Filing Bankruptcy Priority of Claims

Filing bankruptcy priority claims, under section 507 of the bankruptcy code, have priority in the following order:

  1. Fees and charges assessed against the estate
  2. Unsecured claims (section 502(f))
  3. Unsecured claims ($4,300 per individual)
  4. Unsecured claims for employee benefit plan
  5. Unsecured claims production or raising of grain or fisherman
  6. Unsecured claims for personal, family, or household use ($1,950)
  7. Debts to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor, or for alimony
  8. Unsecured claims of governmental units
  9. Unsecured claims based upon any commitment by the debtor to a Federal depository

Up   First Priority: Administrative expenses allowed under section 503(b) of this title, and any fees and charges assessed against the estate under chapter 123 of title 28.

Up   Second Priority: Unsecured claims allowed under section 502(f) of this title.

Up   Third Priority: Allowed unsecured claims, but only to the extent of $4,300 for each individual or corporation, as the case may be, earned within 90 days before the date of the filing of the petition or the date of the cessation of the debtor’s business, whichever occurs first, for

(A) wages, salaries, or commissions, including vacation, severance, and sick leave pay earned by an individual;

or (B) sales commissions earned by an individual or by a corporation with only 1 [one] employee, acting as an independent contractor in the sale of goods or services for the debtor in the ordinary course of the debtor’s business if, and only if, during the 12 months preceding that date, at least 75 percent of the amount that the individual or corporation earned by acting as an independent contractor in the sale of goods or services was earned from the debtor;

Up   Fourth Priority: Allowed unsecured claims for contributions to an employee benefit plan –

(A) arising from services rendered within 180 days before the date of the filing of the petition or the date of the cessation of the debtor’s business, whichever occurs first; but only

(B) for each such plan, to the extent of

(i) the number of employees covered by each such plan multiplied by $4,300; less

(ii) the aggregate amount paid to such employees under paragraph (3) of this subsection, plus the aggregate amount paid by the estate on behalf of such employees to any other employee benefit plan.

Up   Fifth Priority: Allowed unsecured claims of persons

(A) engaged in the production or raising of grain, as defined in section 557(b) of this title, against a debtor who owns or operates a grain storage facility, as defined in section 557(b) of this title, for grain or the proceeds of grain, or

(B) engaged as a United States fisherman against a debtor who has acquired fish or fish produce from a fisherman through a sale or conversion, and who is engaged in operating a fish produce storage or processing facility – but only to the extent of $4,300 for each such individual.

Up   Sixth Priority: Allowed unsecured claims of individuals, to the extent of $1,950 for each such individual, arising from the deposit, before the commencement of the case, of money in connection with the purchase, lease, or rental of property, or the purchase of services, for the personal, family, or household use of such individuals, that were not delivered or provided.

Up   Seventh Priority: Allowed claims for debts to a spouse, former spouse, or child of the debtor, for alimony to, maintenance for, or support of such spouse or child, in connection with a separation agreement, divorce decree or other order of a court of record, determination made in accordance with State or territorial law by a governmental unit, or property settlement agreement, but not to the extent that such debt

(A) is assigned to another entity, voluntarily, by operation of law, or otherwise; or

(B) includes a liability designated as alimony, maintenance, or support, unless such liability is actually in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support.

Up   Eighth Priority: Allowed unsecured claims of governmental units, only to the extent that such claims are for

(A) a tax on or measured by income or gross receipts

(i) for a taxable year ending on or before the date of the filing of the petition for which a return, if required, is last due, including extensions, after three years before the date of the filing of the petition;

(ii) assessed within 240 days, plus any time plus 30 days during which an offer in compromise with respect to such tax that was made within 240 days after such assessment was pending, before the date of the filing of the petition; or

(iii) other than a tax of a kind specified in section 523(a)(1)(B) or 523(a)(1)(C) of this title, not assessed before, but assessable, under applicable law or by agreement, after, the commencement of the case;

(B) a property tax assessed before the commencement of the case and last payable without penalty after one year before the date of the filing of the petition;

(C) a tax required to be collected or withheld and for which the debtor is liable in whatever capacity;

(D) an employment tax on a wage, salary, or commission of a kind specified in paragraph (3) of this subsection earned from the debtor before the date of the filing of the petition, whether or not actually paid before such date, for which a return is last due, under applicable law or under any extension, after three years before the date of the filing of the petition;

(E) an excise tax on

(i) a transaction occurring before the date of the filing of the petition for which a return, if required, is last due, under applicable law or under any extension after three years before the date of the filing of the petition; or

(ii) if a return is not required, a transaction occurring during the three years immediately preceding the date of the filing of the petition;

(F) a customs duty arising out of the importation of merchandise

(i) entered for consumption within one year before the date of the filing of the petition;

(ii) covered by an entry liquidated or reliquidated within one year before the date of the filing of the petition; or

(iii) entered for consumption within four years before the date of the filing of the petition but unliquidated on such date, if the Secretary of the Treasury certifies that failure to liquidate such entry was due to an investigation pending on such date into assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties or fraud, or if information needed for the proper appraisement or classification of such merchandise was not available to the appropriate customs officer before such date; or

(G) a penalty related to a claim of a kind specified in this paragraph and in compensation for actual pecuniary loss.

Up   Ninth Priority: Allowed unsecured claims based upon any commitment by the debtor to a Federal depository regulatory agency (or predecessor to such agency), to maintain the capital of an insured depository institution.

(b) If the trustee, under section 362, 363, or 364 of this title, provides adequate protection of the interest of a holder of a claim secured by a lien on property of the debtor and if, notwithstanding such protection, such creditor has a claim allowable under subsection (a)(1) of this section arising from the stay of action against such property under section 362 of this title, from the use, sale, or lease of such property under section 363 of this title, or from the granting of a lien under section 364(d) of this title, then such creditor’s claim under such subsection shall have priority over every other claim under such subsection.

(c) For the purpose of subsection (a) of this section, a claim of a governmental unit arising from an erroneous refund or credit of a tax has the same priority as a claim for the tax to which such refund or credit relates.

(d) An entity that is subrogated to the rights of a holder of a claim of a kind specified in subsection (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(8), or (a)(9) of this section is not subrogated to the right of the holder of such claim to priority under such subsection.