What's in a Claim

    On December 1, 2015 the Federal Judiciary adopted a new Bankruptcy Proof of Claim form.  Official Form 10 has now been replaced with Official Form 410 and the use of the new form is mandatory.  The claim form has been substantially reorganized and expanded and should be easier to understand.  The official committee notes states: The new form gathers more information that is intended to “improv[e] the interface between technology and the forms so as to increase efficiency and reduce the need to produce the same information in multiple formats, many of the open-ended questions and multiple-part instructions have been replaced with more specific questions.”

    The two biggest changes are the addition of supplemental forms dealing with mortgage claims and the requirement to attach an itemized statement showing all interest, fees, expenses, of other charges.

    The change that has caused the most confusion is the way one classifies and calculates the total amount of the claim.  Now, priority claims are not treated as a separate class as they were on the old form.  All debts are classified as either secured or unsecured and these are added together to give you your total claim (section 9 of the form).  In section 12, you are then asked what portion of your claim should be treated as "priority".

    Official Form 410 can be downloaded through a link on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District’s web site: www.vawb.uscourts.gov under National Forms searching for Form 410 or Proof of Claim, or you can file a claim electronically under File a Proof of Claim.