November 15, 2019

Proof of Claim 101

A proof of claim is a written notice that the creditor – individual or business that the debtor owes – is asserting his/her or its right to obtain a pay out from the bankruptcy estate. This written statement is used as a formal way of notifying the court, the debtor and other affected parties that the creditor is planning on taking action. In general, an unsecured creditor is required to file a proof of claim if they want to get paid in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Without filing a proof of claim, the unsecured creditor can lose the right to assert a claim against the debtor.

There are different types of creditors in the eyes of law. The term “secured creditor” is used to describe a creditor who has acquired a lien on the debtor’s property. This lien can have been acquired either with or without the debtor’s consent. An example of a lien acquired with the debtor’s consent is a home mortgage; an example of a lien acquired without the debtor’s consent – or involuntarily – is a tax lien. The term “unsecured creditor” is used to describe a creditor who has not acquired a lien on the debtor’s property. Therefore, an unsecured creditor hasn’t secured repayment of the debt owed to him/her or it.

Proof of Claim 101 | Bankruptcy in CT

There are deadlines regarding when a proof of claim must be filed by in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Typically, the notice of bankruptcy filing sent to the creditor contains the deadline to file a proof of claim. Non-governmental creditors have 90 days after the initial meeting of creditors to file a proof of claim. Government entities have 180 days after the order for relief to file a proof of claim.

The contents of a proof of claim have to adhere to Official Form 10. This form includes:

  • Debtor’s name
  • Case number
  • Creditor’s name and address
  • Amount of claim (as of the date the case was filed)
  • Basis of claim
  • Type of claim
  • Any supporting documents attached, and
  • Creditor’s original signature.

A proof of claim can be objected to if it contains an error or misrepresents the situation in some way. Part III of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Rules 3001-3022, contain rules on filing a proof of claim and objecting to a proof of claim.

The District of Connecticut also has some Local Bankruptcy Rules. Local Bankruptcy Rule 3002-1 states that, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the filing creditor must send a copy of the proof of claim to the trustee when he or she files the original claim.

For more information about proofs of claim, or inquiries about other areas of bankruptcy law, please click here.

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