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Declarations of Homestead

Massachusetts General Law ch. 188, §1 establishes a homeowner’s right to protect from creditors up to $500,000.00 in equity in their primary residence. Once properly drafted and recorded in the Registry of Deeds in the county of the declarant’s primary residence, the Homestead protects the declarant from liquidating equity in declarant’s primary residence to satisfy certain debts or liens. A Declaration of Homestead does not protect a homeowner against federal, state and local taxes, assessments, claims and liens; first and second mortgages held by financial institutions and others; any and all debts,encumbrances or contracts existing prior to the filing of the declaration of Homestead; an execution issued from the probate court to enforce its judgment that a spouse pay for the support of a 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 whereon they stand. The Massachusetts Homestead statute can be viewed at the following link: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/188-1.htm. The Massachusetts Homestead statute for elderly or disabled persons can be viewed at the following link: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/188-1a.htm

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