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If a debtor in Illinois is married but legally separated and owns a home and her name is XXXXX XXXXX name on the deed. The home has equity of $22,000 and the homestead exemption in the state is. Illinois Homestead Exemption Real or personal property including a farm, lot, & buildings, condo, co-op, or mobile home to $15,000 (husband and wife may double) My question is being that she is still married can she double the exemption and protect the home? She will be filling separably.
The answer depends on whether any of the house's equity belongs to the husband - in spite of the fact that the deed is in the wife's name only.
This would depend on when the house was purchased, and what funds were used to purchase the house.
Each spouse is entitled to a $15,000 exemption - which can be applied to the equity belonging to each spouse only.
If the entire $22,000 equity belongs to the wife, she cannot double the exemption to protect the entire $22,000 equity.
This would be so even if she were filing jointly with her husband.
The key is how much - if any - of the house's equity is marital property, and how much - if any - of the equity is separate property.