You are here
How do I file a proof of claim?
If you have been listed as a creditor in a bankruptcy case, you will receive a written notice from the Clerk's office in the mail after the bankruptcy has been filed. The notice will tell you if there is a deadline for filing claims.
If the original notice you receive from the Clerk's office does not contain a deadline for filing proofs of claim (which is usually the case in Chapter 7 cases), you may subsequently receive a "Notice to File a Proof of Claim," if the trustee later determines that there are assets available for distribution in the case. This notice will also contain the deadline for filing claims with the court.
If you are informed of a claim deadline you may obtain one from the Clerk's office or click here for a proof of claim form. The claim form should be filled out completely and should include any attachments needed to support your claim. DO NOT SUBMIT ORIGINAL BACKUP DOCUMENTATION to support your claim; it will not be returned to you. The original claim must have your signature on it (not a stamp or copy). You must return the original of your completed claim, with all attachments, to the Clerk's office by the deadline for filing claims. This means the Clerk's office must receive the claim form by that date, not that you mail it by that date.
If you wish to have proof that your claim was timely filed, please bring an extra copy to the Clerk's Office. The clerk will file stamp the extra copy and return it to you. If you are mailing it, please include an extra copy with a self-addressed, stamped envelope with enough postage to cover return mailing costs.
The Clerk will file stamp the extra copy and return it to you.
Requests for information regarding when a claim will be paid should be directed to the trustee assigned to the case, whose name and telephone number can be found on the Creditor’s Meeting Notice that you receive from the Clerk's office.
When should I file a Proof of Claim with the Court?
In virtually all Chapter 7 cases, the first notice you receive from the Clerk's office will tell you not to file a claim until told to do so at a later date. Upon examination of the debtor, if the case trustee believes the Chapter 7 case may have nonexempt assets available for distribution to creditors, he/she will notify the Clerk's office to send a special notice to creditors to file claims and establishing a claims filing deadline. If you receive a notice that sets a deadline for filing claims, you must timely file the proof of claim with the Clerk's office in order to be eligible to participate in any distribution in the case. If you are mailing your claim to the Clerk's office, you must ensure that it is received by the filing deadline in order to be considered timely filed. In Chapter 11 and 13 cases, the first notice you receive from the Clerk's office will contain a deadline for filing claims. If you want to participate in the debtor's repayment plan, you MUST file a proof of claim with the Clerk's office by the deadline indicated on the notice. Your claim must be received by the Clerk's office by this deadline (not mailed by that date).
If someone who owes you money has filed bankruptcy, but you have not received a written notice about the bankruptcy, you can submit to the Clerk's office a written Request to be Added to the Creditor Mailing List. Include your mailing address in this request so that the Clerk's office can add you to the creditor list and send you future notices about the debtor's bankruptcy case.
A company or individual has filed for bankruptcy and owes us money. What do we do?
If you have been listed as a creditor in the bankruptcy case, you will receive a written notice in the mail from the Clerk's office advising you of the case filing, the date for the Meeting of Creditors and any important case deadlines. This notice will also tell you whether or not you should file a claim in the bankruptcy case at that time, and the deadline for filing the claim if one is to be filed. The notice will also give you important deadlines for filing complaints to object to a debtor's discharge or dischargeability of certain debts
How do I obtain information or copies on a case?
Telephone Access: Basic information, such at the debtor or debtor's attorney's name, case number,
or the name of the trustee is available on the telephone by calling the VCIS (Voice Case Information System)
at 1-866-222-8029 This information is provided free of charge and is available 24 hours a day from any
touch tone phone.
Computer Access: Electronic case summaries, docket information, and viewable copies of all pleadings filed since 1998,
may be retrieved via the Internet through the Public Access to Court Electronic
Records system (PACER). This system requires that you be a registered participant, and there is a fee
for access ($0.08 per page, with a page being approximately 50 lines of text). This charge is limited to
the first thirty pages of a document or report screen you are running, but is charged each time you open
a new document. For PACER registration information, click here for the PACER Service Center website.
In Person: Documents may be viewed in person or retrieved for copying at the Clerk's Office. Cases
which are one year old or older may be closed and archived at the Federal Records Center in
Waltham, MA . To determine if a case has been archived, contact the Clerk's Office. Records may be
obtained directly from the Federal Records Center, but you will need to obtain certain archiving
information from the Clerk's Office prior to requesting the information. Click here for the Archived
records retrieval form.
Do It Yourself on cases filed in 1998 or later - print copies off the public computer for 10 cents a page.
Do it Yourself on cases older than 1998 - public copy machine for 25 cents a page.
Clerk’s Office Staff can provide a search. - See fee schedule for current fees.
Where can I get more information?
I'm filing for bankruptcy protection but have discovered a lien against my property. What should I do?
A bankruptcy discharge will wipe out most unsecured debts, but does not remove liens which may exist against your property. Certain types of liens, such as judgment liens, may be set aside under certain circumstances based on provisions contained in the Bankruptcy Code. In order to seek to remove an eligible lien, you must file a Motion to Avoid Lien with the Court, stating the factual and legal basis supporting your motion and you must serve a copy of the motion on the creditor whose lien you are attempting to set aside as well as on the case trustee. A court order granting the motion is required to have it removed. Advice of counsel for actions to avoid liens is highly recommended.
Can I fax documents to the bankrutpcy court for filing?
No. Faxed documents are not accepted for filing
How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
A bankruptcy generally affects a persons credit rating for 7 to 10 years. However, this depends entirely on the individual credit reporting agency. The Bankruptcy Court has no influence on the type of information the credit bureaus report, nor on how long they keep it in their records. If you wish to review your credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
Under a new federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Each agency's report on your credit may contain information from different creditors. To receive a free annual credit report, you can call or send a written request to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can also contact the credit reporting agencies directly at:
Equifax - www.equifax.com / 1-800-685-1111
Experian - www.experian.com / 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion - www.transunion.com / 1-800-916-8800
My case was dismissed - what does this mean?
A dismissal order ends the case and removes it from bankruptcy jurisdiction. When the court dismisses a case, the ‘automatic stay’ is no longer in effect and creditors may start to collect on their debts again. Some types of dismissals – such as one for cause (failing to file required schedules and statements) may contain a 180-day bar to refiling. Unless the debtor appeals the dismissal or moves for reconsideration within 14 days of the order, the case will be automatically closed.
My case has been closed, but I need to file further documents - what do I do?
In order to file additional documents after your case is closed, you must first file a Motion to Reopen the case and pay the applicable re-opening fee. The Motion to Reopen must specifically state why the case is being sought to be re-opened. Additionally, if any creditors will be affected by the re-opening (such as adding new creditors), the debtor must also serve them with a copy of the Motion to Reopen. If the Court grants the Motion to Reopen, the debtor may then file the necessary documents