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Nevada Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Helping Nevadans Get Out of Debt

When you’re saddled with bills you can’t pay, debt collector harassment, the fear of foreclosure, and worrying about having your vehicle repossessed can consume your life. Bankruptcy attorney Kathleen Sigurdson wants to help you find relief. We’ll put a stop to harassing debt collection calls. We’ll help you save your home from foreclosure. And we’ll help you find peace of mind knowing your financial burdens are a thing of the past.

When you’re ready for a fresh start, call Kathleen Sigurdson at 775-337-0300 to find out if bankruptcy is the right option for you.

Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right for You?

In Nevada, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to forgive many types of consumer debt. It is a step that can help you leave unmanageable bills behind so you can move forward with your financial future. While bankruptcy relief is an effective way to get a fresh start, it isn’t for everyone. To help you determine whether this is the right solution for you situation, let’s take a look at what filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can do for you — and what it cannot do.

How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Help

Are medical bills threatening to take over your mailbox? Is your wallet filled with maxed-out credit cards? Do your monthly financial obligations prevent you from making ends meet? Is the fear of losing you car to repossession or your home to foreclosure keeping you awake at night? If you answered yes, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief might be a smart move.

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Nevada, most types of debt will be eliminated. Upon discharge, you’ll no longer need to worry about:

  • Most medical bills
  • Credit card debt and unsecured lines of credit
  • Unsecured personal loans
  • Checking account overdrafts
  • Past due utility bills
  • Certain types of tax debt

Unfortunately, Not Every Debt Can Be Eliminated

There are some types of debts that cannot be discharged. For people who owe certain types of student loans, some tax debts, child support or alimony, matrimonial settlements, criminal restitution, court-ordered fines, or debts that were obtained through fraud or false pretenses, filing Chapter 7 may not provide the financial relief needed. In most cases, however, filing bankruptcy to eliminate dischargeable debts can provide substantial relief so consumers have access to more money that can be used to pay for those debts that cannot be discharged.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Holding on to Life’s Necessities

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often described as a “liquidation of assets.” As such, many people express concern about losing their vehicles, family jewelry, or other important assets when considering filing for bankruptcy relief. Fortunately, most people won’t have to move out of their homes or hand over their cars when they claim bankruptcy in Nevada. State law provides for a number of exemptions that enable families to hold on to many of their possessions as they start with a clean slate. In a large portion of cases, consumers won’t need to turn over anything at all.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions in Nevada

Although there are a number of bankruptcy exemptions in place under federal law, Nevada has opted out of these. When you file for bankruptcy in Nevada, the items you can keep are governed under state law instead. But relax – there are various types of state exemptions that are designed to protect the items you need as you begin your fresh start. And if you’re part of a married couple who is filing joint bankruptcy, you can typically double your exemptions for property that is jointly owned to maximize the amount you can keep.

Homestead Exemption

If you own a home or mobile home, you can claim a $550,000 homestead exemption in Nevada. Since the amount of this exemption is based on your equity, any amount you owe in mortgages is not included when determining the homestead exemption.

Motor Vehicles

Nevada law protects vehicles that are owned with up to $15,000 in equity. If your car is equipped for a disabled person, however, equity is unlimited.

Tools of the Trade

If you have uniforms, equipment, tools, or accessories that you must use for your job, they are likely protected when you file for bankruptcy. Under Nevada law, you can keep:

  • Up to $4,500 in farm tools, vehicles, equipment, stock, and seed.
  • A maximum of $4,500 in a prospector or miner’s dwelling, vehicles, working mining claim, equipment, and tools.
  • Up to $10,000 in library tools, equipment, supplies, and inventory.
  • Uniforms, accessories, and arms that you must keep for your trade.

Personal Property

Many types of personal property are protected under Nevada law. Whether you own keepsakes that were handed down from generation to generation, you are an avid hunter and want to keep your gun, you have a modest art collection or family jewelry, or you’ve recovered an award for personal injury or wrongful death, chances are good your property is yours to keep.

There is also a Wild Card exemption in Nevada that will allow you to keep property valued at up to $1,000 if it doesn’t fit into another category that is protected. If you have valuable assets that you’re concerned about losing when you file for bankruptcy, give us a call. There are other types of exemptions that may be available to protect your property. We can evaluate your assets and determine what items qualify for an exemption.

Are You Eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Nevada?

There are a few requirements that must be met before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. To file in Nevada, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months. Additionally, you must meet certain income requirements. During your consultation, we may need to complete a “Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation.” If your income is below the Nevada median for your household size, you won’t need to take the test. You may file for Chapter 7. Likewise, if you are a disabled veteran who incurred most of your debt while serving our country, thank you for your service. You are exempt from the test.

If your household income is on the higher end of the spectrum, however, we’ll need to see if you’re eligible to file before we can get started. Since we will need to take a look at your income and expenses when we complete the means test, you’ll need to collect a few items from your records.

  • Amounts from almost all sources of income you have. This includes business income, rental income, interest and dividends, pensions and retirement plans, amounts others pay for your household expenses, and any unemployment income
  • List of expenses necessary for your health and welfare
  • Financial burdens you are legally obligated to pay
  • Other expenses you owe

Are You Struggling with Debt in Reno?

If your consumer debts are wreaking havoc on your life, let’s talk. Schedule your consultation today and let us help you begin your path to a brighter tomorrow. Call Kathleen Sigurdson at 775-337-0300.