Clark & Washington

Proof of Claim: Who Can File, Procedures, & How to Object

As part of the bankruptcy process, all of your debts need to be examined to determine if they should be included in the filing. Not all debts are automatically included in the filings which is where proof of claims come into play. Learn more about proof of claims and everything that goes along with them in this article.

What Is a Proof of Claim? 

Once you file for bankruptcy, it is time to determine your debts. You will claim your debts when you file but after filing, there is a certain amount of time that is allowed for creditors to make a claim of debt owed to them. The proof of claim is a written document provided to you, the bankruptcy court, and other interested parties. The reason for filing a proof of claim is so that they can attempt to receive funds for a debt during the process of the bankruptcy.

Who Can File a Proof of Claim?

When it comes to a proof of claim for unsecured creditors, for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they must file a proof of claim for it to be considered in the bankruptcy. There are some kinds of secured creditors who do not have to file a proof of claim. Most secured creditors will automatically have their claims included in the bankruptcy filing. A secured debt is backed by collateral that can be repossessed if you fail to claim. If it is not backed by collateral, then it is an unsecured debt.

Process for Filing a Proof of Claim

If a creditor wishes to file a proof of claim, they must do so within 90 days of the first meeting of the creditors. For government entities, they have a time frame of 180 days. In the claim, they must provide the amount owed as of your petition date, the reasoning for their claim, and whether the claim is secured or unsecured. They also have to provide supporting documentation to prove that the debt is owed.

How Can You Object a Proof of Claim?

You cannot object to a proof of claim if it is entirely correct and you owe the debt. However, if you have noticed that the amount owed is no right, if there is no supporting documentation, if there are charges that should not be there, or another piece of incorrect data, you can object to it. In order to object to the proof of claim, you have to submit a written objection to the bankruptcy court. You must then serve a copy of the objection to the creditor, debtor, and trustee. This must be completed at least 30 days before the hearing.

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