ASSEMBLY, No. 3091

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JULY 1, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  JERRY GREEN

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Assemblywoman  ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman  ANGEL FUENTES

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  GILBERT "WHIP" L. WILSON

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman  CLEOPATRA G. TUCKER

District 28 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Adjusts period triggering abandonment for stored value cards from 2 to 5 years and exempts stored value cards useable solely for telephone services from State’s escheatment processes.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act adjusting the presumption of abandonment for stored value cards and providing an exemption for stored value cards useable solely for telephone services from certain unclaimed property processes, amending section 5 of P.L.2010, c.  (C.46:30B-42.1) (pending before the Legislature as Senate Bill No. 2112 or Assembly Bill No. 3002).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 5 of P.L.2010, c.  (C.46:30B-42.1) (pending before the Legislature as Senate Bill No. 2112 or Assembly Bill No. 3002) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    a.  A stored value card for which there has been no stored value card activity for [two] five years is presumed abandoned.

     b.    The proceeds of a stored value card presumed abandoned shall be the value of the card, in money, on the date the stored value card is presumed abandoned.

     c.     An issuer of a stored value card shall obtain the name and address of the purchaser or owner of each stored value card issued or sold and shall, at a minimum, maintain a record of the zip code of the owner or purchaser. 

     If the issuer of a stored value card does not have the name and address of the purchaser or owner of the stored value card, the address of the owner or purchaser of the stored value card shall assume the address of the place where the stored value card was purchased or issued and shall be reported to New Jersey if the place of business where the stored value card was sold or issued is located in New Jersey.

     d.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an issuer from honoring a stored value card, the unredeemed value of which has been reported to the State Treasurer pursuant to R.S.46:30B-1 et seq., and thereafter seeking reimbursement from the State Treasurer pursuant to R.S.46:30B-62.

     e.     This section does not apply to a stored value card that is distributed by the issuer to a person under a promotional or customer loyalty program or a charitable program for which no monetary or other consideration has been tendered by the owner [and this].

     This section does not apply to a stored value card issued by any issuer that in the past year sold stored value cards with a face value of $250,000 or less.  For purposes of this subsection, sales of stored value cards by businesses that operate either (1) under the same trade name as or under common ownership or control with another business or businesses in the State, or (2) as franchised outlets of a parent business, shall be considered sales by a single issuer.

     This section does not apply to a stored value card that is useable solely for telephone services.  Stored value cards usable solely for telephone services include, but are not limited to, stored value cards redeemable for long-distance telephone service, prepaid cards for wireless telephone service and prepaid cards for other services that function similar to telephone services.

     f.     The State Treasurer is authorized to grant an exemption from such provisions concerning stored value cards, on such terms and conditions as the State Treasurer may require, for a business or class of businesses that demonstrate good cause to the satisfaction of the State Treasurer.  In exercising his discretion pursuant to this section, the State Treasurer may consider relevant factors including, but not limited to, the amount of stored value card transactions processed, the technology in place, whether or not stored value cards issued contain a microprocessor chip, magnetic strip, or other means designed to trace and capture information about place and date of purchase, and such other factors as the State Treasurer shall deem relevant.

     g.     Notwithstanding the provisions of this act or any other law to the contrary, only a stored value card which is exempt from the provisions of this act pursuant to subsection e. or f. of this section shall be deemed a gift card or gift certificate for purposes of P.L.2002, c.14 (C.56:8-110 et seq.).

h.     As used in this section:

     “Stored value card activity” means the purchase or issuance of the stored value card, a transaction executed by the owner that increased or decreased the value of the stored value card, or communication by the owner of the stored value card with the issuer of the stored value card concerning the value of the balance remaining on the stored value card as evidenced by a contemporaneous record prepared by or on behalf of the issuer.

     “Issuer” means an issuer or seller of a stored value card that is a person, retailer, merchant, vendor, provider or business association with the obligations of a holder to accept the stored value card as redeemable for, solely or a combination of, merchandise, services, or cash, and to report and deliver proceeds of the stored value card if abandoned.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately but remain inoperative until the date of enactment of P.L.2010, c.   (C.46:30B-42.1) (pending before the Legislature as Senate Bill No. 2112 of 2010 or Assembly Bill No. 3002 of 2010).


STATEMENT

 

     This bill adjusts the period triggering abandonment for stored value cards from 2 to 5 years and exempts stored value cards useable solely for telephone services from the State’s escheatment processes.  The purposes of this measure are to alleviate the potential burdens that may be imposed upon consumers and issuers by subjecting stored value cards to a two year abandonment trigger and prepaid phone cards to the State’s escheatment processes.

     Senate Bill No. 2112 of 2010 and Assembly Bill No. 3002 of 2010 propose to bring stored value cards into the grasp of the State’s escheatment processes, which allows the State to confiscate and hold the value of those cards upon the triggering of a presumption of abandonment.  Though the value of the card remains subject to the claim of the card owner, the processes involved in escheatment may cause a significant disruption in the use and reliance upon stored value cards, particularly in the case of prepaid phone cards.

     To remedy these potential hazards, this bill makes two modifications to the processes for escheatment of stored value cards.  The bill adjusts the abandonment period that triggers the escheatment of stored value cards from 2 to 5 years.  The bill also provides an exemption to the State’s escheatment process for stored value cards which are useable solely for telephone services.  Stored value cards usable solely for telephone services include, but are not limited to, stored value cards redeemable for long-distance telephone service, prepaid cards for wireless telephone service and prepaid cards for other services that function similar to telephone services.

     The bill is to take effect immediately, but to remain inoperative until the date of enactment of Senate Bill No. 2112 or Assembly Bill No. 3002.