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Does bankruptcy require you to sell your dog?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | Firm News

As a dog owner, you recognize the many joys your furry friend brings to your life. You may not even think of the dog as an animal. Instead, your pooch seems like a member of the family. If you are waiting to take control of your finances because of a fear of losing the dog, you may want to rethink your approach. 

Whether you are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must disclose all assets you own. While your dog seems like a person, the animal is an asset for bankruptcy purposes. What happens to your dog during bankruptcy, though, probably depends on how much the pooch is worth. 

Most dogs have little value 

Even though your dog is priceless to you, the animal probably would not fetch much on the open market. Therefore, while you must tell the bankruptcy court about your pet, you probably do not have to worry about losing the dog. That is, if the bankruptcy trustee tries to sell the animal, he or she is likely to spend more than the animal would bring. 

Some dogs have significant value 

If your furry friend is an award-winning or pedigreed show dog, it may have significant value. For high-value dogs, there is some risk the bankruptcy trustee may try to sell the animal. If that is the case, you may be able to use a bankruptcy exemption to retain ownership of your favorite pet. 

Dog ownership may help with the means test 

Before filing for bankruptcy protection, you may need to go through a means test. This test measures your eligibility for bankruptcy assistance. If you have regular veterinary bills, dog food costs and other associated expenses, you may have a better chance of satisfying the means test. 

While understanding the means test and other qualifications for bankruptcy is essential, you probably do not need to focus much on the possibility of losing your dog. Therefore, rather than worrying about your pet, you should carefully consider how filing for bankruptcy protection may improve your financial future.