Las Vegas Wildcard Exemption In Bankruptcy


Only in this gambling haven of a state would you expect to find something known as the Nevada Wildcard Exemption in Bankruptcy. As a Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney, I can tell you what this is and how it can be used to your benefit.
When you file for bankruptcy, it is possible that a portion of your remaining property and assets will be taken to help pay down outstanding debts and satisfy creditor claims—but not everything will be taken. An exemption is the cash or personal property that won’t be taken from you to satisfy what you owe your creditors. Things like your house, car, personal possessions and work tools or equipment can be protected up to a certain dollar value. The wildcard exemption is one of the most important bankruptcy exemptions as it is used to protect property that would otherwise not be exempt. 
At Vohwinkel Law, our Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney has deep knowledge of and experience in Nevada’s wildcard exemption. We are focused on protecting your financial interests and helping you pursue the best bankruptcy/debt relief solution. If you have questions about the wildcard exemption in bankruptcy, reach out to our legal team for guidance and support. To set up a free, completely confidential initial consultation with a top-rated Nevada bankruptcy law attorney, please call our Las Vegas office or send us a message through our website.

What You Should Know About The Nevada Wildcard Exemption In Bankruptcy

As a starting point, we need to take a close look at the concept of exemptions in bankruptcy proceedings. Nevada allows bankruptcy files to protect certain assets—primary residence, primary vehicle, and certain material possession—up to a certain dollar amount. However, anything over that amount can be forfeited to your bankruptcy trustee. This is where the wildcard exemption comes into play: The wildcard exemption is the monetary amount that can be applied toward protecting any of your assets not otherwise protected through other exemptions. Here are three key things that you should know about the wildcard bankruptcy exemption in Nevada: 

    1. The Wildcard Exemption Increased (By a Lot): The wildcard exemption amount in Nevada used to be $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples. For a person or family going through significant financial distress, an extra $1,000 or $2,000 of protection is certainly meaningful—but still relatively modest. One problem with the old wildcard was that the amount was so low that it could easily trip you up. For instance, if you filed for bankruptcy before filing your taxes, you might afterwards receive a refund that was more than your wildcard exemption could protect, and have the money seized by your bankruptcy trustee. The good news is that, in November 2017, the Nevada Wildcard Exemption went up to $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a couple. It is a very important change. This more generous exemption will allow us to help you protect more of your possessions and assets during bankruptcy.
    2. The Wildcard Exemption is Versatile: The wildcard exemption is so named because it can be used in many different ways. How exactly you can (or should) use the bankruptcy wildcard exemption in your case depends entirely on your needs and your financial circumstances. As an example of how you might use it, imagine that you have one motor vehicle that is already exempt from seizure. However, you and your spouse also have a second car that you are at risk of losing if you file for bankruptcy. If the car is worth less than $20,000 (the current maximum exemption for married couples in Nevada), you could apply the wildcard full amount to the vehicle to keep it. Alternatively, if you have  $7,000 worth of personal possessions you could use your general exemption of $5,000 for personal property, plus a portion  of your wildcard amount, and protect all of your property. 
    3. The Wildcard Exemption Can Be Split: Under Nevada law, the wildcard exemption is divisible. You can also split the total wildcard exemption amount to cover multiple properties. For example, you could use part of your wildcard exemption to protect a second vehicle and another part of your wildcard exemption to protect some emergency savings your family has in a bank account. Ultimately, you retain a considerable amount of flexibility over how to use the exemption. Under the old rules, firearms were often an issue. You could only save one under your standard exemptions and you’d have to use your wildcard exemption to protect a second gun. But, as collectors know, it’s easy to accumulate arms worth well north of $1,000. 


The Bottom Line: The new expanded wildcard exemption makes it far easier for people to protect their personal property. It will go farther toward protecting tax refunds, gun collections, second motor vehicles or other personal assets that might have been at risk during bankruptcy proceedings. As the wildcard exemption is an important tool for protecting your financial interests, it is crucial that you know how to use it. 

How Bankruptcy Attorney Rory Vohwinkel Can Help You With a Wildcard Exemption

Filing for bankruptcy protection is complicated. Please know that you can protect a significant portion of your property and assets. Rory Vohwinkel helps clients use all available exemptions, including the wildcard exemption. Our mission is to help clients find immediate debt relief and put them in the best position for long-term financial health. When you call our Las Vegas law office, you have an opportunity to speak to a Nevada bankruptcy attorney who will: 

We provide personalized, detail-focused guidance and support to each and every client. Our firm will help you the absolute most out of Nevada’s wildcard exemption. Your short-term and long-term financial health matter to us. With a well-documented record of obtaining successful results for clients in bankruptcy cases, you can rely on our Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyers to get you and your family the best possible outcome. 

Call Our Las Vegas, NV Wildcard Exemption Bankruptcy Attorney for Legal Help

At Vohwinkel Law, our top-rated Nevada bankruptcy lawyer has the skills, experience, and legal knowledge to help you navigate the full range of exemption issues, including wildcard exemption. Mr. Vohwinkel will help you get the most out of the wildcard exemption. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the wildcard exemption in bankruptcy, we are more than ready to help. 

Contact us right away to schedule a no cost, no commitment initial consultation. With a conveniently located office in Las Vegas, we provide bankruptcy services in Clark County and throughout Southern Nevada, including in North Las Vegas, Henderson, Sloan, Boulder City, Summerlin South, Enterprise, Mesquite, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, and Paradise. 

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