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What happens if none of my creditors file a proof of claim?

Salem, OR |
Filed under: Chapter 13 bankruptcy

My 3 year chapter 13 plan was confirmed about 8 months ago. All of my debt was unsecured non priority debts (credit cards). I have been making payments to the trustee for almost a year.

The trustee just sent me his report of Receipts and Disbursements and it shows that the majority of the money I paid in is being held as undistributed funds. None of my creditors are listed as claimants. The only people who have received disbursements have been my attorney and the trustee.

So what happens at the end of my 3 year plan if nobody else has claimed that money? Do I get it back? Is it too late for a creditor to file a claim?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You should get it all back. I'm actually surprised why this was a chapter 13? Didn't pass the means test?

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.avanesianlaw.com for more information about my services.


  2. Your creditors are required to file a proof of claim within 90 days of your first date set for your 341 hearing and for government claims within 180 days. If they fail to file a claim within the claim within the required time frame then the claim can be disallowed. If in fact none of your creditors filed a claim and there are no creditors to distribute the funds to then you should be able to get your case discharged early.

    If the time for them filing a claim has passed then you need to talk to your attorney to have your case discharged early since there are no creditors to distribute payment to.


  3. Once the time has elapsed for filing claims, that's it. Once your attorney & your trustee are paid, you will be offered the option of an early discharge with no additional money to pay. In some instances, you may wish to pay certain creditors off through the bankruptcy as a form of settlement, and in that instance, you have the right to file a claim on behalf of your reluctant creditors. Hope this perspective helps!


  4. Creditors have the 90 days that my colleague mentioned to file a proof of claim after the initial setting of your 341 Meeting of Creditors and if they fail to do so AND were properly notified of your bankruptcy filing and the opportunity to file a proof of claim then the debt is discharged at the conclusion of your case. If there are creditors that I want to make sure are paid something, (such as a mortgage creditor) I will file a proof of claim for them if they do not file one. In your situation, your attorney needs to make sure that any judgment liens that can be avoided are avoided and you should be eligible to receive your discharge once your attorney's and trustee's fees are paid and you should receive any surplus funds as a refund after your case is closed. If you have an attorney, make sure you confirm this with him/her.

    DISCLAIMER: This message is intended as a general discussion of legal issues and not as a statement of fact, legal advice or a legal opinion. No attorney-client relationship is created by this message. Do not act or rely upon law-related information in this communication without seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant area. I am a Federally Designated Debt Relief Agency under the United States Bankruptcy Code. I proudly help people in financial need file bankruptcy cases. IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).


  5. Your case is most unusual.

    Also consider an amended plan reducing your payments.

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