Debtor’s Standing to Avoid Lien

Posted by NCBRC - December 19, 2011

The Sixth Circuit BAP found that the debtor has derivative standing to exercise the trustee’s strong-arm powers under section 542 by seeking avoidance under section 544 of an unperfected lien on his manufactured home.  U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Barbee, No. 10-8074 (B.A.P. 6th Cir.) The court identified certain realities that supported its finding: the trustee’s lack of resources to pursue every legitimate avoidance claim, the requirement that the plan conform to section 1325(a)(4), and the possibility of the debtor’s being accused of bad faith if he proposes a plan that does include avoidance of a clearly avoidable lien. In so deciding, the court agreed with the holding in Countrywide Home Loans v. Dickson, 427 B.R. 399 (B.A.P. 6th Cir.), aff’d on other grounds, 655 F.3d 585 (6th Cir. 2011).


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