§ 15.1     What Is Noncontingent Debt?
Cite as:    Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 15.1, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
[1]

Only “noncontingent” debts (that are also “liquidated”1) are counted toward the secured and unsecured debt limitations for Chapter 13 eligibility.2 If the sum of the noncontingent debts falls below the eligibility limits, the debtor is eligible despite there being contingent debts that would, if counted, cause the debtor to exceed the eligibility limitations.3

[2]

The Bankruptcy Code does not define noncontingent. One often-cited definition of contingent debt is “[i]f the debtor’s legal duty to pay, i.e., his liability, does not come into existence until triggered by the occurrence of a future event that was reasonably within the presumed contemplation of the parties at the time the original relationship between the parties was created.”4

[3]

Application of this definition is not always simple.5 The “occurrence of a future event” is generally interpreted to require something more than the mere passage of time or a judicial determination of liability.6 The “presumed contemplation” of the parties leaves much to the court’s discretion to assess the expectations of the parties at the original transaction. Something more than a mere dispute about liability is necessary to render a debt contingent.7 That the debtor has counterclaims, setoffs, or other affirmative defenses or mitigating circumstances does not render the underlying claim contingent.8

[4]

A slightly different definition of contingent and noncontingent speaks in terms of conditions precedent and conditions subsequent, without mention whether the conditions were contemplated by the parties. It has been held that a contingent debt is dependent on the occurrence of a future event and involves no liability unless and until the condition precedent—for example, default by a principal—occurs.9 It is often stated that if all of the events necessary to give rise to liability have occurred before the petition, then the debt is noncontingent. On this formulation, debts for which there is liability unless and until a condition subsequently cuts off that liability may be disputed but are not contingent.10 The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit stated this notion of contingency as follows:

In broad terms, the concept of contingency involves the nature or origin of liability. More precisely, it relates to the time or circumstances under which the liability arises. “In this connection ‘liability’ does not mean the same as judgment or remedy, but only a condition of being obligated to answer for a claim.” In this case . . . no future event needed to occur prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.11
[5]

“Noncontingent” should not be confused with “matured.” Maturity is another characteristic of debt separately addressed in the definition of claim in 11 U.S.C. § 101(5).12 That a debt is unmatured does not alone render the debt contingent for Chapter 13 eligibility purposes. For example, a judgment that requires the debtor to make weekly payments for years into the future is not contingent though the future payments are unmatured.13

To determine whether a debt is contingent, conditions precedent to liability should not be confused with conditions precedent to collection. For example, in In re Silva,14 the unsecured portion of an undersecured mortgage on rental property15 was large enough to render the debtor ineligible because of the unsecured debt limitation in 11 U.S.C. § 109(e). The debtor argued that the unsecured portion of the undersecured debt was contingent because, under California law, the deficiency could not be collected from the debtor unless the lender elected and successfully completed specific statutory procedures. The bankruptcy court concluded that the unsecured portion of the debt was noncontingent because liability arose from the prepetition promissory note and no future event was necessary to establish that liability. That the lender was required by state law to carefully follow statutory procedures to collect that debt did not render the debt contingent.

[6]

Contingent debts should not be omitted from the schedules though they are not counted for eligibility purposes. To ensure notice to all creditors and to maximize the effect of the Chapter 13 discharge, it is important to schedule all debts and the amount of each, characterizing a debt when appropriate as contingent. The major battlefields for characterization have been whether guaranties,16 claims against partners,17 claims through and against a debtor’s corporation,18 and tort claims19 are contingent or noncontingent in the eligibility calculus. Although not always liquidated for eligibility purposes,20 it is now broadly recognized that tax debts for prepetition tax periods are not contingent because all of the events necessary to fix liability have occurred, notwithstanding that the taxes were not assessed before the petition or that the time for payment comes after the petition.21

[7]

Applying the Supreme Court’s conclusion that a mortgage lien remains a claim notwithstanding discharge of the debtor’s personal liability in a prior Chapter 7 case,22 it has been held that a nonrecourse mortgage on real property owned jointly by the debtor and a nonfiling spouse is a noncontingent debt.23 All events necessary to render the property subject to the creditor’s lien occurred prior to the bankruptcy filing, satisfying the test for noncontingency.


 

1  See § 14.1  Dollar Amounts and § 16.1  What Is a Liquidated Debt?.

 

2  11 U.S.C. § 109(e), discussed in § 14.1  Dollar Amounts.

 

3  See, e.g., In re Jones, 55 B.R. 462 (Bankr. D. Minn. Nov. 5, 1985) (Mahoney) (Schedules showing less than $100,000 of noncontingent, liquidated, unsecured debts indicate debtor is eligible for Chapter 13 notwithstanding contingent, unliquidated, unsecured debt in an amount that would aggregate with other debts to exceed the eligibility limitations.).

 

4  In re Lambert, 43 B.R. 913, 922–23 (Bankr. D. Utah Oct. 22, 1984) (Clark) (citing In re All Medias Properties, Inc., 5 B.R. 126 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. June 25, 1980) (Patton), aff’d per curiam, 646 F.2d 193 (5th Cir. May 28, 1981) (Thornberry, Coleman, Ainsworth)). Accord Barcal v. Laughlin (In re Barcal), 213 B.R. 1008, 1013 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. Nov. 14, 1997) (Kressel, Schermer, Scott) (“Contingent liabilities therefore are a class of liabilities in which the obligation to pay does not arise until the occurrence of a ‘triggering event or occurrence . . . reasonably contemplated by the debtor and creditor at the time the event giving rise to the claim occurred.’”); Brockenbrough v. IRS, 61 B.R. 685 (W.D. Va. Feb. 12, 1986) (Michael); In re Adams, No. 05-51183, 2006 WL 2846471, at *2 (Bankr. W.D. La. June 27, 2006) (unpublished) (Schiff) (Applying In re All Media Properties, Inc., 5 B.R. 126 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. June 25, 1980) (Patton), aff’d per curiam, 646 F.2d 193 (5th Cir. May 28, 1981) (Thornberry, Coleman, Ainsworth), debt is contingent when liability of debtor depends on success in litigation against a third party; if lawsuit is unsuccessful, debtor would have no obligation to repay loans—“a classic example of a contingent obligation.”).

 

5  See, in particular, the discussion of partnership debt in § 15.2  Is Partnership Debt Contingent?.

 

6  See Mazzeo v. United States (In re Mazzeo), 131 F.3d 295, 303–04 (2d Cir. Dec. 3, 1997) (Kearse, McLaughlin, Godbold) (“Nor, by a future ‘event,’ do we refer to a judicial determination as to liability and relief, for a claim may be noncontingent even though it has not been reduced to judgment.”); In re Knight, 55 F.3d 231 (7th Cir. May 3, 1995) (Coffey, Ripple, Skinner) (Liability for purposes of defining a contingent claim “does not mean the same as judgment.”). See § 15.7  Are Prebankruptcy Judgments Contingent?. Compare In re Leggett, 335 B.R. 227 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. Aug. 19, 2005) (Bonapfel) (Disputed debt is not contingent when all events giving rise to liability occurred prepetition, but debtor’s liability on debt must be determined since eligibility hinges upon liability. Stay is lifted to permit liability litigation in district court.).

 

7  See § 17.1  Disputed Debts.

 

8  In re Clark, 91 B.R. 570 (Bankr. D. Colo. Oct. 14, 1988) (Brooks). See § 16.2  Effect of Defenses and Counterclaims.

 

9  In re Pennypacker, 115 B.R. 504 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. June 26, 1990) (Twardowski).

 

10  In re Pennypacker, 115 B.R. 504 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. June 26, 1990) (Twardowski).

 

11  In re Knight, 55 F.3d 231, 236 (7th Cir. May 3, 1995) (Coffey, Ripple, Skinner) (Civil penalty for failing to report traffic convictions is a noncontingent claim. “In this case, . . . no future event needed to occur prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Under Indiana Code § 9-4-7-9(e), any court officer who fails to report a traffic conviction to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles within ten days after the judgment is rendered incurs a fine of $100 for each failure. Mr. Knight, as judge of the Mooresville Town Court, failed to report 915 traffic convictions . . . prior to his bankruptcy petition. Liability accrued immediately upon his failure to report. Therefore, . . . the $91,500 liability accruing to the State is a noncontingent debt within the meaning of § 109(e).”). Accord In re Sidebottom, 430 F.3d 893 (7th Cir. Dec. 9, 2005) (Bauer, Wood, Williams) (Nothing contingent about obligation that did not depend upon any future event.); Geary v. United States (In re Geary), Nos. 02-55433, C.D. No. CV-01-03736-SVW, 2003 WL 68080, at *1 (9th Cir. Jan. 8, 2003) (unpublished) (Reinhardt, O’Scannlain, Paez) (Tax liability is noncontingent without regard to whether it was assessed before the petition. “[I]t is well-settled ‘that a debt is noncontingent if all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.’ . . . [E]ven though Geary had not been assessed with the tax liability, her debt to the IRS was noncontingent as of the date of the filing of her Chapter 13 petition because all events giving rise to liability had already occurred.”); Mazzeo v. United States (In re Mazzeo), 131 F.3d 295, 303–04 (2d Cir. Dec. 3, 1997) (Kearse, McLaughlin, Godbold) (Responsible person liability for withholding taxes for the debtor’s corporation for quarters ending prior to the Chapter 13 petition is noncontingent debt. “[A] debt is contingent if it does not become an obligation until the occurrence of a future event, but is noncontingent when all of the events giving rise to liability for the debt occurred prior to the debtor’s filing for bankruptcy. . . . We cannot view a debt as contingent merely because the debtor disputes the claim . . . . Nor, by a future ‘event,’ do we refer to a judicial determination as to liability and relief, for a claim may be noncontingent even though it has not been reduced to judgment. . . . A taxpayer’s duty to pay taxes derives from statute and arises upon his nonpayment of the taxes when due. The obligation to pay is not contingent on any extrinsic event. . . . [T]he absence of . . . an assessment does not make the debtor’s obligation contingent. . . . [T]hat the taxing authority may attempt to collect the withheld taxes from the corporation rather than from a responsible person does not make the debt contingent . . . . Mazzeo, [Westfield Financial Corporation’s] president, either was a responsible person or he was not; but his status did not depend on any event that had not occurred prior to the time he filed his Chapter 13 petition. We conclude that his debt to the State, though disputed, was not contingent.”); De Jounghe v. Mender (In re De Jounghe), 334 B.R. 760, 769 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. Dec. 12, 2005) (Votolato, Deasy, Rosenthal) (“[I]f all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition, the debt is not contingent”; debtors’ classification of claim as contingent is not determinative.); Hounsom v. United States, 325 B.R. 319, 326 (M.D. Fla. May 13, 2005) (Antoon) (Prepetition tax debt is noncontingent because all the events that gave rise to the debtor’s liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Tax debts for tax years 1996 through 2000 were noncontingent in a Chapter 13 case filed in March of 2002.); In re Heleva, Nos. CIV. A. 00-3434, 98-20358, 2001 WL 1176394, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 2, 2001) (unpublished) (Waldman) (“A debt is contingent where ‘the debtor “will be called upon to pay only upon the occurrence or happening of an extrinsic event which will trigger the liability of the debtor to the alleged creditor”’. . . . A noncontingent debt is one where ‘all events giving rise to the liability for the debt occurred prior to the debtor’s filing for bankruptcy.’”); In re Jocham, No. 10-17776-JKC-13, 2011 WL 2112043, at *1 (Bankr. S.D. Ind. May 26, 2011) (Coachys) (Although former spouse assumed mortgage in divorce, debt remained noncontingent for debtor. Liability arose when debtor executed mortgages and notes. “The mere fact that Mrs. Jocham assumed the indebtedness as part of the parties’ divorce does not alter Debtor’s liability to the mortgagees or create a contingency.”); In re De La Hoz, 451 B.R. 192 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. May 5, 2011) (Adams) (When debtors objected to some claims as contingent or unliquidated but did not object to others, they implicitly conceded that claims not objected to were not contingent or unliquidated, and that all events giving rise to liability had occurred prepetition and amount of claims were readily calculable.); In re Kister, 453 B.R. 755 (Bankr. E.D. Mo. Apr. 7, 2011) (Surratt-States) (Event necessary to trigger debtor’s liability on guaranty—default by primary obligor—occurred and triggered debtor’s noncontingent liability. Debtor exceeded limit for secured debt.); In re Murphy, 374 B.R. 73, 77 (Bankr. W.D.N.Y. Aug. 29, 2007) (Ninfo) (Claim for prepetition legal fees was noncontingent “since all of the events necessary to give rise to a liability, the performance of services, billing and failure to object, occurred prior to the filing of the Debtor’s petition.”); In re Smith, 365 B.R. 770 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio Feb. 12, 2007) (Hoffman) (Debt is noncontingent when all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to filing; debtor’s liability to Securities and Exchange Commission was determined by district court’s summary judgment.); In re Saunders, 440 B.R. 336 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. Sept. 7, 2006) (Fehling) (Confessed judgment on guaranty was not contingent notwithstanding absence of demand by creditor because contract waived all right to demand.); In re Doyle, 340 B.R. 381 (Bankr. D. Or. Mar. 21, 2006) (Alley) (Debtor’s violations of state campaign finance laws resulting in civil penalties occurred prepetition, and the obligation was noncontingent at petition date, even though Election Commission had not issued notices of proposed penalties.); In re Buis, 337 B.R. 243 (Bankr. N.D. Fla. Jan. 11, 2006) (Killian) (Debt for attorney’s fees was not contingent, since prebankruptcy litigation under Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act determined debtors’ liability.); In re Brown, 302 B.R. 913, 916 (Bankr. D. Or. Aug. 13, 2003) (Alley) (100% penalty for failure to remit trust fund taxes is noncontingent because “all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. . . . [T]he precursor to liability, namely withholding by a corporation controlled by the Debtor without remission to the government, had already occurred.”); In re Huelbig, 299 B.R. 721, 723 (Bankr. D.R.I. Oct. 1, 2003) (Votolato) (Debt for prepetition insurance fraud is noncontingent because “all events giving rise to the Debtors’ liability occurred in the 1990s, well before the petition was filed.”); In re Martz, 293 B.R. 409, 411 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio Oct. 17, 2002) (Speer) (“For purposes of § 109(e), a contingent debt may be defined as ‘one which the debtor will be called upon to pay only upon the occurrence or happening of an extrinsic event which will trigger the liability of the debtor to the alleged creditor.’”); In re Vaughn, 276 B.R. 323, 325 (Bankr. D.N.H. Apr. 5, 2002) (Vaughn) (Claims for fraud and breach of contract are noncontingent because “‘all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.’”); In re Reader, 274 B.R. 893, 896–98 (Bankr. D. Colo. Mar. 26, 2002) (Brown) (Claims for misappropriation from probate estate are noncontingent because triggering events occurred before the petition. “A debt is noncontingent when all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the debtors’ filing for bankruptcy. . . . Liability is not dependent on some future act or omission, that may or may not occur. It is based on the prepetition acts of the Debtor as the former conservator of her father’s estate, regardless of whether the claim had been reduced to judgment. The more problematic aspect of the estate’s claim is that portion that is attributable to the anticipated claim against the probate estate by the State of Colorado for Medicaid reimbursement. The Debtor considers any Medicaid-related claim to be contingent because, she argues, it is dependent on a future ‘triggering event,’ i.e. the filing of a claim by the State. The triggering event, however, is not the filing of a claim, but the Debtor’s application for and receipt of payments to which the estate was not entitled. These acts occurred prepetition.” That the statutory deadline for timely filing a claim by the State of Colorado had passed did not render the claim contingent because “[r]egardless of when the eligibility decision is actually made, Section 109(e) states that it must reflect the claims as they existed on the date of the filing.”); In re Faulhaber, 269 B.R. 348, 354 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. Nov. 7, 2001) (Hughes) (Claim for churning a securities account is noncontingent: “‘[A] debt is non-contingent if all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.’ . . . Conversely, a contingent debt is ‘one which the debtor will be called upon to pay only upon the occurrence or happening of an extrinsic event which will trigger the liability of the debtor to the alleged creditor.’ . . . Debtor concedes that ‘all factual events surrounding Debtor’s alleged misconduct occurred prior to the filing of Debtor’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.’ . . . [A]n actual determination of liability is not required to make the claim non-contingent.”); In re Newman, 259 B.R. 914, 917–18 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Mar. 5, 2001) (Glenn) (“All events giving rise to the Debtor’s tax liability for the years 1993–1996 occurred prior to the filing of his bankruptcy petition, thus rendering the claim noncontingent.”); In re Hendricks, 250 B.R. 415, 419 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Mar. 28, 2000) (Jennemann) (“[A] debt is not contingent if all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.”); In re Tabor, 232 B.R. 85, 89, 91 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio Mar. 29, 1999) (Shea-Stonum) (“‘[A] debt is noncontingent if all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.’” Liability for money loaned, for theft and for conversion was “not contingent because all events which allegedly gave rise to Mr. Tabor’s liability . . . occurred before the filing of the petition.”); In re Brooks, 216 B.R. 838, 841 (Bankr. N.D. Okla. Jan. 5, 1998) (Michael) (Prepetition tax claim is noncontingent because “the IRS Claim was incurred and assessed prior to the filing of the bankruptcy. No future extrinsic event is necessary for the IRS Claim to become a fixed, legal obligation.”); In re Ekeke, 198 B.R. 315, 317 (Bankr. E.D. Mo. June 14, 1996) (Schermer) (Applying In re Knight, 55 F.3d 231 (7th Cir. May 3, 1995) (Coffey, Ripple, Skinner), prepetition tax claims are noncontingent because “all events upon which the claim is premised (namely, failure to pay federal income tax) have occurred prior to the filing date.” Debtors’ contention that tax debts were discharged in a prior Chapter 7 case makes the claims disputed but not contingent.); In re Redburn, 193 B.R. 249, 259 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. Feb. 29, 1996) (Gregg) (“[I]t is well settled that ‘a debt is noncontingent if all events giving rise to the liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition.’ . . . Conversely, a contingent debt is ‘one which the debtor will be called upon to pay only upon the occurrence or happening of an extrinsic event which will trigger the liability of the debtor to the alleged creditor.’”); In re Brumlik, 185 B.R. 887, 890 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Apr. 11, 1995) (Briskman) (First and second mortgages exceeding $750,000 and a $1 million federal tax lien against the debtor’s real property are not contingent claims because “all events giving rise to the liability as to the mortgages and secured tax liability occurred prior to the filing of the current bankruptcy petition.” The debtor fails the eligibility requirements in § 109(e), as amended by the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994.); In re Verdunn, 160 B.R. 682, 686 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Nov. 4, 1993) (Baynes) (“A debt is noncontingent if all events giving rise to liability occurred prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. . . . A debt is contingent only if a defined future event must happen to make it noncontingent.”), aff’d, 187 B.R. 996 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 16, 1995) (Kovachevich), rev’d on other grounds, 89 F.3d 799 (11th Cir. July 31, 1996) (Kavitch, Carnes, Hill).

 

12  “The term ‘claim’ means (A) right to payment, whether or not such right is reduced to judgment, liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, legal, equitable, secured, or unsecured.” 11 U.S.C. § 101(5)(A).

 

13  In re Perry, 56 B.R. 663 (Bankr. M.D. Ga. Jan. 14, 1986) (Hershner).

 

14  No. 10-60077 CN, 2011 WL 5593040 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. Nov. 16, 2011) (Novack).

 

15  See § 13.1  Debtor Must Be Able to Make Payments under a Plan for discussion of splitting undersecured claims for eligibility purposes.

 

16  See § 15.3  Are Guaranties Contingent?.

 

17  See § 15.2  Is Partnership Debt Contingent?.

 

18  See § 15.6  Are Claims through and against Debtor’s Corporation Contingent?.

 

19  See § 15.5  Is Tort Liability Contingent?.

 

20  See § 16.1  What Is a Liquidated Debt?.

 

21  See, e.g., Geary v. United States (In re Geary), Nos. 02-55433, C.D. No. CV-01-03736-SVW, 2003 WL 68080, at *1 (9th Cir. Jan. 8, 2003) (unpublished) (Reinhardt, O’Scannlain, Paez) (“[E]ven though Geary had not been assessed with the tax liability, her debt to the IRS was noncontingent as of the date of the filing of her Chapter 13 petition because all events giving rise to liability had already occurred.”); Mazzeo v. United States (In re Mazzeo), 131 F.3d 295 (2d Cir. Dec. 3, 1997) (Kearse, McLaughlin, Godbold) (Responsible person liability for withholding taxes for the debtor’s corporation for quarters ending prior to the Chapter 13 petition is noncontingent debt.); Barcal v. Laughlin (In re Barcal), 213 B.R. 1008, 1013 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. Nov. 14, 1997) (Kressel, Schermer, Scott) (Disputed tax claims are noncontingent. “[T]he Debtor’s liabilities to the Service do not await a ‘triggering event’ or some condition precedent for the debts to exist. Rather, the obligations presently exist with liability having been determined at the time of assessment.”); In re Tucker, 345 B.R. 373 (Bankr. M.D. Ala. May 11, 2006) (Williams) (Tax claims for 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004 are noncontingent in a Chapter 13 case filed in 2005 because all events giving rise to liability occurred before the petition.); In re Newman, 259 B.R. 914, 917–18 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Mar. 5, 2001) (Glenn) (Prepetition income taxes are noncontingent debts because “[a]ll events giving rise to the Debtor’s tax liability for the years 1993–1996 occurred prior to the filing of his bankruptcy petition, thus rendering the claim noncontingent.”); In re Brooks, 216 B.R. 838, 841 (Bankr. N.D. Okla. Jan. 5, 1998) (Michael) (Prepetition tax claim is noncontingent because “the IRS Claim was incurred and assessed prior to the filing of the bankruptcy. No future extrinsic event is necessary for the IRS Claim to become a fixed, legal obligation.”).

 

22  Johnson v. Home State Bank, 501 U.S. 78, 111 S. Ct. 2150, 115 L. Ed. 2d 66 (June 10, 1991); see § 14.4  Are Claims Split under 11 U.S.C. § 506(a)?.

 

23  Glance v. Carroll (In re Glance), 487 F.3d 317 (6th Cir. June 1, 2007) (Suhrheinrich, Clay, Sutton). Accord In re Smith, No. 07-19364PM, 2007 WL 4358241 (Bankr. D. Md. Dec. 13, 2007) (unpublished) (Mannes) (Citing Glance v. Carroll (In re Glance), 487 F.3d 317 (6th Cir. June 1, 2007) (Suhrheinrich, Clay, Sutton), debtor who acquired residence under “no consideration” deed from spouse day before petition is ineligible because mortgage on house exceeds debt limit. Debt is not contingent merely because debtor is not personally liable.). But see In re Fredeluces, No. 07-01353-B13, 2007 WL 7231057 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2007) (unpublished) (Bowie) (For eligibility purposes, debtors’ obligation was not contingent—debtors had no personal liability at all on note arising from purchase money obligation incurred in acquiring residential property. Under California law, after debtors transferred title to real property, they had no liability on note, and note was not included in eligibility calculation under § 109.). See § 17.3  Joint Obligations of Spouses and Codebtors; Collateral That Is Not Property of the Estate for discussion of joint obligations of spouses.