§ 57.1     Proofs of Claim
Cite as:    Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 57.1, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).

Probably the single most important act for a creditor in every Chapter 13 case is to timely file a correct proof (or proofs) of claim.1 No amount of negotiation or litigation within the Chapter 13 case is a reliable substitute for the simple expedient of filing a proof of claim. There are few or no good strategic reasons for a creditor to purposefully fail to file a proof of claim.2


The most effective time to file a proof of claim is immediately upon receiving notice of the filing of the case. Creditors should not wait until confirmation or later to file. Failure to file before confirmation limits standing to object to confirmation.3 Failure to file before the claims bar date forfeits the creditor’s rights to distributions from the trustee.4


A timely filed claim can generally be amended;5 an unfiled or untimely filed claim usually results in a windfall for the debtor or other creditors.6 It is astonishing and baffling that a significant portion of listed claims are never filed in Chapter 13 cases. Millions of dollars that would have been distributed to creditors go elsewhere.


In many jurisdictions, a proof of claim form is supplied with the notice of filing. It is a simple matter for the creditor to fill out the proof of claim and mail it to the appropriate place. The failure to do so almost guarantees that payments will never be made to the creditor.7