Proof of Funds (POF): Definition, What Qualifies, and How to Get (2024)

What Are Proof of Funds?

Proof of funds (POF) refers toa document or documents that demonstrate a person or entity has the ability and funds available for a specific transaction. Proof of funds usually comes in the form of a bank, security, or custody statement. The purpose of the proof of funds document is to ensure that the funds needed to execute the transaction fully are accessible and legitimate.

Key Takeaways

  • Proof of funds refers to a document that demonstrates the ability of an individual or entity to pay for a specific transaction.
  • A bank statement, security statement, or custody statement usually qualify as proof of funds.
  • Proof of funds is typically required for a large transaction, such as the purchase of a house.
  • Basic information such as the bank name and address, bank statement, total balance amounts, and a bank personnel's signature is required on the proof of funds document.
  • Proof of funds and proof of deposit are often both needed when applying for a mortgage.

Understanding Proof of Funds

When an individual or entity is making a large purchase, such as buying a home, the seller usually requires proof of funds. This ensures not only that the buyer has the money available to make the purchase, but also has legal access to the funds, as the proof of funds comes from a verified authority, such as a bank. Particularly for the purchase of a home, the seller and/or mortgage company wants to see if you have enough money for the down payment and the closing costs.

It's important to note that in the majority of instances, the proof of funds must refer to liquid capital, primarily cash. Certain investments such as retirement accounts, mutual fund accounts, and life insurance do not qualify as proof of funds.

Requirements of a Proof of Funds Documents

When providing a proof of funds document, there is certain information that is required to be included. The following are some of the most common pieces of information that will need to be disclosed on a proof of funds document:

  • Bank's name and address
  • Official bank statement
  • Balance of funds in the checking and savings accounts
  • Balance of total funds
  • Signature of authorized bank personnel
  • Verification of the date of proof of funds letter

If the funds you plan to use for the purchase are spread across multiple accounts, you will need this information for all of them. It may be easier to move all of your funds into one account, therefore having to provide this information only once, and making the total amount of funds available easier to follow. It is possible to get a proof of funds document within a day or two from most banks.

Once you have your proof of funds document in hand you want to ensure that it is secure at all times. Some con artists planning a financial scam may seek/request a proof of funds letter to make sure that they are concentrating their efforts on someone with significant financial worth. In addition, it contains important financial information that should be safeguarded. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you only give proof of funds to trusted individuals whom you have thoroughly investigated.

The requesting party will often stipulate the required components of the proof of funds documentation; these requirements will often vary from one party to another.

Uses of Proof of Funds Documentation

Proof of funds documentation is commonly used in a wide range of financial transactions or business situations. Some of the more common situations may include but are not limited to:

  • Real Estate Transactions: To verify that the buyer has the money to finish the transaction, sellers or their representatives frequently demand proof of funds documentation.
  • Investment Opportunities: Proof of funds may be required to verify the investor's financial capacity when investing in specific opportunities such as private placements or business purchases.
  • Loan Applications: To determine a borrower's capacity to make down payments or pay closing expenses, lenders may ask for proof of money.
  • Immigration Applications: Immigration authorities may ask applicants to provide proof of their financial ability to sustain themselves during their stay or while settling in a new country.
  • Business Transactions: In order to confirm the financial competence of the parties involved in mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships, proof of funds documentation may be needed.
  • Creating a Trust: Establishing a trust account may require providing proof of funds to show the initial funding or continuous financial capability to operate the trust.
  • Contract Bidding: When taking part in contract bidding procedures, especially for government or large-scale projects, proof of funds may be needed to show the financial capacity to meet the criteria of the contract.
  • Private Sales: In private sales or high-value transactions, sellers may ask for proof of funds to make sure the buyer has the money needed to complete the transaction. This may relate to industries above (i.e. real estate) or to other high-value industries such as art or collectibles.
  • Business Licensing: To ensure financial viability and compliance with regulatory criteria, proof of cash may be required when applying for various business licenses or permits.
  • Franchise Opportunities: When considering purchasing a franchise, proof of funds may be required to demonstrate financial capability and suitability as a franchisee.
  • Auction Participation: Proof of funds may be necessary when participating in auctions to show the ability to meet bidding requirements or payment obligations.
  • Escrow Transactions: Proof of funds may be requested when entering into escrow agreements to ensure that the necessary funds are available for the agreed-upon transaction.

You may often redact or hide sensitive, non-pertinent information being reported on a proof of fund document.

Proof of Funds vs.Proof of Deposit

In commercial banking, proof of deposit is the financial institution’s verification that funds have been deposited into an account and where these deposits came from. To do so, the institution will compare the amount written on the check to the amount on the deposit slip. When applying for a mortgage, in addition to demonstrating proof of funds, a buyer will have to demonstrate that funds in fact have been deposited into an account and demonstrate where they came from.

Mortgage companies typically want to see where the deposits originate from, whether they come from the borrower or they are gifts from other parties. This helps determine if the borrower will be able to furnish the mortgage loan.

In addition to a proof of funds document and a proof of deposit, a pre-approval letter is required to give to the seller or the seller's agent when purchasing a home. The pre-approval letter will prove that you are able to obtain a mortgage to pay for the rest of the home purchase.

What Types of Documents Can Be Used As Proof of Funds?

Common types of proof of funds documents include bank statements, investment account statements, balance certificates issued by financial institutions, and letters from financial institutions confirming the availability of funds.

How Recent Should the Proof of Funds Document Be?

The freshness requirement for proof of funds documents can vary, but generally documents no older than 90 days are considered acceptable. Be mindful that certain circ*mstances may call for documents no older than 30 days. For example, when closing on a mortgage, your mortgage lender will often require proof of funds documentation from the most recent month available.

Can I Use Digital or Scanned Copies of Proof of Funds Documents?

In many cases, digital or scanned copies of proof of funds documents are acceptable, as long as they are clear and legible. However, it is advisable to verify the specific requirements of the involved parties or institutions.

Are There Any Specific Formatting Requirements for a Proof of Funds Document?

While formatting requirements may vary, the document should clearly display necessary information such as the account holder's name, account number, financial institution details, and the available balance. In addition to substantiating the financial information, the user of the proof of funds documentation will want sufficient evidence that you are the owner of the account.

The Bottom Line

Proof of funds documents are financial statements or documents that demonstrate an individual or entity's ability to cover a specific amount of funds. They are required in various transactions to verify the availability of funds and minimize risks. Common types of proof of funds documents include bank statements, investment statements, and letters. These documents must be recent, formatted properly, and comply with specific requirements.

Proof of Funds (POF): Definition, What Qualifies, and How to Get (2024)

FAQs

Proof of Funds (POF): Definition, What Qualifies, and How to Get? ›

Key takeaways

What qualifies as proof of funds? ›

Proof of funds refers to a document that demonstrates the ability of an individual or entity to pay for a specific transaction. A bank statement, security statement, or custody statement usually qualify as proof of funds. Proof of funds is typically required for a large transaction, such as the purchase of a house.

How can I verify proof of funds? ›

Proof of funds usually comes in the form of a bank security or custody statement. These can be procured from your bank or the financial institution that holds your money. Bank statements are the most common document to use as POF and can typically be found online or at a bank branch.

What is a typical proof of funds letter? ›

Proof of funds letters are typically written on the financial institution's letterhead and state the total amount of funds available in the account, as well as the date these funds were made available. The letter is usually signed by an official of the institution.

How to get a free proof of funds letter? ›

Ask the financial institution holding your assets for a proof of funds letter. Some banks have an online form to fill out while others may require you to come into a branch. Either way, it usually takes no more than a week to receive the letter.

Can I show my credit card as proof of funds? ›

Credit cards are not proof of funds. They are proof of debt.

How do I request proof of funds from my bank? ›

Submit a request to the bank: Depending on your bank, this process might be referred to as a “verification.” You typically have to make this request in person at a branch location or through a special form online. The bank often gets a document to you within a few days, and usually no more than one week.

Can you call a bank to verify proof of funds? ›

Having the buyer get a certified statement from the bank is the easiest way! Verify funds coming from the buyer's bank account by calling the bank lender even if you are provided contact information for the bank lender, this allows you to verify if the bank institution and the lender are legit.

What is a hard proof of funds? ›

A Hard Money Proof of Funds letter tells the world that you're pre-approved for financing drastically different from a regular loan. It sends a message that your funding is not contingent on property inspections or complex underwriting.

How do banks verify check funds? ›

When the check is captured, financial institutions use a variety of data points to make a judgment about the validity of the check. The data they acquire needs to answer questions like, is the account of the check issuer in good standing? Are there enough funds in their account? Is the check a high dollar amount?

What is a hard money lender proof of funds letter? ›

Obtaining a Proof of Funds Letter is commonly done prior to submitting your offer. This allows the Hard Money Lender to underwrite you as a borrower prior to receiving a loan request. By getting pre-approved, the underwriting and funding process will go much quicker and will be one less step in your closing process.

Can you submit an offer without proof of funds? ›

Even if you want to make a cash offer on a property, the seller is going to want to know that you actually have the money to back it up. This is where a Proof of Funds letter comes in. A Proof of Funds letter or “POF” is simply a document proving the liquid cash that you have available.

How do you create a proof of funds? ›

You can apply for a proof of funds verification from your bank. This letter should be signed by authorised bank personnel and must include the following points: Details of the bank, including name, address, and contact information. An official statement from the bank verifying the concerned individual's financial ...

Can I get a proof of funds letter online? ›

It is not recommended that you use a free proof of funds template you find on the internet. A falsified proof of funds letter is very likely to get you into legal trouble, it could even be seen as a fraud. You should get your proof of funds letters from a reputable bank or hard money lender like we do.

What is a source of funds example? ›

Examples of Source of Funds

A legitimate example of a source of funds can include anything where the money was obtained through legal means, such as: wages, bonuses, dividends, and other income from employment. pension payments. interest from personal savings.

How to provide proof of bank account? ›

Accepted forms of proof
  1. Bank statements.
  2. Deposit slips.
  3. Cheques.
  4. Download 'Proof of account balance' document from bank (blank out account balance)

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