To complete your Maryland bankruptcy schedules and forms, you’ll need to know whether you owe contingent, liquidated or disputed claims. Let’s talk about the meaning of the first term: a contingent claim.
A contingent claim is a liability that is not certain to occur and, actually, could occur only when a specific event happens. For example, a classic case of a contingent liability is when you have someone’s personal guarantee of a promissory note. If the main borrower for that note doesn’t default under the note, then the obligation for that guarantee will never come into play. In other words, the obligation is contingent or dependent upon the occurrence of a default under the promissory note. If the event doesn’t occur, a default in this example, then there is no contingent claim.
An interesting kind of contingent claim happens when when you go to the casino. The very minute you place a bet on roulette red or black, the casino owes you a contingent claim based upon whether or not the ball lands on the red or the black or the green zero or double zero square. If the ball happens to land on the square where you placed your bet, the claim matures and is due. If the ball lands on a different square, the casino owes you nothing for that particular bet. It is an interesting situation that during that interim period, the casino has a contingent obligation to you depending upon what happens when the ball drops.
For more information, read How Do I Determine Whether My Baltimore Bankruptcy Claim Has a Contingent Claim?
If you have a question about whether or not your claims are liquidated, disputed or contingent, please pick up the phone and call me at 410-484-9000.