Burr Alert: When is a Claim a "Claim"?

October 23, 2012


By Andrea Weed

The ability of a debtor to discharge future or unknown liabilities, or claims, in the bankruptcy process is an integral aspect of the "fresh start" envisioned by the Bankruptcy Code. However, determining when a claim is a "claim" under the Bankruptcy Code is not always simple. In light of the Code's broad definition of a "claim,"1 which includes even unmatured and unliquidated rights to payment, it is possible for unknown or future creditors to have a claim against the debtor to be administered in the bankruptcy case.2

These potential creditors – those who have been exposed to the debtor's harmful conduct or defective product but who have not suffered any resulting damages at the time of the bankruptcy case – may later find that their claims have been discharged without their knowledge, and that they cannot recover from the debtor post-bankruptcy. Accordingly, determining what constitutes a "claim" and when it arises is critical for both debtors and creditors alike. Courts across the country use different tests to make these determinations, focusing on factors such as when a claim accrues under applicable state law, the nature and timing of debtor's harmful conduct, or the nature and timing of the relationship between the debtor and the claimant giving rise to the injuries suffered.3

To read more about this topic, please see full article below

Download PDF



Legal Disclaimer:
No representation is made that the quality of services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Featured Attorneys

send article

TESTIMONIALS

  • "...He is very good.”

    -Chambers 2012

  • “I work with a lot of lawyers in several states and Greg Harley is one of my favorites; he makes my job easy. He is very efficient, responsive and gets good results for us. I am very pleased.”

    -In-house counsel for a national banking institution

  • "...He has a big influence on automotive and economic development.”

    -Chambers 2012

  • "Rik Tozzi attracts praise for his trial skills.  He has been involved in a number of consumer cases, such as acting . . . in a matter brought by the City of Birmingham against various mortgage companies seeking damages for alleged violations of the federal Fair Housing Act."

    -Chambers 2010

  • "Erich is a tremendous resource for our company. He has superior legal knowledge accompanied by strong negotiation skills.  These attributes coupled with a strong conviction to great customer service and an affable personal style yields great results for us."

    -Anonymous