Bankruptcy Basics: What Is A Proof Of Claim?

by Karen Oakes, Esq.

September 18, 2007

A “proof of claim” is an official form which is used by creditors in a bankruptcy case to get paid by the Trustee. Creditors get a notice to file a written statement proving that they are entitled to be paid because the debtor owes money to the creditor. For Chapter 7 cases, there must be assets to liquidate (or change into cash) before the Trustee asks the Court to send out the notice to creditors. For Chapter 13 cases, the Court sends out notices automatically as the Chapter 13 case is designed for repayment of some, if not all, creditors.

The Creditor must attach some kind of documentation to the official proof of claim form. Debtors can object to the claim in a Chapter 13 case. In a Chapter 7 case, only the Trustee can object to the creditor’s proof of claim.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.

Last modified: September 19, 2007