Lowell Deeds

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

July 15, 2008

New Homestead Legislation

by @ 10:41 am. Filed under Homestead

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly published an editorial in yesterday’s edition calling on the state legislature to act upon Senate Bill 2653 which would enact some fundamental reforms of the Commonwealth’s homestead statute. The proposed amendment would clear up two of the major ambiguities that now exist: whether a new homestead must be filed after refinancing (the amendment says “no”) and whether property held in trust can be the subject of a declaration of homestead (the amendment says “yes”). Additionally, the new law would allow the protection offered by an earlier filed homestead to continue once a new homestead was recorded. Under current law, the filing of a new homestead voids a prior homestead, so debts that came after the first homestead but before the second slip outside the homestead’s protection when the second one is filed. The new law would eliminate this inequity. The new law would also extend the homestead’s protection to the proceeds of insurance or a taking that converted the house to cash. It would even extend to the proceeds of a sale provided they were re-invested in a new home within a certain period of time. If for no other reason than to clarify the “new homestead after refinancing question”, we hope the legislature acts rapidly on this bill.

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