The Massachusetts homestead protection act is one of the biggest no brainers for any homeowner in Massachusetts to take advantage off. The Homestead law for Massachusetts was changed in 2010 and is completely summarized in the link above. The protection was extended to more than the summary items below.
Quite simply, an estate of homestead is protection for a persons residence. The declaration of homestead protects your equity in your home for up to $500,000 in the event you are sued. In other words, if you are sued, $500,000 of your equity could not be touched by an attachment and subsequent levy on execution of sale.
The form is filed at the registry in the county that your home is located in. For example, if you live in Hopkinton MA you would file the homestead at the Middlesex registry of deeds in Cambridge. If you are a family it only needs to be filed by one person and the other spouse is protected as well.
There are somethings that the homestead declaration does not protect against.
The following are exempt from the Homestead Law:
- Federal, state and local taxes, assessments, claims, and liens;
- Mortgages used to purchase the residence, and in the case of the elderly homestead, first and second mortgages held by financial institutions or others;
- An execution issued from the Probate Court to enforce its judgment that a spouse pay for the support of a spouse or minor children;
- Where buildings on land not owned by the declarant of a Homestead estate are attached, levied upon or sold for the ground rent of the lot whereon they stand;
- Upon an execution issued from a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce its judgment based upon fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence or lack of capacity;
- Debts contracted prior to the acquisition of the homestead.
The protection only extends to one primary residence. You can not have homestead protection on multiple properties.
About the Author: The above Real Estate information on getting Massachusetts homestead protection was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-435-5356.
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