Unclaimed funds are monies deposited with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts (the “Court”) by a bankruptcy case trustee pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 347 which the Court holds on behalf of parties owed. This webpage provides instructions on how to search for and apply for payment of unclaimed funds.
Searching for Unclaimed Funds
Information regarding unclaimed funds that have been deposited with the Court may be obtained as follows:
2. Using your PACER login information, log into the Court’s ECF page.
3. Select Reports from the blue menu at the top of the page.
4. Select Unclaimed Funds from the list of reports.
5. From the options displayed, select your parameters (dates, etc.)
6. The report will display.
Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds
In December 2019, the Director of the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts issued a standardized application for payment of unclaimed funds along with instructions and forms of proposed orders. The Court has amended the Director’s application, instructions, and form of proposed order granting the application which documents must be used and followed when applying for payment of unclaimed funds. See Standing Order 2021-01.
The Court’s Instructions for Filing Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds contain information for filling out, supporting, filing, and serving an Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds, as well as certain definitions. When filing an application please note:
2. Original signatures must be notarized where indicated on the forms. Documents signed and notarized outside the United States have special requirements. Contact the Embassy of the country of origin (where you are having the document notarized) or the United States Embassy for assistance.
3. A government issued photo ID is required of anyone filing an Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds.
4. Any person or entity making a claim for unclaimed funds with a different name than the name(s) on file with the Court must provide documentation as to the name change.
5. Any person or entity making a claim for unclaimed funds with a different address than the address on file with the Court must provide documentation as to their use of the prior address, (old utility bill, license or tax bill etc.). If such documentation is unavailable, a notarized sworn affidavit as to use of the prior address may be submitted, but the Court, in its discretion, may require additional evidence of prior use of the address.
Funds locators are private enterprises that seek to identify unclaimed funds, locate persons or entities that may have potential claims, submit applications for payment of unclaimed funds on the behalf of the persons or entities who are entitled to them (a “Claimant”), and collect a percentage of the funds recovered as a fee. All applications presented to the Court by a funds locator must also be supported by appropriate documentation including a copy of their agreement with the Claimant. If the Court is satisfied that a funds locator is entitled to receive unclaimed funds as the representative of the Claimant, and proper notice has been given, the Court may order that the funds be released under the authority of 28 U.S.C. § 2042. Regardless of the existence of any authorizing Power of Attorney, however, the Court is prohibited from issuing a check payable solely to any funds locator. All checks must be issued to the Claimant but may be sent in care of the funds locator.
Additional Business Requirements
2. Should the applicant need more information about the legal requirements concerning unclaimed funds owned by defunct businesses, we recommend you contact legal counsel for assistance.
Filing the Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds
2. Filing by Mail: Parties who cannot file electronically must mail the Application and supporting documentation to the Court at the following address:
United States Bankruptcy Court
District of Massachusetts
Attn: Finance Department
5 Post Office Square, Suite 1150
Boston, MA 02109-3945
Processing a Claim
Upon receipt of the Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds, the application will be docketed and the originals forwarded to the Finance Department. The Finance Department will review the application and supporting documentation for completeness, determine whether the guideline requirements have been satisfied, verify that the requested funds remain on deposit with the Court, and forward the application and supporting documentation to the Bankruptcy Judge assigned to the case for determination. Please be advised that it may take some time to process. Should the Finance Department find that the application is incomplete or the guidelines have not been met, a deficiency notice may be issued to the applicant and entered on the docket. If the deficiency is not cured before the deadline set forth in the notice, the Court may deny the application.
Questions Regarding a Filed Application
Questions may be directed to the Court by calling the Finance Department at 617-748-6614.
2. Corporate Forms (Required for Business Entity Claimants)
3. Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (Required)
4. Proposed Order Approving Application for Payment of Unclaimed Funds (Required)