Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

May 2, 2014

Defaulting Mortgagor Lacked Standing Under 11 U.S.C.S. § 1109(b)

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding In re Residential Capital, LLC, 2013 Bankr. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y., 2013) held that the plaintiff Scott was not a party in interest and therefore lacked standing to assert a violation of the automatic stay. The court thus denied his motion.

Before this court was Phillip Scott’s motion to (1) determine that bankruptcy estate owns title to the note, (2) void state court title transfer, and (3) enjoin post petition state court prosecution.

Through his Motion, Scott sought: (1) declaratory relief determining that the bankruptcy estate owns title to the note; (2) injunctive relief enjoining, restraining, and prohibiting the mortgage foreclosure action in the Supreme Court of New York, County of Westchester; and (3) judgment for costs, including attorneys’ fees.

This court held that a mortgagor who defaulted on a note he executed in 2005 did not have standing under 11 U.S.C.S. § 1109(b) to seek a ruling from the bankruptcy court that a business that declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it acquired and transferred a mortgage he executed with the note held title to real property that secured the note, and an order enjoining a foreclosure action which a bank filed against the property in a New York court. The court also held that the mortgagor was not a creditor in the debtors’ bankruptcy estate, the note and mortgage were not owned or serviced by any of the debtors, and none of the debtors was a party to the foreclosure action.

Thus this court denied the mortgagor’s motion for an order declaring that the debtors’ bankruptcy estate owned title to the note, voiding a state court title transfer, and enjoining the foreclosure action that was filed in state court.

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