A proof of claim is a written statement notifying the bankruptcy court, the debtor filing chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and the trustee handling the case, that a creditor has a right to a distribution from the bankruptcy estate.
All unsecured creditors must file a proof of claim and, as of December 1, 2017, secured creditors and equity security holders must also file if they want to get paid through the debtors bankruptcy as part of an update to Federal Bankruptcy Rule 3002.
In addition to adding secured creditors to the mandatory-filer requirement, the time to file a proof of claim will be reduced under the revised rule.
Currently, the meeting of the creditors is set at about 30 days after the filing of a bankruptcy case with 90 days to file a proof claim following the date of the first meeting – roughly 120 days for creditors to get on board.
This December, creditors will have only 70 days from the filing of the bankruptcy petition to get their proof of claims in, cutting the time to file a claim in half.
An unsecured creditor who fails to file a timely proof of claim receives nothing through your bankruptcy case and the debt is discharged. However, the new rule specifically states that a secured creditor will not lose its lien merely because it failed to file a proof of claim.
The court, of course, has the power to extend the filing time for a proof of claim if a creditor shows extenuating circumstances or excusable neglect. However, this would be an exception, as the court generally will not permit extensions once the deadline has passed.