Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 8. Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

Requests For Reports, Examination Of Records, And Confidentiality

70-9-820. Requests for reports, examination of records, and confidentiality. (1) The administrator may require a person that has not filed a report or a person that the administrator believes has filed an inaccurate, incomplete, or false report to file a verified report in a form specified by the administrator. The report must state whether the person is holding property reportable under this part, describe property not previously reported or as to which the administrator has made inquiry, and specifically identify and state the amounts of property that may be in issue.

(2) The administrator, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, may examine the records of any person to determine whether the person has complied with this part. The administrator may conduct the examination even if the person believes it is not in possession of any property that must be reported, paid, or delivered under this part. The administrator may contract with any other person to conduct the examination on behalf of the administrator.

(3) The administrator, at reasonable times, may examine the records of an agent, including a dividend disbursing agent or transfer agent, of a business association or financial organization that is the holder of property presumed abandoned if the administrator has given the notice required by subsection (2) to both the association or organization and the agent at least 90 days before the examination.

(4) Documents and working papers obtained or compiled by the administrator, or the administrator's agents, employees, or designated representatives, in the course of conducting an examination and personal information obtained from a holder's reports, except for the personal information published pursuant to 70-9-810, are confidential and are not public records, but the documents and papers may be:

(a) used by the administrator in the course of an action to collect unclaimed property or otherwise enforce this part;

(b) used in joint examinations conducted with or pursuant to an agreement with another state, the federal government, or any other governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality;

(c) produced pursuant to subpoena or court order; or

(d) disclosed to the abandoned property office of another state for that state's use in circumstances equivalent to those described in this subsection (4) if the other state is bound to keep the documents and papers confidential.

(5) The administrator may only disclose confidential personal information to an apparent owner of unclaimed property, or the apparent owner's personal representative, power of attorney, attorney-in-fact, or agent, or a beneficiary of the apparent owner or the unclaimed property.

(6) If an examination of the records of a person results in the disclosure of property reportable under this part, the administrator may assess the cost of the examination against the holder at the rate of $200 a day for each examiner, or a greater amount that is reasonable and was incurred, but the assessment may not exceed the value of the property found to be reportable. The cost of an examination made pursuant to subsection (3) may be assessed only against the business association or financial organization.

(7) If, after July 1, 1997, a holder does not maintain the records required by 70-9-821 and the records of the holder available for the periods subject to this part are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, the administrator may require the holder to report and pay to the administrator the amount the administrator reasonably estimates, on the basis of any available records of the holder or by any other reasonable method of estimation, should have been but was not reported.

History: En. Sec. 20, Ch. 124, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 588, L. 2023.