Some Property Is Off-Limits to Debt Collectors in Nevada

Madeleine Jones
October 6, 2017

closeup of hundred dollar billsNevada statutes and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act provide numerous protections for individuals facing collections actions. These protections limit the actions creditors may take to recover a debt and limit their ability to strip debtors of assets or income they need to live and recover from a financial setback. In some cases, unscrupulous debt collectors will attempt to pursue these assets and income sources in the hope that debtors are unaware of their rights under the FDCPA and Nevada statutes.

Protected Income

Income earned from Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance payments is exempt from collections. Similarly, unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, veterans’ benefits, and PERS, CSRS retirement distributions are exempt. Creditors may also not lay claim to child support, alimony, or payments received as the result of a wrongful death settlement. This income is protected regardless of how large or small it may be.

Property Exempt from Collections

Individuals may shield up to $550,000 in equity within their primary residence. Debtors may also maintain up to $5,000 in jewelry, musical instruments, or personal keepsakes. Additionally, debtors may keep up to $12,000 in necessary household goods including furnishings, electronics, etc.

Most importantly, creditors cannot lay claim to personal property used for trade or employment. Nevada statutes allow individuals to maintain up to $4,500 in farm equipment including stock, trucks, tools, and supplies. Debtors may also maintain up to $10,000 in tools including construction equipment, plumbing tools, etc. Finally, individuals are allowed to maintain one vehicle so long as the equity does not exceed $15,000.

Claiming Exemptions

Exemption of assets and income is not automatic and individuals are still required to file an affidavit of exemption. This should be filed with the court no later than 8 days after receipt of an execution or garnishment notice. A FDCPA violation attorney can help complete the paperwork and ensure that creditors do not attempt to claim these assets.

Statute of Limitations

Nevada has several statutes of limitations for different types of debt. Debts for open accounts, consumer leases, and debt-management services can be pursued for up to 4 years. Written contracts, notes payable, warranties, and Nevada or foreign judgments may be pursued for up to 6 years. Once these periods of time have expired, direct creditors or any third parties they may sell the debts to may not pursue claims against these debts.