The Massachusetts Homestead Law - What You Need To Know
The Massachusetts Homestead Act was updated in 2010 to include up to $500,000 in creditor protection. Be sure to contact your attorney for more information on how this law may apply to you. Here are some highlights of the revised law:
• All Massachusetts homeowners will receive an homestead exemption of $125,000 for protection against certain creditor claims on their principal residence without having to do anything.
• All Massachusetts residents can declare up to a $500,000 exemption. You must file a declaration of homestead at the registry of deeds. For married couples, both spouses will now have to sign the form. This is a change from prior practice.
• Homestead declarations are now available on 2 to 4 family homes, and also for homes that are in trust.
• No change to the “elderly and disabled” homestead will remain available at $500,000.
• Individuals who have a homestead declaration who then marry will automatically protect your new spouse! Homesteads now pass on to the surviving spouse and children who live in the home.
• You do not have to re-file a homestead after a refinance. Homesteads are now automatically subordinate to mortgages, and lenders are specifically prohibited from having borrowers waive or release a homestead.
• Real estate closing attorneys in mortgage transactions must now provide borrowers with a notice of availability of a homestead.