Are Animals Exempt in Bankruptcy?
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Are Animals Exempt in Bankruptcy?

In most cases, animals such as household pets, livestock, and poultry, are usually protected in a bankruptcy case. Bankruptcy exemptions, though, vary by state, so some laws may have different animal policies.

The purpose of bankruptcy is to allow people in debt to solve their financial problems in order to once again contribute to society. As a result, most bankruptcy courts recognize the importance of animals such as pets, and the financial value of livestock and poultry.

To connect with a local bankruptcy lawyer for a free consultation, and learn which animals are exempt in bankruptcy in your state, fill out the brief case review form below. Arrange your free, no-obligation consultation today.


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Bankruptcy Exemptions for Animals

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court may allow people in debt to discharge some or all of their unsecured debts, including credit card bills, medical debt, and payday loans.

During this process, a few of a filer’s possessions may be liquidated in order to meet obligations to creditors. Many types of property, though, are exempt from liquidation, including several types of animals.

As mentioned above, the exemption of animals in Chapter 7 varies by state, but animals that are often kept out of the hands of creditors include:

  • Household pets. Your pets have a lot of sentimental value to you, but very little monetary value to creditors. This may seem like a heartless calculation, but it means that pets are often safe in bankruptcy, depending on state laws.
  • Livestock. Bankruptcy courts recognize the importance of cattle to people in rural areas, and often allow filers to keep a certain amount of livestock.
  • Other farm animals. Horses, donkeys, goats, and poultry are just a few of the many kinds of farm animals that may be exempt in bankruptcy.

The total number of animals a filer will be allowed to keep depends on the vagaries of state bankruptcy law. Some state laws outline exact numbers for different types of animals; others may dictate only certain types of animals that are considered exempt.

To learn more about your local laws, contact a bankruptcy lawyer in your area for further information.


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Other Exemptions in Bankruptcy

In addition to animals, other valuable forms of property may be exempt in bankruptcy, as well. These may include:

  • Social Security payments
  • Disability benefits
  • Cars (up to a certain value)
  • Clothing
  • Family heirlooms
  • Some wages

To learn more about the various items that are exempt in bankruptcy in your state, and if bankruptcy can help kick-start your journey towards financial security, connect with a local bankruptcy lawyer today.


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