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 > Other Motions/Applications > Withdraw 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/ (link is external)). 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/ (link is external)) 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
ii. Owner of Record - Business or Government Entity
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
ii. Successor Claimant – Business or Government Entity
iii. Deceased Claimant's Estate
C. Claimant Representative
If the Movant is Claimant’s attorney or other representative, the following documentation is required:
c. Filing the Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds
The release of unclaimed funds may occur only after the claimant or filer:
DO NOT FILE THE AO 213P WITH YOUR MOTION PACKAGE
d. Post-Filing Process
Motions to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds are made pursuant to LBR 3011-1. Any party objecting to the Claimant’s request in the motion shall comply with the Order Establishing Procedures Regarding Motion to Withdraw Unclaimed Funds and the deadlines set in the order. 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. The court may also deny the motion.
No proposed order regarding the disbursement of unclaimed funds is necessary. The court will issue its own order granting the motion to withdraw unclaimed funds.
Rules and Forms