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What is a Proof of Claim in a Bankruptcy case?

A proof of claim is a document normally filled out and filed by a creditor in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The proof of claim is a form document that is sent to every creditor listed in your case.  The document is also available online at United States Courts website.  The form is filed by creditors who want to receive money from your bankruptcy estate.

Creditors are instructed not to file a proof of claim in a no-asset Chapter 7 case.  If the trustee assigned to your Chapter 7 case determines funds are available in your case, the court will mail out a notice alerting creditors to the funds and the option to file a proof of claim.  If a creditor fails to file a proof of claim, they will not receive any distribution from the trustee.

Creditors in a Chapter 13 case have the opportunity to file a proof of claim as soon as they receive notice of your bankruptcy filing.  Creditors in a Chapter 13 have 90 days from your first 341 meeting to file their proof of claim.  Government creditors need to file their proof of claim by 180 days from your first 341 meeting.  The Kansas Bankruptcy Court requires all creditors to file a proof of claim before they can receive any distribution from the Chapter 13 trustee – this includes secured creditors.

The proof of claim contains: basic creditor information; the amount of the debt; the basis for the claim; if a secured debt, specific information regarding the security; and supporting documents.  In a Chapter 7 case, the trustee is able to object to a proof of claim if it appears the creditor has an incorrect amount listed; categorized the debt incorrectly, or failed to provide the necessary supporting documentation.  In a Chapter 13 case, any party of interest can object to a proof of claim if it contains errors or fails to contain the supporting documentation.  If someone objects to a proof of claim, the objecting party will file a motion with the court and the matter will be set for hearing.

If you reside in Kansas or the Kansas City area and are considering bankruptcy as an option for your fresh start, please contact our Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorneys for a free initial consultation today.