Fire Victim Trust

Frequently Asked Questions


Fire Victim Claims - Generally


30. What types of claims will the Fire Victim Trust consider?

The Claims Resolution Procedures (available here) outline seven types of claims that Fire Victims can submit: (1) Real Property, (2) Personal Property, (3) Personal Income Loss, (4) Business Loss, (5) Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses, (6) Wrongful Death and Personal Injury, and (7) Emotional Distress. In addition to these categories, the Trust will review all other submitted claims and consider all damages and costs recoverable under California law or, if applicable, other non-bankruptcy law.


31. May I sell or assign my Fire Victim Claim?

A claim that was sold or assigned before June 20, 2020 will be recognized and processed as if the assignee was the original holder of the claim. Otherwise, subject to certain limited exceptions, the Order Confirming the Plan of Reorganization and the Trust Agreement prohibit the sale or assignment of a Fire Victim Claim from and after June 20, 2020.

 

The exceptions to the prohibition on sale or assignment are:

 

  • Claims transferred by will or by intestate succession upon the death of the Fire Victim;
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  • Claims transferred by operation of law; and
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  • Claims transferred by a Fire Victim to its successor by merger, consolidation or by purchase of substantially all the assets of the Fire Victim.


32. Do I need to complete a new form to submit my claims to the Fire Victim Trust?

Yes. Claimants must complete a Claims Questionnaire, which will include sections for you to provide or update demographic information and information about your claim(s). You can complete the Claims Questionnaire and upload supporting documents by logging into your online Portal.


33. What is the deadline to submit a Claims Questionnaire?

The deadline to submit a Claims Questionnaire was February 26, 2021.


34. How do I sign a completed Claims Questionnaire in my Portal?

If you are a lawyer:

 

In the Signature module of the Claims Questionnaire, follow the instructions to email each client to provide an electronic signature. All Claimants must have a signature before the Claims Questionnaire can be submitted to the Fire Victim Trust for processing. Click the Send button to enter the client’s email address and you may use the same email address multiple times.

 

If you are a Claimant who is not represented by a lawyer:

 

In the Signature module of the Claims Questionnaire, click the E-Sign button next to each Claimant’s name to provide an electronic signature. All Claimants must have a signature before the Claims Questionnaire can be submitted to the Fire Victim Trust for processing.


35. What happens if a Fire Victim submitted a Proof of Claim on or before 12/31/19 but died before submitting a Claims Questionnaire?

If a Fire Victim executed a Proof of Claim in the Bankruptcy Cases on or before 12/31/19 and subsequently died, the Trust will consider his or her claims preserved and, if properly submitted by the deceased Fire Victim’s estate or survivors, will evaluate the claims for potential eligibility. Similarly, if a Fire Victim filed a lawsuit against PG&E and died while the lawsuit still was pending and the estate or survivors submitted a Proof of Claim in the Bankruptcy Cases on or before 12/31/19, the Trust will consider the Fire Victim’s claims preserved and, if properly submitted by the deceased Fire Victim’s estate or survivors, will evaluate the claims for potential eligibility. You do not need to amend the Proof of Claim to substitute a Claimant’s estate or survivors to ensure eligibility for these claims. Instead, if you have not already identified a Representative Claimant for the decedent, you may add a Representative Claimant in the Edit Claimant Details section on your Portal.


36. Who may act as Authorized Representative for a Claimant that is a trust, and what documents must they submit to the Fire Victim Trust to support their authority?

To support their authority to act as Authorized Representative to a Claimant that is a trust-including accepting any offer, signing Releases, and receiving payment-a party must (1) be a trustee of that trust, and (2) submit trust documents showing as such, which may include the signed trust instrument, Grant Deed naming the trustees and the trust, or a certification of trust. If none of these documents can be produced, please contact the Claims Processor.


37. How do I add an Authorized Representative for a Fire Victim who is a trust or business?

You must identify an Authorized Representative for all Claimants who are a trust or business. You can add an Authorized Representative through the Claimant Details Screen on your Portal. Click the Edit Claimant Details button, then select the appropriate Claimant Type from the dropdown menu. The option to Add Representative will become available.


38. Who may act as an Authorized Representative for a business entity, and what documents must they submit to the Fire Victim Trust to support their authority?

A single owner or other duly authorized agent may act as Authorized Representative for a Claimant that is a business entity-including accepting any offer, signing Releases, and receiving payment. The type of documents required to support a party's authority to act on behalf of the business entity Claimant depends on the party's relationship to the business entity Claimant, but can include the following:

 

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Articles of Organization
  • Certificate of Organization
  • Bylaws
  • Operating Agreements
  • Corporate Resolutions
  • Shareholder Lists
  • Partnership Agreements
  • An EIN Assignment Letter from the IRS addressed to a “responsible party,” as defined by the IRS, for the business entity
  • Other documents to support legal ownership


39. Who may act as an Authorized Representative for a business entity, and what documents must they submit to the Fire Victim Trust to support their authority?

A single owner or other duly authorized agent may act as Authorized Representative for a Claimant that is a business entity—including accepting any offer, signing Releases, and receiving payment. The type of documents required to support a party’s authority to act on behalf of the business entity Claimant depends on the party’s relationship to the business entity Claimant, but can include the following:

(a) Articles of Incorporation

(b) Articles of Organization

(c) Certificate of Organization

(d) Bylaws

(e) Operating Agreements

(f) Corporate Resolutions

(g) Shareholder Lists

(h) Partnership Agreements

(i) An EIN Assignment Letter from the IRS addressed to a “responsible party,” as defined by the IRS, for the business entity

(j) Other documents to support legal ownership


40. Who may sign the Claims Questionnaire on behalf of a business with multiple owners?

A single owner or other duly authorized agent may sign the Claims Questionnaire on behalf of a business. The Signature section of the Claims Questionnaire contains language by which the signer declares under penalty of perjury that he/she is authorized to sign on behalf of the business.


41. Can I amend a Claims Questionnaire or continue to upload documents to support my claim(s) after I have submitted a final claims package?

Yes, you can amend a Claims Questionnaire and continue to upload supporting documents after submitting a claims package. The Claims Processor will lock a submitted Claims Questionnaire on the Portal once a claim proceeds to the review phase. If you would like to amend existing data or claims information that appears on a Claims Questionnaire, you can upload correspondence to the Portal reflecting your edits. If you would like to assert a new claim that does not already appear on a previously submitted Claims Questionnaire, you can complete a new Claims Questionnaire for that claim on the Portal. You will have the ability to upload documents throughout the course of the administration of the Trust.


42. Will the Trust review all claims data and supporting documents from Claimants?

The Trust will evaluate all Claims Questionnaires, any supporting documents that Claimants upload, and publicly available data to make award determinations.


43. How will the Trust treat claims data that is not easily verifiable?

The Trust will review supporting documents and request additional information if necessary. Also, each Claimant must sign the Claims Questionnaire under the penalty of perjury.


44. How will the Trust process documentary support or Claimant-generated valuations where a modeled claim valuation already exists?

The Trust will consider Claimant-submitted valuations. All award determinations will be based on supporting records and publicly available data.


45. What is an audit?

Under Section X of the Claims Resolution Procedures, the Trust audits claims to detect and prevent fraud. The Trust may randomly or selectively identify claims for audit to verify supporting documentation submitted (including death certificates, medical and other records) and request that a Claimant provide additional records or information. The Trust may deny a claim if it determines that the claim is fraudulent or a Claimant refuses or fails to respond to requests for records or information.


46. How will the Trust determine that a claim is fraudulent?

The Trust may determine that a claim is fraudulent if there exists any evidence of the misrepresentation, omission, or concealment of a fact material to the evaluation of the claim. A fact is material if it did affect or has the potential to affect whether the Claimant qualifies for any compensation under the Trust Agreement and Claims Resolution Procedures.


47. Why did I receive a Notice of Audit of Claim?

Your claim is in audit under Section X of the Claims Resolution Procedures. The Notice of Audit of Claim may list records or information you need to provide to complete the audit. Submit the records or information requested by the deadline at the top of the notice.


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