According to title 11 of the United States Code (the “Bankruptcy Code) and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the “Bankruptcy Rules”), a debtor must file schedules of the debtor’s assets and liabilities. A debtor’s schedules would include a list of all known claims against the debtor and list the claims as disputed, contingent or unliquidated.
If an entity believes they have a claim against the debtor that the debtor has not included on a schedule, or the claim is disputed, contingent, or unliquidated, that party can file a proof of claim. A proof of claim in a bankruptcy case is the creditor’s statement as to the amount and character of their claim. A claimant will file the claim for purposes of distributions and voting on the reorganization plan.
There are certain situations when a claimant must file multiple proofs of claim and there are certain situations when a creditor should not. Part I of this article deals primarily with the procedural nature of filing a proof of claim. Part II examines who has the burden of proof when a claimant files a proof of claim. Part III concludes by analyzing whether a claimant should file a proof of claim against multiple debtors in a bankruptcy proceeding for affiliated companies.