Summary

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, you are required to include your pets in the schedules. While your pets are priceless, the trustee needs to know if it can be sold for an amount higher than the allowable exemption amount. Unless you have a rare, purebred, champion show animal with breeding rights that can generate income, it is likely that your pets will not be worth near as much as the limit for exemptions.

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, you are required to include your pets in the schedules.

While your pets are priceless, the trustee needs to know if it can be sold for an amount higher than the allowable exemption amount. Unless you have a rare, purebred, champion show animal with breeding rights that can generate income, it is likely that your pets will not be worth near as much as the limit for exemptions.

To determine the value of your pet for the petition, you will need to look up similar animals at the local animal shelters, animal rescues, and on Craigslist. When putting a value on your pet, you should consider its age and condition, just like you would with any other kind of asset. An older dog is not going to be worth as much as a puppy and an iguana with medical issues will not be worth as much as an iguana that is healthy.

To make sure you are completely straightforward with your bankruptcy filing, be sure to include your pets with a good faith estimate of their value.

About the author

Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad
Recipient of Harvard Law School’s Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship.

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