I recently filed a Chapter 13 case where my clients desired to pay all of their creditors back in full. This meant that all creditors that filed a proof of claim in their case would be paid back. A proof of claim is just a statement from the creditor filed with the Court that states the debtor owes them money. Creditors only get about 4 months from the date of filing to file a proof of claim with the Court. If a claim is late, the debtor’s attorney can object and have it thrown out.
After a few months of claims, I went over all of claims with the client. The client noticed two claims totaling roughly $4,000.00 that were from a debt about 8 years ago. At that point, I realized we might be able to get these claims thrown out for violating Missouri’s statute of limitations. After doing some research, I found that the statute of limitations for a debt based on a signed document was 10 years, however, if the creditor failed to produce a signed document, the statute of limitations was only 5 years.
The claims valued at over $4,000.00 had no signed documents attached to them. I filed objections to the claims stating that based on Missouri case law, if a creditor for a credit card, cannot produce the signed document obligating the debtor, the statute of limitations is only 5 years. After filing the objections stating the filed claims violated Missouri’s statute of limitations unless they could produce the signed writing, the creditors emailed me asking if they could just withdraw their claims. Of course, I gave them permission to do so! My clients were ecstatic, and I was proud to have saved them over $4,000.00.