Bankruptcy Basics :: Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) ::

Removal to Bankruptcy Court

The case is removed to the bankruptcy court as an adversary proceeding for liquidation. No filing or removal fee is charged. The reason for using an adversary proceeding number is historical. Although the SIPA proceedings are not bankruptcy cases, by law certain procedures prescribed in chapters 1, 3, and 5, and subchapters I and II of chapter 7 of Title 11 of the U.S. Code are applicable in SIPA proceedings. In addition, there is no related bankruptcy case number. Statistical reports to the Administrative Office should repeat the adversary number so that the Statistics Division will know it is a SIPA matter. Forms B111A (Adversary Proceeding Opening Report) and B111B (Adversary Proceeding Closing Report) should be used since this is an adversary proceeding. For adversary proceedings within the adversary SIPA proceeding, the clerk's office should use the original adversary proceeding number for the related case number.

The SIPA requires that the bankruptcy court hold a hearing with 10 days notice to customers, creditors, and stockholders on the disinterestedness of the trustee or attorney for the trustee. 15 U.S.C. § 78eee(b)(6)(B). At the hearing, the court will entertain grounds for objection to the retention of the trustee or attorney for the trustee including, among other things, insider considerations. 15 U.S.C. § 78eee(b)(6)(A). If SIPC appoints itself as trustee, it should be deemed disinterested, and where a SIPC employee has been specified, the employee can not be disqualified solely because of his employment. Id. Neither the Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Rules, nor SIPA provide for U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator involvement.

The SIPA provides for noticing of both customers and creditors. The noticing requirements provided for in 15 U.S.C. § 78fff-2(a)(1) are performed by the trustee, not the clerk of the bankruptcy court. While the SIPA does not require a formal proof of claim for customers (other than certain insiders and their relatives), it does require a written statement of claim. The trustee will normally provide customers with claim forms and instructions. The claim form must be filed with the trustee rather than the clerk of the bankruptcy court. 15 U.S.C. § 78fff-2(a)(2). With limited, specified exceptions, no claim of a customer or other creditor can be allowed unless it is received by the trustee within six months after the initial publication of notice. 15 U.S.C. § 78fff-2(a)(3).