Loan Servicing

The Bankruptcy Proof of Claim (with Pictures)

Ryan Stone

Ryan Stone

Ryan Stone

Feb 19 20236 minute read

Overview

A bankruptcy Proof of Claim (POC) is a formal court document filed by a creditor in a bankruptcy case, indicating the amount of debt that the debtor owes to the creditor. The Proof of Claim (Official Form 410) serves as a statement of the creditor's claim against the debtor's estate. It helps the bankruptcy court determine the distribution of the debtor's assets to creditors. The Proof of Claim must be filed with the bankruptcy court within a specified time frame, usually 70 days from the filing date.

The first part of the POC form

Explore the full proof of claim form here.

ePOC vs CM/ECF Proof of Claims

There are two common ways to file Proof of Claims online: through the CM/ECF filing system or through the newer Electronic Proof of Claims (ePOC) system. The official CM/ECF method is the traditional method of e-filing claims, but many districts have implemented ePOC to streamline the process. Here’s a summary of both:

Traditional CM/ECF Claims

In order to use the CM/ECF filing system, the creditor must create a PACER account, obtain filing privileges in the district, fill out the proof of claim form, attach relevant documents, and submit all of the resulting documents through the CM/ECF district filing form. Creditors can follow this method to file claims in any district.

Requesting filing privileges is the first hurdle creditors must overcome. We break down the process of requesting filing privileges in a blog article, but there are 94 different bankruptcy districts, so we generally recommend using the ePOC system for the districts that support it. 

Electronic Claims Filing (ePOC)

Most district courts have embraced the newer electronic filing system. Our article outlining the process of requesting filing privileges is kept up-to-date with the districts that support ePOCs. Creditors can file Proof of Claims using the district ePOC form without a PACER account or filing privileges. The ePOC web form helps creditors locate the case and lets creditors fill in the claim details through the website. Once submitted, the system populates a Proof of Claim (Official form 410) document with the information and adds it to the case.

Some districts put a limit on the number of ePOC submissions they will receive in a day, so high-volume filers often choose to file through the CM/ECF filing system. A couple of districts don’t support ePOC, so we recommend using the ePOC process when possible, and the traditional CM/ECF claims filing for the rest of the districts.

The whole process can be frustrating–we voiced the top 11 frustrations about claims filing that we’ve heard in our blog. Our API simplifies and automates the whole process. Our interface streamlines the process and let’s you file claims through ePOC and the traditional CM/ECF system in any court using one form. Schedule a demo to learn more.

Proof of Claims Can Seem Intimidating

If you are intimidated by proof of claims, you aren’t alone. A proof of claim is an official form with serious legal ramifications. Names like “Official Form 309” and laws like Bankruptcy Rules 3001(c)(2)(D) and Bankruptcy Rules 3002.1(i) emphasize the seriousness of these claims. The Court websites further increase fear of the process with legally binding e-signatures and red banners warning of potential jail time.

POC Warning
POC agreeement

Proof of Claims Shouldn’t Be Intimidating

Luckily, the proof of claim form isn’t nearly as scary as it seems. With proper knowledge of the form and pitfalls, the Proof of Claim becomes straightforward. In the next section, we’ll cover each section in detail.

Full Proof of Claim form

Breaking Down the Proof of Claim

Case Info

Part 0: Case Identification

The first section of the form includes a box to identify the case the claim is being filed for. The ePOC form helps by providing a tool to find the relevant case and automatically populate these questions. This section has four questions:

  1. Debtor 1: this is the primary debtor in the case. You can find this in your bankruptcy notification. You can also find this by locating the bankruptcy using the PACER case locator or PACER API and checking the primary debtor
  2. Debtor 2: this is the co-debtor in the case. You can find this in your bankruptcy notification or by looking up the case.
  3. District: this is where the district where the case was filed. The first blank is the cardinal direction of the district. E.g. Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western, Middle. The second blank is the state. E.g. California, New York, Florida.
  4. Case number: the extended case number for the case. You can find this in your bankruptcy notification. You can also find this by locating the bankruptcy using the PACER case locator or PACER API and checking the primary debtor. Follows the format X:YY-bk-ZZZZ. The division office number, followed by a colon. The two-digit year, followed by a hyphen. The two-letter case type abbreviation, followed by a hyphen. The sequence number, without leading zeros
Claim info section of the claim document

Part 1: Identify the Claim

In this section, the creditor includes information to specify who owns the debt and where payments should be sent. It consists of 5 questions:

  1. Who is the current creditor? Include the creditor name. 3rd party servicers often put {SERVICER} / {LENDER}. Include all other names the creditor may have used when interacting with the debtor.
  2. Has this claim been acquired from someone else? This is where creditors must disclose if a debt was acquired from another company or person. You should be prepared to disclose the evidence demonstrating you own or are authorized to file the claim.
  3. Where should notices and payments to the creditor be sent? It is very important to identify the correct person and address to receive notifications. Consumer bankruptcies generally move very quickly with short deadlines to respond. Include the address of the creditor. Include the address payments should be sent to if different. In a chapter 13, a creditor may have a uniform claim identifier to facilitate electronic payments from the trustee.
  4. Does this claim amend one already filed? Sometimes mistakes happen, and mistakes on claims can be fixed by amending the proof of claim.  If the amendment relates to a claim you have filed, you shouldn’t file a brand new claim. Instead, you can refile and clarify that it is an amendment. You will need to know the original claim number assigned by the court and the date the original claim was filed. Reach out to the Trustee if you have any questions.
  5. Do you know if anyone else has filed a proof of claim for this claim? Occasionally, a different proof of claim may be filed for the same debt. Use this section to clarify if you are a different person who is amending the claim or recently acquired the claim.
Details about the claim
Claim details extended

Part 2: Give Information About the Claim as of the Date the Case Was Filed

  1. Do you have any number you use to identify the debtor? Include the last 4 digits of the loan or customer ID.
  2. How much is the claim? Identify the amount the debtor owed as of the date the bankruptcy was filed. Do not include any amounts that may have come due after the bankruptcy was filed. If the amount includes interest, penalties, or fees you must check the box.  In addition to the claim, you must provide a detailed breakdown of these additional charges.
  3. What is the basis of the claim? This is where you describe why the debtor owes you money. Make sure to include documentation for the basis of the claim. If the claim is based on any type of written document, Bankruptcy Rule 3001(c) requires that a copy of the document(s) be filed with the claim.  If the writing is lost or destroyed, then include a statement of the circumstances of the loss or destruction with the claim. E.g., if your answer is “Money loaned,” then include the agreement the user signed to acquire the loan. Don’t disclose private information (see the redaction section below).
  4. Is all or part of the claim secured? This is where you indicate whether the debt is secured by a lien on the debtor's property. Include a specific description of the collateral. Include the “basis for perfection” or the method used to perfect the security interest. E.g., "deed of trust" for a mortgage, "lien on the title" for a car loan, or "UCC-1 Financing Statement" for a loan secured by inventory or equipment. Attach redacted copies of any document demonstrating the lien to the claim. Insert the value of the secured property. Be prepared to produce evidence to support this value. Include the amount of the claim that is secured. Include the amount of the claim that is not secured. This is the difference between the total amount of the claim and value of the property. In most situations, this amount is the same as the value of the property. Include the amount necessary to cure any default as of the day of the petition. The default amount is the total of missed payments and any additional charges.
  5. Is this claim based on a lease? If so, attach a copy of the lease. Include the amount to cure the default.
  6. Is this claim subject to a right of setoff? A setoff is an equitable right of a creditor to deduct the debt owed from the debtor the amount the creditor owes the debtor. For example, if the debtor has money deposited at the same bank where the debtor has a credit card balance, the bank should indicate whether it has the right to a set off. Do not set off these amounts however until you have permission from the bankruptcy court and have discussed the set off with legal counsel.
  7. Is all or part of the claim priority? A “priority debt” is legally defined in Section 507 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Make sure your claim is a valid priority claim. Priority claims are often paid out even in liquidation bankruptcies. Priority debts are legally defined in Section 507. Make sure your claim is a valid priority claim. Priority claims are usually paid after administrative expenses but before other general unsecured claims. Common examples: Certain taxes, alimony, and child support. Other examples: Certain types of Gap claims, wage claims, employee benefit claims, grain farmer and fisherman claims, customer deposit claims, tax claims, capital requirement claims. Attach any documents supporting the classification of the debt as a priority claim.  E.g. a divorce decree, etc.
The signature for the proof of claim document

Part 3: Sign Below

Identify the signor’s authority to sign the claim.

Supporting Documentation

It is important to include supporting documentation for your claim. Often this consists of the agreement/promissory note and the most recent statement. This also includes the detailed breakdown of any additional fees added to the total like interest, penalties or fees. There is also a requirement to redact any information that may contain personal identification information. Make sure to review and redact all information according to Bankruptcy Rule 9037. The following information should not be redacted:

  • The last 4 digits of the account number
  • The last 4 digits of the SSN or TIN
  • The birth year

All other personally identifiable information should be redacted. Once redacted, creditors compile the supporting documents with the claim and submit everything to the Court.

Hopefully, this description helps explain the bankruptcy claims filing process. We also offer modern tools to help streamline the claims filing process. Contact us to learn more.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this website should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.