10th Circuit Holds Chapter 13 Debtor has Standing to Sue on Behalf of Estate

14 Apr 10th Circuit Holds Chapter 13 Debtor has Standing to Sue on Behalf of Estate

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held, joining four other Circuit Courts, that Chapter 13 debtors have standing to sue on behalf of their bankruptcy estate. In the case of Smith v. Rockett the Court noted, over a dissent, that a Chapter 13 debtor was a debtor in possession for purposes of Bankruptcy Rule 6009 and therefore could bring suit without bankruptcy court approval. The case at issue was one under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The ability to prosecute these cases is important for the enforcement of consumer protection statutes because Chapter 13 trustees (the alternative plaintiff) do not often have the incentive or resources to bring these type of claims.

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