What Is Affidavit of Loss?

An affidavit of loss is a document declaring the loss of a security usually through theft or destruction. The affidavit contains all the details regarding the loss, such as the owner's name and any information pertaining to the security. That information may include a serial number or the security’s date of issue. After the statement has been made, a letter of indemnity can be issued requesting the replacement of the security.

Key Takeaways

  • An affidavit of loss is a document declaring that a security, such as a stock certificate, is lost or destroyed.
  • The security issuer requires an affidavit in order to indemnify the holder or replace the certificate.
  • Individuals can file affidavits of loss for other types of document, such as a passport or diploma.

Understanding Affidavit of Loss

There is always the possibility that a physical record of a security such as a stock certificate may be lost. If the record is stolen, misplaced or destroyed, the owner is required to swear an affidavit pertaining to the loss of the item. This is an oath outlining that to the best of the person's knowledge the record is truly gone. If the lost copy appears after the owner receives a replacement security, the original record must be forwarded to the company for disposal.

Other Uses

There are comparable statements for missing financial documents that are not securities. An affidavit of lost note is filed when a promissory note or another record of indebtedness is destroyed or lost. This type of affidavit would include the name of the debtor, the outstanding balance, the interest rate on the debt, details on the repayment history and listing of any property that was put up as security.

An affidavit of loss can be filed for other types of document, such as those related to ownership of a house, a passport, a diploma or even an ATM card. Missing marriage licenses may require such a document.

Anytime an individual loses a record that cannot be immediately replaced with a copy, she may need to file an affidavit of loss. For example, the title, registration or plates to a vehicle could be destroyed, stolen or defaced to the extent they can no longer be used. Some states require an affidavit to record their loss. The owner or title holder must provide such information as the make, model and vehicle identification number for the vehicle associated with the missing documents.

The rules and requirements regarding information required when filing an affidavit of loss vary by jurisdiction. Some require an affidavit of loss to be notarized.