A new Homestead law went into effect on March 16, 2011:
Some of the highlights of the new law are as follows:
- As of March 16, 2011 all Massachusetts homeowners will receive an automatic homestead exemption of $125,000.00 for protection against certain creditor claims. By virtue of owning your home and using it as your principal residence you receive the $125,000.00 exemption.
- All Massachusetts homeowners who own a home as their primary residence are eligible for a $500,000.00 “declared homestead exemption” via a written declaration filed with the Registry of Deeds where the property is located.
- All existing estates of homestead in effect as of March 16, 2011 will continue in full force and effect notwithstanding the change in the homestead law. That means you do not need to re-file if you have already filed a homestead to have the full $500,000.00 protection.
- You do not have to re-file a homestead after a refinance.
- Homesteads can now be declared on 2 to 4 family homes and for homes held in Trust.
- In all mortgage transactions the closing attorney/settlement agent will have to provide the borrowers with written notice of the availability of an option for a “declared homestead exemption”.
A Questions and Answers pamphlet regarding the new Homestead Act and the new Homestead Forms are available at the Secretary of State’s website.