Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

June 26, 2008

Updating the Homestead Statute

by @ 4:12 pm. Filed under Homestead

The Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts (REBA) is confident that substantive amendments to existing homestead law will be enacted by the end of this legislative session. There are two major objectives of the proposed amendments. The first would clear up many of the ambiguities that currently plague homestead law such as the unintended termination of a homestead by an inter-family deed or by a refinanced mortgage, the automatic termination of an existing homestead by the filing of a subsequent declaration, the treatment of homesteads among multiple owners of property, both married and unmarried, and whether property in a trust can be the subject of a homestead. The second major change would make a certain amount of protection - $125,000 - automatic for every home owner although home owners could obtain the existing level of protection - $500,000 - by affirmatively filing a declaration at the registry of deeds. The law, if enacted, would operate retroactively, so if you already have a homestead you would not have to record a new one. These changes to homestead law are desperately needed. There is too much ambiguity and misinformation about this important consumer protection. Hopefully the legislature sees fit to enact it soon.

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