The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin will be closed on Thursday, December 25th and Friday, December 26th, 2014, in observance of Christmas Day.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin will be closed on Thursday, January 1st, and Friday, January 2, 2015, in observance of New Year's Day.

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Unclaimed Funds

 

Search unclaimed funds

 

 

Affidavit and Request for Release of Unclaimed Funds (Claimant and Funds Locators) fillable

Affidavit and Request for Release of Unclaimed Funds (Debtor/Joint Debtor) fillable

Certificate of Service fillable

IRS Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

 

What are Unclaimed Funds?

Unclaimed funds are funds held by the court for an owner or recipient who is entitled to the money, but who has failed to claim ownership or who cannot be located and payment has been returned.  Unclaimed funds may arise from a wide variety of circumstances.  Some of the more common circumstances that give rise to unclaimed funds in a bankruptcy court are below.

  1. Trustee's Unclaimed Dividends
    1. An unclaimed dividend arises when a trustee distributes a dividend to a creditor pursuant to the settlement of a bankruptcy case, but the property goes unclaimed, the payment is not negotiated or is returned.
  2. Trustee's Undistributed Dividends
    1. An undistributed dividend is one that is so small — less than $5 in a chapter 7 case and less than $15 in a chapter 12 or 13 case – that distribution by the trustee is not legally required, unless mandated by a local rule or order.  Also see Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3010.
  3. Unclaimed Interpleader Funds
    1. In some bankruptcy cases, the court may hold other types of funds, such as interpleader funds and cash bonds, pending the resolution of litigation.

When a claimant contacts the court to request unclaimed funds the claimant must submit a petition to the court [and upon notice to the U.S. Attorney and full proof of the right thereto],  requesting the release of the funds.

Claims [or Requests] for the Release of Unclaimed Monies

Three types of entities request the release of unclaimed funds.  Owners of Record: the person shown in the court’s records as the owner of the funds.  Successor Claimants:  business successors, decedent’s estates, assignees, judgment creditors, etc., who now have direct claims to the funds but are not the owners of record.  Representative Claimants: typically fund locators who act on behalf of owners of record/successor claimants.  Fund locators are private enterprises that seek to identify unclaimed funds, locate entities that may have potential claims, make claim to the funds on the behalf of the entities and collect a percentage of the funds recovered as a fee.

In addition to the individual items required below the owner of the record is the party who is shown in the court record as the owner of the funds.  The owner of the funds must prove their identity by providing the court with a photocopy of photo identification, such as driver's license or passport of the party entitled to the funds; and certificate of service to U.S. Attorney’s office must be filed or submitted.

  1. Owners of the Record
    1. When a party contacts a court to request unclaimed funds, the party must submit a legal document — such as an affidavit — to the court requesting the release of the funds. At a minimum, that affidavit must include the following information:
      1. A notarized signature of the claimant
      2. A brief history of the claim
      3. The name, address and telephone number of the claimant, and
      4. The social security or tax identification number of the claimant, via IRS Form W-9 (Must be submitted)
  2. Successor Claimants
    1. When the owner of record is not the claimant, the signer or claimant requesting release of the funds must show proper authority.  All checks will be made payable to the original owner of the record in care of the successor claimant, therefore the social security or tax identification number of the original owner of record, via IRS Form W-9 - Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification must be submitted.
      1. Successor Businesses:
        1. A notarized power of attorney signed by an officer
        2. A statement of the signing officer’s authority
        3. Documentation establishing chain of ownership of the original corporate claimant
        4. IRS Form W-9 for owner of record
      2. Transferred Claims:
        1. Documentation evidencing the transfer of claim or proof of the purchase/sale of assets
        2. Proof of identity of the successor claimant
        3. IRS Form W-9 for owner of record
      3. Decedent's Estate (Administrator, Executor, and Representative):
        1. Certified copies of probate documents establishing the representative’s right to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate
        2. Proof of personal identity of both the estate administrator and the decedent
        3. IRS Form W-9 for owner of record
      4. Representative Claimant (i.e., Fund Locator):
        1. A notarized, original power of attorney signed by the claimant on whose behalf the locator is acting
        2. Documentation sufficient to establish the claimant's entitlement to the funds
        3. Proof of the identity of the representative
        4. IRS Form W-9 for owner of record

 

How the Process Works

Determine Ownership - Review List of Unclaimed Funds

Submit - Affidavit and Request for Release of Unclaimed Funds, IRS Form W-9, Affidavit of Service.

Remember - The owner of the funds must prove their identity by providing the court with a photocopy of photo identification, such as driver's license or passport of the party entitled to the funds; and proof of notice to U.S. Attorney’s office must be filed or submitted.

Timing - Please be patient, this process may take time.  Call the court for specifics 414-297-3291.