Bill Summary for H 157 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Feb 24 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 157 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 24, 2021
AN ACT DEFINING AND ESTABLISHING GOVERNING STANDARDS FOR PROPERTY FINDERS.
Intro. by Hurley.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 28A-4-2 to specify that a person who is employed by, acts as an agent for, serves as legal counsel for, or conducts business with a property finder (as defined in GS 116B-52), cannot serve as a personal representative.

Amends GS 116B-52 to define property finder to mean an individual or business entity, incorporated or otherwise, who, for fee or any other consideration, seeks to locate, deliver, recover, or assist in the recovery of property that is distributable to the owner or presumed abandoned.

Amends GS 28A-22-11 to a make an agreement by an heir to locate or recover a share of a decedent's estate, subject to Article 4 (North Carolina Unclaimed Property Act) of GS Chapter 116B (was, subject only to GS 116B-78).

Amends GS 116B-78 (agreement to locate property) to also make the statute applicable to an agreement by an apparent owner and requires that in order to be covered under the statute, that the agreement be entered into between a property finder and an owner or apparent owner with the stated purpose. Specifies that an agreement that does not meet the statute's requirements is void as well as unenforceable. Requires property finders (was, persons entering into an agreement with an owner) to register each calendar year with the Treasurer.

Enacts new GS 116B-78.1 regulating property finders as follows. Requires property finders to be licensed as a private investigator by the Private Protective Services Board. Prohibits property finders from initiating a claim with the Treasurer before being registered as a property finder or before being licensed as a private investigator. Allows denying registration for up to a year for failing to comply. Prohibits initiating a claim with the Treasurer before obtaining a valid agreement with an owner or apparent owner and allows suspending registration for up to one year for noncompliance. Allows suspending registration for up to one year when a property finder enters into an agreement to locate property that does not comply with GS 116B-78. Prohibits a property finder with a suspended registration from conducting business with the Unclaimed Property Division and requires any pending or potential claims to be denied during any period of suspension.

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