Proofs of Claim

New York Lawyers for Commercial Debt Collections Claims

Even if a debtor is filing for bankruptcy, a creditor may be able to recover some portion of the debt that is owed. Secured creditors do not have to file a proof of claim because the debt is secured by collateral or a lien that can be used to pay off the debt. However, unsecured creditors should be aware that they need to file a proof of claim in order to assert the right to repayment. It is critical to file this proof of claim within the appropriate time frame. In some cases, part of a debt is secured and part is unsecured, such as when the property that secures the debt (the collateral) is not worth as much as the debt. If you want to be paid the unsecured portion, you will need to file a proof of claim with regard to the unsecured part. A New York commercial debt collections attorney at Klapper & Fass can advise you on your options and guide you through this process.

Proofs of Claim

Creditors trying to collect a debt from a debtor that is going bankrupt should complete a proof of claim that describes the amount of the debt and the reason for it. The proof of claim asserts and preserves your right to share in the distribution of the assets that make up a debtor's bankruptcy estate.

When you file a proof of claim, you are submitting yourself to the bankruptcy court's jurisdiction and equitable powers. This means you waive your right to a jury trial as a creditor. For most unsecured creditors faced with a debtor's bankruptcy, this is the best way to pursue a debt.

Generally, the proof of claim is presented on an Official Form B10. Different rules apply to the presentation of a proof of claim, depending on the type of bankruptcy that a debtor is filing. For example, Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, while Chapter 11 is a reorganization. When a debtor files for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an unsecured creditor will need to file the proof of claim to be involved in claims adjudication. When a debtor files for a Chapter 9 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a creditor whose claim the debtor has not scheduled or whose claim is disputed or contingent must file a proof of claim.

Before filing a proof of claim, you will need to review the Notice of Bar Date. This notice will tell you to file the proof of claim electronically or to send the proof of claim to a claims agent at a particular address. It will also provide a case number for each debtor in a multi-debtor and jointly administered proceeding. This is important because in many cases, not only the debtor but also related entities may file bankruptcy petitions, and although all of these will be consolidated, you still need to file a proof of claim in each debtor's case. You will also need to attach copies of any documents that support your claim. For example, you could submit a recorded UCC-1 financing statement for a security interest in personal property.

Consult an Experienced Commercial Debt Collections Attorney in New York

The New York commercial debt collections lawyers at Klapper & Fass help creditors collect debts in a variety of different circumstances. We can help ensure that a creditor's proof of claim is appropriately filed and that there is no better avenue of relief than submitting the claim to the bankruptcy court. From our offices in White Plains and Manhattan, our litigation attorneys serve the five boroughs of New York City as well as Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester, and Nassau Counties. Our firm also provides legal representation in California, Michigan, Texas, Florida, and other states nationwide. Contact us at 914.287.6466 or via our online form to set up a free consultation.