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Why file a proof of claim?
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By filing a proof of claim in the Bankruptcy Case, a creditor asserts its right to receive a distribution from the bankruptcy estate, if any.  However, filing a proof of claim does not guarantee a distribution to the creditor.  A proof of claim may be objected to and disallowed in whole or in part, and if there are no assets in the bankruptcy estate, then even if a proof of claim was valid, a creditor would receive nothing on its claim. 

Be aware that unsecured creditors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases must file a proof of claim in order to be entitled to receive estate distributions.  See Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002(a) and Personal and Small Business Bankruptcy Practice in California (2004), §7.26 of Chapter 7 by Timothy J. Yoo.
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