What is a proof of claim?
A proof of claim is a specific bankruptcy form that a creditor (a person who is owed money in a bankruptcy case) files in a bankruptcy case that describes the amount of money the debtor owes the creditor and why.
When do you file a proof of claim?
You will receive a notice from the Bankruptcy Court instructing you that you may file a proof of claim and the deadline by which the claim must be filed.
Creditors may always file proofs of claim in Chapter 13 cases. The deadline to file proofs of claim in Chapter 13 cases is located on the Notice of Chapter 13 Filing (Form 309I) which is sent out to all creditors when the debtor opens the Chapter 13 case.
In Chapter 7 cases, creditors will only file proofs of claim if the trustee discovers assets that may be liquidated. In this case, the trustee will send out a notice to the creditors instructing them to file proofs of claim and the deadline.
Where can I find the proof of claim form?
The proof of claim form is Official Bankruptcy Form 410. You can print off the form from the courts website. You can also obtain a copy of the form at the Intake counter of the Clerk’s Office. In Detroit, the Intake counter is located on the 21st floor of the Bankruptcy Court.
How do I file the proof of claim?
Creditors who are not represented by an attorney must file the proof of claim in paper. Creditors can come to the Intake counter on the 21st floor of the Bankruptcy Court and file the proof of claim in person or creditors can mail the proof of claim to the Bankruptcy Court. As long as the Bankruptcy Court receives the proof of claim and the case number is located on the form, the form will be filed in the appropriate bankruptcy case.
You can and should include any documentation you have to support your claim against the debtor. This may include promissory notes, contracts, cashed checks, etc.
What happens after I file the proof of claim?
In Chapter 7 cases, the trustee will use the proofs of claim to make distributions to creditors based on the amount of money that is recovered from the debtor’s estate.
In Chapter 13 cases, the trustee may use the information in the proofs of claim to object to the debtor’s repayment plan. Creditors may also object to the repayment plan.
** PLEASE NOTE that filing a proof of claim does not guarantee that a creditor will be paid all, or even part, of the money that is owed to the creditor by the debtor.