Massachusetts Homestead Protection

Massachusetts Homestead Protection

Homestead Protection is a type of protection for a person’s principal residence. A home in Massachusetts is automatically protected up to $125,000 in home equity without filing. However, homeowners in Massachusetts can protect their home, up to $500,000, for a fee, by filing a “Declaration of Homestead” with the Registry of Deeds in the county or district where the property is located.

The home, once declared, will be protected against attachment, seizure, execution on judgement, levy or sale for the payment of debts up to $500,000.

As the following are exempt from the homestead law, you will not be protected from:

  • a sale for federal, state and local taxes, assessments, claims, and liens
  • a mortgage on the home
  • an execution issued from the Probate Court to enforce its judgment that a spouse pay for the support of a spouse, former spouse or minor children
  • where buildings on land not owned by the owner of a homestead estate are attached, levied upon or sold for the ground rent of the lot where they stand
  • upon an execution issued from a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce its judgment based upon fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence or lack of capacity
  • a lien on the home recorded prior to the creation of the homestead.

The homestead declaration protects the homeowner from unsecured creditors and certain other debts and/or attachments. It does not offer protection from first or second mortgage lenders and/or equity lends who possess a security interest in the home. A homeowner runs the risk of losing the home if payments are not current.

To fully understand Homestead Declaration and your rights, please contact our office for a free consultation. 413-732-8356