If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nevada, Nevada’s bankruptcy exemptions can help you protect all or part of your property. Nevada’s bankruptcy exemptions also play a role in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Keep reading to learn about the property that can be protected by Nevada’s bankruptcy exemptions.
To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, including how they work, which state exemption system you should use, and special rules for the homestead exemption, see Nolo’s Bankruptcy Exemptions topic page.
The Bankruptcy Exemptions in Nevada
Exemptions are laws that allow you to protect specific property from your creditors, such as your car or home. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep the items that are protected by Nevada’s bankruptcy exemptions. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Nevada’s bankruptcy exemptions play a role in how much you repay your creditors through your Chapter 13 plan.
Federal Exemptions Not Available in Nevada
Nevada has its own exemptions that you can use when you file a bankruptcy. There is also a set of bankruptcy exemptions established by federal law (called the federal bankruptcy exemptions). Nevada has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions, meaning you must use Nevada’s exemptions if you file for bankruptcy in Nevada.
Although you can’t use the federal exemptions in Nevada, you may use any of the applicable federal non-bankruptcy exemptions. The federal non-bankruptcy exemptions protect property such as federal retirement accounts and veterans’ benefits.
Married Couples May Double Nevada Exemptions
Married couples filing a joint bankruptcy in Nevada may “double” the exemption amounts, meaning you and your spouse may each claim the full exemption amount for any property belonging to both of you. Bear in mind that you may only claim an exemption and protect property that belongs to you.
Commonly Used Nevada Bankruptcy Exemptions
Below is a list of commonly used Nevada bankruptcy exemptions. Unless otherwise indicated, all references are to the Nevada Revised Statutes Annotated.
Up to $550,000 in equity in a home or mobile home. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §115.010, §115.020
You must record a homestead declaration (a form filed with the county recorder’s office to put on record your right to a homestead exemption) before filing for bankruptcy in order to claim this exemption in bankruptcy. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §115.020
To learn more, see The Nevada Homestead Exemption.
Example. You own a home worth $600,000 and owe $200,000 on the mortgage. Thus, you have $400,000 of equity in your home. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may record and claim the homestead exemption to protect all of the equity in your home. The Nevada homestead exemption will protect the full amount of equity in your home.
Burial plot or funeral service money held in trust. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §689.700
Health aids. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(a)
Keepsakes and pictures. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(a)
Up to $5,000 of equity in books, art, musical instruments, and jewelry. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(a)
Up to $12,000 of equity in appliances, furniture, electronics, household goods, clothing, home and yard equipment. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(b)
Arranged and catalogued ores, geological specimens, paleontological remains, which are numbered in reference books. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.100
Mortgage impound accounts. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §645B.180
One gun. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(i)
Up to $16,500 in personal injury awards. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(u)
Criminal restitution. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(x)
Income tax refunds attributable to the Earned Income Credit. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(aa)
Wrongful death awards to survivors. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(v)
Up to $15,000 of equity in a motor vehicle, or unlimited equity in a motor vehicle if equipped for a person with a disability. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(f), §21.090(1)(p).
Example. Holly owns a 2012 Honda Civic. Her car is worth $18,000 and she owes the dealership $12,000, so she has $6,000 of equity in the car. If Holly files Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nevada, she can protect all of the equity in her car using the Nevada motor vehicle exemption.
To learn more about the Nevada Motor Vehicle exemption, visit The Nevada Motor Vehicle Exemption in Bankruptcy.
Aid to blind, aged, disabled, and public assistance. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §422.291
Crime victim’s compensation. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090
Worker’s compensation (industrial insurance). Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §616C.205
Payments received pursuant to the Social Security Act. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(y)
Unemployment compensation. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §612.710
Vocational rehabilitation benefits. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §615.270
Retirement accounts and benefits
Public employees retirement benefits. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §286.670
ERISA-qualified benefits, deferred compensation, IRAs, SEP or Roth IRAs, (529) savings plan for higher education (up to $500,000). Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(r)
Wages and Income
75% of wages or 50 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is more. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(g)
Tools of the Trade
Up to $4,500 of equity in farm trucks, tools, stock, equipment, and seed. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(c)
Up to $4,500 of equity in a miner or prospector’s dwelling, working mining claim, cars, tools, and appliances. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(e)
Arms, uniforms, and accouterments that you are required to keep. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(j)Up to $10,000 in equity in library equipment, tools, inventory, and supplies. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(1)(d)
Up to $1,000 of any personal property. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §21.090(z)
Confirming the Nevada Bankruptcy Exemptions
This list includes some of the more commonly used Nevada bankruptcy exemptions, but there are numerous other exemptions available to protect specific property. Nevada updates its exemption figures periodically. You can verify the current exemption values by clicking on the link for the Nevada Revised Statutes on the website of the Nevada Legislature. You can learn more about this at Nolo’s Legal Research Center.