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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I live in California and am over 65 and have been diagnosed

Customer Question

I live in California and am over 65 and have been diagnosed with cancer,
can an unsecured creditor force my house to be sold.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am very sorry for your situation. While your diagnosis is unfortunate, it does not "add" to one's rights to securing assets against judgment. Let us say that they sue and get a judgment against you. CA deems protection of a family home very important and it is stated: "the Legislature shall protect, by law, from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families." Article 20, Section 1.5.

Accordingly, CA provides two ways to protect one's home via something called homestead.

Under the automatic homestead exemption, a home cannot be sold to satisfy a money judgment if that judgment is less than the exempt amount plus amounts necessary to satisfy all liens and encumbrances on the property. This is under CCP §704.800.

Under the declared homestead exemption, a homeowner may employ the protection of the homestead laws is to declare a homestead and keep the home. The declaration must state that the homestead is the principal dwelling of the declared homestead owner. One can often save their house this way.

For more on BOTH the automatic and declared homstead exemptions, see HERE. This explains it in detail. So it depends on the amount of money in a judgment as well as other nuanced details.

Good luck.

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