CHAPTER 5CREDITORS, THE DEBTOR, AND THE ESTATE
Sub Chapter Creditors and Claims
Sec. 509. Claims of codebtors
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) or (c) of this section, an
entity that is liable with the debtor on, or that has secured, a claim
of a creditor against the debtor, and that pays such claim, is
subrogated to the rights of such creditor to the extent of such payment.
(b) Such entity is not subrogated to the rights of such creditor to
the extent that--
(1) a claim of such entity for reimbursement or contribution on
account of such payment of such creditor's claim is--
(A) allowed under section 502 of this title;
(B) disallowed other than under section 502(e) of this
(C) subordinated under section 510 of this title; or
(2) as between the debtor and such entity, such entity received
the consideration for the claim held by such creditor.
(c) The court shall subordinate to the claim of a creditor and for
the benefit of such creditor an allowed claim, by way of subrogation
under this section, or for reimbursement or contribution, of an entity
that is liable with the debtor on, or that has secured, such creditor's
claim, until such creditor's claim is paid in full, either through
payments under this title or otherwise.
(Pub. L. 95-598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2585; Pub. L. 98-353, title III,
Sec. 450, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 375.)
Historical and Revision Notes
Section 509 of the House amendment represents a substantial revision
of provisions contained in H.R. 8200 as passed by the House and in the
Senate amendment. Section 509(a) states a general rule that a surety or
co-debtor is subrogated to the rights of a creditor assured by the
surety or co-debtor to the extent the surety or co-debtor pays such
creditor. Section 509(b) states a general exception indicating that
subrogation is not granted to the extent that a claim of a surety or co-
debtor for reimbursement or contribution is allowed under section 502 or
disallowed other than under section 502(e). Additionally, section
509(b)(1)(C) provides that such claims for subrogation are subordinated
to the extent that a claim of the surety or co-debtor for reimbursement
or contribution is subordinated under section 510(a)(1) or 510(b).
Section 509(b)(2) reiterates the well-known rule that prevents a debtor
that is ultimately liable on the debt from recovering from a surety or a
co-debtor. Although the language in section 509(b)(2) focuses in terms
of receipt of consideration, legislative history appearing elsewhere
indicates that an agreement to share liabilities should prevail over an
agreement to share profits throughout title 11. This is particularly
important in the context of co-debtors who are partners. Section 509(c)
subordinates the claim of a surety or co-debtor to the claim of an
assured creditor until the creditor's claim is paid in full.
senate report no. 95-989
Section 509 deals with codebtors generally, and is in addition to
the disallowance provision in section 502(e). This section is based on
the notion that the only rights available to a surety, guarantor, or
comaker are contribution, reimbursement, and subrogation. The right that
applies in a particular situation will depend on the agreement between
the debtor and the codebtor, and on whether and how payment was made by
the codebtor to the creditor. The claim of a surety or codebtor for
contribution or reimbursement is discharged even if the claim is never
filed, as is any claim for subrogation even if the surety or codebtor
chooses to file a claim for contribution or reimbursement instead.
Subsection (a) subrogates the codebtor (whether as a codebtor,
surety, or guarantor) to the rights of the creditor, to the extent of
any payment made by the codebtor to the creditor. Whether the creditor's
claim was filed under section 501(a) or 501(b) is irrelevant. The right
of subrogation will exist even if the primary creditor's claim is
allowed by virtue of being listed under proposed 11 U.S.C. 924 or 1111,
and not by reason of a proof of claim.
Subsection (b) permits a subrogated codebtor to receive payments in
the bankruptcy case only if the creditor has been paid in full, either
through payments under the bankruptcy code or otherwise.
1984--Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98-353, Sec. 450(a), substituted
``subsection (b) or'' for ``subsections (b) and'', and inserted
``against the debtor'' after ``a creditor''.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 98-353, Sec. 450(b), substituted ``of such''
for ``of a'' after ``account''.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98-353, Sec. 450(c), substituted ``this
section'' for ``section 509 of this title''.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 98-353 effective with respect to cases filed 90
days after July 10, 1984, see section 552(a) of Pub. L. 98-353, set out
as a note under section 101 of this title.
Section Referred to in Other Sections
This section is referred to in sections 502, 901 of this title.