The Ability to Set and Enforce Bar Dates and Determine Untimely Administrative Expense Claims in a Chapter 11 Case
Title 11 of the United States Code (the “Bankruptcy Code”) does not expressly provide that bankruptcy courts may set and enforce deadlines, i.e., “bar dates,” for administrative expense claims. The Bankruptcy Code also does not expressly define “timely” or “tardy” administrative expense claims. Courts, however, have interpreted sections 105 and 503 of the Bankruptcy Code as sufficiently broad to provide bankruptcy courts with discretion to establish bar dates and allow untimely filed administrative expense claims “for cause.”
This memorandum explores the decisions that have addressed a bankruptcy court’s ability to set and enforce bar dates and to determine what constitutes an untimely administrative expense claim. Part I examines the authority for a bankruptcy court to set and enforce bar dates for administrative expense claims. Part II elaborates on the standards for allowing untimely administrative expense claims.