When Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions are submitted in Tennessee and around the country, creditors seeking payment file what are known as proofs of claim with the bankruptcy court involved. These are legal documents that state how much money the creditor is owed. Proofs of claim must be received before bankruptcy trustees distribute funds even if the debtor included the debt in their Chapter 13 paperwork. Proofs of claim are usually submitted by creditors, but they may be filed by debtors in certain situations.
Proof of claim filing deadlines
Creditors must submit proofs of claim within strict time limits. The last day a proof of claim can be submitted is called the bar date, and not all creditors are subject to the same rules. Most creditors are given 70 days from the date of the Chapter 13 petition to file proofs of claim, but that time limit is extended to 180 days for government creditors like the Internal Revenue Service.
Challenging proofs of claim
Bankruptcy trustees can file objections to proofs of claim in a Chapter 13 case, but these documents are usually accepted without question. Copies of proofs of claim are sent to bankruptcy petitioners and their attorneys, and it is very important to make sure that the figures they contain are correct. If an error is discovered, a written objection should be submitted to the bankruptcy court.
A fresh financial start
Bankruptcy offers people with unmanageable financial situations the chance to make a fresh start, but dealing with the paperwork involved can be confusing for those not familiar with legal documents. While completing Chapter 13 petitions and checking proofs of claim may be difficult, the effort is well worth it to put an end to daily harassment from creditors and bill collectors.