This article originally appeared in the April 23, 2020, issue of the Memorial Business Journal.
Several weeks ago, [the Memorial Business Journal] journal published an article on a possible distribution to funeral homes of proceeds that the special deputy receiver (SDR) in the National Prearranged Services litigation had recovered from banks, accountants and law firms that had assisted NPS.
Although no settlement had been announced, the SDR sent a notice to funeral homes informing them that they could submit a proof of claim covering their lost profits on NPS preneed funeral contracts they had performed. In the notice, the SDR indicated that the deadline for the submission of claims is June 1, 2020. Funeral homes could file claims on any NPS preneed contract they had serviced up until May 1, 2020.
Following the publication of the article, NFDA heard from several funeral homes that had serviced NPS contracts but had not received a notice of the possible recovery from the SDR. NFDA followed up with the SDR to ask which funeral homes had received the notice of a possible recovery. The SDR responded that it only sent notices to those funeral homes that had filed a notice of claim with the SDR back in 2009. Therefore, if a funeral home had not filed a notice of claim 11 years ago, it would not be receiving a notice from the SDR.
NFDA then inquired as to whether funeral homes that had not received the notice but had performed NPS preneed contracts from 2009-2020 could share in any possible settlement distribution. The SDR responded that that would be up to the court overseeing the settlement but that there was certainly no harm in funeral homes filing claims if they had performed NPS preneed contracts.
Therefore, if a funeral home has not yet filed a proof of claim with the SDR for those NPS preneed contracts it has performed from 2009 up to May 1, 2020, it may do so.
Funeral homes intending to file the proof of claim have until June 1 to submit the claim. The proof of claim will not be accepted by email or fax. In order to be timely submitted, the documentation must be postmarked prior to 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 1, 2020. A copy of the two-page SDR notice and the one-page proof of claim form are available at www.nfda.org/nps. Members can also email email@example.com.
NFDA members with questions regarding this matter can contact Gilligan at 513-871-6332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.