For over two decades, the Client Protection Fund (CPF) had been an unofficial depository for unclaimed attorney trust account (escrow) funds.
On February 9, 2022, the Court adopted Maryland Rule 19-414 Attorney Trust Accounts; Funds Presumed Abandoned. Pursuant to this Rule, funds presumed to be abandoned are no longer to be reported or transmitted to the CPF. This Rule outlines the process to be followed by attorneys in handling abandoned Trust Account funds.
The Rule also requires the CPF to turn over all escrow funds in its possession to the Comptroller’s Office.
The CPF has complied with this Rule and successfully transferred nearly $5.1 million to the Maryland State Comptroller. When names, addresses, and/or dates of birth of former clients were reported to the CPF by the attorney, that information was included in the CPF’s reporting to the Comptroller. When attorneys were unable to identify their former clients, those funds were turned over as unknown.
Under Commercial Law Articles §§ 17-310 through 17-312 and Maryland Rule 19-414, unclaimed funds are to be sent to the Unclaimed Property Fund at the Maryland Comptroller’s Office. Contact 410-767-1700 or UPHOLDER@marylandtaxes.gov for more information.
Any unclaimed Attorney Trust Account (escrow) funds sent to the CPF will be returned to the attorney.