When you file for bankruptcy, you do not have your debts wiped away immediately. The court gives your creditors a chance to make a claim.
The United States Bankruptcy Court Western District of Kentucky explains a claim is when a creditor asks the court for payment from you for a debt.
The reason a creditor must file a claim to collect on a debt is that once you file bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay. This stay prevents creditors from taking any further actions against you. You can voluntarily make payments on debts, but creditors can do nothing if you stop making payments.
The only way a creditor could potentially get the money you owe is through the claims process.
Proof of claim
If a creditor wishes to make a claim in your case, it must file a proof of claim. It must do this within 90 days of your meeting of the creditors. The document should include the details of the debt, including how much you owe and any evidence showing you owe the debt. If it is a debt you secured with collateral, the creditor should also provide proof of that.
You do have the right to object to any creditor’s claim. You will need to show the debt is invalid or there is something incorrect about the claim, such as the amount of the debt. If the creditor does not file the claim in time, you may also object on the grounds of untimely filing.
Claims can slow down your bankruptcy, especially if you object to them. You should be prepared for claims and have documentation if you need to object.