Homestead Exemption in Las Vegas
Did you know homestead exemptions can be used as an asset protection technique? Contact the Wood Law Group in Las Vegas for assistance.
What Is the Nevada Homestead Exemption?
Homestead exemption law in Nevada allows land and homeowners to designate a portion of their property as a homestead. By doing so, homeowners can protect their properties from creditors in the case of a bankruptcy filing or other financial distress.
The homestead exemption was initially created to save families from losing their farms. However, this Nevada law today protects family houses, including those in residential cooperatives and condominiums.
According to Nevada Revised Statute 115, your home’s equity is shielded against general creditors up to a maximum of $605,000.
In this article, our Las Vegas asset protection attorney explains the Nevada homestead law and everything else you should know about it.
Nevada’s Homestead Exemption Law
As outlined in NRS 115, the homestead exemption law is purely statutory. This means that the homestead law was created by statute and cannot be modified and legislated upon by a court.
Claiming homestead exemptions helps homeowners avoid the forced sale of their house, which might occur if a creditor seizes their property to settle the debt they owe. These obligations include credit card bills, unpaid medical bills, business loans, personal loans, etc.
A homestead exemption, therefore, prevents your home from a forced sale that may be affected by creditors to recover the dues owed to them.
To understand more about how this law works, you may speak with one of our attorneys at the Wood Law Group.
Which Property Qualifies for Homestead Exemption?
Homeowners in Nevada can avail of a homestead exemption to safeguard their equity in their principal residence (including mobile homes) against general creditor claims.
The Nevada homestead exemption does not cover second homes. Similarly, rental or investment properties do not qualify for the homestead exemption under Nevada law.
When your investment and rental properties are not your primary residence, the homestead exemption generally does not apply to protect them. Moreover, the homestead exemption applies only to real property. That means the statute may not protect your undeveloped property or vacant land.
The exemption only applies to and protects land that contains a habitation, such as
- Mobile homes
Exceptions: When a Homestead Declaration Won’t Protect You
A homestead declaration would not preclude the sale of your house from satisfying a judgment lien involving a mortgage, taxes, or other non-protected claims.
This means the homestead exemption statute does not shield you from obligations if you have used your house or land as collateral. For instance, if you have a mortgage or lien on the property, you cannot use a homestead exemption to protect it.
In addition, the homestead exemption does not shield you from property tax, IRS lien, repayment of benefits, mechanic’s lien, or obligations securing a mortgage or deed of trust.
Value of Property
When you have less than $605,000 equity in your home, and your judgment does not fall under homestead declaration protection, your home cannot be sold to satisfy the judgment.
Homestead declarations protect the first $605,000 of equity in your home from most judgments against you. Property (or a portion of it, if the court deems it possible) over $605,000 can be sold, but you are entitled to retain the first $605,000.
If, however, you have established an allodial title, the homestead exemption applies to all equity in the land, residence, and fixtures. Allodial title is when a real property (land, buildings, and fixtures) is free and clear of any superior landlord and not subject to feudal duty.
Procedure for Homestead Exemption in Nevada
Designate Property as Homestead
As a property owner, the Nevada homestead law requires that you designate your property as a homestead to qualify for the exemption. To do this, you must file a homestead exemption declaration with the county recorder where your property is located.
Fill-Out Homestead Declaration Form
If your property is in Las Vegas, you can obtain the homestead declaration form from the website of Clark County Recorder. The form is usually free and can be downloaded.
You will need your parcel number and full legal description of your land to complete your homestead form. This information can be found on the title deed of your property. You may also find it on the real property records portal of Clark County, Las Vegas.
While filling out the homestead declaration form, ensure to follow the guidelines below:
The document must be legible and printed in black ink.
Text cannot exceed the one-inch margins on all sides of the form.
It has to be signed in the presence of a Notary Public. You may find a Notary Public in banks, legal offices, real estate offices, or title companies.
File the notarized and completed homestead declaration form with the County Recorder in Las Vegas. A minimal fee is associated with notarizing and recording documents with the County Registrar.
File Homestead Declaration Form
You may submit the completed homestead declaration form to the County recorder’s main office in Las Vegas. However, the recorder’s office does not receive mailed documents for recording at the satellite offices.
When Does Homestead Exemption Take Effect?
Your homestead declaration becomes valid when you file the form correctly with the county recorder. Therefore, you can claim the homestead exemption at any time before the execution of a judgment.
If you are contemplating bankruptcy or a creditor has secured a judgment against you, it may be advisable to seek a homestead exemption to protect your residence from these creditors.
Wood Law Group Can Assist You With Your Homestead Declaration
Filing a homestead declaration form may seem straightforward. If you follow the correct procedures, you should generally not have any problems.
However, you may need to consult an attorney if you have complex legal issues from a verdict or possible judgment against you. For instance, if your spouse is being sued, you may need an attorney to explain how Nevada’s homestead exemption law can protect your property.
If you have legal issues concerning homestead exemptions, particular circumstances, eligibility inquiries, or declaration form filing, you may contact our experienced Nevada Wood Law Group attorneys, who can answer your questions. They can also help you with estate planning matters, such as those surrounding an asset protection trust. Contact us to set up an initial free consultation today!