If you're filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, you're required to include your pets in the schedules. While your pets are priceless, your bankruptcy trustee needs to know if they can be sold for more than the allowable exemption amount. Unless you have a rare, purebred, champion show animal with breeding rights that can generate income, it's not likely your pets will be worth more than what you can exempt.
Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad.
Updated January 25, 2022
When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you'll have to include your pets in the bankruptcy forms called schedules. Why? The bankruptcy trustee needs to know if you could sell your pets for more than the allowable exemption amount. Unless you have a rare, champion purebred show animal with breeding rights that can generate income, this isn't likely.
To determine the value of your pet for the petition, you'll need to look up similar animals at your local animal shelters, animal rescues, and online. 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 won't be worth as much as a puppy, and an iguana with medical issues won't be worth as much as a healthy iguana.
You can ensure your bankruptcy filing is complete by including your pets with a good faith estimate of their value.