Homestead protection is available to Massachusetts homeowners and protects their equity from unsecured creditors. This is an essential law for any homeowner. The Massachusetts homestead law details below addresses the most important aspects of this law.
What Is Protected
Homeowners build equity in a home over the years. This equity may not be much in the first few years of ownership, but will increase to a larger amount over time. There are scenarios where creditors or other parties may go after that dollar value to cover a financial responsibility of an individual. Shielding it may be critical.
Should a parent who declared homestead passes away, the homestead law protects the right of the family to occupy the property. The equity in the residence (up to a certain amount) may not be used to pay off the unsecured debts of the deceased individual. This includes spouses and children. This is just one example of many different scenarios where homestead protection could save you from losing your home.
Massachusetts Homestead Law Details
Massachusetts property owners get protection of one-hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars (125,000) without filing any forms. A Declaration of Homestead may be filed at the registry of deeds in your county to extend the dollar value up to five hundred thousand dollars (500,000). The filing requires a specific form and payment of a small fee, which varies from county to county but is usually less than one-hundred (100) dollars. If you are buying a new property, your closing attorney will provide the information to you.
Homestead protection strictly applies to a primary residence. There are special provisions for persons over the age of sixty-two (62) and disabled individuals. The Homestead Law will not apply to all creditors or scenarios. Exceptions do apply, such as federal and local tax levies, mortgages on the real estate, and probate court decisions, just to name a few. For comprehensive information on this law, visit the Secretary of State website. The details in this article are offered as an introduction based on the facts available at the time it was written. It is subject to change without notice (as alterations may take place to the Homestead law). Please always consult with the website link above for current facts.