It can be a long road to finding out whether you have unclaimed bankruptcy funds waiting for you. However, once you confirm that you have unclaimed bankruptcy funds in holding, meaning the funds are being kept by the government until the correct recipients are found, it is time to submit an official claim. The process and the required steps to file a claim to receive unclaimed bankruptcy funds is very straightforward, and though it can be time consuming, is easy.
To prevent delays, making sure the information on the documentation and forms you file are accurate is extremely important. If you make mistakes on your forms, you may have to start the process from scratch. What’s more, the information you will have to fill out on the forms for the claim is typically very basic information, similar to the type of information that is required when applying for bank loans.
In addition to forms, all claimants must provide:
- Proof of identity (varies based on citizenship).
- Supporting documents verifying your right to the unclaimed funds (as a claimant).
- Proof of claim transfer.
- Proof of your status as an estate representative.
- Your notarized signature.
Specific forms that are unique to requesting unclaimed bankruptcy funds must also be submitted, which vary based on your status as either the claimant or the claimant’s representative. The status of your domestic or foreign citizenship also impacts the required forms.
For some people the fundamental process of claiming bankruptcy funds involves too many details to comfortably manage. Some cases are complicated and require extra documentation to verify information integral to the release of any assets.
Experienced licensed bankruptcy attorneys are available to help navigate your claim if you do not trust the accuracy and outcome of your own efforts. Bankruptcy attorneys charge hourly fees, flat fees or a percentage of your funds once received. Some bankruptcy lawyers charge using a combination of these methods.
Attorneys help locate the exact forms needed and provide guidance on how to handle every aspect of the claim submission process. For a person unable to claim his or her money without the help of an attorney, the fees are well worth the price.
Citizens of the U.S. must complete and submit Form AO 213, which requests Vendor Information and TIN Certification, which is downloadable from the U.S. Courts website.
If you do not have a TIN, or TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, you may instead submit Form W-9: Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, which is downloadable from the IRS website. Non-U.S. residents must complete and submit a W-8 Certification Form, which is also downloadable from the IRS website.