LD 1612
Session - 129th Maine Legislature
LR 1329
Item 1
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act Regarding the Presumption of Abandonment of Gift Obligations

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 33 MRSA §1953, sub-§1, ¶G,  as corrected by RR 2011, c. 1, §48, is amended to read:

G. A gift obligation or stored-value card, 2 years after December 31st of the year in which the obligation or the most recent transaction involving the obligation or stored-value card occurred, whichever is later, including the initial issuance and any subsequent addition of value to the obligation or stored-value card.

(1) The amount unclaimed is 60% of the gift obligation's or stored-value card's face value.

(2) A gift obligation or stored-value card sold on or after December 31, 2011 is not presumed abandoned if the gift obligation or stored-value card was sold by a single issuer who in the past calendar year sold no more than $250,000 in face value of gift obligations or stored-value cards. Sales of gift obligations and stored-value cards are considered sales by a single issuer if the sales were by businesses that operate either:

(a) Under common ownership or control with another business or businesses in the State; or

(b) As franchised outlets of a parent business.

(3) A period of limitation may not be imposed on the owner's right to redeem the a gift obligation or stored-value card.

(4) Notwithstanding section 1956, fees or charges may not be imposed on gift obligations or stored-value cards, except that the issuer may charge a transaction fee for the initial issuance and for each occurrence of adding value to an existing gift obligation or stored-value card. These transaction fees must be disclosed in a separate writing prior to the initial issuance or referenced on the gift obligation or stored-value card.

(5) Beginning November 1, 2008, if the gift obligation or stored-value card is redeemed in person and a balance of less than $5 remains following redemption, at the consumer's request the merchant redeeming the gift obligation or stored-value card must refund the balance in cash to the consumer. This subparagraph does not apply to a prepaid telephone service card, a gift obligation or nonreloadable stored-value card with an initial value of $5 or less or a stored-value card that is not purchased but provided as a promotion or as a refund for merchandise returned without a receipt.

(6) This paragraph does not apply to prefunded bank cards ; .

(7) A gift obligation card may not be presumed to be abandoned;


Under current law, a gift obligation card, which includes a gift certificate, gift card and online gift account, is considered abandoned 2 years after the expiration of the calendar year in which it was purchased or last used. This bill removes the presumption of abandonment for gift obligation cards.

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