What Dr. Thompson is asking this Court to do is to adjudicate the merits of the contribution
claim prior to determining whether Kentor has standing. Courts have held both ways although a
majority of the cases view “creditor” status for standing differently than “creditor” status for claims
allowance. Conway v. First Interstate Bank of Inglewood (In re Conway), 96 B.R. 311, 313 (D.
Colo. 1989)(Creditor had standing to maintain his challenge to discharge under Section 727, even
though his underlying debt was ultimately denied. There was no requirement in §727(a) that the
entity show that its claim against the debtor has been reduced to a “debt” as in §523(a))4. Holders
of disputed claims are “creditors” and therefore have standing to seek denial of the debtor’s
discharge notwithstanding the dispute. Korte v. United States, (In re Korte), 262 B.R. 464, 470-71;
First Commericial Group, Inc. v. Hermanson (In re Hermanson), 273 B.R. 538, 545 (Bankr. N.D.
Ill. 2002); Solomon v. Barman (In re Barman), 244 B.R. 896, 899 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2000). These
courts faced with objections to standing declined to adjudicate the merits of the creditor’s disputed
claim. See also, Norwich Savs. Society v. Flonnes (In re Flonnes), 183 B.R. 37 (Bankr. D. Conn.
1995)(Creditor did not lose standing to object to the debtor’s discharge even though its claim was
unenforceable finding that creditor qualified at the commencement of the case as a creditor under
§727(c) and did not lose standing by not subsequently securing a deficiency judgment underlying
the note during the progress of the case).
A few courts have held that when an obligation is entirely unenforceable under applicable
law, creditor status in bankruptcy is lost. Geisler v. Pansegrau,180 B.R. 468 (Bankr. N.D. Tex.
1995)(Investor lacked standing to pursue denial of discharge complaint because all of the investor’s
4 Here, creditor had 1)filed a proof of claim which was never objected to by debtor; 2) its claim was clearly contingent and fit within the definition of “claim” as set forth in §101(9); 3) it clearly fit within the definition of “creditor” pursuant to §101(4); 4) it was listed as a creditor with a claim by the debtor; 5) debtor never denied prior to trial the fact that First Interstate was a creditor with a claim against him and 6) the Bankruptcy Code does not require that a creditor’s claim be provable.