When you are filing bankruptcy, people often worry they will lose their assets. Most of the time, they do not consider their pets as assets and instead, members of their family. Some states explicitly spell out what animals will be exempt from the bankruptcy process. (meaning you don’t have to include them in your assets).
In most cases, owning a pet and filing bankruptcy is not an issue. In Chapter 7, they have no value to be listed as an asset, and in Chapter 13, regular care and feeding of your pet are taken into consideration with the bankruptcy court.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy pets are considered assets and there is a place on the form for you to disclose them. When it comes to listing their value, you can legally put $0. If your pets earn you money, such as breeding or shows, you might want to consider filing Chapter 13 just to be safe so that you don’t lose your pets.
Listed under personal property, if your state lists “animals” you may include pets, poultry or livestock. This information may not be accurate in your state due to adjustments. Please do further research or talk to a bankruptcy attorney who will have the current facts on exemptions.
Alaska, pets to $1,300
Arizona pets, horses, milk cows and poultry to $800
California, animals up to $675 per item
Connecticut, farm partnership animals and livestock feed reasonably required to run farm where at least 50% of partners are members of the same family
Georgia, animals up to $300 each
Maine, Animals up to $200 each
Massachusetts, 2 cows, 12 sheep, 2 swine, 4 tons of hay
Michigan, crop animals and feed to $2,550
New Hampshire, 1 cow, 6 sheep, and their fleece, 4 tons of hay, 1 hog or pig or its meat (if slaughtered.)
New York, domestic animals with food to last 120 days.
North Carolina, animals purchased at least 90 days before filing, added to household goods and furnishings with a $5,000 total.
Ohio, animals up to $600 per item
Oklahoma, livestock for personal or family use: 5 dairy cows and calves under 6 months, 100 chickens, 20 sheep, 10 hogs, 2 horses, bridles and saddles, forage and feed to last 1 year.
Oregon, domestic animals poultry and pets up to 1,000 plus food to last 60 days (no doubling)
South Carolina, animals included with household goods and furnishings up to $4,725 in total.
Texas, pets and domestic animals plus their food, 2 horses, mules or donkeys and tack, 12 head of cattle, 60 head of other livestock, 120 fowl.
Utah, animals to $1,000
Vermont, cow, 2 goats, 10 sheep, 10 chickens, and feed to last 1 winter, 3 swarms of bees plus honey, a yoke of oxen or steers, plow and ox yoke, 2 horses with harnesses, halters, and chains.
West Virginia, animals to $400 each
Wisconsin, animals and other tangible personal property to $12,000 total
Federal exemptions for animals is up to $600 per item with $12,625 total for personal property.
If you have an unusual financial situation with your pets, contact a Cincinnati bankruptcy attorney to get the most current information for your unique situation.