Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Tennessee of Chattanooga.
No. 1:15-cv-00246—Travis R. McDonough, District Judge.
Argued: June 13, 2017
Decided and Filed: July 14, 2017
Before: MOORE, GILMAN, and COOK, Circuit Judges.
RONALD LEE GILMAN, Circuit Judge. Philip 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