Massachusetts Homestead Lawyer for Declaration Filing – How We Help Protect Clients from Losing their Home to Creditors
Helping clients in Burlington, Lexington, Cambridge, Arlington, and throughout Massachusetts preserve their homestead rights
The Massachusetts Homestead Act automatically protects the value of an owner’s home, up to a maximum home value of $125,000, from most unsecured creditor claims. This means that unsecured creditors cannot force a sale of your house in order to satisfy their claims so long as the value of your house is less than $125,000, and you (or a covered family member) are occupying the house.
Under the Homestead Act this amount can be increased by filing a Written Declaration of Homestead at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the house is located. Upon the filing of such Declaration, the amount of protection increases to $500,000, and may be higher for people who are age 62 or older, or who are defined as “disabled” under the Act.
What Types of Claims are Not Exempt from the Homestead Declaration?
A Declaration of Homestead does not protect homeowners against having their home levied (or sold) in order to satisfy certain types of claims, including:
- federal, state, and local taxes and liens;
- mortgages contracted for purchase of the home and most other mortgages;
- debts and encumbrances existing prior to the filing of the Declaration of Homestead;
- probate court executions for spousal or child support;
- attachments on land not owned by the owner of the homestead;
- probate court executions for child support and spousal support; and
- court-ordered executions in cases of fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence, and lack of capacity.
We Prepare and File Homestead Declarations on Behalf of our Clients
All Massachusetts homeowners should file a Declaration of Homestead as soon as possible after purchasing a home, particularly because it could protect much or all of the equity in your home from creditors.
We will prepare and file a Declaration of Homestead on behalf of clients who may have previously purchased a home but have not yet filed a Declaration so that they make take maximum advantage of the protection afforded under the Homestead Act.
If you own a home and have not yet filed a Declaration of Homestead, call our office and we will prepare and file a Declaration of Homestead for you.