Nevada Collection Laws

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  • Examine what kind of collections can occur when you live in Nevada and have a judgment against you.
  • Review Nevada rules for the statute of limitations on debt collection.
  • Consult with an experienced Nevadia attorney.

Learn the Collections Laws & Statutes of Limitations in Nevada

If you owe debt and reside in Nevada, it’s important to understand your rights and liabilities. It is even more important if a creditor threatens to file a lawsuit against you.

A lender, collection agent or law firm that owns a collection account is a creditor. Nevada law gives creditors several means of collecting delinquent debt. These methods include wage garnishment, account levy, and, in some cases, seizing personal property.

Before a creditor may use these legal tools in Nevada, the creditor must go to court to receive a judgment against you. See the article Served Summons and Complaint to learn more about this process, and how to fight a lawsuit.

A court will hold a hearing after a creditor files a lawsuit. A hearing may result in a judgment awarded to the creditor. A judgment is a court’s declaration the creditor has the legal right to demand:

The laws calls these remedies. A creditor granted a judgment is called a judgment-creditor. Which tool a judgment-creditor may use depends on the circumstances and Nevada law. We discuss each of these remedies below.

Debt Collectors Calling?

Receiving collection calls is unpleasant, whether from the original creditor or from collection agency. Call 800-998-7497 to speak with a Money Coach and discuss what to say and not to say in a phone call with a debt collector, and also what kind of financial plan you need to avoid this happening again.

Nevada Wage Garnishment Rules

The most common method used by judgment-creditors to enforce judgments is wage garnishment. A judgment-creditor contacts your employer and requires the employer to deduct a certain portion of your wages each pay period and send the money to the creditor.

How Big a Bite Can a Creditor Take from Your Paycheck?
In most states, creditors may garnish between 10% and 25% of your wages, with the percentage allowed determined by state law. Garnishment of or for consumer debt is not allowed under federal law, but may be allowed for child support. See the article to learn more.

In Nevada, garnishment for child support MUST be given first priority as noted in . And, wage garnishment for child or spousal support may be as much as 50% allowable (see #4(a) under NRS 31.295).

In Nevada, wage garnishment is allowed under , a writ of garnishment may issue at time of issuance of writ of attachment or later. If the judgment-creditor is aware of the debtor’s place of employment, it may seek wage garnishment.

Under federal law, the garnishment applies to 25% of the debtor’s net take home pay, (i.e., gross pay less statutorily mandated deductions). Garnishment can occur only after the person being garnished has received a 10-day’s notice. Additional exceptions to the limitations on wage garnishment in Nevada may be found under .

Levy Bank Accounts in Nevada

A levy means that the creditor has the right to take whatever money in a debtor’s account and apply the funds to the balance of the judgment. Again, the procedure for levying bank accounts, as well as what amount, if any, a debtor can claim as exempt from the levy, is governed by state law. Many states exempt certain amounts and certain types of funds from bank levies, so a debtor should review his or her state’s laws to find if a bank account can be levied. Some states call levy attachment or garnishment.

In Nevada, levy is allowed under Chapter 31 - Attachment, garnishment and other extraordinary remedies . The collection of monies by attaching or levying bank accounts is described under Funds transfers.

If you reside in another state, see the resource to learn more about the general rules for this remedy.

Lien in Nevada

A lien is an encumbrance — a claim — on a property. For example, if the debtor owns a home, a creditor with a judgment has the right to place a lien on the home, meaning that if the debtor sells or refinances the home, the debtor will be required to pay the judgment out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance. If the amount of the judgment is more than the amount of equity in your home, then the lien may prevent the debtor from selling or refinancing until the debtor can pay off the judgment.

Under Nevada statute, liens against a debtor are allowed. For more information on the types of liens allowable under Nevada law, please refer to .

If you reside in another state, see the article to learn more.

Nevada Statute of Limitations

Each state has its own statute of limitations for consumer-related issues. Here are some of Nevada’s statutes of limitations:

Account/Type Years Statute
Nevada statutes of limitations. Source:
Open Accounts 4*
Written contracts 6
Notes Payable 6
Consumer Lease 4
Warranties 6
Debt-Management Services 4
Nevada and Foreign Judgment 6 NRS 17.150 and 11.190(1)(a)
* Under , a credit card is defined as an open account. However, one circuit court interpreted this statute to mean a credit card account founded upon a written agreement qualifies for the 6-year statute of limitations (Marshall v. Kleppe, 637 F. 2d 1217, 1244 (9th Cir. 1980)). Reno and Las Vegas justice courts have reputations for applying 4-year SOL for credit card cases when plaintiff cannot provide written credit card application or agreement.

The statute of limitation clock starts when the contract is breached. Typically, this means 30 days after the date of the last full payment.

Harassed or Abused by a Debt Collector? Take Action/
Collection agents violate the if they file a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitation expired (Kimber v. Federal Financial Corp. 668 F.Supp. 1480 (1987) and Basile v. Blatt, Hasenmiller, Liebsker & Moore LLC, 632 F. Supp. 2d 842, 845 (2009)). Unscrupulous collection agents sue in hopes the consumer will not know this rule.

Nevada Spouse Liability For Debt and Community Property Law

Nevada is a community property state, which means courts presume the assets or liabilities acquired by the couple during marriage are community property.

Pre-marital debts do not become community property upon marriage, unlike other community property states (NRS 123.050). Therefore, Nevada seems to follow the idea of “separate” and “community” debt. Except for real estate purchases, both spouses have free reign to incur debt for which the community is responsible (Marine Midland Bank v Monroe, 104 Nev. 307, 756 P.2d 1193 (1988)). However, only half of a spouse’s wages are available to wage garnishment for premarital debt (Rodgers v Rodgers, 110 Nev. 1370, 887 P.2d 269 (1994); Lewis v Hicks, 108 Nev. 1107, 843 P.2d 828 (1992); contra, Phillips v Morrow, 104 Nev. 384, 760 P.2d 115 (1988)). (See the article Nevada Community Property to learn more.)

Nevada recognizes the doctrine of necessaries (NRS 123.090), which requires spouses to support each other with their separate property if no community property assets are available. The burden is higher on husbands than it is on wives (NRS 123.100). What is considered a "necessity" is defined narrowly by Nevada courts.

Nevada Mortgage Foreclosure

If you are at risk for foreclosure, check out the State of Nevada’s Hardest Hit Fund page. Nevada Chapter 1-7 — Deeds of Trust governs foreclosure and deficiency balances. Under Nevada law, the lender may recover any deficiency balance. However, if your servicer participates in the HAFA program, then it is barred from collecting a deficiency balance.

Nevada offers simple and effective foreclosure mediation for distressed homeowners who face foreclosure. See the State of Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program (FMP) pages at the Supreme Court of Nevada’s Web site for details. If you receive a Notice of Default (NOD), consult with a Nevada lawyer who has experience with FMP. Eligible homeowners have 30 days after receiving a NOD to request mediation. At minimum, working within the FMP puts a hold on foreclosure during the mediation process. Homeowners in the FMP are advised to continue to pay their property taxes and insurance.


Consult with an lawyer licensed in Nevada and experienced in civil litigation to get precise answers to your questions about liens, levies, garnishment, and foreclosure in Nevada. If you cannot afford a lawyer in Nevada, contact Nevada Legal Services or another Nevada pro bono program to find low- and no-cost legal advice.

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  • P
    Aug, 2021

    My bank loan thru WestStar CU has been frozen even though no judgement or lein has been awarded or submitted. I asked the bank why and they referred me to the collection agency and a lawer came to the phone and said he is the banks lawyer and its legal becasue my loan said the bank can force any late or owed payments. if that is true then why didnt the bank take the money to catch me up on the bill? I was 3 mo behind when sent to this collection company and never recd anything telling me this fact.

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2021

      Hello Paula,
      Thank you for reaching out. I am sorry you are going through this financial stress. Paula, I had reviewed this article and I was not able to answer your question directly. I was curious did you get a chance to ask the bank or collector this question? Also, do you still have a copy of your terms and conditions. There might be something to help explain these recent events. I know that if I miss a payment on my home loan the terms have expressed they can freeze the account and not accept payment unless I make up the payment plus more. I thinking you might have the same situation.

      Furthermore, if you are dealing with revolving credit you might want to check out our affiliate Freedom Debt Relief. They provide a wealth of options for those having issues making on-time payments. If you would like to learn more about them check out our website or call them directly at 800-852-1431.

      Regards, Josh

  • T
    Nov, 2020

    I have an outstanding debt for an ambulance ride from when I resided in Nevada 4 yrs ago (Feb 2016). This should have been covered by my insurance but was somehow overlooked and has just now popped up on my pristine credit report! I now live in TN. I’m wondering what the statute of limitations is on this debt and if it would be Nevada’s statute or Tennessee’s?

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2020

      Tonya, only a lawyer can provide legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I will share some information with you, but it is not legal advice,

      I believe that Nevada law would apply. Nevada's statute of limitations for debt on a written contract is 6 years. It so happens that it is also 6 years in Tennessee. SOL issues can be complicated. That means until 6 years have passed from the date of default, the SOL can't be claimed as a defense.

      There are acts that a person can take which extend the time on the SOL, by stopping the clock running for a period of time. Some states say you're unavailable when you leave the state. The statute of limitations clock pauses when you're unavailable for service of process. This pause is called “tolling” by lawyers. I am not saying the SOL is tolled in your case, but it is possible.

  • M
    Nov, 2020

    I had an auto loan from 2015 but volunteered gave it back in 2017 it has been charged off my credit report for 2 years. And the debt was sold to 2 different agencies then charged off and now a 3rd agency Is suing me for the balance owed.

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2020

      Misty, I am not an attorney, so please review the information I share but do not consider it legal advice.

      The statute of limitations on debt for a written contract in Nevada is 6 years. If you defaulted on the loan when you returned the car voluntarily in 2015, then the statute of limitations has not run out. The collector can sue you and will likely win a judgment against you.

      Do you know what the car sold for at auction? Do you have a clear understanding of the fees they are adding for the cost of auctioning it or anything else? I advise you seek a free consultation with an attorney, to get a clearer understanding of what you face and what options you have.

  • C
    Nov, 2020

    In 2007, we lost our jobs, our house and had to have my car repossessed. We moved to Ca to live with my in-laws while trying to get back in our feet. In 2010, a collection company for the car filed a suit, said I was served (which I don’t recall) and judgement was passed as I wasn’t there. We filed chapter 13 in 2011 and was dismissed in 2017. Since all of this, we finally were able to buy a home in 2015, where this all failed to show up! Along with 2 Refinances as well! Now, we are trying to sell and this judgment is now on the title. Is this legal? Can they attach this judgement to my home after the fact?

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2020

      Cammi, I will share some information, but your very reasonable question is asking for legal advice. I am not an attorney and only an attorney can give legal advice.

      It seems to me that the key question is did the creditor have a fair chance to participate in the Chpater 13. I believe this debt should have been visible to the bankruptcy trustee and the creditor would have been invited participate or to object. If so, then I believe you have ground to challenge the lien.

      If you worked with an attorney on this, contact the attorney. You can also check with the trustee.

  • J
    Oct, 2020

    I have an unpaid payday loan over 7 years old from Nevada. Isn’t the statue of limitations 6 years which means the collections agency doesn’t have any lawful rights to collect or pursue a judgement because they violate the FDCPA?

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2020

      Jeff, I am not a lawyer so can't give you the legal advice you seek.

      It is my understanding that a collection agent can't file suit once the SOL has passed in Nevada. I don't think that precludes them from saying you owe the debt and mailing you collection notice, though they may need to make it explicit that post-SOL debt can't result in a lawsuit. 

      Statute of limitations issues can be tricky. Consumers can take actions that stop the clock from running on the SOL or restart the clock. The fact that more time has elapsed since you defualted on the debt than the length of the SOL does not necessarily mean the SOL has passed. Speak with an attorney to who specializes in the FDCPA, searching online for "FDCPA attorney" and the name of your city.