“If I file bankruptcy in Georgia, will they take my dog?” she asked in tears. “Of course not!” I answered.
I was recently asked this question by a Cartersville GA bankruptcy client last week. The answer to this question in almost every single bankruptcy case is no. I have been practicing bankruptcy for twelve years and I’ve never seen a single bankruptcy client lose their dog because they filed bankruptcy.
The number one reason the Cartersville GA bankruptcy client did not have to worry about losing her dog if she filed for bankruptcy in Georgia was because her dog does not have any monetary value.
“But wait!” you say. “You don’t know my dog. My dog is special. My dog gets the newspaper for me every day. My dog can fly threw the air and make amazing frisbee catches. My dog can do rollover tricks. Everyone loves my dog!” Truthfully, I just described my dog in her younger days. The reality is that even when she was in her prime, no one would have paid me any money for my mutt. While my wife would never have agreed to sell her at any price, the truth is that we would probably would have had to pay someone to take her.
As every dog owner knows, it costs money to take of the canine. Food and veterinarian bills add up quickly. Unless your dog is some kind of super expensive rare breed, a bankruptcy trustee won’t be able to make any money off a sale.
Furthermore, Georgia has a wildcard exemption of $5,600.00. You can use this exemption on anything you own. I’m sure there are some dogs out there that may cost you over $5,000.00 to purchase. However, when you try to sell the same dog at a later date, you will find that very few people will take the dog off your hands even if you give it away for free.