Massachusetts Homestead provides a simple and inexpensive way to protect the equity in your primary residence for up to $500,000 in certain creditor’s claims. Now the Legislature has passed the long awaited revisions to the Massachusetts Homestead Act giving homeowners expanded protection. The bill was signed on Dec.17, 2010 and became law on March 18, 2011.
Here is summary of highlights of the new law:
- All Massachusetts homeowners will receive an automatic homestead exemption of $125,000 for protection against certain creditor claims on their principal residence without having to do anything.
- All Massachusetts residents are eligible for a $500,000 “declared homestead exemption” by filing a declaration of homestead at the registry of deeds. For married couples, both spouses will now have to sign the form–which is a change from prior practice.
- Homesteads are now available on 2-4 family homes, and for homes in trust.
- You do not have to re-file a homestead after a refinance. Under the new law, homesteads are automatically subordinate to mortgages, and lenders are specifically prohibited from having borrowers waive or release a homestead.
- Closing attorneys in mortgage transactions must now provide borrowers with a notice of availability of a homestead.
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The Homestead Act