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Nebraska and Iowa join other state’s making laws about gift cards.

The ever increasing popularity of gift cards is also increasing legal actions. More states are finding concern over consumer protection on the usage of gift cards. The latest are Nebraska and Iowa.

Nebraska state Senator Carol Hudkins wants to make sure consumers understand fees and expiration dates on gift cards. Some businesses have expirations dates as early as 60 days from purchase. Others have hidden fees.

According to the state treasurer’s office there is only a handful of businesses that routinely turns in unclaimed property. Hudkins wants to change the law so that businesses have an incentive to let customers know what the rules are.

The state treasurer’s office reported that businesses turned in more than $200,000 in unused gift cards and certificates last year. This is up about 300% from just a few years ago.

Senator Hudkins proposed bill was accepted into law and will go into effect November 2006.

What is Iowa doing?

Iowa state Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald is continuing his push to get the Legislature to eliminate expiration dates and fees on gift cards.

Fitzgerald wants lawmakers to take up consumer protection bills in the House and Senate that are designed to eliminate expiration dates on gift cards, gift certificates or bank-issued cards.

Under the bills, service charges or dormancy fees that deplete the value of the cards also would be prohibited.

Once the money is sent to a state Treasurer how can you claim it? CashUnclaimed.com was formed for just that purpose. This company wants you to find the money that is rightfully yours. When you enter your name a search of all state and federal databases is done. Information on how to claim these assets will also be found on this web site.

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