Before filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Nevada, you must complete a credit counseling course and prepare your bankruptcy petition and forms. Once you file your bankruptcy in the proper Nevada bankruptcy court, you must complete a debtor education course before you receive a discharge.
(For more articles on the filing process, see Filing for Bankruptcy.)
Read on to learn more about this process.
In order to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course from an approved agency and file the certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court. You must complete this course within 180 days before filing bankruptcy. After you file, you’ll need to complete a debtor education course before you can receive your discharge in bankruptcy. (To learn more about this requirement, including the rare exceptions, see Credit Counseling & Debtor Education Requirements in Bankruptcy.)
Nevada’s bankruptcy exemptions determine what property you get to keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and help to determine how much you repay unsecured creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. (To learn more, see our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.)
Although in some states, you can use the federal bankruptcy exemptions, Nevada only allows you to use the Nevada exemptions. To find out more about Nevada’s exemptions for your home and car, see The Homestead Exemption in Nevada and The Motor Vehicle Exemption in Nevada. To find other Nevada exemptions, see Nevada Bankruptcy Exemptions. For example, Nevada has a wildcard exemption that allows you to protect up to $1,000 of value in any personal property that you own.
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a bankruptcy petition, several schedules disclosing information about your assets, debts, income, and expenses, and several other forms, including a lengthy form known as the “means test” for Chapter 7 and a similar form for Chapter 13.
(For a list of the forms you must complete, see The Bankruptcy Forms: Getting Started.)
For more information about each of the official forms, including how to find them and fill them out, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.
Nevada bankruptcy filers must compare their income to the median income for a household of the same size in Nevada. If your income is below the median, you are eligible to file under Chapter 7 and, if you choose to file under Chapter 13, you have the option to choose a three-year repayment plan instead of five years. This is called the means test.
If your income is above Nevada’s median, you may still qualify for Chapter 7, but you’ll have to provide comprehensive information about your expenses and payments on secured debts in order to find out. Most Chapter 13 filers also have to provide this information.
For details about each of these forms, including how to complete them, see:
Look here to find the Nevada figures for the means test:
Nevada median income. For a one-person Nevada household, the median income is $43,146. For a married couple without dependents, the Nevada median income is $55,573. You can find figures for other household sizes in Nevada here.
Example. Jennifer and Bill are married and have no children, but Jennifer's elderly mother lives with them. Jennifer earns $35,000 per year, and Bill earns $25,000. Jennifer’s mother does not receive any income other than her Social Security benefit. Jennifer and Bill will pass the means test without having to do further calculations because their income is below $60,855, the median income for a household of three, and Social Security benefits are not included on the means test.
Standard deductions. Forms 22A and 22C have a comprehensive list of expense categories, including transportation, food, and childcare. For some of those categories, such as childcare, you list the actual amount of your monthly expense. For others, you list a pre-set amount. Sometimes that amount is a standard for the whole country and other times it varies by county or region.
You can find all of the Nevada county and region-specific figures you’ll need for Forms 22A and 22C on the U.S. Trustee’s website at www.justice.gov/ust. Click on “Bankruptcy Reform” and then “Means Testing Information.”
Example. In Nevada, the standard amount you are allowed to deduct for housing is based on the county in which you live. If you live in Lincoln County, your mortgage or rent deduction is $648 for a one-person household. If you live in Carson City, the deduction is $1,089. You can find housing expense standards for each Nevada area here.
Some judicial districts and bankruptcy courts require bankruptcy filers to complete additional “local forms.” To find out if your court requires additional forms, contact the bankruptcy filing clerk. Some courts post these forms online on the court’s website. (Below you’ll find a link to Nevada’s bankruptcy court.)
There is only one judicial district in Nevada, but there is a Northern Division and a Southern Division. The county in which you live determines the division in which you must file. If you live in Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, or Nye County, you must file your bankruptcy in the Southern Division, located in Las Vegas. Residents of all other Nevada counties are required to file in the Northern Division in Reno.