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ARGUED MAY 24, 2010

Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and POSNER and EVANS, Circuit Judges.

This appeal in a dispute over a commercial mortgage requires us to decide whether the plaintiff is entitled to bring this suit in its own name, and also presents issues of contract interpretation under Illinois law. The plaintiff (and appellant), CWCapital, is a mortgage servicer; the defendants (and appellees) are Chicago Properties, which is a commercial landlord and the mortgagor (that is, the borrower); its owners, who are guarantors of the mortgage loan; and its former tenant, the Blockbuster video-rental company. The suit claims that the servicer (standing in the lender’s shoes) is contractually entitled to the money that Blockbuster paid Chicago Properties in settlement of a suit by the latter for unpaid rent. The district judge conducted a bench trial and concluded that the claim was groundless-but then, seemingly as an afterthought, ruled that the servicer was not a real party in interest; as only a real party in interest can sue in its own name, the judge dismissed the suit. Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(a).

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