One of the biggest, most irreversible, mistakes a creditor lawyer can make is to miss the deadline for filing a Proof of Claim in Bankruptcy Court.
I’ve represented creditors who have done that, and I’ve researched excusable neglect, failure of notice, and every other legal theory out there, and, honestly, the creditor is toast.
So, my advice is: File your claims by the Claims Bar Date. Easy advice, right?
Well, a few days ago, I got a jolt of shock, remembering (the hard way) that they’ve changed the Bankruptcy rules related to filing of claims to shorten the deadline. I thought I had time, because the case was relatively new.
Effective December 1, 2017, in voluntary Chapter 7, 12 or 13 cases, pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002(c), a proof of claim must be filed no later than 70 days after the bankruptcy filing date.
Under the prior version of Rule 3002(c), the creditor’s claim had to be filed no longer than 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. So, essentially, under the old law, you had about 130 days to file the Proof of Claim in bankruptcy cases.
In the past, my creditor and bank clients would receive a Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing, process it internally, and then aim to refer the case to me in advance of the debtor’s Meeting of Creditors or, worst case, before the case was confirmed.
Now, I’m telling all my clients (and you, reader) file your claim or hire your attorney (me) as fast as possible.