Updated: December 5, 2019
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. You keep all of your property, but you'll pay the value of nonexempt property in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Keep reading to learn about the property that can be protected by Nevada's bankruptcy exemptions.
Find out more about the steps involved in filing for bankruptcy in Nevada. 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 Bankruptcy Exemptions.
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. You'll have to pay the value of your nonexempt property to your creditors through your three- to five-year repayment plan.
Nevada has a set of exemptions that you can use when you file for bankruptcy. Federal law also has a set of bankruptcy exemptions; however, Nevada has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions. You must use Nevada's exemptions if you file for bankruptcy in Nevada.
You can, however, use any of the applicable federal nonbankruptcy exemptions. The federal nonbankruptcy exemptions protect property like federal retirement accounts and veterans' benefits.
You must be a Nevada resident for at least 730 days before filing the bankruptcy petition. If you weren't living in any one state during the two years before filing for bankruptcy, you'd use the exemptions of the state you lived in for most of the 180 days before the two-year period that immediately preceded your filing. Learn more about filing for bankruptcy after moving to a new state.
Married couples filing a joint bankruptcy can each claim the full exemption amount, or "double" the amount, for any property belonging to both of you. Bear in mind that you can only claim an exemption to protect property that belongs to you.
Below is a list of commonly-used Nevada bankruptcy exemptions. Unless otherwise indicated, all references are to the Nevada Revised Statutes.
Up to $605,000 in equity in a home or mobile home. Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 21.090(1)(l), (m), 115.050. 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 to claim this exemption in bankruptcy.
To learn more, see The Homestead Exemption.
Example. Suppose that you own a home worth $800,000 and owe $200,000 on the mortgage, giving you $600,000 of equity. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can 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. § § 689.700; 21.090(1)(ff)
Health aids. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(q)
Keepsakes and pictures. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(a)
Up to $5,000 of equity in books, art, musical instruments, and jewelry. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(a)
Up to $12,000 of equity in appliances, furniture, electronics, household goods, clothing, home, and yard equipment. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(b)
Collections of ores, geological specimens, paleontological remains, which are numbered in reference books. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.100
Escrow and mortgage impound accounts. Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 645A.170, 645B.180
One gun and uniforms (if required by law). Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(i)
Up to $16,150 in personal injury awards. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(u)
Victim crime restitution. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(x)
Income tax refunds attributable to the state or federal Earned Income Credit. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(aa)
Wrongful death awards to survivors to the extent necessary for support. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(v)
Future earnings compensation to the extent necessary for support. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(w)
Up to $15,000 of motor vehicle equity, or unlimited equity in a motor vehicle equipped for a person with a disability. Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 21.090(1)(f), 21.090(1)(p).
Example. Holly owns a 2012 Honda Civic worth $18,000. She owes the dealership $12,000, leaving her $6,000 of equity in the car. If Holly files Chapter 7 in Nevada, she can protect all of the equity using the Nevada motor vehicle exemption.
To learn more, visit The Motor Vehicle Exemption in Bankruptcy.
Aid to blind, aged, disabled, and public assistance. Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 422.291; 21.090(1)(kk); 422A.325; 615.270
Worker's compensation (industrial insurance). Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 616C.205; 21.090(1)(gg)
Payments received under the Social Security Act. Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 21.090(1)(y)
Public assistance for children. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(ll)
Unemployment compensation. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 612.710; 21.090(1)(hh)
Vocational rehabilitation benefits. Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 615.270; 21.090(1)(jj)
Public employees' retirement benefits. Nev. Rev. Stat. § § 286.670; 21.090(1)(ii)
ERISA-qualified pension or stock bonus plan (up to $1,000,000). Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(r)
Qualified retirement accounts are exempt under federal law 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C) in every state, regardless of the exemption scheme used. For current amounts, see Your Retirement Plan in Bankruptcy.
75% of wages or 50 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is more. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(g)
Up to $4,500 of equity in farm trucks, tools, stock, equipment, and seed. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 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. § 21.090(1)(e)
Arms, uniforms, and accouterments that you are required to keep. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(i)
Up to $10,000 in equity in library equipment, tools, inventory, and supplies. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(1)(d)
Up to $10,000 of any personal property. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 21.090(z).
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 by reviewing the complete text of the statute or by consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney.