Escheatment laws in the United States require that any unclaimed property (including outstanding checks) must be reported to the state in which the payee resides within a certain period of time. The Church considers a check to be unclaimed property after 180 days.
NOTE: The following information is for the United States.
In August 2011 a notice was sent to units notifying them of a process to help the Church better comply with escheatment laws and automatically report checks to Church Headquarters that are outstanding for more than 180 days. This new process has now in place and will run regularly.
How this process will affect a unit
- Checks outstanding more than 179 days have been marked as “Escheated.” After a check is marked as “Escheated,” the only change MLS will allow is to modify the expense category of the original check. (Escheated checks will still be available to view in MLS, much like voided or cleared checks.)
- After the check is marked as “Escheated,” it will no longer be honored by the bank and if deposited or cashed the check will be returned. In order to receive payment, the payee will need to contact Church headquarters. Your unit should not reissue the check.
- Checks transferred for escheatment will no longer appear in the Action Items portion of the monthly Unit Financial Statement.
- You will receive an Outstanding Checks Report that includes two sections: checks outstanding between 90–179 days and checks outstanding 180 or more days that have been moved to escheatment. (The escheated section will only appear if a check has been moved to the escheatment process during the reporting period.) As a result of this process, units will no longer report outstanding checks for escheatment to Church headquarters at the end of the year.
Handling checks outstanding for more than 90 days
Checks outstanding for 90 to 179 days will appear on the new Outstanding Checks Report under the Outstanding checks between 90-179 days section. Do the following to take care of those checks:
- Contact the payee.
- Ask the payee why they have not cashed the checks.
- If a payee still has the check, ask the them to deposit or cash the check as soon as possible.
- If a payee wants to donate the check back to the Church, have them endorse the check, fill out a donation slip, and follow normal donation procedures.
- If a payee is unable to locate the original check but still wants to be paid or reimbursed, write a replacement check, and then void the original check according to the procedures documented in MLS.
If the outstanding check is a duplicate check or was written in error, void the original check according to the procedures documented in MLS. Do not void a check that has been marked as “cleared” in MLS.
Note: If you have questions about this process, call the Global Service Center at 1-800-537-5932 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours Tuesday and Wednesday nights until 8:00 p.m. (Mountain time Zone).
Repeat steps 1 and 2 above as needed to keep outstanding checks to a minimum and reduce the number of checks sent to Church headquarters for escheatment. These steps should be part of your regular procedures.