Contingent Claim Law and Legal Definition

A contingent claim, in the context of bankruptcy law, is a claim that may be owed by the debtor under certain circumstances, for example, where the debtor is a cosigner on another person's loan and that person fails to pay. A contingent debt is one in which there is a 'triggering event' or some condition precedent for the debt to exist. All the events giving rise to a liability have not occurred before the filing of a bankruptcy petition.

In a Chapter 11 case, all creditors with claims not scheduled by the debtor-in-possession or scheduled as disputed, contingent, or unliquidated must file proof of claims if they desire to preserve their right to obtain any recovery from the estate.