An Act Regarding the Presumption of Abandonment of Gift Obligations
Sec. 1. 33 MRSA §1953, sub-§1, ¶G, as corrected by RR 2011, c. 1, §48, is amended to read:
(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.