By Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov

Creditors beware: changes are afoot and attention must be paid to these changes or your rights in bankruptcy may be prejudiced. We have previously written about the practices and procedures required under Rule 3002 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (“Bankruptcy Rules”). However, as of December 1, 2017, certain revisions to Bankruptcy Rule 3002 will both require secured creditors to file proofs of claim and substantially reduce the amount of time provided to creditors to file a proof of claim in Chapters 7, 12 and 13 bankruptcy cases.

It has long been recognized that for a secured claim to be “allowed” in bankruptcy, a creditor must file a proof of claim. In its current form, Bankruptcy Rule 3002(a) merely states that an “unsecured creditor or an equity security holder must file a proof of claim or interest …” The fact that Bankruptcy Rule 3002 does not specifically mention secured claims has resulted in conflicting case law as to whether a secured creditor must file proof of claim. As a result, the revised text of Bankruptcy Rule 3002 clarifies that a secured creditor must file a proof of claim in order for the claim to be “allowed.” However, the amended Bankruptcy Rule also provides that a secured creditor’s failure to file a proof of claim does not affect the underlying lien.

In addition, revised Bankruptcy Rule 3002 requires proofs of claim to be filed in a substantially shorter period of time than the current Rule. Under current Rule 3002, creditors have up to 90 days after the first date scheduled for the section 341(a) meeting of creditors to file their claims. Since such meetings are generally scheduled between 20 and 40 days after the petition date, creditors currently have between 110 and 130 days after the petition date to file claims. New Rule 3002 will mandate that creditors file proofs of claim within 70 days of the petition date. Thus, as of December 1, 2017, a creditor’s time to file a proof of claim will be reduced by almost half.

Although the new Rule provides that a creditor can move for an additional 60 days to file its claim, such an extension may only be granted upon establishing that: (i) notice was insufficient to give the creditor a reasonable time to file a proof of claim because the debtor failed to timely file a creditor matrix; or (ii) notice was insufficient to give the creditor a reasonable time to file a proof of claim, and the notice was mailed to the creditor at a foreign address.  

In view of the above, it is essential for all creditors to act promptly when a borrower files for bankruptcy protection. The filing of a bankruptcy petition under chapters 7, 12, and 13 triggers certain limitation periods which can significantly affect a creditors rights and claims. Thus, secured and unsecured creditors alike should immediately consult with experienced bankruptcy counsel to ensure they comply with the requirements of the Bankruptcy Rules.    

Please feel free to call Weltman & Moskowitz with any bankruptcy questions or challenges you, your colleagues, or clients may have.

Richard Weltman & Michael Moskowitz |

About Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, A New York and New Jersey Business, Bankruptcy, and Creditors’ Rights Law Firm:

Founded in 1987, Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP is a highly regarded business law firm concentrating on creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and business litigation. Michael L. Moskowitz, a partner with the firm, focuses his practice on business and bankruptcy litigation, as well as creditor’s rights, foreclosure, adversary proceeding litigation, corporate counseling, M&A, and transactional matters. Michael can be reached at (212) 684-7800, (201) 794-7500 or Melissa Guseynov is an associate of the firm. Melissa can be reached at