Because they make excellent companion animals, dogs are commonplace in Tennessee and across the U.S. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that almost 40% of all American households have at least one pooch. Still, because of food, medical bills and kenneling, dogs can be expensive.
Even though the cost of your dog is only part of your monthly budget, you may be struggling to pay your bills. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can likely discharge many of your outstanding debts and focus on a brighter financial future. How does Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect your dog, though?
Your dog is an asset
When you seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, you must disclose all your assets. Even though your pup is a living animal, it is an asset under bankruptcy law. Therefore, you must tell the bankruptcy trustee about the animal.
Your dog is not worth much money
Despite being invaluable to you, your dog probably is not worth much to the bankruptcy trustee. Put simply, the cost of caring for the animal and finding a buyer likely outweighs any financial benefit the trustee would realize from selling your dog. Nevertheless, if your dog has real value on the open market, the trustee may try to sell the animal.
Your dog may fall within in exemption
With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you typically do not have to part with all your assets. That is, if the things you own fall into a bankruptcy exemption, you may be able to keep them. Consequently, even if the trustee wants to sell your dog, you may be able to exempt the animal from the bankruptcy process.
Electing to pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires careful consideration of all risks and rewards. Ultimately, though, knowing you probably do not have to give up up your furry friend may make your decision a bit easier.