pinA proof of claim objection in United States Bankruptcy Court is the topic of this article. The United States Bankruptcy code provides that any party in interest may file an objection to a proof of claim filed in a Bankruptcy case. All debtors in Chapter 13 cases are considered a party in interest and therefore have the right to file an objection to any proof of claim filed in their case. Debtors in other cases such as Chapter 7 may or may not be considered as a party in interest depending on the unique circumstances of their case.

It is vitally important to properly object to any claims filed in a Bankruptcy case that is not timely filed, is defective for failure to comply with Bankruptcy code requirements or is defective in any other way or relates to any debt the amount or existence of which is disputed. The reason for this is that Bankruptcy law states that unless a party in interest objects any claim filed is deemed allowed.

It is therefore critical that all proofs of claim filed in any Bankruptcy case be carefully reviewed to determine if there are valid grounds for filing an objection. The pertinent law is 11 U.S.C. § 502(a) which states in pertinent part that, any claim filed “is deemed allowed, unless a party in interest… objects.” The burden is on the party filing the objection to prove to the Court that the claim is not valid and should not be paid.

In particular a debtor or their attorney should carefully review any proof of claim filed to determine if the claim was timely filed as Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002(c) requires most proofs of claim to be filed no later than 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors called under § 341(a) of the Code.

It should be noted that Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3001 contains numerous detailed requirements for each specific type of proof of claim and the proof of claim should be carefully reviewed to determine if it meets the strict requirements of Rule 3001.

Any objection to a proof of claim should be filed and served as soon as it has been determined that there are valid grounds for filing an objection.

Some of the more common grounds for objecting to a proof of claim are:

The creditor failed to attach sufficient documentation to prove that a debt is owed;

The amount of the claim is incorrect;

The same claim was filed more than once;

The claim was not filed in a timely manner;

The classification of the claim as secured or priority is incorrect, and

The claim states improper interest amounts or fees.

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