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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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