Well … technically, the trustee does have this power. But before you hyperventilate over the thought of losing Fluffy or Spot, remember that in Arizona you can exempt animals worth up to $500. This does not mean the amount that you may have paid for your pet. This means essentially, “How much could I get for my pet if I advertised him/her on Craigslist?” I have an adorable 4 month old kitten that I spent $100 to purchase one month ago. I bet I could get $10 bucks for her today on Craigslist – if that. This is really meant to deal with situations where people own cattle or race horses that might be sold for a great deal of money that can be used to pay off creditors. Chances are, the Trustee doesn’t wantyour cat or dog any more than you did last time he or she had an “accident”. Rest assured, you will most certainly get to keep your best friend through your bankruptcy and beyond.
If you or someone you know has questions about bankruptcy and exemptions contact an attorney before making any changes.