After meeting with me in a bankruptcy consultation I hand out a questionnaire that I require everyone to complete that provides me with information like assets, debts, income, and expenses. I have various categories when it comes to personal property but one that gets a lot of questions is “animals.” The first thing people think of is the bankruptcy court coming to their house to take their beloved dog or cat. First, the bankruptcy court really has no interest or want of your pets. However, being that we live in the Wild Wild West many people have horses, cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Luckily, the exemption laws for the State of Arizona provide that each person filing for bankruptcy can claim an exemption in pets, horses, cows or poultry up to a value of $500. This means that a couple filing for bankruptcy in Arizona would be able to keep $1,000 worth of livestock. While to the big time farmer/rancher this amount would not be sufficient, for most – especially in light of the down horse market – $1,000 is sufficient to protect their animals through the bankruptcy process.
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