Many Louisianans have more debt than they can successfully manage. If you fall into this category, you likely know how stressful crippling debt can be. After all, not only may you struggle to pay your bills, but you must also likely put up with annoying collections calls. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing may be an effective way to get back on track.

Whether you have a lapdog that keeps you company or a bird dog that helps you hunt, you treasure your pooch. You are not alone. In fact, Louisiana is the sixth most pet-friendly state in the country. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy protection, you may worry about having to give up your furry friend.

Surrendering certain assets

Typically, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings require individuals to surrender some assets to satisfy outstanding debts. Which assets you must give up, though, depends on a few different factors. As such, before deciding whether bankruptcy is right for you, you must understand Louisiana’s bankruptcy process.

Identifying your pet’s value

Even though your companion animal is likely invaluable to you, it may not be worth much to the bankruptcy estate. That is, selling your dog is not apt to bring much profit. Therefore, the bankruptcy trustee may not have any interest in using your pet to pay your debts. This may not be true, though, if your dog has significant value.

Using an exemption

Louisiana law has a personal property exemption of up to $5,000. While your animal may seem like a member of the family, it is property in the eyes of the law. As such, if the bankruptcy trustee wants to sell your dog, you may be able to use the personal property exemption to retain ownership.

If you are trying to manage mounting debt, a bankruptcy filing may be the right path forward. Fortunately, you probably do not have to worry about losing your dog during the bankruptcy process. Nonetheless, by understanding your options, you can better plan for your financial future.