Bankruptcy Basics :: Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) ::
The law requires that SIPC make advances to the trustee in order to satisfy claims and otherwise liquidate the business. These advances are made to satisfy customer claims in cash, to purchase securities to satisfy net equity claims in lieu of cash, and to pay all necessary costs and expenses of administration and liquidation of the estate to the extent the estate of the debtor is insufficient to pay said costs and expenses. Any amount advanced in satisfaction of customer claims may not exceed $500,000 per customer. 15 U.S.C. § 78fff-3(a). If part of the claim is for cash, the total amount advanced for cash payment must not exceed $100,000. 15 U.S.C. § 78fff-3(a)(1). The difference between cash payments and the maximum amount allowed can be satisfied by the delivery of securities, or cash in lieu of securities.