Cite as: Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 130.7, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
The form and content of a proof of claim must conform substantially to Official Bankruptcy Form 10.1 If based on a writing, the proof of claim must be accompanied by evidence of the contract or security interest and its perfection. A proof of claim executed and filed in accordance with Bankruptcy Rule 3001 constitutes prima facie evidence of the validity and amount of the claim, thus shifting the burden of proof to an objecting party to come forward with evidence that the claim is not allowable.2
1 See §§ 272.1 [ Official Bankruptcy Form 10 and Variations ] § 131.1 Official Bankruptcy Form 410 and Variations and 507.1 [ New Official Form 10 ] § 131.2 Official Form 410 after BAPCPA.
2 See §§ 272.1 [ Official Bankruptcy Form 10 and Variations ] § 131.1 Official Bankruptcy Form 410 and Variations–290.1 [ Untimely Filed Claims in Cases Filed after October 22, 1994 ] § 135.7 Untimely Filed Claims in Cases Filed after October 22, 1994.
In re Moreno, 341 B.R. 813 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. Apr. 13, 2006) (Failure to fully comply with Rule 3001(c) does not disallow claim. Debtor objected to claims on ground that proofs of claim failed to satisfy Rule 3001(c) because documentation was not adequate. Creditor that files claim without supporting documentation required by Rule 3001 and Official Rule 10 loses presumption of validity. When substantive objection is raised, claimant must present evidence of validity and amount. If claim is scheduled as undisputed in an amount equal to or greater than amount of proof of claim, little, if any, documentation is necessary.).
In re Habiballa, 337 B.R. 911, 916 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. Feb. 6, 2006) (A Chapter 13 debtor objecting to proofs of claim for failure to satisfy Bankruptcy Rule 3001(c) by lacking proper documentation must provide some evidence which tends to meet, overcome, or at least equalize the statements made on the face of the proof of claim. The debtor objected to a number of claims on the grounds that they did not comply with Rule 3001(c) because the claims did not contain documentation to support them. Although the claims failed to meet the strict requirements of Rule 3001, the claims did satisfy Bankruptcy Code § 502. "Recognizing that Bankruptcy Code § 502 provides that a claim shall be allowed unless the objector shows that one of the exceptions applies, and that Bankruptcy Rule 3001 is an evidentiary rule that cannot supercede the substantive provisions of the Code, this Court will require the Debtor to come forward with some evidence to contradict the claim summary, even in the absence of a creditor's compliance with an information request." The debtor provided no evidence that the claims were invalid and, accordingly, mere speculation that the claims may or may not include improper amounts is not sufficient to rebut the presumption of validity. One claim, however, contained no attachments and provided no written documentation of the method by which the claim was calculated, and the claimed amount disagreed with the debtor's schedules. The claim was not entitled to prima facie status, and the evidence presented by the debtor was sufficient to disallow the claim to the extent it exceeded the amount on the debtor's schedules.).
In re Guidry, 321 B.R. 712, 714-15 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. Feb. 28, 2005) (A proof of claim is not subject to disallowance simply because the requirements of Rule 3001(c) have not been met; a creditor filing such claim loses its right to presumptive validity. The debtors' Chapter 13 petition disclosed obligations to Household Finance for $8,859 and Sears in the amount of $5,248. eCAST filed a proof of claim as successor in interest to Household Finance in the amount of $8,971.52 and a claim as successor to Sears in the amount of $5,248.16. The debtors objected to the claims on the grounds that they did not have the writing that formed the basis of the claims or a statement that the writings had been lost attached as required by Rule 3001(c). The debtors did not allege any statutory grounds to disallow the claim. "The basis for the debtors' claim objections is instead Fed. R. Bankr. P. Rule 3001(c). . . . Rule 3001(c), however, does not say that a failure to comply with its terms should result in disallowance of the claim for which the noncompliant proof was filed. Nor could it. . . . [Bankruptcy] rules shall not 'abridge, enlarge, or modify any substantive right.' Thus, a bankruptcy rule cannot create a ground for disallowance of claims not set out in the Code. . . . Of course, if the debtors had raised a valid ground for disallowance in their claim objections—such as a denial that they actually owed the debts asserted—an evidentiary hearing would have been required. In that situation, eCAST's noncompliance with Rule 3001(c) would have resulted in eCAST having the burden of going forward with evidence at the trial." Because the debtors set forth no grounds that would require the disallowance of the claims and, in fact, largely admitted the validity of the claims on the basis of the debts listed in their schedules, their application to disallow the claims would be denied.).
In re Shaffner, 320 B.R. 870, 876-79 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. Feb. 22, 2005) (Although a Chapter 13 trustee may elect not to administer a proof of claim which fails to contain sufficient documentation to support the claim, the mere failure to provide documentation, in and of itself, is not a basis to challenge the validity of the claim. The Chapter 13 trustee sought to disallow the claim of a creditor because the creditor did not include attachments with the proof of claim. The proof of claim indicated it was filed for "services performed." The trustee contended that the claim failed to comply with the official form because the creditor failed to make an affirmative statement that supporting documents did not exist. "[A] creditor's failure to include documents with its otherwise timely proof of claim is not fatal to the administration of that claim. . . . [A] claim may be disallowed only for the reasons set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 502(b). . . . Claims allowance should not be confused with the broader concept of claims administration. Claims allowance (or, perhaps, more appropriately, claims disallowance) is a process whereby the trustee or any other party in interest may invoke the bankruptcy court to establish the legal validity and/or the amount of a disputed claim. . . . However, the mere failure to provide documentation, in and of itself, is no more a basis for challenging the validity or amount of a claim in a bankruptcy proceeding than it is in a non-bankruptcy proceeding. . . . The trustee does have the discretion to simply ignore a filed claim if what is filed does not meet the formal requirements of Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3001. However, the trustee does not exercise this discretion in conjunction with her authority to invoke the judicial process of claims disallowance set forth in § 502(b). Rather, the trustee's discretion derived from her more general authority under § 704 to administer claims. . . . A cocktail napkin with only the creditor's name and the amount owed could conceivably constitute a proper claim against the estate. However, a bankruptcy proceeding that permitted such a broad universe of claims would be an administrative nightmare. . . . [A] proof of claim must include information concerning the basis for the claim, the date the debt was incurred, whether interest and other charges are included in the claim, and the secured or priority status of the claim. . . . Indeed, a creditor's failure to comply with the requirements of Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3001 would be sufficient justification for the trustee to ignore the creditor's claim in administering the bankruptcy proceeding. However, a trustee's decision to accept or ignore a particular claim for purposes of administration, unlike her decision to dispute the validity or amount of the claim, does not require the involvement of the judiciary. . . . If the documentation included with the creditor's proof of claim falls short of what is required by Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3001, then it is within the trustee's prerogative to choose not to administer that claim. . . . Judicial involvement is required only if a creditor or some other party in interest asserts that the trustee has abused her discretion by, for example, refusing to administer a timely proof of claim that clearly conforms with the requirements of Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3001. . . . If the trustee wants a creditor to substantiate its claim, the trustee does not have to file a request for production or follow that request with a motion to compel or a motion for sanctions. Rather, the trustee can simply refuse to administer the proof of claim as filed. The creditor is then left with three alternatives: (1) provide the documents requested; (2) abandon its claim; or (3) file a lawsuit on the theory that the trustee has abused her discretion. . . . The Chapter 13 trustee could certainly have chosen not to administer Ms. Grotenhuis' claim. However, her decision to do so would have been suspect given that the Chapter 13 trustee has offered no justification for that course of action. . . . Ms. Grotenhuis is collateral damage in an escalating war between bankruptcy trustees and creditors. The war is over claims filed by assignees of obligations that may have originated years ago. Hostilities exist because the proofs of claims filed by these assignees are often devoid of documentation evidencing the debt or establishing the amount owed." The trustee's application to disallow the claim was accordingly denied.).
In re Schraner, 321 B.R. 738 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. Jan. 21, 2005) (Where a proof of claim includes the amount of the debts, identifies the account number of the debtor, in a form of a business record, and articulates the charges such as interest, late fees, and attorney's fees, the claim is allowable and satisfies the requirements of 3001(c).).
In re Vann, 321 B.R. 734 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. Jan. 19, 2005) (Proofs of claim for credit card debt, being based upon a writing, should include the amount of the debt, the name and account number of the debtors, and, if the claim includes charges such as interest, late fees, and attorney's fees, a summary of these charges by category in the form of a business record. When the debtors objected to a number of claims which did not have the information required by the court in In re Henry, 311 B.R. 813 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. 2004), the creditors would be afforded an opportunity to supplement their proofs of claim before the claims would be disallowed.).
In re Felipe, 319 B.R. 730, 735 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. Jan. 4, 2005) (An adversary proceeding by a creditor seeking a declaration that proofs of claim with computer printouts attached would be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Rule 3001 failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and would dismissed. The creditor sought declaratory relief approving its proof of claim procedures, which would then shield the creditor in future cases in which the debtors are represented by the defendant attorney. The debtors had withdrawn their objections to the claims, and accordingly, there was no justiciable controversy which could be adjudicated. Abstract rights of unknown debtors would be affected by the declaratory action. "Without question, the rights of Future Debtors will be affected if this Court were to grant declaratory relief deeming computer generated account summaries to be sufficient documentation to render the future proofs of claim presumptively valid. Equally obvious is the inability to join these future unnamed debtors.").
In re Relford, 323 B.R. 669, 673, 675 (Bankr. S.D. Ind. Dec. 3, 2004) (Chapter 13 debtor's schedules and statements provided sufficient evidence to support the unsecured proof of claim of eCast, holding an assigned claim from J.C. Penney which had been listed as undisputed, non-contingent, and liquidated even though the proof of claim did not contain the writing upon which it is based. "Bankruptcy Rule 3001(c) provides that when a creditor's claim is based on a writing, the original or a duplicate of the writing must be filed with a proof of claim unless it has been lost or destroyed. . . . A claimant bears the ultimate burden of establishing the validity and amount of its claim by a preponderance of the evidence. A proof of claim executed and filed in accordance with Rule 3001 is 'prima facie evidence of the validity and the amount of the claim.' . . . A party objecting to such claim has the initial burden of presenting evidence to refute the claim. However, when a proof of claim fails to comply with Rule 3001, the claimant cannot rest on its proof of claim but must come forward with sufficient evidence of the claim's validity and amount. . . . Here, eCast's Claim is deficient in that the Debtor's credit card agreement with J.C. Penney is not attached. It is also deficient in that the attached Account Summary does not provide a breakdown of the Debtor's account balance into pre-petition interest and principal. . . . eCast has not complied with Rule 3001's requirements and is, therefore, not entitled to the presumption that the Claim is valid." The question for the court, therefore, is whether by a preponderance of the evidence the claim is supported. Here the debtor's schedules were consistent with the amount set forth in the deficient claim. It did not list the debt as disputed, unliquidated, or contingent. Based on that evidence, and in the absence of any contrary evidence or objection by the debtor, the court allows the claim as filed.).