§ 55-200

How money paid into state treasury from escheats may be recovered

A. If within 120 days from the date of sale, a purchaser submits evidence satisfactory to the State Treasurer that the property described in the grant does not exist or was improperly escheated, the State Treasurer may refund the purchase price, less the expenses of sale and the escheator’s fee. Before any such refund is made, the purchaser must return the grant to the State Treasurer, who shall inform the Librarian of Virginia of its return. Both of these officials shall note the grant’s return in their records. When the purchaser has recorded his grant from the Commonwealth, he shall record a quitclaim deed and send proof thereof to the State Treasurer prior to the issuance of any refund.

B. After any sale of escheated lands and upon certification verified by oath of the city, town or county treasurer or other officer charged with the collection of local real estate taxes that the land so sold was, at the time of escheat to the Commonwealth, subject to the lien of unpaid local real estate taxes or that the land so sold was, at any time prior to sale, subject to other assessments, including liens for demolition, cutting or removing weeds or abating any nuisance on the escheated land, all of which assessments were validly assessed, levied, or imposed by the city, town or county on the lands within twenty years preceding the date of the escheat or inquest, the State Treasurer shall, upon receipt of the proceeds of sale, deduct the escheator’s commission and costs of the inquest and sale. The State Treasurer shall then pay to the city, town or county treasurer out of the net proceeds of such sale, if any, the amount of the local real estate taxes and/or assessments, including accrued penalties and interest, up to but not exceeding the amount of the funds remaining in the hands of the State Treasurer from the proceeds of the sale. To the extent that local taxes and other appropriate local charges exceed the proceeds obtained for such escheated land at the escheat sale, such local taxes and other charges are exonerated. Any other liens on property which is escheated and sold will shift to the proceeds of the sale and will no longer remain a lien on the property.

C. Any person who had not asserted a claim before the sale of escheated property, being entitled to any property so escheated and sold, may recover so much of the net proceeds as remain after deduction of the escheator’s commission, costs of the inquest and sale, and allowance of claims for unpaid real estate taxes and assessments due on the land or from any creditors of the decedent. The same may be allowed by the State Treasurer or if a claim in any such case is rejected by him, a petition for recovery may be made in the manner provided in § 8.01-192 for recovering claims against the Commonwealth, but subject to the limitation in § 8.01-255.


Code 1919, § 521; 1968, c. 626; 1977, c. 583; 1979, c. 340; 1980, c. 213; 1981, c. 514; 1983, c. 482; 1984, c. 315; 1988, c. 377; 1998, c. 427.


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