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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Proof of Claim Late

Chapter 13 creditor rights
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It is important for creditors to file their Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Proof of Claims timely.     http://www.vawb.uscourts.gov/?q=content/re-price-case-no-18-71260-732019.   A question I receive often is:  Should I tell creditors when I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?   The answer is No.    When a bankruptcy is filed, bankruptcy creditors are sent a creditor Chapter 13 bankruptcy notice automatically by the Bankruptcy Court.  Bankruptcy creditors have rights, too.

After a bankruptcy creditor receive the bankruptcy notice, they must file a Bankruptcy Proof of Claim.   One way, bankruptcy can negatively affect a creditor is filing their proof of claim late.   Even the IRS makes mistakes in bankruptcy https://njbankruptcylawfirms.com/nj-bankruptcy-lawyer-details-irs-asleep-at-the-wheel/

Background:

  • A creditor has 70 days from the Bankruptcy Petition Date to file a proof of Claim
  • Debtor provided an incorrect address for one of the Creditors.
  • Although the incorrect address was provided, the Post Office was able to deliver the notice prior to the 70 days from the Petition.
  • The Creditor came to the Meeting of Creditors expressing her view on bankruptcy creditor rights.
  • The Creditor had time to come to the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy meeting of creditors but not file a Proof of Claim.
  • Meeting of Creditors was delayed and rescheduled since the Debtor was not present and suggested the Creditor obtain Counsel.
  • The Debtor showed up at the next Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors.
  • Creditor claimed that she was unaware of the rescheduled date.
  • Creditor files a proof of claim beyond the 70 days.
  • Debtor and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee objected.
  • Creditor states she should have been allowed to file a Proof of Claim  as part of her bankruptcy creditor rights. 
  • Her reason to be able to file is that she was not allowed the “full 70 days” to prepare her Proof of Claim.

Court Ruling:

  • Nowhere in the rules does it state that the creditor must receive notice for the full 70 days from filing of the Petition.
  • The Creditor admitted she received notice and the post office delivered it to her on the 68th day.   That is also evidenced by the fact that she appeared at the Meeting of Creditors.
  • The Proof of Claim was not allowed
  • It is not clear that the Creditor decided to attend the Meeting of the Creditors but not file the Proof of Claim timely.   
  • Creditor did not seek Counsel, as was suggested.

Late is Late – You cannot come to Court with an exception – there are very definite deadlines and if you sit on your rights – you could lose.    The Creditor should have been represented by Counsel in this Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.   The advice given was not taken.

I represent both creditors and debtors in both Chapter 7, 11 and 13 Bankruptcy.    Call me for a free consultation.