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Another attempt to steal what's yours.

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Another attempt to steal what's yours.

Old 03-09-2012, 09:41 AM
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Default Another attempt to steal what's yours.

Found this today in a shopping center industry publication. Looks like NJ is trying to cash in on a new income stream.

"New Jersey passed legislation that would require American Express and other gift card sellers, including retailers, to turn over any unused balance on the cards to the state after two years. American Express says it plans to appeal, but in the meantime will cease gift card sales in New Jersey after the end of this month. Mastercard, Visa and some retailers say they are still deciding whether to follow American Express’ lead. “Our sales practices as well as sales and information systems are not presently capable of collecting and retaining information as required by the New Jersey law,” American Express wrote in a memo to mall operators. "In addition, the new law materially and adversely affects the economic feasibility of our gift card transactions in New Jersey."

Way to go AMX! No way that money should go to the state.

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Old 03-09-2012, 09:59 AM
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Don't they mean turn it over as unclaimed funds just like dormant accounts, credit balances on power bills after moving, etc? These are then listed on websites for the owners to claim.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:03 AM
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Giftcards don't have owners of record, I don't think. They are like cash.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:08 AM
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Two years is short.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:14 AM
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Why does the government think they have any right to take anything?? What happened to this country?
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by NCcarguy View Post
Why does the government think they have any right to take anything?? What happened to this country?
Why does the government think they have any right to take everything?? What happened to this country?
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:36 AM
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That is our great state of new jersey as soon as I retire I'm otta here.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:41 AM
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It is called escheat laws and many states have them in effect. The general purpose of the law is to provide a means whereby an individual can collect funds due to them from credit balances they may not know exist OR have forgotten about.

I just checked mine and I have 2 credits under $100 each that I am submitting a claim for.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by njbassr View Post
That is our great state of new jersey as soon as I retire I'm otta here.

My in-laws and several of my employees are from NJ.....they all say the same thing. "No-one moves TO New Jersey anymore, plenty of people move OUT but nobody moves in"
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
It is called escheat laws and many states have them in effect. The general purpose of the law is to provide a means whereby an individual can collect funds due to them from credit balances they may not know exist OR have forgotten about.

I just checked mine and I have 2 credits under $100 each that I am submitting a claim for.

that's fine and legal.........but, your carrying a couple gift cards you got from a buddy christmas 2010 that you haven't used. Where is there ANY record that money is yours????......or even your buddy's????
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
It is called escheat laws and many states have them in effect. The general purpose of the law is to provide a means whereby an individual can collect funds due to them from credit balances they may not know exist OR have forgotten about.

I just checked mine and I have 2 credits under $100 each that I am submitting a claim for.
How does that apply to a gift card?
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by t500hps View Post
My in-laws and several of my employees are from NJ.....they all say the same thing. "No-one moves TO New Jersey anymore, plenty of people move OUT but nobody moves in"
They all run to Florida...
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by cracker View Post
the ones who dont stop in delaware, they all run to florida...

fify
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by t500hps View Post
that's fine and legal.........but, your carrying a couple gift cards you got from a buddy christmas 2010 that you haven't used. Where is there ANY record that money is yours????......or even your buddy's????
With prepaid cards, you only need evidence that you possess the card that matches the account number that the unclaimed property has on record.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Because Boat View Post
With prepaid cards, you only need evidence that you possess the card that matches the account number that the unclaimed property has on record.
So the State of New Jersey is trying to nullify the contracts entered into when the cards were purchased?
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Crabpot Man View Post
So the State of New Jersey is trying to nullify the contracts entered into when the cards were purchased?
Not sure what you mean.

Unused prepaid cards that are dormant for 3 years are turned over to the state's unclaimed property fund with a corresponding record of the account number that appears on that card. Each year, the state will publish a list of unclaimed property, or maintain a running list on their website. If after 7 years, no one steps forward to claim the property, the funds escheat to the state's general fund.

If someone tries to use a gift card that hasn't been used in 3 or more years, they will be told the card is invalid. They can then go to the state's unclaimed property website and see if their card number is listed. If so, they can claim the cash value. After 7 years of non-activity, the card holder is out of luck.

It's no different than escheating a dormant bank account. States just never bothered with prepaid cards before and they found out that card issuers were pocketing the money. Now they are giving the consumer the chance to recover what is rightfully theirs.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Because Boat View Post
Not sure what you mean.

Unused prepaid cards that are dormant for 3 years are turned over to the state's unclaimed property fund with a corresponding record of the account number that appears on that card. Each year, the state will publish a list of unclaimed property, or maintain a running list on their website. If after 7 years, no one steps forward to claim the property, the funds escheat to the state's general fund.

If someone tries to use a gift card that hasn't been used in 3 or more years, they will be told the card is invalid. They can then go to the state's unclaimed property website and see if their card number is listed. If so, they can claim the cash value. After 7 years of non-activity, the card holder is out of luck.

It's no different than escheating a dormant bank account. States just never bothered with prepaid cards before and they found out that card issuers were pocketing the money. Now they are giving the consumer the chance to recover what is rightfully theirs.
"Gift Cards" have expiration dates. New Jersey is trying to nullify that.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Crabpot Man View Post
"Gift Cards" have expiration dates. New Jersey is trying to nullify that.
Ok, after reading further into the existing laws and proposed laws, I have a headache.


Government is evil.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Crabpot Man View Post
"Gift Cards" have expiration dates. New Jersey is trying to nullify that.
That is correct. Look at it this way: the issuers of the gift cards have already received the money for goods that are yet to be purchased. Unlike a deposit on something specific, the issuers are simply holding someone's money. If the money is eventually unused it shouldn't be theirs to keep, if for no other reason than that they haven't provided any goods or services to actually earn that money. Plus, they have actually received interest on this unspent money as well (the float). That's a great business model for them; you give me money to hold, I'll invest it for my own benefit, and after two years I keep it all. Some unscrupulous issuers have also applied a scale of time/declining balances on these cards as well, so when you go to use it, if you go to use it, it ain't worth squat. Two years is way too short, though, IMO.

Last edited by t3rockhall; 03-09-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by t3rockhall View Post
That is correct. Look at it this way: the issuers of the gift cards have already received the money for goods that are yet to be purchased. Unlike a deposit on something specific, the issuers are simply holding someone's money. If the money is eventually unused it shouldn't be theirs to keep, if for no other reason than that they haven't provided any goods or services to actually earn that money. Plus, they have actually received interest on this unspent money as well (the float). That's a great business model for them; you give me money to hold, I'll invest it for my own benefit, and after two years I keep it all. Some unscrupulous issuers have also applied a scale of time/declining balances on these cards as well, so when you go to use it, if you go to use it, it ain't worth squat. Two years is way too short, though, IMO.
The terms are disclosed up front.
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