What Happens if No Proof of Claim is Filed by My Creditors?
What happens if no proof of claim is filed by my creditor(s)?
The answer to this greatly depends on two things
- Are you in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13?; and
- 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.