Nevada’s Homestead Exemption Laws and What it Can Do For You
The Nevada homestead exemption law is among the most generous in our nation. Thanks to Nevada’s strong public policy, residents in Nevada can now keep their homes despite entry of a judgment against them.
How does Nevada’s Homestead Exemption Law Work?
Homestead Declaration forms are filed with the County Recorder by Nevada homeowners so that their equity in a primary residence (including a mobile home) is protected from general creditor claims.
Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute 115, the equity in your home is protected up to $605,000 (as of the time this article is published) from general creditors. In simplest terms, filing a homestead exemption can prevent a forced sale of your home, which can happen when a creditor goes after your property to satisfy the debts you may owe them. Debts by creditors can be in the form of unpaid medical bills, credit card debt, business loans, personal loans, and most other debts.
However, you can protect your principal residence from these debt collectors simply by filing homestead declaration forms at the county clerk’s office (in the county in which you reside). Filing a homestead will protect your home up to its maximum allowed protection.
Who is and is not eligible under Nevada’s Homestead Exemption Law?
Although the Nevada Homestead Exemption Law is quite generous, it is not all-encompassing or unconditional. For example, rental or investment properties are not eligible for homestead exemption under Nevada law. Generally, homestead exemption does not apply to or protect your investment or rental properties as they are not a primary residence for you. Additionally, vacant land will not be protected either. The exemption only applies to and protect your land with a dwelling on it (such as a house, mobile home, or condominium).
Are there any other limitations to what the homestead exemption can protect?
The protection of the homestead is not an all-inclusive protection. The homestead exemption law does not protect you from debts owed in instances where your home or land is being used as a form of collateral (such as mortgages or liens on a property).
Additionally, property taxes, IRS liens, repayment of benefits, mechanic’s liens, and debts securing a mortgage or deed of trust are not protected by the Homestead exemption. So, a homestead declaration would not prevent your home being sold to pay a judgment associated with a mortgage, taxes, or other non-protected claims.
How to File for a Homestead Exemption in Nevada
According to Nevada law, to qualify for the homestead exemption, the property owner must declare the property their homestead and record the declaration with the county recorder of that county. Forms may be obtained and downloaded free of charge from the website of most County Recorder’s websites.
To complete your Homestead form, you will need your parcel number and a legal description of your property. You can find this information on your recorded deed. You can often look it up on the County Assessor’s website.
Note: The document should be printed in black ink and printed legibly. Alternatively, you can use a fillable pdf form online to type and print the form.
When to File a Homestead Exemption Form?
You may have recently purchased a home and received a flyer in the mail about Nevada’s Homestead Exemption. You may fear you could miss out on protection if you don’t rush to file the paperwork – this is not true. A Homestead can be claimed at any time prior to enforcement of a judgment. If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, or a creditor has entered a judgment against you, it may be wise to consider filing a homestead exemption to protect your residence from these creditors. If someone is in the process of pursuing a lawsuit against you or your spouse, you should investigate protecting your home via Nevada’s homestead exemption law.
Many homestead filing services exist in Nevada. However, they do not have legal authority that an attorney does to act on your behalf; they are not permitted to sign and file documents for you, or to provide legal advice. If you have any legal questions regarding homestead exemptions, your unique circumstances, eligibility inquiries, or completing a homestead declaration form, you may wish to speak with an experienced and skilled Nevada trust and estate attorney who can answer your questions today. You can schedule a free, confidential consultation at 702-333-1711.
Attorney Kennedy Lee practices in all aspects of trust and estate law. He views all legal issues from multiple angles (e.g. from litigation to administration point of view) to provide a higher quality of service to our client.