Creditors involved in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case must file a document called a proof of claim to receive any funds from the liquidation and dispersal of assets. The document shows the court how much the debtor owes to the creditor and provides evidence of the debt. Knowledge of the proof of claim process and requirements before filing can help you to avoid mistakes that could cause you to forfeit your claim.
Compile all debt documentation. Include the debtor's application for credit, signed credit agreements, bills and account statements.
Find the case number and title on the notice of bankruptcy from the court. The court should have also sent a blank copy of the proof of claim paperwork and a date for the 341 meeting that allows you to ask the filer questions about the debt they owe you. Call the bankruptcy court to request the case information and the paperwork if you did not receive it.
Complete the first section of the document with the case number, both your and the debtor's names, your address and your phone number. Check the box if you are amending an earlier claim.
Complete sections one through four with information about the type and amount of the debt, the last four digits of the account number, the value of any collateral and proof of the debt. Check a box in section five if the debt stems from priority debts such as child support, alimony, employee wages and benefits or taxes. Sign your name and write the date on the bottom of the document.
Mail the proof of claim with copies of the documents that prove that the debt is owed or take the paperwork directly to the court house and file it in person.
Attend the 341 creditor meeting if you think the debtor may have given fraudulent information about the debt, his income or ability to repay. Bring copies of all the documentation you filed with the court. Ask the debtor about his ability to repay the debt and financial circumstances.
Wait approximately 45 days from the 341 meeting to receive the notice of distribution of assets and a check for your share of the funds.