Unclaimed Funds Rules and Guidance

What are Unclaimed Funds?

Unclaimed funds are held by the court for an individual or entity who is entitled to the money but who has failed to claim ownership of it. The United States Courts, as custodians of such funds, have established policies and procedures for holding, safeguarding, and accounting for the funds.

I.Searching Unclaimed Funds

To search unclaimed funds, use the Unclaimed Funds Locator at https://ucf.uscourts.gov/. Select US Bankruptcy Court Middle District of Tennessee (TNMB – Tennessee middle) from the dropdown list and enter the applicable search criteria. If you need access to a computer to perform the search, you may use the court’s public computer terminal(s) located at 701 Broadway, Room 170, Nashville TN 37203 (Intake Lobby). Additionally, you may contact the Clerk’s office at 615-736-5584 to verify unclaimed funds balances.

II.Filing Requirements to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds

a. Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds

Any party who seeks to withdraw unclaimed funds must file a Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds in substantial conformance with the court’s standard application forms (Form 1340) and serve a copy of the motion on the parties listed in Local Bankruptcy Rule (LBR) 3011-1. For purposes of this procedure, the “Movant” is the party filing the motion, and the “Claimant” is the party entitled to the unclaimed funds. The Movant and Claimant may be the same.

The ECF Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds may be found under > Bankruptcy Events > Motions > LBR 9013-1 Motions with Notice > Payment of Unclaimed Funds – BK Motion.

b.Supporting Documentation

1. Payee Information

Funds are payable to the Claimant. In conjunction with the Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds (Form 1340), Claimant’s tax identification number (TIN) must be provided to the court on a certification form signed by the Claimant to whom funds are being distributed.

A.Domestic Claimant

A Claimant who is a U.S. person must use either the AO 213P or W-9 certification form (accessible by searching on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website at: https://www.irs.gov/). If a Claimant wants payment via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), then the AO 213P form must be used.

A “U.S. person” includes: an individual who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien; a partnership, corporation, company or association created or organized in the U.S. or under the laws of the U.S.; an estate (other than a foreign estate); or a domestic trust (as defined in 26 C.F.R. 301.7701-7).

Business/Corporate Claimant: If the Claimant is a corporation, partnership or other business entity, the AO 213P Form must provide the name and title of the corporate officer, general partner or business representative along with the address, telephone number, email address and taxpayer identification number.

Individual Claimant: If the Claimant is an individual, the AO 213P Form must provide the name of the claimant, address, telephone number, email address and taxpayer identification number (social security number).

The AO 213P Form must contain an actual signature. Digital signatures or electronic signatures are not allowed. Claimants who do not complete the Financial Information section of the form will receive their payments by check.

B.Foreign Claimant

A foreign Claimant must use a W-8 certification form (accessible by searching on the IRS website at: https://www.irs.gov/) accompanied by the AO-215 form.

If you have problems completing a form, please contact the Clerk’s office at 615-736-5584.

2. Additional Supporting Documentation

Requirements for additional supporting documentation vary depending on the type of Claimant and whether the Claimant is represented. Please read the instructions below to identify what must accompany your Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds.

Sufficient documentation must be provided to the court to establish the Claimant’s identity and entitlement to the funds. Proof of identify must be provided in unredacted form with a current address. If there are joint Claimants, then supporting documentation must be provided for both Claimants.

A.Owner of Record

The Owner of Record is the original payee entitled to the funds appearing on the records of the court. If the Claimant is the Owner of Record, the following additional documentation is required:

i.Owner of Record - Individual

  1. Proof of identity of the Owner of Record (e.g., unredacted copy of driver’s license, other state-issued identification card, or U.S. passport that includes current address); and

  2. A notarized signature of the Owner of Record (incorporated in the Form 1340).

ii.Owner of Record - Business or Government Entity

  1. Motion must be signed by an authorized representative for and on behalf of the business or government entity;

  2. A notarized statement of the signing representative’s authority; and

  3. Proof of identity of the signing representative (e.g., unredacted copy of driver's license, other state-issued identification card, or U.S. passport that includes current address).

If the Owner of Record’s name has changed since the funds have been deposited with the court, then proof of the name change must be provided.

B. Successor Claimant

A successor Claimant may be entitled to the unclaimed funds as a result of assignment, purchase, merger, acquisition, succession or by other means. If the Claimant is a successor to the original Owner of Record, the following documentation is required:

i.Successor Claimant - Individual

  1. Proof of identity of the successor Claimant (e.g., unredacted copy of driver’s license, other state-issued identification card, or U.S. passport that includes current address);
  2. A notarized signature of the successor Claimant (incorporated in Form 1340); and
  3. Documentation sufficient to establish chain of ownership or the transfer of claim from the original Owner of Record.

ii.Successor Claimant – Business or Government Entity

  1. Motion must be signed by an authorized representative for and on behalf of the successor entity;
  2. A notarized statement of the signing representative’s authority;
  3. A notarized power of attorney signed by an authorized representative of the successor entity;
  4. Proof of identity of the signing representative (e.g., unredacted copy of driver's license, other state-issued identification card, or U.S. passport that includes current address); and
  5. Documentation sufficient to establish chain of ownership or the transfer of claim from the original Owner of Record (e.g., documentation sufficient to establish the claimant’s entitlement to the unclaimed funds).

iii.Deceased Claimant's Estate

  1. Proof of identity of the estate representative (e.g., unredacted copy of driver's license, other state-issued identification card, or U.S. passport that includes current address);
  2. Certified copies of probate documents or other documents authorizing the representative to act on behalf of the decedent or decedent’s estate in accordance with applicable state law (e.g., small estate affidavit); and
  3. Documentation sufficient to establish the deceased Claimant’s identity and entitlement to the funds.

C.Claimant Representative

If the Movant is Claimant’s attorney or other representative, the following documentation is required:

  1. Proof of identity of the representative (e.g., unredacted copy of driver's license, other state-issued identification card, or U.S. passport that includes current address);
  2. A notarized power of attorney signed by the Claimant (or Claimant’s authorized representative) on whose behalf the representative is acting; (notarized copy of the power of attorney is not acceptable) and
  3. Documentation sufficient to establish the Claimant’s identity and entitlement to the funds, as set forth above.

c. Proposed Order

Movant must provide the court a proposed order in conformance with the court’s standard Order Granting Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds (Appendix C).

d. Filing the Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds

The release of unclaimed funds may occur only after the claimant or filer:

  • Files a Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds with any redacted personal identifiers (Form 1340) in compliance with LBR 3011-1, 9013-1, and Administrative Order 19-7.
  • Serves a copy of the motion (Form 1340), LBR 9013-1 notice and the court’s standard Order Granting Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds (Appendix C) on the parties listed in LBR 3011-1.
  • Includes documentation evidencing “ownership” of the unclaimed funds; and
  • Completes and provides the required AO 213P Form. The AO 213P Form must be signed. Digital and electronic signatures will not be accepted.  The AO 213P Form is to be emailed separately to:

tnmbml_financial@tnmb.uscourts.gov

DO NOT FILE THE AO 213P WITH YOUR MOTION PACKAGE

e. Post-Filing Process

Motions to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds are made pursuant to LBR 9013-1. Any party objecting to the Claimant’s request in the motion shall comply with LBR 9013-1. If no objection is filed with the court, the motion and accompanying documents may be considered by the court without hearing. If the application is deficient, the Clerk’s office may contact the Movant for additional proof of identity or entitlement to the funds.

 

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