Bankruptcy – What is a Proof of Claim?
In every bankruptcy case, if a creditor wants to get paid they must file a proof of claim. A proof of claim is a written statement of a creditor with verifying documentation that describes the basis that the person who filed bankruptcy owes the creditor.
When you file a bankruptcy case in the Northern District of Georgia, every creditor listed in the case will receive this proof of claim along with the Notice of the Meeting of Creditors.
Many creditors will monitor bankruptcy filings and file claims even when they are not listed in your bankruptcy case. As you can imagine, they sometimes make mistakes and file claims in the wrong case. When this happens, your bankruptcy attorney will file an objection to the proof of claim.
Let me give you an example. I had one client who lived Calhoun Georgia who had another person in the same city with the same name. As a consequence, some of this other person’s creditor filed claims in my client’s case. We responded by objecting to every single disputed claim.
In another case, a creditor filed the same proof of claim for the same debt twice. Again, we objected.
In another instance, a car creditor filed a proof of claim and included all of the interest for the entire life of the debt in the proof of claim. We objected to this claim and requested that the bankruptcy judge order them to amend their claim to reflect only the net claim without any future interest tacked on.
After an objection to the proof of claim is filed, a hearing will held in the Federal Building in Rome, Georgia on the third floor in front of the bankruptcy judge. The judge will then make a decision as to the validity of the claim.
In a Chapter 7 case, the creditor will only receive money if there is some kind of asset that the trustee has recovered and sold for money.
In a Chapter 13 case, a creditor will get paid according to the Chapter 13 plan.
Any person who has filed a Chapter 13 case can monitor which creditors have filed claims and the amount that has been filed. Click here to read an article on how to do it.