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Tenney v. Terry, 630 F.2d 634 (8th Cir. 1980). 

11 U.S.C. § 109(e) and 11 U.S.C. § 101(29) contemplate some payments to creditors; debtor's income must exceed expenses and where debtor fails to prove funds in excess of living expenses, debtor is not eligible for chapter 13.


Miller v. United States, 907 F.2d 80 (8th Cir. 1998)

The appellate court held that in considering debtor eligibility for chapter 13 pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 109(e), the unsecured portion of an undersecured claim should be computed as unsecured debt.

Barcal v. Laughlin (In Re Barcal), 213 B.R. 1008 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 1997) (Judge Scott) (before Kressel, Schermer, and Scott) (3:0)


The appellate court held that the bankruptcy court should include disputed claims in considering a debtor's eligibility for chapter 13 relief, and a debtor is not entitled to a full judicial determination of the amount and validity of disputed claims where the debtor's schedules and proofs of claim on file reveal that debts exceed the eligibility limits of 11 U.S.C. § 109(e).

The tax obligation was not contingent. "Contingent liabilities…are a class of liabilities in which the obligation to pay does not arise until the occurrence of a triggering event or occurrence…reasonably calculated by the debtor and the creditor at the time the event giving rise to the claim occurred." The tax liabilities do not await a triggering event. The IRS' assessment establishes the amount.

Also, the tax liabilities were liquidated. "….We hold that the key factor in distinguishing liquidated from unliquidated claims is not the extent of the dispute nor the amount of evidence required to establish the claim, but whether the process for determining the claim is fixed, certain, or otherwise determined by a specific standard….[T]ax liabilities were indeed readily determinable and liquidated because at the time of filing, the liabilities had already been fixed or established by the Service's Certificates of Assessment. The assessment of a tax liability is essentially a bookkeeping function….[T]he taxes were determined or liquidated through the Service's process of assessment."

Ficken v. United States, 2 F.3d 299 (8th Cir. 1993)

A bankruptcy court's orders were final and appealable, even though the court did not enter an order dismissing the debtors' chapter 13 petition. The court's holding that the debtors were not entitled to chapter 13 relief because they had more than $100,000 in unsecured debt effectively terminated the proceeding on the merits, leaving only the ministerial action of dismissing the petition.

In Re Koehler, 62 B.R. 70 (Bankr. D. Neb. 1986) Court determined eligibility for chapter 13 based upon schedules. Where the debtor listed a secured debgt of $173,000 and listed the value of the collateral securing the debt as $57,000, the debtor was found to be not eligible.

In Re Wulf, 62 B.R. 155 (Bankr. D. Neb. 1986). The document filed by an ineligible debtor cannot constitute a petition and does not cause the entry of an order for relief. Debt limitations in 11 U.S.C. § 109(e) are jurisdictional. Where debtor exceeded debt limitations, chapter 13 petition did not commence a case; and there is nothing to convert to Chapter 11. Reversed, Rudd v. Laughlin, 866 F.2d 1040 (8th Cir. 1989)

11 U.S.C. § 109(g)


Bigalk v. Federal Land Bank, 813 F.2d 189 (8th Cir. 1987)

Chapter 13 petition presented within 180 days of voluntary dismissal of prior chapter 13 petition should not have been accepted for filing.


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