§ 134.2 — Filing of Claims by Debtor or Trustee after 2005 Amendments to Bankruptcy Rule 3004
Revised: March 29, 2006
By now you are ready for some relief from BAPCPA. This section is not about BAPCPA.
In the regular course of its business, the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules recommended amending Bankruptcy Rule 3004 to correct a long-standing inconsistency with § 501(c) of the Bankruptcy Code.1 As luck would have it, the rewritten version of Bankruptcy Rule 3004 became effective on December 1, 2005. The hoopla over BAPCPA quite effectively obscured the changes to Bankruptcy Rule 3004.
Chapter 13 practitioners need to know about the changes to Bankruptcy Rule 3004 because the filing of proofs of claim by the debtor or trustee is more common in Chapter 13 cases than in any other chapter. Under the prior rule, the debtor or trustee in a Chapter 13 case could file a proof of claim on behalf of a (nongovernmental) creditor at any time between the first date set for the meeting of creditors and 120 days after that date, notwithstanding that the creditor could file a timely proof of claim on its own behalf during all but the last 30 days of that period. Section 501(c) of the Code, in contrast, has always provided that the debtor or the trustee may file a proof of claim only “if a creditor does not timely file a proof of such creditor’s claim.”2 For many years, there was an inconsistency between § 501(c) and Bankruptcy Rule 3004 in that the debtor or the trustee was permitted by the Rule to file a proof of claim on behalf of a creditor before it could be known whether the creditor had failed to timely file a proof of its own claim.
Bankruptcy Rule 3004 has been rewritten to clarify that the debtor or the trustee may file a proof of claim on behalf of a creditor only after the creditor fails to timely file a proof of claim under Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c). The debtor or trustee has 30 days after the expiration of the time for filing claims prescribed by Rule 3002(c) within which to file a claim on behalf of the creditor that has not filed its own claim. The debtor or the trustee in a Chapter 13 case can no longer file a proof of claim on behalf of a creditor immediately after the first date set for the meeting of creditors but must wait until the normal period for timely filing a proof of claim has expired under Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c), and then the debtor or the trustee has a 30-day window in which to file a claim on behalf of the creditor under new Bankruptcy Rule 3004.
Under Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c), as amended by Interim Rule 3002(c), for nongovernmental creditors, the deadline for filing a timely proof of claim is unchanged: 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. For a governmental unit, timely is 180 days after the petition with a new exception that a proof of claim resulting from a tax return filed under § 13083 is timely filed 180 days after the petition or 60 days after the date of the filing of the tax return, whichever is later.4
The good news is that Bankruptcy Rule 3004, as amended in 2005, is now consistent with § 501(c) of the Code. The bad news is that Chapter 13 debtors and trustees who want to file a proof of claim on behalf of a creditor have only a narrow 30-day window in which to accomplish that task under new Bankruptcy Rule 3004. That 30-day window for nongovernmental creditors is open between 90 and 120 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. For a governmental creditor, the window is between 180 days and 210 days after the petition. For a governmental unit’s claim resulting from a tax return filed after the petition under § 1308, the window will be either the 30 days between 180 days and 210 days after the petition or the 30 days beginning 60 days after the date of the filing of the tax return under § 1308. This last window may be difficult to pinpoint because the exact date of the filing of a § 1308 tax return may only be known by the taxing authority.
The 2005 amendments to Bankruptcy Rule 3004 also eliminated the possibility that a creditor could file a “superseding” proof of claim under Bankruptcy Rule 3002 after the debtor or trustee filed a claim on behalf of the creditor. This amendment was also necessary because § 501(c) of the Code precluded the possibility that a creditor could file a timely proof of claim that would supersede a claim filed by the debtor or the trustee given that the debtor or the trustee could only file a claim after the creditor failed to timely file its own claim. The notion of a creditor’s superseding claim under Bankruptcy 3004 was always an oxymoron and now is eliminated altogether by the 2005 amendments to Bankruptcy Rule 3004. Left open is the question whether a creditor can “amend” a proof of claim filed by the debtor or the trustee under Bankruptcy Rule 3004 when the creditor’s amendment is filed after the deadline for the timely filing of claims under Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c).5
1 See § 285.1 [ Timing, Form, Superseding and Amended Claims ] § 134.1 Timing, Form, Superseding and Amended Claims before 2005.
2 11 U.S.C. § 501(c) (emphasis added), discussed in § 285.1 [ Timing, Form, Superseding and Amended Claims ] § 134.1 Timing, Form, Superseding and Amended Claims before 2005.
3 See 11 U.S.C. § 1308, discussed in § 391.1 [ Tax Return Duties One Day before First Scheduled Meeting of Creditors ] § 42.6 Tax Return Duties One Day before First Scheduled Meeting of Creditors.
4 Interim Bankr. R. 3002(c)(1), discussed in § 508.1 [ New Timing Issues ] § 133.5 Tax Claim Exception after BAPCPA.
5 See §§ 284.1 [ Amended Claims ] § 133.4 Amended Claims and 285.1 [ Timing, Form, Superseding and Amended Claims ] § 134.1 Timing, Form, Superseding and Amended Claims before 2005.
Nationstar Mortg., LLC v. Iliceto (In re Iliceto), 706 F. App’x 636, 645 (11th Cir. Dec. 11, 2017) (Wilson, Rosenbaum, Robreno)
(Nationstar as transferee of US Bank’s $500,000 mortgage was not denied due process when the bankruptcy court sustained debtor’s objection to US Bank’s claim and then sustained the debtor’s objection to the debtor’s claim filed on behalf of Nationstar. Nationstar should have but didn’t challenge the default order that US Bank was unable to produce the mortgage or note and would forfeit its lien if the debtor completed payments and received a discharge. Nationstar could not attack findings that US Bank did not have a secured claim by objecting after completion of payments and discharge to debtor’s motion to deem the mortgage lien extinguished. The debtor filed an objection to US Bank’s proof of claim asserting that US Bank was not the holder of the note and mortgage. US Bank did not respond and the bankruptcy court entered an order stating that US Bank was not the holder of the note and mortgage and was not entitled to maintain any claim against the debtor. After Nationstar filed a transfer of the US Bank claim, the debtor filed a proof of claim in Nationstar’s name pursuant to § 501(c). The debtor then filed an objection to the proof of claim that it filed on behalf of Nationstar asserting that the transferee of the note and mortgage was unable to prove that it was a proper assignee based on the prior court orders sustaining objections to the claim filed by US Bank. Nationstar did not respond and the bankruptcy court sustained the debtor’s objection to the debtor’s proof of claim stating that Nationstar was not entitled to a secured claim and would only be entitled to a general unsecured claim and that any security interest that Nationstar claimed would be void and ineffective upon entry of discharge. Nationstar did not appeal this order but instead challenged the debtor’s postdischarge motion to deem Nationstar’s mortgage extinguished. The court of appeals found that notice to Nationstar was not perfect but was sufficient and Nationstar’s due process rights were not violated when the bankruptcy court invalidated its mortgage lien. “A creditor like Nationstar, who participated in the confirmation process by filing the [transfer of claim], must protect its secured status by responding
Spokane Law Enforcement Fed. Credit Union v. Barker (In re Barker), 839 F.3d 1189, 1197 (9th Cir. Oct. 27, 2016) (Fletcher, Gould, Smith) (Scheduling unsecured debt does not constitute the filing of a claim by the debtor for purposes of Bankruptcy Rule 3004. “[T]he bankruptcy schedules (acknowledging the debt at issue) were not filed within the applicable thirty-day time frame. Thus, just considering the issue of timing, [debtor’s] bankruptcy schedules do not meet the requirements of Rule 3004. Timing aside, [debtor’s] bankruptcy schedules do not qualify as a debtor’s proof of claim. Congress adopted Rule 3004 in addition to the Rules requiring Chapter 13 debtors to file schedules of their assets and liabilities. Therefore, Rule 3004 requires that debtors make an additional showing of their desire to include an unasserted claim in their Chapter 13 plan after receiving notice of which creditors intend to enforce their claims. [Debtor] never made this additional showing. Therefore, the filing requirements of Rule 3004 have not been satisfied, and [debtor’s] bankruptcy schedules do not constitute a debtor’s proof of claim.”).
Michigan Dep't of Treasury v. Hight (In re Hight), 670 F.3d 699, 703 (6th Cir. Mar. 5, 2012) (Martin, Gibbons, Steeh) (Interpreting §§ 501(c), 502(i), and 507(a)(8)(A)(i) and (iii), debtor can file protective claim on behalf of state for income tax claim for tax year 2008 in case filed in January 2009. 2008 income taxes are a prepetition claim under § 502(i) because claim was priority under § 507(a)(8)(A)(i) and (iii). Language in § 507(a)(8)(A)(i) "after three years before the date of the filing of the petition" includes dates after filing of petition. Because tax was entitled to priority treatment, § 502(i) in conjunction with § 501(c) permitted debtor to file claim on behalf of state. Section 1305(a) did not exclusively control whether debtor could file claim on behalf of creditor.), aff'g 434 B.R. 505, 511 (W.D. Mich. Aug. 10, 2010) (Bell) (In a Chapter 13 case filed on January 28, 2009, debtor can file protective proof of claim on behalf of state for "straddling" income taxes for 2008 based on interplay among §§ 501(c), 502(i), 507(a)(8) and 1322(a)(2). "Debtor's 2008 income tax falls within § 502(i) because it is a claim entitled to priority under § 507(a)(8) that did not arise until after the commencement of the bankruptcy case. . . . Treasury is a 'creditor' as defined in § 101(10)(B). Because Treasury is a creditor, Debtor can file a claim on Treasury's behalf pursuant to § 501(c). . . . [In re Turner, 420 B.R. 711 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. Dec. 21, 2009) (McIvor),] failed to consider the import of §§ 502(i), 507(a)(8) and 1322(a)(2), which establish a Congressional intent to treat taxes on income for the taxable year preceding the bankruptcy case as prepetition claims and to bring those claims into the bankruptcy plan. . . . Debtor could properly file a proof of claim for her 2008 income taxes on behalf of Treasury."), aff'g on other grounds 426 B.R. 258, 260-64 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. Mar. 24, 2010) (Hughes) (Citing United States v. Ripley (In re Ripley), 926 F.2d 440 (5th Cir. Mar. 5, 1991) (Brown, Smith, Wiener), and without mention of Joye v. Franchise Tax Board (In re Joye), 578 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. Aug. 21, 2009) (Wallace, Thomas, Graber), state income taxes for calendar year 2008 are a postpetition claim in a Chapter 13 case filed on January 28, 2009, entitled to priority and full payment under §§ 507(a)(8) and 1322(a)(2); debtor can file a protective proof of claim when state fails to timely file its own claim based on §§ 502(i), 501(a) and 501(c). "[A] straddling tax liability is a postpetition claim. . . . [T]he timing of Ms. Hight's case results in a postpetition claim being included among the tax priority claims . . . . [T]he State's claim against Ms. Hight for her 2008 income taxes, which clearly arose postpetition but which is nonetheless entitled to Section 507(a)(8) priority status, is to be determined and allowed 'the same as if such claim had arisen before the date of the filing of the petition.' . . . [N]ot only does Section 1322(a)(2), in conjunction with Section 507(a)(8) and 502(i), compel a Chapter 13 debtor to provide in his plan for straddling postpetition tax claims, but Section 501(a), in conjunction with Section 101(10)(B), also makes it clear that any taxing authority owed such a straddling debt must file a proof of claim in order for it to be paid under the plan. But if the taxing authority is required to file a proof of claim under Section 501(a) for this type of postpetition claim, then it stands to reason that the debtor too may file under Section 501(c) a protective proof of claim for that same debt if the taxing authority does not do so.").
Belser v. Nationstar Mortg., LLC (In re Belser), 534 B.R. 228, 242-44 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. Aug. 6, 2015) (Hillman, Feeney, Finkle) (Embracing United States v. Kolstad (In re Kolstad), 928 F.2d 171 (5th Cir. Apr. 10, 1991) (Reavley, Jones, Smith), mortgagee can amend claim filed by debtor under Bankruptcy Rule 3004 to increase amount of debt and arrears arising from same mortgage addressed in debtor's proof of claim. "The 2005 Advisory Committee Notes to Bankruptcy Rule 3004 explain: ' . . . the rule no longer permits the creditor to file a proof of claim that will supersede the claim filed by the debtor or trustee. The rule leaves to the courts the issue of whether to permit subsequent amendment of such proof of claim.' . . . Many courts have held that they have discretion to allow creditors to amend a proof of claim filed by the debtor on the creditor's behalf if it is equitable to do so. . . . [W]hile the claims bar date bars a creditor from filing a superseding claim . . . , it does not prevent the creditor from amending the existing claim that the debtor timely filed on its behalf following the usual criteria for amending proofs of claim. . . . [T]he bankruptcy court had discretion to allow Nationstar's late-filed proof of claim as an amendment to the Debtor's proof of claim filed on behalf of Nationstar, as long as the amendment was not deemed a new or superseding claim, and if allowing the amendment would not be inequitable.").
Municipality of Carolina v. Gonzalez (In re Gonzalez), 490 B.R. 642, 650-51 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. Apr. 12, 2013) (Haines, Feeney, Hoffman) (Untimely claim filed by debtor on behalf of taxing authority was disallowed on trustee's objection and would be discharged without payment at completion of plan. Municipality failed to timely file a proof of claim for priority taxes. More than 30 days after the bar date for governmental units, the debtor filed a proof of claim on behalf of the municipality for priority taxes. The Chapter 13 trustee objected and the objection was sustained when no party appeared in opposition. Ten months later, the municipality filed a Rule 60(b) motion to set aside the order disallowing the claim filed by the debtor. "'Since the amended Rule 3004 took effect . . . the courts have strictly construed the bar date of Rule 3004, as they have other bar dates in bankruptcy.'. . . [T]he excusable neglect standard is applicable to the filing of claims under Bankruptcy Rule 3004. . . . [T]o have prevailed on its Rule 60(b) Motion, the Municipality would have had to establish excusable neglect on the part of the Debtor in filing the Claim under Bankruptcy Rule 3004, as the excusable neglect standard is inapplicable to Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c). The Municipality did not make that argument or point to evidence in the record that excusable neglect existed on the part of the Debtor when she filed an untimely proof of claim pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 3004. . . . [E]ven if the Panel were to treat the Rule 60(b) Motion as a motion under § 502(j), the Municipality did not meet its burden of proof under that section. . . . The Municipality never asserted that it did not have notice of the Claim Order, and offered no explanation for its ten-month delay in filing the Rule 60(b) Motion.").
Michigan Dep't of Treasury v. Wilson (In re Wilson), 468 B.R. 250 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 10, 2012) (Lawson) (Although § 1305(a)(1) permits filing of postpetition claims only by entity holding claim, § 502(i) treats 2009 tax debt as prepetition claim in 2010 case and § 501(c) then permits debtor to file protective claim for state that did not timely file its own claim. Agreeing with Michigan Department of Treasury v. Senczyszyn (In re Senczyszyn), 444 B.R. 750 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 11, 2011) (Cleland), although return was not due until April 15, 2010, tax was prepetition debt.).
Michigan Dep't of Treasury v. Senczyszyn (In re Senczyszyn), 444 B.R. 750 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 11, 2011) (Cleland) (State income taxes for 2008 were a prepetition priority claim in a Chapter 13 case filed on March 31, 2009; when Michigan failed to timely file a proof of claim, debtors appropriately filed a claim on behalf of the state under Bankruptcy Rule 3004 and § 501(c).), aff'g on other grounds, 426 B.R. 250, 256-57 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. Apr. 7, 2010) (Shefferly) (In a Chapter 13 case filed on March 31, 2009, state income taxes for 2008 are a prepetition priority claim; when state failed to timely file a proof of claim, debtors can file claim on behalf of state under Bankruptcy Rule 3004 and § 501(c), and § 1305 is not a ground to disallow that claim. Deadline for governmental units to file proofs of claim was September 27, 2009. Plan confirmed on September 19, 2009, provided full payment of a priority claim for Michigan income taxes for 2008 in the amount of $1,900. Michigan did not file a timely proof of claim, and on October 8, 2009, debtors filed a proof of claim showing the State of Michigan as a creditor in the amount of $1,900. Michigan filed an objection claiming that 2008 taxes were not due until April 15, 2009 and thus were a postpetition debt under § 1305, proof of which could only be filed by the State of Michigan. "[T]here is nothing in § 1305 that provides a basis to disallow a proof of claim filed by a debtor on behalf of a creditor under § 501(c) of the Bankruptcy Code. . . . [T]hat the State of Michigan has the option to file certain claims under § 1305 is not a basis under § 502(b) for disallowance of the claim filed by the Debtors in this case under § 501(c). . . . Section 1305(a)(1) does not define what is and is not a post-petition tax claim. . . . Debtors earned the income for which the taxes are owing in 2008. . . . Debtors' liability for 2008 income taxes arose out of this pre-petition relationship . . . . [T]he 2008 income taxes owed by the Debtors to the State of Michigan constitute a pre-petition claim. . . . The Debtors properly and timely filed the proof of claim under § 501(c) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3004 on behalf of a creditor, the State of Michigan, when the State of Michigan did not file a proof of claim by the September 27, 2009 deadline.").
In re Morgan, No. 18-24459-bhl-13, 2019 WL 548532, at *3–*5 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. Feb. 11, 2019) (Ludwig)
(Confirmed plan cannot be a proof of claim filed by the debtor under Bankruptcy Rule 3004 because it was not filed in the 30-day window provided by that rule. Debtors failed to prove excusable neglect to allow filing of claim by the debtor more than 30 days after the window closed. “While Rule 3004 provides a 30-day window for debtors to file proofs of claim on behalf of creditors who fail to do so, that window does not open until after the creditor fails to timely file a proof of claim itself. The debtors’ plan was filed . . . before the deadline for [the creditor] to file a proof of claim . . . had passed and, thus, before the debtors’ window to do so had opened. . . . A timely motion
In re Barbour-Freeman, 590 B.R. 147 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. Sept. 10, 2018) (Shefferly) (Bankruptcy Rule 3004 is permissive: when mortgagee failed to file proof of claim, debtors’ attorney could have filed a claim for the mortgagee to stop the trustee from distributing accumulated funds to unsecured creditors. Attorney waited too long, trustee distributed funds to unsecured creditors and debtors suffered by having to extend plan an additional 11 months to make up the arrearage that resulted. Attorney ordered to disgorge fees under §§ 329 and 330 because failure to file Bankruptcy Rule 3004 claim in time to stop disbursement defeated purpose of the Chapter 13 plan.).
In re Lee, No. 16-30416, 2018 WL 2138774, at *2–*4 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio May 8, 2018) (Whipple) (Chapter 13 debtor’s objection to Ocwen’s amendment of proof of claim filed on behalf of Ocwen under Bankruptcy Rule 3004 is sustained. Ocwen cannot amend the debtor’s Rule 3004 claim 14 months after confirmation to change arrearage amount from $15,000 to $150,000. Ocwen is bound by $15,000 arrearage amount in confirmed plan and cannot use amendment of the debtor’s proof of claim as an end run of the binding effect of the confirmed plan under § 1327 and Espinosa. There are circumstances under which a creditor can amend the proof of claim filed by the debtor under Bankruptcy Rule 3004, but not here. The 14 months Ocwen waited to file its amended claim was too long. The confirmed plan was properly noticed and Ocwen did not object to confirmation. The arrearage amount in the confirmed plan is the same as the amount in the debtor’s Rule 3004 proof of claim. The amount in Ocwen’s amended claim is very large and a great deal larger than the amount in the debtor’s confirmed plan and Rule 3004 proof of claim. “While the court finds that a creditor may, under some circumstances, file an amended proof of claim that amends a proof of claim filed by a debtor on its behalf, because the court finds that the terms of a confirmed plan have claim preclusive effect with respect to a mortgage arrearage claim amount provided for in the plan, it will sustain Debtors’ Objection. . . . ‘A number of courts have held that they have the discretion to allow a creditor to amend a claim a debtor has filed on the creditor’s behalf under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3004, even after the deadline for the creditor to file a claim on its own behalf.’ . . . Creditor had the opportunity and obligation to object to Debtors’ Plan if it believed the amount of its arrearage claim was not accurately set forth therein. . . . United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa, 559 U.S. 260, 262[, 130 S. Ct. 1367, 1372, 176 L. Ed. 2d 158 (Mar. 23, ]2010).”).
In re Shank, 569 B.R. 238, 263 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. June 30, 2017) (Rodriguez) (Mortgagee is bound by confirmed plan that provided payment of debt with interest and must release its lien. Debtors scheduled mortgage in the amount of $23,320 and confirmed plan provided for payment of $23,320 with 5.25% interest. Mortgagee did not object to confirmation and did not file a claim. Ten months after deadline for filing claims under Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c), debtors filed claim on behalf of mortgagee for $23,320. Debtors made all payments to the trustee and trustee paid mortgagee consistent with confirmed plan. Mortgagee responded to trustee’s notice of plan completion by advising debtors that more than $30,000 was still owed on the debt. “Debtors’ Plan and related Confirmation Order are res judicata as to Montanaro because Montanaro received actual notice . . . of the Plan and the Confirmation Order and had the opportunity to object, but failed to do so, and therefore, the Debtors’ mortgage is deemed fully paid pursuant to the terms of the Plan and related Confirmation Order. . . . Debtors are eligible for a discharge under § 1328(a) because Debtors completed all payments under the Plan.”).
In re Burns, 566 B.R. 918, 922
In re Howell, No. 16-10346, 2017 WL 1731785, at *1
In re Mullen, No. 3:13-bk-5879-PMG, 2015 WL 8252928 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Nov. 16, 2015) (Glenn) (Mortgagee's claim is disallowed as untimely, and equitable factors preclude allowance of that claim as amendment of debtors' Bankruptcy Rule 3004 claim filed on mortgagee's behalf. Mortgagee waited 18 months to act, and mortgagee's failure to object to confirmation of plan based on debtors' claim could alter distribution to other creditors.).
In re Henry, 532 B.R. 844, 849 (Bankr. N.D. Okla. July 1, 2015) (Michael) (Mortgagee that failed to object to confirmation and failed to timely file a proof of claim cannot amend debtors' Rule 3004 claim two years after confirmation to increase arrearage amount; mortgagee is bound by confirmed plan and has waived its right to any arrearage larger than the amount in the claim filed by the debtors. "Allowing a creditor to supercede or nullify a final, non-appealable order confirming a Chapter 13 plan by amending its claim and demanding that a debtor pay more based upon the amended claim would stand the Chapter 13 process on its head.").
In re Dilone, No. 13-11303C-13G, 2015 WL 6951688, at *7–*9 (Bankr. M.D.N.C. June 29, 2015) (Kahn) (Regardless whether Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c) deadline applies to secured creditors, mortgageholder allowed to amend claim seven months after debtor timely filed claim on its behalf when confirmation and distributions were delayed, debtor made no attempt to obtain information from secured creditor regarding amount of claim and debtor was “no ordinary debtor” as her nonfiling spouse was an experienced bankruptcy attorney who “actively participated” in the case. “Courts have varied on the leniency by which they will allow creditor amendments to claims filed by debtors or trustees. . . . Th[is] Court finds that its discretion to allow a creditor to file an amendment to an earlier claim filed by the debtor should be exercised more leniently . . . , but not without constraint. In exercising its discretion, the Court will consider the totality of circumstances, including: (1) the diligence of the creditor; (2) the diligence of the debtor; (3) the sophistication of the parties; (4) whether the actions of debtor indicate a lack of good faith; (5) whether the actions of the creditor indicate a lack of good faith; (6) whether there is any indication that either party is attempting to game the system; and (7) any impermissible prejudice to parties in interest that will result in allowance or disallowance of the amendment. . . . These circumstances create concerns . . . that the Debtor and Mr. Dilone are attempting to game the system. . . . The first indication on the record that SunTrust might have become aware of a claim filed on its behalf was when it . . . began to receive disbursements from the Trustee, which was only three months prior to SunTrust filing its amended claim. These circumstances explain why SunTrust might have delayed after the Debtor filed a claim on its behalf to act. There is no indication or allegation that its actions lacked good faith. Finally, allowing the claim as amended is not prejudicial to the Debtor or her other creditors under the facts of this case. . . . The plan was confirmed as a 0% plan and no payments have been made to general unsecured claims. . . . [N]o unsecured creditor had or has an expectation of receiving distributions in this case. There also is no prejudice to the Debtor that would warrant disallowance of the amendment. . . . [A]ny potential hardship to the Debtor caused by the drastic understatement of the claim is substantially of her own making, and the Debtor made no attempt whatsoever to obtain any information to avoid the inaccuracy in her filed claim. . . . Therefore, even if SunTrust was required to file a claim within the time limits under Rule 3002(c), the Court will permit the amendment to the Debtor’s timely filed Proof of Claim in this case.”).
In re Green, No. 8:12-bk-09222-CEL, 2015 WL 2374749, at *2-*3 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. May 8, 2015) (Williamson) (Mortgagee's amended claim filed nine months after debtor's Bankruptcy Rule 3004 claim is disallowed based on prejudice to debtor and absence of explanation by creditor. Mortgagee failed to timely file a proof of claim. Within the 30-day period in Bankruptcy Rule 3004, debtor filed a claim on behalf of the mortgagee for an arrearage of $20,800. Confirmed plan provided for full payment of that arrearage amount. Nine months after confirmation, mortgagee amended arrearage component to claim $86,651.48. Debtor objected. "[A]llowing the amendment would be inequitable. . . . [T]he Debtor relied on the original proof of claim in confirming his plan . . . . [O]ther creditors would not receive a windfall if the claim was barred . . . . [The mortgagee] was negligent in filing its amendment. [The mortgagee] sat on its rights for nine months while plan payments were being made throughout. . . . While amendment of a claim should be freely granted before confirmation, post-confirmation amendments are disfavored because they can . . . 'render a plan infeasible or alter the distribution to other creditors.' . . . [P]ost-confirmation amendments must be justified only by the most compelling circumstances. . . . [Mortgagee] fails to present any compelling circumstances . . . .").
In re Egan, 526 B.R. 111, 115-16 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Mar. 2, 2015) (Morris) (Ocwen cannot amend timely $1 claim filed by debtors for Ocwen under Bankruptcy Rule 3004. "Ocwen cannot amend the claim filed by Debtors on its behalf . . . . The Advisory Committee Note to the 2005 amendment to Rule 3004 states: ' . . . Since the debtor and trustee cannot file a proof of claim until after the creditor's time to file has expired, the rule no longer permits the creditor to file a proof of claim that will supersede the claim filed by the debtor or trustee. The rule leaves to the courts the issue of whether to permit subsequent amendment of such proof of claim.' . . . Here, Ocwen filed its late proof of claim six days after the Debtors. Despite this, allowance of this claim will greatly prejudice the Debtors and jeopardize their reorganization. As such, the Court declines to allow amendment of the Debtors' claim.").
In re Denke, 524 B.R. 644, 648-55 (Bankr. E.D. Va. Jan. 23, 2015) (Huennekens) (Former spouse filed allowable claims under Bankruptcy Rule 3005 on behalf of lenders that debtor was required to pay by divorce decree. Former spouse was obligated with debtor on first and second mortgages. Mortgagees failed to timely file proofs of claim. Former spouse filed timely Bankruptcy Rule 3005 claims for both mortgagees. Court estimated that first mortgagee would be paid in full by surrender of the property. Second mortgagee's lien was wholly unsecured and allowed in full amount of debt as an unsecured claim to be paid through confirmed plan. Former spouse's separate prophylactic proof of claim for total amount of two mortgages was disallowed by § 502(e)(1)(B). "When the Claim's Bar Date passed with no proof of claim having been filed by either of the Secured Claimants, Ms. Denke, in her capacity as a non-filing co-debtor, took it upon herself to file claims on their behalf. . . . Ms. Denke also timely filed claims on her own behalf. . . . As a non-filing co-debtor liable to the Secured Claimants along with the Debtor, Ms. Denke is 'an entity that is liable to such creditor with the debtor,' falls within the scope of section 501(b) of the Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rule 3005(a), and may file proofs of these creditors' claims. . . . Ms. Denke has asked the Court to estimate the deficiency claims. . . . [T]he Court estimates that Claim 5 would be satisfied in full by the liquidation of the Real Property. . . . Citicorp's claim . . . is found to be entirely unsecured. The deficiency claim asserted by Ms. Denke on Citicorp's behalf will be allowed for the full amount owed . . . as a general unsecured claim . . . . Claim 4 duplicates the very same liability asserted by Ms. Denke on behalf of PNC Bank and Citicorp in Claim 5 and Claim 6 respectively. . . . All three elements necessary for section 502(e)(1)(B) of the Bankruptcy Code to apply are satisfied in the case at bar. . . . As Claim 4 seeks indemnification against any potential future liability Ms. Denke may have to either of the Secured Claimants, . . . Claim 4 must be disallowed. Provided the Debtor successfully completes his Chapter 13 Plan, Ms. Denke will have no remaining liability to either of the Secured Claimants.").
In re Sprague, No. 12-41099-JDP, 2013 WL 6670576 (Bankr. D. Idaho Dec. 18, 2013) (Pappas) (Motion granted under Bankruptcy Rules 3004 and 9006(b)(2) to enlarge time to file previously unknown claim on behalf of unscheduled creditor—debtors established excusable neglect. Debtors learned of claim only after bar date passed, promptly sought permission to expand time, and prejudice to nonmoving parties is minimal, evidenced in part by lack of objection.).
In re Petuck, No. 12-12791-BAH, 2013 WL 2154385 (Bankr. D.N.H. May 17, 2013) (unpublished) (Deasy) (Debtors failed to prove cause for extension of time to file claims under Bankruptcy Rules 3004 and 9006(b)(1). Only excuse offered was failure to calendar deadline.).
Oudomsouk v. Bank of Am., N.A. (In re Oudomsouk), 483 B.R. 502 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. Nov. 19, 2012) (Mashburn) (On contrived facts, disallowed mortgage claim filed by debtors on behalf of mortgagee is reconsidered under § 502(j) and lien is not voided when parties stipulated validity of lien notwithstanding prior disallowance of claim. Debtors filed a naked proof of claim on behalf of mortgagee. Trustee objected and claim was disallowed when no party responded to trustee's objection. Debtor then moved to void the mortgage lien under § 506(d). All parties stipulated that the lien was valid notwithstanding disallowance of the claim. Parties declined to ask for reconsideration under § 502(j) ostensibly to force bankruptcy court to determine whether lien was void under § 506(d) based solely on the disallowance of the claim. On these artificial facts, reconsideration was appropriate under § 502(j) and the order disallowing the mortgage claim was set aside.).
In re Renz, 476 B.R. 382, 386-88 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. Aug. 1, 2012) (Trust) (Neither Bankruptcy Rule 3004 nor Rule 3006 permits Chapter 13 debtor to withdraw proof of claim filed on behalf of wholly unsecured junior mortgage creditor when that proof of claim formed basis for adversary proceeding that voided lien. Debtors were ineligible for discharge under § 1328(f). Before the bar date for nongovernmental claims, debtors filed proof of claim on behalf of wholly unsecured junior mortgage holder. Debtors then filed an adversary proceeding in which they succeeded at declaring the junior mortgage wholly unsecured. The judgment also recited that the junior lienholder's claim was a wholly unsecured claim and that the lien would be declared null and void upon completion of the Chapter 13 plan. Counsel then filed a letter purporting to withdraw the claim the debtors filed on behalf of the junior lienholder. Counsel also filed a plan that provided 100% distribution only to unsecured creditors who timely filed proofs of claim—not including the avoided junior lienholder. "[E]ven if the Chase Claim had been properly filed under Rule 3004, Rule 3006 provides the only express mechanism for withdrawal of such a claim . . . . Rule 3006 does not specifically reference debtor- or trustee-filed claims . . . . [W]hile Rules 3004 and 3006 would appear to permit Chase to withdraw the claim filed by Debtors on its behalf without court approval before an objection or adversary proceeding is filed, the plain language of Bankruptcy Rules 3004 and 3006 does not explicitly permit Debtors to withdraw the Chase Claim, particularly in light of the fact that a complaint was filed by Debtors against Chase in the Adversary relating to the Chase Claim. . . . Debtors clearly filed the Chase Claim so that they could initiate the Adversary for the express purpose of avoiding the Chase Mortgage and reclassifying the Chase Claim as unsecured. Now that the Judgment has been entered declaring the Chase Mortgage to be wholly unsecured, Debtors are seeking to withdraw the very claim that formed the basis for such a declaration . . . . [E]ven if the Chase Claim was properly filed under Rule 3004, this Court finds no cognizable basis for Debtors to withdraw the Chase Claim.").
In re Aguirre, No. 11-41126-JDP, 2012 WL 632400 (Bankr. D. Idaho Feb. 27, 2012) (Pappas) (Claim debtor filed on behalf of Chapter 7 trustee of former spouse was a general unsecured claim not entitled to priority. "Self-crafted" divorce decree contained $6,000 payment to ex-spouse intended to equalize debtor's interest in a 401(k) account. There was no indication in the decree that this payment was intended as support. Debtor filed claim on behalf of Chapter 7 trustee in ex-spouse's separate Chapter 7 case when ex-spouse failed to file a claim. Chapter 13 trustee successfully objected to priority treatment of the claim filed by the debtor.).
In re Nealey, No. 10-10606-SSM, 2011 WL 1485541 (Bankr. E.D. Va. Apr. 19, 2011) (Mitchell) (Claim filed by debtors on behalf of creditor with nondischargeable restitution claim was disallowed as untimely because proof was filed three days after 30-day bar date in Bankruptcy Rule 3004. Court discusses that Bankruptcy Rule 9006 does not provide authority to extend general deadline for filing claims in Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c) but does not differentiate that Rule 9006 does apply to time periods in Rule 3004. Trustee may elect to pay late-filed claim only if there is no prejudice to timely filed claims. Here, other creditors would be prejudiced.).
In re Stewart, No. 10-91142, 2010 WL 5372782, at *2 (Bankr. C.D. Ill. Dec. 22, 2010) (Fines) (Trustee's motion to file claims on behalf of creditors that failed to file timely claims is denied notwithstanding modification of plan to account for postconfirmation inheritance by increasing dividend to 100% for timely filed unsecured creditors. Debtors had been honest with trustee and court by revealing inheritance and modifying plan to satisfy § 1325(a)(4). "The purpose of § 501(c) is mainly to protect the debtor in instances where a creditor fails to file a claim that is non-dischargeable." Citing legislative history, court found no authority to support trustee's request to file claims on behalf of unsecured creditors that had not filed timely proofs of claim.).
In re Caruso, 433 B.R. 135 (Bankr. M.D. Pa. Aug. 6, 2010) (Opel) (Court chides debtor's attorney and trustee for failing to file claim on behalf of a mortgage creditor when the confirmed plan provided for payment of mortgage arrearages but creditor failed to timely file a proof of claim.).
Tennessee Commerce Bank v. Cox (In re Cox), No. 309-0410A, 2010 WL 2083257, at *3-*4 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. May 21, 2010) (unpublished) (Harrison) (Motion to file claim on behalf of unscheduled creditor is denied when debtor did not prove excusable neglect and allowing debtor's claim would reduce distributions to other unsecured creditors. "The debtor argued that the allowance of Tennessee Commerce's claim would have no effect on any other unsecured creditors except for a slight delay in disbursement and that the dividend to the unsecured creditors would remain at 1%. However, as pointed out by the Chapter 13 Trustee, the dividend to unsecured creditors is actually 13% under the current plan, and the addition of this claim would reduce their payment to 9%. This reduction in payment to unsecured creditors at this late date is neither fair nor equitable. In addition, the debtor's testimony regarding the reason for the delay is not credible.").
In re Schuster, 428 B.R. 833 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. May 12, 2010) (McGarity) (Debtor failed to prove excusable neglect to enlarge time for debtor to file claim for unscheduled creditor under Bankruptcy Rules 3004 and 9006. Debtor failed to schedule large appliance debt incurred within a year of petition. Court rejected Debtor's attempt to discharge the unscheduled debt by amending the schedules and moving for enlargement of the Bankruptcy Rule 3004 time period within which the debtor could file a claim for the creditor.).
In re Lasley, No. 08-60713-13, 2010 WL 817232 (Bankr. D. Mont. Mar. 4, 2010) (Kirscher) (Debtor filed materially false claim by filing proof of claim for $250 on behalf of Los Angeles Child Support Service Department (CSSD) after debtor had received notice that he owed in excess of $49,000 in back child support; because disallowance of a materially false claim requires notice and a hearing, court grants CSSD leave to file a motion with respect to disallowance of materially false claim filed by debtor.).
In re Turner, 420 B.R. 711 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. Dec. 21, 2009) (McIvor) (Because income taxes for 2008 are a § 1305 postpetition claim in Chapter 13 case filed on January 13, 2009, debtor cannot file proof of claim on behalf of taxing authority.).