be obtained directly from the Office of the State Comptroller by the owner of such funds without paying a fee. These funds are held indefinitely by the Office of the State Comptroller. For more information, contact the Office of the State Comptroller at (insert the current telephone number established by the Office of the State Comptroller for receiving inquiries from consumers regarding unclaimed funds) or (insert the current address of the website of the Office of the State Comptroller)”.
4. No such agreement shall be valid if it provides for payment of a fee in excess of fifteen percent of the value of recoverable property.
5. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an owner from asserting, at any time, that any agreement for abandoned property location services is based on an excessive or unjust consideration.