-2-any bar date in which to file a formal written, or, in some jurisdictions, a local rule will establisha deadline. Rules 2002(a) and 3003(c)(3). When these requirements are not met, the questionarises whether a creditor that gave some written notice of its claim to the debtor and/or the courtcan rely on that notice serving as an “informal” proof of claim.The Seventh Circuit has concluded that while the filing of a written proof of claim is prima facie evidence that the claim is valid, the absence of documentation does not necessarily bar the creditor from ever establishing a claim.
In re Stoecker
, 5 F.3d 1022 (7 Cir. 1993). In the
case, the court determined that there is no bankruptcy doctrine that seeks to punish thecreditor for a harmless error. In fact, the
court concurred with two other circuit courtsin concluding that informal proofs of claim are amendable as long as the omission was notintended to mislead or harm anyone.
In re Unioil
, 962 F.2d 988 (10 Cir. 1992);
, 937 F.2d 346 (7 Cir. 1991);
Wilkens v. Simon Bros.
, 731 F.2d 462 (7 Cir. 1984) (per
In re South Atlantic Financial Corp.
, 767 F.2d 814 (11 Cir. 1985). Courts realize, of
course, that any time a late or improperly filed claim is allowed, there will be a decrease in assetsavailable to the other creditors; however, absent intentional wrongdoing, the harm is thought to be negligible.
In re Stoecker
, 5 F.3d at 1028.If the creditor is to establish the existence of an informal proof of claim, courts clearlyrequire that such informal claims “must state an explicit demand showing the nature and theamount of the claim against the estate and evidence an intent to hold the debtor liable.”
Sambo’s Restaurant’s, Inc. v. Peggy Wheeler
, 754 F.2d 811 (9 Cir. 1985) (quoting
In re Franciscan
, 597 F.2d 181, 183 (9 Cir. 1979) (per curiam), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 915, 100
S.Ct. 1274, 63 L.Ed. 2d 598 (1980)).