The Massachusetts Homestead Act allows a homeowner to shield up to $500,000.00 of the homeowner’s principal residence from claims by creditors, thereby discouraging or preventing attempts by creditors to seize and force a sale of the home to satisfy a debt. Changes in the Homestead Act for 2011 make it more beneficial than ever to file for protection.
The Act provides increased protection for the principal residence of homeowners over the age of 62, as well as those who are disabled (within the meaning of the statue) – each such person is individually eligible for protection in the amount of $500,000.00. There are additional filing requirements for disabled persons.
While there are certain classes of debt and creditors (such as your mortgage holder) that a Homestead Declaration will not protect you against, it is generally a good idea to file for homestead protection. If you would like this office to prepare a Declaration of Homestead, please advise us prior to closing. The fee of $100.00 to prepare the Declaration of Homestead will be waived in connection with this closing. However, this does not include the recording fee charged by the Registry of Deeds.
If you are refinancing and you have never before filed for homestead protection, the service described above is available to you as well.