Cite as: Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 132.4, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
Ironically, after the 1994 Code amendments and the 1996 revision of the Rules, there is little doubt that wholly unsecured claim holders must file proofs of claim, and to be timely an unsecured claim must be filed “not later than 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors.”1 The exception to this rule would be that governmental units have 180 days after the order for relief within which to timely file proof of an unsecured claim, and perhaps additional time—up to 60 days—to file a tax claim after the debtor files tax returns required by § 1308.2 Also, some unsecured claims of nongovernmental units that qualify as administrative expenses under § 503 are filed by request, not by proof of claim, and are subject to different time constraints.3
The 90-day timeliness definition in Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c) was strictly enforced against the holders of unsecured claims in Chapter 13 cases filed before October 22, 1994.4 With the enactment of § 502(b)(9) clarifying that untimely filed claims are disallowed in Chapter 13 cases,5 non-governmental unsecured claim holders in cases filed after October 22, 1994, that fail to file a proof of claim within 90 days of the first date set for the meeting of creditors will have great difficulty participating in the bankruptcy case in any meaningful way. The creditor will not have an allowed claim and will not receive distributions under the plan.6 It has been held that an unsecured claim holder without an allowable claim does not have standing to object to confirmation.7 The claim will be discharged without payment after the completion of payments to other creditors under the plan.8
The message for wholly unsecured nongovernmental unsecured claim holders is simple: always file a proof of claim not later than 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors in a Chapter 13 case. Any other strategy is self-destructive.
1 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002(c). See §§ 275.1 [ 1994 Code Amendments Changed the Rules ] § 132.1 1994 Code Amendments Changed the Rules and 275.2 [ In General: Filing is Required for Allowance ] § 132.2 In General: Filing is Required for Allowance.
2 See discussion of tax return duties imposed on debtors by BAPCPA beginning at § 42.2 Consequences of Failure to File Required Information, Including “Automatic Dismissal”, § 132.3 Governmental Units, § 133.5 Tax Claim Exception after BAPCPA and § 136.3 Taxes after BAPCPA.
4 See § 289.1 [ Untimely Filed Claims in Cases Filed before October 22, 1994: The Hausladen Phenomenon ] § 135.6 Untimely Filed Claims in Cases Filed before October 22, 1994: The Hausladen Phenomenon.
5 See § 275.2 [ In General: Filing is Required for Allowance ] § 132.2 In General: Filing is Required for Allowance.
6 See § 290.1 [ Untimely Filed Claims in Cases Filed after October 22, 1994 ] § 135.7 Untimely Filed Claims in Cases Filed after October 22, 1994. See, e.g., In re White, No. 06-01373, 2007 WL 2413013 (Bankr. N.D. Iowa Aug. 21, 2007) (unpublished) (Kilburg) (Unsecured creditor must file timely proof of claim to have allowed claim in Chapter 13, citing Dove-Nation v. eCast Settlement Corp. (In re Dove-Nation), 318 B.R. 147, 151 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2004).); In re Hibble, 371 B.R. 730 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2007) (Deficiency claim filed by undersecured creditor after claims bar date is disallowed when original claim was filed as fully secured and creditor did not reserve right to file unsecured deficiency claim.).
7 See § 219.1 [ Standing to Object ] § 116.1 Standing to Object.