Fire Victim Trust

Frequently Asked Questions


Non-Medical Liens


191. What is a Lien?

A Lien is a legal right through which someone claims a legal obligation to withhold payment from an award. The person or entity claiming the Lien is called a lienholder.


192. What Non-Medical Liens will the Claims Administrator pay out of an award?

The Claims Administrator will need to address the following kinds of Non-Medical Liensasserted by lienholders:


(a) Attorney Liens. An Attorney Lien is a Lien for an attorney’s fees and costs for workthat the lawyer performed in connection with representing a Claimant at the time of filing its Proof of Claim in the Chapter 11 Cases or at any time thereafter inconnection with the Claimant’s Fire Victim Trust Claim(s).


(b) Other Liens, which include:


    (1) Child Support Liens. These are Liens from a federal or state child support agency for unpaid child support arrears.

    (2) Tax Liens. These are Liens from a federal, state, or local tax agency for unpaid tax obligations.

    (3) Judgment Liens. These are Liens for a debt based on a contract, business, loan, or any other debt enforced in a final judgment entered against the Claimant by a federal or state court.

    (4) UCC-1 Perfected Security Interest Liens. These are Liens evidenced by a UCC-1 filing and a security agreement granting a security interest in general intangibles, payment intangibles, or the proceeds of a Fire Victim Trust Claim.


193. Are there any debts that the Claims Administrator will not pay?

The Claims Administrator will not pay claims for debts owed by anyone other than the Claimant, including those against a Claimant’s lawyer.


194. How does a lienholder notify the Trust of an Attorney Lien or other Non-Medical Lien?

Lienholders should notify us of a Lien by one of the following methods:


(a) Email: By email to NonMedicalLiens@firevictimtrust.com, using a secure and encrypted method.


(b) Facsimile: By facsimile to (804) 521-7299, ATTN: FVT Liens.


(c) Mail: By mail to Fire Victim Trust, P.O. Box 25936, Richmond, VA 23260, ATTN: FVT Liens.


(d) Delivery: By overnight carrier to Fire Victim Trust, c/o BrownGreer PLC, 250 Rocketts Way, Richmond, VA 23231, ATTN: FVT Liens.


Child support agencies can provide a mass Income Withholding Order to the Claims Administrator, accompanied by a data file with the name and Tax Identification Number of the persons who owe child support debts in the respective state to provide notice of Child Support Liens.


If you are the Claimant’s current lawyer and believe that Lien payments may interfere with recovery of your attorney’s fees and costs, contact the Claims Administrator at NonMedicalLiens@firevictimtrust.com to ensure your fees and costs are protected.



195. What information is required to assert an Attorney Lien or Other Lien?

A lienholder must submit the following information to the Claims Administrator:


(a) Sufficient information to identify the Claimant who is alleged to owe the debt (such as the Claimant’s full name or business name, Social Security Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Foreign Identification Number, Date of Birth, or Claimant ID);


(b) The amount of the debt owed; and


(c) Documentary proof that the Claimant owes a debt to the party asserting the Lien and there is a legal obligation to withhold payment. The documentary proof for each Lien type is:


(1) Attorney Liens: Written notice of an Attorney Lien provided to the Claims Administrator by one of the specified methods; a copy of the attorney’s retainer agreement signed by the Claimant; and, if the assertion includes costs in addition to fees, the attorney must give us the dollar amount of those costs.


(2) Child Support Liens: An individual Income Withholding Order, a Notice of Income Assignment, or a substantially similar document establishing the current child support debt.


(3) Tax Liens: A Notice of Levy, a Notice of Freeze, or a substantially similar document from the federal, state, or local tax agency establishing the current amount of the tax debt.


(4) Judgment Liens: A copy of a file-stamped final judgment against the Claimant entered in federal or state court establishing the debt under applicable federal or state law.


(5) UCC-1 Perfected Security Interest Liens: A copy of a security agreement signed by the Claimant in which the Claimant grants the lienholder a security interest in the Claimant’s general intangibles, payment intangibles, or the proceeds of a Fire Victim Trust Claim; and a copy of a UCC-1 Financing Statement with evidence of filing with the appropriate office.


The Claims Administrator reviews the information and sends the lienholder an email or a letter to acknowledge receipt of the assertion, confirm the lienholder’s contact information, and inform the lienholder if further information or documentation about the Lien is required.


To honor the Lien, the Claims Administrator must receive complete Claimant-identifying information and documentary proof before it begins processing an award. Failure to timely submit the information and documentation will result in the waiver of the lienholder’s right to assert a Lien against the award.



196. What happens after a lienholder submits the required information and documents for a valid Lien?

The Claims Administrator will place a hold on an appropriate portion of any payment(s) that may be made to the affected Claimant and issue a Notice of Lien to the Claimant and the lienholder.


197. How does a Claimant know whether there is an Attorney Lien or Other Lien against it?

The Claims Administrator will issue a Notice of Lien for each Lien asserted against an award along with copies of the supporting documents from the lienholder after the Claimant submits a Claims Questionnaire. The Claimant will be asked to respond to the notice either to consent to or dispute the Lien.

Note for Attorneys: If you are a Claimant’s current lawyer and believe that Lien payments may interfere with recovery of your attorney’s fees and costs, contact the Claims Administrator at NonMedicalLiens@firevictimtrust.com to ensure your fees and costs are protected.



198. How does a Claimant respond to the Notice of Lien?

The Notice of Lien will provide instructions for the Claimant to tell the Claims Administrator whether it consents to or disputes the Lien. If the Claimant does not respond by the deadline listed at the top of the Notice of Lien, the Claims Administrator will treat it as a disputed Lien. The lienholder does not have to respond to the Notice of Lien.


199. What happens if the Claimants disputes a Lien?

The Claims Administrator will issue the Claimant and the lienholder a Notice of Duty to Resolve Lien Dispute with instructions that the parties must resolve the dispute between themselves. The notice will explain that the Claims Administrator will withhold enough money to pay the Lien, to the extent funds are available, until the dispute is resolved.


200. Who resolves disputes over Attorney Liens and Other Liens?

Neither the Trustee, the Claims Administrator, nor the Claims Processor participate in the resolution of Lien disputes. The parties must resolve the dispute between themselves. If the Claimant disputes or fails to consent to an Attorney Lien or Other Lien, the Claims Administrator will withhold an amount sufficient to satisfy the Lien, to the extent funds are available, until the parties advise the Lien is resolved.


201. How will the withheld funds for an Attorney Lien or Other Lien be paid after a Lien dispute is resolved?

The Claims Administrator will disburse the withheld funds in accordance with the written agreement or the final decision.


202. How and when is an Attorney Lien or Other Lien paid?

If a Claimant consents to the Lien, the Claims Administrator will deduct the Lien amount from the award, to the extent funds are available, and will pay the Lien amount to the lienholder to the extent funds are available.

If a Claimant disputes the Lien, the Claims Administrator will withhold an amount sufficient to satisfy the Lien, to the extent funds are available, until one of the following things happens:


(a) The Claims Administrator receives notice of satisfaction and discharge of the Lien from the lienholder;


(b) The Claims Administrator receives a signed, written agreement from the Claimant and the lienholder telling the Claims Administrator how to pay the withheld money; or


(c) For Judgment Liens, the Claims Administrator receives a copy of a modifying court order or statement of complete or partial satisfaction of the debt.



203. Will a Claimant be notified when the Claims Administrator pays an Attorney Lien or Other Lien?

The Claims Administrator will issue a Notice of Lien Payment to the Claimant. The notice will include the date of the Lien payment, the lienholder, and the amount of the payment.


204. Whom do I contact with questions about Attorney Liens and Other Liens?

Contact the Claims Administrator by email to NonMedicalLiens@firevictimtrust.com.


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