United States District Court, D. Utah
DAVID A. GOODWILL, individually and for the ESTATE OF PHYLLIS A. HANSEN, Plaintiff,
The Foreclosure Commissioner, designated by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, on October 29, 2008; ETITLE INSURANCE AGENCY; and THE SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
case pertains to the interplay between a property in
foreclosure and a bankruptcy filing. On February 8, 2019,
Plaintiff David A. Goodwill filed a Notice of the Filing of
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The court then stayed the case pursuant
to its standard procedure. Subsequently, the Bankruptcy Court
lifted the automatic stay as it applied to Defendants eTitle
Insurance Agency (“eTitle”) and the Secretary of
Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). The court
then had to determine how this case shall proceed.
28, 2019, the court issued a Memorandum Decision and Order,
which noted that “this action is part of the bankruptcy
estate because it belongs to Mr. Goodwill, who is the
bankruptcy debtor, and it arose before Mr. Goodwill filed for
bankruptcy.” Goodwill v. Foreclosure
Comm'r, No. 2:18-cv-0948, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
89775, at *2 (D. Utah May 28, 2019). The court concluded that
“[a]ll assets of the bankruptcy estate ‘are
within the sole control of the Trustee in Bankruptcy whose
duty it is to ‘collect the property of the estate and
reduce it to cash.'” Id. (quoting Log
Furniture, Inc. v. Call, 180 Fed.Appx. 785, 787 (10th
Cir. 2006)) (other quotations and citation omitted). The
court further concluded “‘[t]he only person with
standing or legal capacity' to pursue the claims at issue
in this case is the Trustee.” Id. (quoting
Log Furniture, Inc., 180 Fed.Appx. at 788). It
therefore afforded “the Trustee an opportunity to
‘be substituted into the action, '” pursuant
to Rule 17(a)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and
stated “[i]f such an election is not made, this case
will be dismissed without prejudice based on Mr.
Goodwill's lack of standing.” Id.
that time, the Trustee in Mr. Goodwill's bankruptcy case
has not elected to be substituted into this action.
Nevertheless, Mr. Goodwill filed an Objection to Dismissal of
Plaintiffs' Complaint Based on Lack of Standing (ECF No.
43). Mr. Goodwill contends that because the Bankruptcy Court
has issued an Order of Discharge, he now has standing. Mr.
Goodwill further contends the Trustee has abandoned the
Order of Discharge does not grant standing. Rather it states
that “[t]his order does not close or dismiss the case,
and it does not determine how much money, if any, the trustee
will pay creditors.” Order of Discharge, at 1 (ECF No.
69 in No. 19-20259). Instead, it discharged Mr.
Goodwill's debt to certain creditors, but noted lien
creditors “may enforce a claim against the debtors'
property subject to that lien unless the lien was avoided or
eliminated.” Id. The Order of Discharge,
therefore, did not grant Mr. Goodwill standing in this case
because the bankruptcy case is still proceeding.
respect to Mr. Goodwill's other argument, no evidence was
provided that the Trustee has abandoned the property. The
court also has reviewed the Bankruptcy Court docket and finds
no entry regarding abandonment of the property. Thus, Mr.
Goodwill has failed to show that he has standing in this
on Mr. Goodwill's filings, the court is mindful of the
hardship Mr. Goodwill is facing at this time in his life and
is sympathetic to his difficulties. The court lacks
authority, however, to address the legal issues he has
foregoing reasons, the court HEREBY DISMISSES this case
court directs the Clerk of Court to provide this Order to the
Trustee and the United States Trustee as follows:
KENNETH A. RUSTON P.O. Box 212 Lehi, UT 84043
UNITED STATES TRUSTEE Washington Federal Bank Bldg.
405 S. Main St., Suite 300 Salt Lake City, UT 84111
complications Mr. Goodwill has with receiving notifications
through CM/ECF, the court further directs the Clerk of Court
to email this Memorandum Decision and ...