MF Global trustee James Giddens has sent a warning to all former clients seeking funds from the collapsed commodities broker to file the claims by January 31. Those who fail to file by this deadline risk not recovered their missing funds or securities.
Those claims filed by 11:59pm on the 31st will be protected to the full extent of the law, and be considered in future distributions of assets. Even those who have already received distributions or account transfers should file claims. Other claims against MF Global, including general estate claims, made be made as late as June 2, 2012.
“It is in the interest of all former customers of MF Global to file a claim, and we strongly encourage them to do so. We understand the claims forms are complex because of regulatory and court requirements, and we recognize that they may be cumbersome to complete. Claimants should fill out the form to the best of their abilities. We serve as the advocates for customers and are committed to helping claimants through the claims process,” said Giddens. He also said that he hoped to better gauge the true extent of the client funds shortfall once all the claims are filed.
Generally, missing securities are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation Insurance found on many brokerage accounts. However, this type of coverage does not apply to commodities accounts like those held at MF Global. Therefore, client returns will be based on the amount of money Giddens and the CFTC are able to track and recover.$4.1 billion has already been released from frozen accounts, but the whereabouts of as much as $1.2 billion is still unknown.