Bankruptcy proceedings allow creditors to try and recover at least part of what they are owed by a debtor. However, before they can receive payment, creditors must file a Proof of Claim. The deadline for filing the Proof of Claim is called the bar date. Creditors who are trying to recover debts from a debtor must file this document, regardless of whether the debt is secured or unsecured.
Bar dates depend upon the type of bankruptcy proceeding and whether the debtor has non-exempt assets. Exempt assets are those that the court will not liquidate to pay a creditor. For example, clothing, a car, tools of your trade and some equity in your home are considered exempt in some states. No-asset cases are those in which all of the debtor's property is exempt.
Calendaring the Bar Date
The bankruptcy court informs the creditor of the bar date in all Chapter 7 no-asset cases, Chapter 9 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Notification of the bar date is different in Chapter 7 cases with assets, and in Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 cases. In these cases, the bar date appears on the first Notice of Meeting of Creditors.