We’ve been following the decade old attempt to modernize the Massachusetts Homestead Act, and are happy to report Gov. Patrick signed it into law last Thursday. The law provides up to $500,000 in creditor protection, but you need to record a Declaration of Homestead with your county Registry of Deeds. Contact us and we’ll prepare and file it for you!
- 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 Mass. 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.
- The existing “elderly and disabled” homestead will remain available at $500,000.
- If you have a homestead as a single person, and get married, the homestead automatically protects 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. There’s always been confusion here, with lenders requiring homeowners to either subordinate or release homesteads. 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.
Click here to read our prior posts on the new Massachusetts Homestead Law.