Argued and Submitted August 5, 1996, as to the Appellant.
LEAVY, Circuit Judge:
A judgment lien creditor appeals from a decision of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel ("BAP") upholding the bankruptcy court's ruling in favor of the debtors. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 158(d), and we affirm.
FACTS AND PRIOR PROCEEDINGS
The BAP summarized the relevant facts as follows:
In re Saylor, 178 B.R. 209, 211-12 (9th Cir. BAP 1995). The BAP held, among other things, that because Quarre had failed to show an injury to his person or property that would preclude a discharge of the debtors, he lacked standing to prosecute an action for fraudulent transfer. Quarre challenges that decision on appeal.
Standard of Review
Because we are in as good a position as the BAP to review bankruptcy court rulings, we independently examine the bankruptcy court's decision by reviewing de novo its conclusions of law and examining for clear error its factual findings. See In re Apte, 96 F.3d 1319, 1322 (9th Cir.1996).
The filing of a petition in bankruptcy creates an estate consisting of "all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the commencement of the case." 11 U.S.C. § 541(a)(1). Against the property of this estate are arrayed those obligations from which the debtor seeks to be discharged. 11 U.S.C. § 727. A discharge in bankruptcy relieves "the debtor from all debts that arose before the date of the order for relief[.]" 11 U.S.C. § 727(b). A debt is a "liability on a claim", see 11 U.S.C. § 101(12), i.e., a "right to payment" or a "right to an equitable remedy for breach of performance if such breach gives rise to a right to payment[.]" 11 U.S.C. § 101(5)(B).
An exception to this general rule of discharge is set forth at 11 U.S.C. § 523(a).
In re Zelis, 66 F.3d 205, 208 (9th Cir.1995).
Boiled down to its essence, section 523(a)(6)'s "willful and malicious" exception to nondischargeability serves to preclude a debtor from obtaining a discharge of an obligation based on a claim arising out of the debtor's tortious misconduct, when that misconduct results in harm to another's person or property. In re Riso, 978 F.2d 1151, 1154 (9th Cir.1992).
On the date they filed their petition in bankruptcy, the Saylors no longer had any apparent legal or equitable interest in the property represented by the three parcels of real estate, because they had transferred that property to the Lyons nearly three years earlier.
We reject this argument for the reasons set forth in the BAP's opinion. In re Saylor, 178 B.R. at 212-15. Quarre's claim that he possesses a property interest in the fraudulent transfer remedies provided by state law does not fit within the definitions of either "debt" or "property" for purposes of section 523(a)(6), and runs counter to the long-standing principle that exceptions to dischargeability are to be narrowly construed. See id. at 214 (citing In re Riso, 978 F.2d at 1154, and In re Rahm, 641 F.2d 755 (9th Cir.1981)). Quarre's claim had not been reduced to judgment at the time the three parcels of real estate were transferred, and he had no security interest in the property represented thereby.
Because we find no merit to Quarre's arguments, the decision of the BAP upholding the bankruptcy court's ruling in favor of the debtors is