If you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nevada, state law permits you to keep certain property (“exemptions“) such as up to $605,000 of equity in your home, up to $15,000 of equity in your car, and up to $1 million in certain retirement plans.
In this article, our Las Vegas bankruptcy attorneys discuss:
- 1. How do Nevada bankruptcy exemptions work?
- 2. What is the homestead exemption?
- 3. What if I rent my home?
- 4. What is the motor vehicle exemption?
- 5. How about my personal property?
- 6. How much of my income can I keep?
- 7. Can I keep my investments?
- 8. Can I keep my retirement account?
- 9. What if I won money in a personal injury case?
- 10. What is the wildcard exemption?
- 11. What is completely exempt from bankruptcy?
1. How do Nevada bankruptcy exemptions work?
When you file for chapter 7 in Nevada, state law permits you to keep all your property that is exempt from bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case liquidates all your non-exempt property to pay off creditors.
In order to claim bankruptcy exemptions in Nevada, you must have lived in Nevada for 730 days. Plus you must identify and claim your exemptions in your filing documents.1
Note that if you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy, you get to keep all of your property as long as you stay current on your repayment plan.2
2. What is the homestead exemption?
If you are a homeowner filing for bankruptcy in Nevada, the homestead exemption protects up to $605,000 of your home equity. Nevada’s homestead exemption also applies if you live in a mobile home.3
In order to claim the full $605,000, you must have owned the home for at least 1,215 days prior to the bankruptcy filing. Otherwise, your homestead exemption is limited to $189,050 (the federal limit).4
Note that unlike with most other property exemptions, married couples cannot double the homestead exemption amount.5
3. What if I rent my home?
If you are a tenant in Nevada, your security deposit is exempt from bankruptcy unless your landlord requires it to enforce terms in your lease contract.6
4. What is the motor vehicle exemption?
Nevada’s motor vehicle exemption protects up to $15,000 of the equity in your car or motorcycle. The limit is $30,000 if you are married.
However, vehicles designed to help people with disabilities are exempt in total.7
5. How about my personal property?
You can keep your personal property up to a certain value, depending on what it is:
|Personal property in Nevada||Bankruptcy exemption amount|
|Household goods, such as: ||$12,000 (or $24,000 if you are married)|
|Other goods, such as: ||$5,000 (or $10,000 if you are married)|
|Professional equipment and “tools of the trade”||$10,000|
|Farming equipment, such as farm trucks and supplies||$4,500|
|Mining claim or prospecting appliances or implements||$4,5008|
6. How much of my income can I keep?
Upon filing for bankruptcy in Nevada, you get to keep the greater of:
- 82% of your disposable income if your weekly wage is $770 or less; or
- 75% of your disposable income if your weekly wage is greater than $770; or
- 50 times the federal minimum wage (which is currently $7.25 per hour).9
7. Can I keep my investments?
Nevada bankruptcy laws allow you to keep a maximum of $10,000 in:
- bonds, and
- other deposited funds.9
8. Can I keep my retirement account?
If you file for bankruptcy in Nevada, in general you may keep up to $1 million in:
- retirement plans (such as Roth IRAs, etc.),
- pension plans,
- deferred stock plans and stock bonuses,
- certain trusts accounts, and
- tuition programs.
Note that public employees’ retirement benefits are protected in full.10
9. What if I won money in a personal injury case?
You may keep up to $16,150 in personal injury compensation if you file for bankruptcy in Nevada. Meanwhile, money awarded for “loss of future earnings” and/or “wrongful death” is exempted to the extent required to support you (and your dependents).11
10. What is the wildcard exemption?
If you file for bankruptcy in Nevada, the “wildcard exemption” permits you to keep an additional $10,000 of your personal property of your choosing. The wildcard exemption is $20,000 if you are married.
This exemption does not cover real property (“real estate”).12
11. What is completely exempt from bankruptcy?
The following are entirely exempt in Nevada bankruptcy cases:
- social security (including supplemental security income, disability, retirement benefits, and survivors benefits);
- workers’ compensation (“industrial insurance”), including vocational rehabilitation payments;
- certain public benefits, such as unemployment compensation;
- tax refunds (from the Earned Income Tax Credit);
- life insurance money;
- court-ordered child support, including arrearages;
- court-ordered spousal support (“alimony”), including arrearages;
- private disability insurance;
- public assistance to the aged, blind, or disabled;
- medical equipment (such as prosthetics) and other health aids prescribed to you (or your dependents);
- restitution if you are a victim of a crime; and
- burial plot/funeral service money that is held in trust.13
Contact our Nevada law office to discuss your legal options. We appear in bankruptcy courts in Reno and Las Vegas, NV.
- Nevada Revised Statute 21.090. 11 U.S. Code 522. 11 U.S.C. 7 (bankruptcy code). Note that Nevada opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions, so filers must follow state law rather than federal law re. exemptions.
- 11 U.S.C. 13.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. 21.090. See, for example, In re. Larsen, (United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit, 2020) BAP No. NV-20-1133-FBG; In re. Stanton (United States Bankruptcy Court, D. Nevada, 2011) 457 B.R. 80.
- 11 U.S.C. 522. Adjustment of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code, Federal Register.
- NRS 21.090.
- Same. NRS 201.100.
- NRS 201.090.
- Same. NRS 689.700. NRS 422.291. NRS 422A.325. NRS 616C.205. NRS 612.710. NRS 615.270. NRS 286.670. NRS 687B.260 – .290. Note that there are various niche property exemptions to bankruptcy, such as collections of paleontological remains cataloged in reference books.