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What Happens if No Proof of Claim is Filed by My Creditors?


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4/26/2012
Morgan R. Teague, Esq.
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What happens if no proof of claim is filed by my creditor(s)?
The answer to this greatly depends on two things
  1. Are you in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13?; and
  2. Is the creditor an unsecured creditor, a priority creditor or a secured creditor?
In a Chapter 7, the filing of a proof of claim by a creditor is not a concern for the debtor. In fact, in most Chapter 7’s the creditors are not even asked to file a proof of claim. The only time they are told to file a proof of claim is when it is an asset case. This means that the trustee has some money and/or property for liquidation that will be spread out pro rate to creditors that file a proof of claim.
In a Chapter 13 case, unsecured creditors importance of a proof of claim is similar to that described above for a Chapter 7. If there is an distribution to unsecured creditors, they would not receive anything unless a proof of claim is filed. However, this is not something that the Debtor needs to be concerned with.
Of greater importance is the filing of a proof of claim for secured and priority creditors in a Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 plan includes payment to secured and priority creditors. Your plan payment is partially based on these debts.
For example, your car loan is included in the plan. If you make your plan payment every month to the trustee as you are required for the entire length of your plan then your car would definitely be paid off right? Wrong in certain circumstances.
If your car creditor never files a proof of claim, then the trustee never sends them money. What this means for you is that at the end of your Chapter 13 plan you still owe debt on your car and the trustee likely sent that money to other likely unsecured creditors who DID file a proof of claim.
 


Category: Bankruptcy


4 Comments to "What Happens if No Proof of Claim is Filed by My Creditors?"

Talk to your attorney about the payment issue. Most attorney select a flat fee and not an hourly rate. The copy of your plan and contract should tell you if it is a flat rate. If it is, everything your attorney would do for you is already being paid by you. It is part of your monthly plan payment to the trustee. The trustee sends the money to your attorney if it is a flat fee. I would not stop paying the trustee, the trustee will inform you when all claims are paid. Your attorney has the best information about your case. He will know best, don't forget, if it is a flat rate, you paid him already for the work. Have your attorney give you a list of all claims filed. Then you know what's going on. Good luck!
Posted by Tobias Licker on October 9, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Basically not getting any help with my attorney as to which creditors filed claims or not. Unless I pay him more, I guess. I just have a feeling that two of my unsecured debts didn't file a claim, so will my quarterly statement tell me that? I filed in July 2013. If those two creditors don't file claims, I would be paid up by April 2014. Just want to know , does the trustee inform me of this? Don't want to pay any more money to my lawyer, as he is being no help! Also, don't want to keep paying monthly payments, when it is paid in full.
Thanks.
Posted by Lesley on October 9, 2013 at 02:07 PM
The chapter 13 trustee normally sends out a list of all claims to the debtor and his attorney. At least in our district (Eastern District of Missouri). However, your attorney would want to check on all claims as well. All dischargeable debt, e.g. signature loan, medical bill, would be discharged when the chapter 13 completes and you receive a discharge, regardless of the creditor filing a claim or not. But sometimes you want to watch out for claims that are not discharged, for example student loans, or non-dischargeable taxes. You want to make sure claims are filed for these creditor so that they get paid. You can call your attorney, he has access to the trustee's website and can print out a list of creditors who filed a claim and who did not. It's an important task to complete.

Tobias Licker
Posted by Tobias Licker on October 9, 2013 at 01:29 PM
I am in chapter 13, how do I get informed if creditors on unsecured debt do not file a claim by the 90 days. And who informs me that this debt is discharged.
Posted by Lesley on October 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

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