You are allowed to include a reasonable budget to cover the cost of keeping your pets if you go bankrupt. In this article we discuss what these amounts are and what you can do if you need to spend more.
Included in this article:
- What food expenses can you include for your pets in bankruptcy?
- What if you need to spend more than the guidelines?
- Can you include vets bills and insurance?
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What food expenses can you include for your pets in bankruptcy?
If you go bankrupt, it is expected that you might have family pets. As such, you can include certain amounts in your living expenses budget to look after them.
Usually, the most significant monthly cost you need to consider is food. Clearly, what you spend on pet food will vary dramatically depending on the type and number of animals you have. The guidelines below are based on amounts that are usually acceptable.
Dogs – Around £10-£15/wk (£45-£65/mth) per animal
Cats – Around £5-£10/wk (£22-£45/mth) per animal
Smaller animals and birds – Around £5-£10/wk (£22-£45/mth) per animal including associated bedding etc
It is very important to include appropriate allowances for feeding your pets in your living expenses budget. If you don’t the official receiver may over estimate the amount you have available each month to pay towards your debts.
What if you need to spend more than the guidelines?
Your pets may have specific needs which mean you need to spend more on their food than is suggested in the allowances above. This additional expenditure may be allowable depending on the circumstances.
Where they have special dietary requirements due to age or illness, the official receiver will normally allow these amounts as as reasonable expenditure. However, if you have pets which are simply more expensive to fee due to their type, this can become an increasingly difficult argument to win.
In these circumstances, the official receiver will not tell you that you can no longer keep your pets. They will simply say that they will not be able to allow your budget over a certain amount.
Of course, you have the option of reducing the amount you spend in other areas of your budget to cover the amount which is not allowed.
Clearly the official receiver will not be able to allow you a sufficient budget to maintain very expensive pets (for example horses). If you are unable to make other arrangements in these circumstances, going bankrupt may not be a suitable option for you.
The Official Receiver is unlikely to allow you a sufficient budget to maintain animals which are not regarded as normal family pets and are particularly expensive to keep.
Can you include vets bills and insurance?
You will normally have other costs associated with keeping your pets which are over and above just food. You may have pet insurance which you pay monthly or annually. In addition you are likely to have regular vets costs such as flea or worming tablets and other regular treatments.
It is possible for you to include reasonable amounts to cover these costs in your living expenses budget. The guidelines below are based on amounts that are usually acceptable.
Pet Insurance – Around £20-£40/mth per animal
Regular vets costs – Around £5-£10/mth per animal
You may also have other costs associated with your pets. For example you may pay a dog walker if you are out at work all day. This type of expenditure will be considered by the official receiver on a case by case basis.
In this area, it is difficult to generalise about whether the budget you require will be acceptable or not without considering your specific circumstances.
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