CHAPTER 5CREDITORS, THE DEBTOR, AND THE ESTATE
Sub Chapter Creditors and Claims
Sec. 501. Filing of proofs of claims or interests
(a) A creditor or an indenture trustee may file a proof of claim. An
equity security holder may file a proof of interest.
(b) If a creditor does not timely file a proof of such creditor's
claim, an entity that is liable to such creditor with the debtor, or
that has secured such creditor, may file a proof of such claim.
(c) If a creditor does not timely file a proof of such creditor's
claim, the debtor or the trustee may file a proof of such claim.
(d) A claim of a kind specified in section 502(e)(2), 502(f),
502(g), 502(h) or 502(i) of this title may be filed under subsection
(a), (b), or (c) of this section the same as if such claim were a claim
against the debtor and had arisen before the date of the filing of the
(Pub. L. 95-598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2578; Pub. L. 98-353, title III,
Sec. 444, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 373.)
Historical and Revision Notes
The House amendment adopts section 501(b) of the Senate amendment
leaving the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure free to determine where a
proof of claim must be filed.
Section 501(c) expands language contained in section 501(c) of the
House bill and Senate amendment to permit the debtor to file a proof of
claim if a creditor does not timely file a proof of the creditor's claim
in a case under title 11.
The House amendment deletes section 501(e) of the Senate amendment
as a matter to be left to the rules of bankruptcy procedure. It is
anticipated that the rules will enable governmental units, like other
creditors, to have a reasonable time to file proofs of claim in
For purposes of section 501, a proof of ``interest'' includes the
interest of a general or limited partner in a partnership, the interest
of a proprietor in a sole proprietorship, or the interest of a common or
preferred stockholder in a corporation.
senate report no. 95-989
This section governs the means by which creditors and equity
security holders present their claims or interests to the court.
Subsection (a) permits a creditor to file a proof of claim or interest.
An indenture trustee representing creditors may file a proof of claim on
behalf of the creditors he represents.
This subsection is permissive only, and does not require filing of a
proof of claim by any creditor. It permits filing where some purpose
would be served, such as where a claim that appears on a list filed
under proposed 11 U.S.C. 924 or 1111 was incorrectly stated or listed as
disputed, contingent, or unliquidated, where a creditor with a lien is
undersecured and asserts a claim for the balance of the debt owed him
(his unsecured claim, as determined under proposed 11 U.S.C. 506(a)), or
in a liquidation case where there will be a distribution of assets to
the holders of allowed claims. In other instances, such as in no-asset
liquidation cases, in situations where a secured creditor does not
assert any claim against the estate and a determination of his claim is
not made under proposed 11 U.S.C. 506, or in situations where the claim
asserted would be subordinated and the creditor would not recover from
the estate in any event, filing of a proof of claim may simply not be
necessary. The Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and practice under the law
will guide creditors as to when filing is necessary and when it may be
dispensed with. In general, however, unless a claim is listed in a
chapter 9 or chapter 11 case and allowed as a result of the list, a
proof of claim will be a prerequisite to allowance for unsecured claims,
including priority claims and the unsecured portion of a claim asserted
by the holder of a lien.
The Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure will set the time limits, the
form, and the procedure for filing, which will determine whether claims
are timely or tardily filed. The rules governing time limits for filing
proofs of claims will continue to apply under section 405(d) of the
bill. These provide a 6-month-bar date for the filing of tax claims.
Subsection (b) permits a codebtor, surety, or guarantor to file a
proof of claim on behalf of the creditor to which he is liable if the
creditor does not timely file a proof of claim.
In liquidation and individual repayment plan cases, the trustee or
the debtor may file a proof of claim under subsection (c) if the
creditor does not timely file. The purpose of this subsection is mainly
to protect the debtor if the creditor's claim is nondischargeable. If
the creditor does not file, there would be no distribution on the claim,
and the debtor would have a greater debt to repay after the case is
closed than if the claim were paid in part or in full in the case or
under the plan.
Subsection (d) governs the filing of claims of the kind specified in
subsections (f), (g), (h), (i), or (j) of proposed 11 U.S.C. 502. The
separation of this provision from the other claim-filing provisions in
this section is intended to indicate that claims of the kind specified,
which do not become fixed or do not arise until after the commencement
of the case, must be treated differently for filing purposes such as the
bar date for filing claims. The rules will provide for later filing of
claims of these kinds.
Subsection (e) gives governmental units (including tax authorities)
at least six months following the date for the first meeting of
creditors in a chapter 7 or chapter 13 case within which to file proof
1984--Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98-353 inserted ``502(e)(2),''.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 98-353 effective with respect to cases filed 90
days after July 10, 1984, see section 552(a) of Pub. L. 98-353, set out
as a note under section 101 of this title.
Child Support Creditors or Their Representatives; Appearance Before
Pub. L. 103-394, title III, Sec. 304(g), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat.
4134, provided that: ``Child support creditors or their representatives
shall be permitted to appear and intervene without charge, and without
meeting any special local court rule requirement for attorney
appearances, in any bankruptcy case or proceeding in any bankruptcy
court or district court of the United States if such creditors or
representatives file a form in such court that contains information
detailing the child support debt, its status, and other
Section Referred to in Other Sections
This section is referred to in sections 502, 506, 726, 727, 901,
925, 944, 1111, 1141 of this title.