Does a trustee have standing to sue on behalf of a creditor whose claim is unliquidated and has no fixed value?

Asked about 1 year ago - Canyon Country, CA

I am a creditor of a corporation that is currently in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. About 2 1/2 years ago I filed a lawsuit against the Corporation before they filed bankruptcy. I have since filed my proof of claim correctly but currently I don't have the finances to continue the suit in bankruptcy or state court and now the trustee is suing third parties to bring money back to the estate. I am worried that the trustee does not have standing to represent my interests as a creditor since the claim is currently still unliquidated and the action is stayed.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Brian Crozier Whitaker

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The Trustee is not suing on your behalf ... he's suing on behalf of the BK estate. You will share pro-rata in whatever he recovers from the estate based on your claim (assuming it has not been objected to).

  2. Michael Raymond Daymude


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The Chapter 7 trustee will not represent your individual interest in the estate. If you need to take any action to protect your claim, you need to retain counsel or do it pro se.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for... more
  3. Stuart Gregory Steingraber

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 10th Circuit said Trustee had no standing to assert avoidance claim against a creditor's pre-petition claim against debtor: The 2007 ruling was: In Hill v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. (In re MS55, Inc.), the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit concluded that the only rights a chapter 7 trustee inherits from a creditor’s committee are derivative of the debtor’s rights. Therefore, because the terms of a postpetition financing order barred the debtor from bringing certain avoidance actions, the chapter 7 trustee could not bring such avoidance claims following conversion of the debtor’s bankruptcy case from chapter 11 to chapter 7.
    Other jurisdictions have held that whether or not the trustee can asset a pre-petition claim belonging to a creditor depends on whether or not the creditor's claim was one any creditor could have asserted or if it was unique to the particular creditor. You might want to review the American Bankruptcy Institute analysis of this issue in its 2008 Spring meeting. Good luck. (

Avvo instant logo@2x

Need an answer to your questions within 15 minutes?

  • 30-minute phone call
  • Ask any questions
  • $99 flat fee
  • Money-back guarantee
Talk to an attorney now

Can't find what you're looking for?

Ask span5@2x

Ask a question on our public forum.

Ask a lawyer
Instant span6@2x

Have an attorney contact you privately.

Right now.

Icon lock@2x
Secure conversation. Your details remain between you and your attorney.
Icon clock@2x
Get an answer guaranteed. Be assured that a lawyer will contact you to help with your legal issue.
Start your session now