Proof of Claim
What does Proof of Claim mean?
A proof of claim is a statement from a creditor which outlines the amount of debt owed to the creditor and the basis for the creditor's claim against the debtor. The Proof of Claim is Official Form 10 and is generally sent to the creditor at the start of bankruptcy to notify the creditor of the bankruptcy filing and that a case has been initiated by the debtor.
The Proof of Claim must be completed correctly to avoid objections by the bankruptcy court. The form is filed for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In some areas the proof of claim is filed electronically by the creditor. After the proof of claim is received it will be reviewed by either the debtor or the trustee (or claims management service in a Chapter 11 case). The reviewers then have the right to challenge the claim and make objections if they believe the proof of claim is inaccurate.
Creditors who fail to file the proof of claim within the specified statute of limitations may forfeit their right to claim payment for the debts, unless they can prove excusable and unusual circumstances. If a creditor does not complete the form accurately they may be allowed to amend their claim. Amendments may include updating the classification of the claim, providing additional information, or changing the claim amount. Most debtors who have filed bankruptcy will want to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer if they have questions about the proof of claim.