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Homestead Act Questions

The Homestead Act was first enacted during the Civil War in 1862, allowing applicants to claim free farmland called a “homestead”. Today, it has undergone a number of changes and many states have different laws. But the law still seeks to protect the property of real estate owners who file for homestead protection for various reasons. Listed below are a few questions answered by Experts about the Homestead Act.

I might default in payment with my house in Florida and want to be sure that I can at least protect my Connecticut house. Can you let me know if Connecticut has a Homestead Act?

As a state, Connecticut offers only moderate protection for homestead and has nothing remarkable about it from a debtor-creditor’s point of view. The exemption limit for homestead is $75,000.

In Connecticut, does the Homestead Act give a homeowner a credit or exemption of any kind on his real estate taxes?

No. Again, in Connecticut, the Homestead Act protects the equity in the house and only up to $75,000.00.

In Nevada, does the Homestead Act offer protection against credit card creditors?

According to the Nevada Homestead Act, equity in a homestead should be protected up to $550,000. The Act does not protect the owners of the house from a deed of trust or mortgage (including seconds) recorded before the homestead. You would also need a recorded Declaration of Homestead per Nevada law NRS 115. In addition, you can’t file liens (judgments) against Nevada homesteaded properties as ruled by the Nevada Supreme Court in In re: Contrevo.

My primary home has a mortgage of $800,000 and I have a Homestead Act filed on it. In the event the bank decides to foreclose on my home, I want to know what would happen since the Homestead Act is limited to $500,000.

If a lender has a lien on your house securing the mortgage, the homestead exemption most likely will not protect you from foreclosure. The exemption may only protect your home against other creditors. Therefore, the lender should be entitled to foreclose in the event that you default on the mortgage.

In Arizona, can the Homestead Act prevent someone from taking your home away in a situation where the home is sold and then the owner changes his mind?

If the owner of the property has signed a contract of sale that is valid, the Homestead Act can do nothing about it since the owner is bound by that contract. If the owner decides not to sell, the buyer can then use the contract, which includes the right to have a judge, to force the sale.

In Texas, what does the Homestead law say?

The law basically protects your primary residence from being attached or taken over by creditors to pay off judgment debts. It also allows for someone to safeguard rural property less than 200 acres and any urban property without placing a limit on the property value.

If you would like to read more on the Texas Homestead Act, visit: http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Oct/1/126857.html

Understanding homestead law in your state is important so you understand what your rights are as a homeowner when faced with demands from creditors.
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Recent Homestead Questions

  • Selling a Tx home, designated homestead, inherited by widow

    Selling a Tx home, designated homestead, inherited by widow whose spouse died intestate. Spouse's children are due half sales proceeds (community property). Besides the taxes the widow has paid since her husband's death, what else do the children have to pay her half of from their portion of the sale? Since spouse died, widow has paid for all repairs and upkeep, to include new water heater, new roof, new concrete patio and roof cover, and more.
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  • I have old credit card debt, doesnt appear on credit scoring

    I have old credit card debt, doesnt appear on credit scoring agencies, am thinking about acquiring property. What is my exposure if I get property to judgements against me?
  • I am interested in buying a condo property located in Montana

    I am interested in buying a condo property located in Montana at a foreclosure auction, though the current owner has two lis pendens filed against the deed. If I am the successful purchaser, will these lis pendens be removed when the trustee's deed is recorded, or under Montana law, do I risk losing the house because the creditors could now seize the property from me (please include the Montana Code citation applicable)? The owner has also recently filed a homestead exemption, though the property is worth more than the $250K exemption amount. Do I need to worry about that? Can the homeowners association come after me for nonpayment of condo fees incurred by the previous owner?
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