The Lawletter Vol. 48 No. 1
Anne Hemenway, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group, Inc.
It is not uncommon for a debtor who filed a Chapter 11 or 13 bankruptcy case to die or become incapacitated during the life of the bankruptcy proceeding. Under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1016:
If a reorganization, family farmer's debt adjustment, or individual's debt adjustment case is pending under chapter 11, chapter 12, or chapter 13, the case may be dismissed; or if further administration is possible and in the best interest of the parties, the case may proceed and be concluded in the same manner, so far as possible, as though the death or incompetency had not occurred.
Interestingly, the rule is different where the debtor filed under Chapter 7. The death or incompetency of the debtor "shall not abate a liquidation case under chapter 7 of the Code." This is because the death of the debtor has no practical effect on the administration of a Chapter 7 which is in the hands of the Chapter 7 Trustee. See Hawkins v. Eads, 135 B.R. 380 (Bankr. E.D. Cal. 1991).Read More