☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XXIX OWNERSHIP AND CONVEYANCE OF PROPERTY

Chapter 447

Effective - 28 Aug 2018, 2 histories bottom

  447.581.  Agreements to locate or reveal whereabouts of property, requirements for validity — agreements to pay or assist in recovery of property, requirements for enforceability — registration of recovery representative, requirements — suspension of registration, hearing, disclosure of information — penalty for violations — treasurer may withhold payment, when. — 1.  No agreement entered into after a report is filed is valid if any person undertakes thereby to locate or reveal the whereabouts of property included in that report for a fee or compensation, unless the agreement discloses the nature and value of the property, is in writing, duly signed and acknowledged by the property owner.

  2.  Any agreement to pay compensation to recover or assist in the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer under the provisions of sections 447.500 to 447.595 which is made within twelve months after the date of payment or delivery to the treasurer is unenforceable.  Any agreement to pay compensation to recover or assist in the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer which is made more than twelve months, but less than twenty-four months, after the date of payment or delivery to the treasurer shall be invalid if the compensation for recovery is greater than ten percent of the property at issue.  Any agreement to pay compensation to recover or assist in the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer which is made more than twenty-four months, but less than thirty-six months, after the date of payment or delivery to the treasurer shall be invalid if the compensation for recovery is greater than fifteen percent of the property at issue.  Any agreement to pay compensation to recover or assist in the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer which is made more than thirty-six months after the date of payment or delivery to the treasurer shall be invalid if the compensation for recovery is greater than twenty percent of the property at issue.

  3.  Except as provided in subsection 7 of this section, any person who enters into an agreement to recover or perform in a representative capacity to assist in the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer under sections 447.500 to 447.595, for compensation, shall register with the treasurer prior to submitting a claim to the treasurer for recovery of such property.  Any claim filed by a person acting in a representative capacity for the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer under sections 447.500 to 447.595, for compensation, shall be invalid unless the person is registered with the treasurer in accordance with this section.  Every person who registers with the treasurer in accordance with this section shall certify compliance and good standing with the tax, business registration and other regulatory requirements of the state of Missouri.  To remain registered a person must annually recertify compliance with such requirements.

  4.  The treasurer may require such additional information from persons wishing to register in accordance with the provisions of this section as the treasurer reasonably believes to be necessary to protect the rightful owners of property presumed abandoned and the citizens of the state of Missouri, generally.

  5.  If the treasurer receives information, directly or indirectly, which gives the treasurer reason to believe that a person registered in accordance with the provisions of this section to recover or perform in a representative capacity to assist in the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer, for compensation, has violated the provisions of sections 447.500 to 447.595, or any other provision of law, the treasurer may suspend the registration of such person.  In such a case, the treasurer shall notify the person in writing of the grounds for the proposed suspension of registration and provide the person an opportunity to respond to the allegations in writing or, upon request, through a hearing conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 536.  For good cause shown, the treasurer may refrain from acting on any claim filed by such a person pending determination of the appropriateness of suspending such a person's registration.  Suspension of a person's registration by the treasurer shall not be a prerequisite nor a substitute for any other civil or criminal causes of action to which such person may otherwise be subject, but is in addition to such possible remedies.  Any information obtained or compiled by the treasurer in determining whether to register or suspend such a person's registration may be disclosed to appropriate law enforcement agencies, in any investigation, action or proceeding, civil, criminal or mixed, brought by a governmental agency to enforce the laws of this state, and except for the treasurer's office work product, upon court order in any action or proceeding where such information is material to an issue in the action or proceeding.

  6.  Any person whose registration has been suspended or which has lapsed pursuant to this section may thereafter seek to reregister in accordance with the provisions of this section.

  7.  Subsection 1 of this section shall not apply to any agreement made by any person, including personal representatives, guardians, trustee, and others in a representative capacity, with another to discover property in which such person has an interest for a fixed fee or hourly or daily rate, not contingent upon the discovery of property or the value of property discovered; provided, however, that any agreement entered into under this subsection for the purpose of evading the provisions of subsection 1 of this section shall be invalid and unenforceable.

  8.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an owner from asserting, at any time, that any agreement to locate or reveal the whereabouts of properties is based on an excessive or unjust consideration.

  9.  Except as provided under subsection 7 of this section, any person who enters into an agreement to recover or perform in a representative capacity to assist in the recovery of property reported or delivered to the treasurer under sections 447.500 to 447.595, for compensation, without first registering with the treasurer under subsection 3 of this section shall be guilty of an infraction, unless the person has previously been found guilty of a violation of this section, in which case he or she shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.  The treasurer may prohibit the registration of any person convicted for violation of this section.

  10.  The treasurer may review any claim and contact any person or other party making a claim to ensure compliance with sections 447.500 to 447.595.  The treasurer may withhold payment of any claim until the treasurer is reasonably satisfied that the claim is legitimate, that the representative acting under an agreement under this section is in compliance with the provisions of this section, and that the person making the claim is aware of the nature and potential value of the person's claim.

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(L. 1986 H.B. 1547, A.L. 1994 S.B. 757, A.L. 2018 S.B. 644)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2018 ----

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Effective End
447.581 8/28/2018
447.581 7/1/1994 8/28/2018

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