In re: Philip Craig Burke; Nekolia Swope Burke, Debtors.
Philip Craig Burke; Nekolia Swope Burke, Appellees. Richard P. Jahn, Jr., Trustee, Appellant,
Argued: June 13, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee of Chattanooga. No.
1:15-cv-00246-Travis R. McDonough, District Judge.
Richard P. Jahn, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellant.
Thomas Bible, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellees.
Richard P. Jahn, Jr., Nancy A. Cogar, Chattanooga, Tennessee,
Thomas Bible, Jr., William P. Glascock, Jr., Chattanooga,
Tennessee, for Appellees.
Twomey, NATIONAL CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY RIGHTS CENTER, San Jose,
California, for Amicus Curiae.
Before: MOORE, GILMAN, and COOK, Circuit Judges.
LEE GILMAN, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
C. and Nekolia S. Burke encountered financial distress during
the "Great Recession" that began in 2008. Unable to
pay their debts, they filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy seven
years later. Richard P. Jahn Jr., as bankruptcy trustee of
the Burkes' estate, sought to evict the Burkes from their
residence in order to make the property easier to sell for
the benefit of their creditors. In response, the Burkes moved
to compel the trustee to abandon the property based on their
contention that the fair market value of the residence, less
the balance due on the mortgage loan, left no net equity for
the estate. The bankruptcy court agreed that the net value of
the residence was inconsequential from the viewpoint of the
unsecured creditors. It therefore granted the motion to
compel abandonment. The district court concurred. For the
reasons set forth below, we AFFIRM the judgment of the
Burkes filed a bankruptcy petition under Chapter 7 of the
Bankruptcy Code in February 2015. In their bankruptcy
schedules, the Burkes listed their residence in Chattanooga,
Tennessee as being ...