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Types of Creditor Claims in Bankruptcy

At The Sellers Law Firm when we prepare a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition or Chapter 13 debt consolidation plan, we have to classify your debts into one of three different types of categories. Your debts are classified as a secured claim, unsecured claim, and a priority claim.

Our Montgomery bankruptcy lawyers and Selma bankruptcy lawyers first step is to examine whether a debt is a secured claim. A secured claim is a debt in which the creditor has a lien or a security interest in a piece of property that you own. If you promised an asset as collateral when you incur that debt, then you voluntarily give their creditor a lien in your property. This is commonly referred to as a voluntary lien. The most common examples of secured claims are mortgages, car loans, and tax liens when the government has not been paid and they have placed a lien on your property and recorded it at the probate office in the county in which the property is located.

However, creditors can obtain involuntary liens against your property. An example of an involuntary lien would be when an unsecured creditor sues you and wins. The court orders a judgement against you, and once the unsecured creditor has the judgment and files it in the probate court in the county in which you live, then this debt become secured. In many instances these secured judgments are still unsecured debt because the debtor may not have any property in which the Judgment yay attach.

When you receive a bankruptcy discharge it does not automatically eliminate the lien on your property. In other words, if you have a secured obligation your lender can still enforce the lien by foreclosing on your property or repossessing it after your bankruptcy is filed unless you continue to make timely payments to the creditor. If you file a Chapter 13 debt consolidation plan you would normally include most secured claims in that plan and pay them over a period of three to five years through the Chapter 13 plan. However, if you have a judgement lien that impairs your bankruptcy exemptions, then you may be able to wipe it out wholly because all your property is exempt. If you need help, then please text or call us today at 334-LAWYERS (529-9377).

Your most common claims will be unsecured claims. This is a creditor that does not have a lien against your property. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate all your unsecured claims, and a Chapter 13 debt consolidation will generally eliminate all or most of your unsecured claims. The most common types of unsecured claims that we see are credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, payday loans, and collection accounts. Normally, our Chapter 13 clients do not repay any of their unsecured debt. A student loan is an exception to the unsecured debt rule because it is difficult to eliminate a student loan debt. (For more information, please see our web page on this subject).

Finally, the third type of claim that we see is priority claims. Priority claims are not dischargeable and receive special treatment in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 debt consolidation plans. Priority creditors will get paid before any other creditors in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 and their claims may survive your bankruptcy discharge. The most common types of priority claims in bankruptcy case are alimony, child support, and certain tax obligations that you may owe to the state or federal government. We are generally able to work with the creditors who hold priority claims so that you may proceed with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 debt consolidation plan. Just because you have priority claims this should not deter you from seeking the help of a bankruptcy attorney.

Our skilled Montgomery bankruptcy lawyers and Selma bankruptcy lawyers can help in determining what types of debts that you have. Call us to discuss your options before making any financial decisions. All consultations are always free, and we can usually meet with you within 24 hours. Our phone lines are answered 24 hours a day! Call us or text us at 334-LAWYERS (529-9377) to set an appointment to meet with us. You may also reach us by using the Contact Form on our website or you may text us at Remember that doing nothing, changing nothing so call today!

The Sellers Law Firm is designated a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress and the President of the United States. We have proudly assisted people seeking relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for four decades.

Client Reviews
Brandon was my first choice for an attorney because he is part of the community and you see him at the local store or PTA meetings and he always has time for you and answer your concerns. Ronica Phifer
The Sellers Law Firm represented me in my social security case, and later in my Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I have been very happy with all that you have done for me, and I refer people to you all the time. Thanks for all that you have done for me and my family. Angie Langford
I would like to start out by saying Brandon sellers is more than a lawyer that has helped my family out in numerous occasions but he's also a great friend to our family. Whenever he can't find a resolution for the problem he always recommends somebody that can. I've known him for years grew up together always been really good friends. I like to say in closing I'm really glad I know him I'm glad he's been able to help us when we've needed him. Thanks for everything you've done. Timothy Palmer
The sellers law firm is the best in Alabama they are friendly and very professional from the attorneys to the people in the office. They where very helpful throughout the whole process and even after it was over. So if you are in need for a bankruptcy firm give Brandon sellers a call you won't be disappointed Thank you Again Brian Floyd
I highly recommend Sellers Law Firm, they are fantastic and care about their clients. They walk you through step by step and advise you of your options. Sheila Wright