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Purpose And Effect of a Proof of Claim

Download Proof of Claim Form   (Updated 2/08)
Download Proof of Claim Form Instructions   (Updated 2/08)

When a bankruptcy petition is filed, an estate is created. A creditor has a claim against the estate, not the debtor. A "Proof of Claim" is the document used to assert that claim. It identifies the creditor and amount of the claim and provides supporting documentation as to the basis of the claim. If a creditor wants to be paid from the Chapter 13 bankruptcy estate, he or she must file a Proof of Claim.

When a Proof of Claim is properly filed in a bankruptcy case, it is deemed "allowed" unless a party in interest objects. A "Proof of Claim" constitutes "prima facie" evidence of the validity and the amount of the claim. A claim that is "allowed" will be able to share in any distribution from the bankruptcy estate.

A "Proof of Claim" must conform substantially to the Official Bankruptcy Form. In the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska, the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee provides all listed creditors with a notice that the bankruptcy has been filed. This notice includes the Debtor's name, address, and bankruptcy number. Additionally, the notice gives the date for the Meeting of Creditors which creditors may attend but are not required to attend. The notice also gives the date by which claims must be filed with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court in order to be allowed in the case. The Trustee has also attached a triplicate "Proof of Claim" form which is attached to the Notice that the bankruptcy has been filed.

The "Proof of Claim" must name the creditor and the amount of the claim; list whether the claim is secured, unsecured or priority; and explain the basis for the claim. It may be executed by the creditor or by the creditor's authorized agent. If an agent executes the claim, the agent must disclose that he or she is an agent and disclose the name of the creditor. Otherwise, the "Proof of Claim" may be defective. If the claim is based on a writing such as a contract, the original or a duplicate must be attached. Secured claims must show evidence of perfection of the security interest.

Typically, the creditor asserting the claim files a "Proof of Claim". Another party in interest, such as the debtor, the trustee, or a third party that is jointly liable with the debtor on the debt to the creditor, also may file a claim on behalf of the creditor. The debtor, trustee, or other third party has until thirty (30) days after the bar date in which to file a claim on behalf of the creditor.

All creditors must complete and file a "Proof of Claim" in Chapter 13 cases with the Bankruptcy Clerk in order for the creditor to share in distributions under the plan.

 

Notice: This web site is provided with the understanding that the Chapter 13 Trustee Office is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent person should be sought.