Stephen J. Murphy

Register of Deeds

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Homestead

 

In recent years, the Massachusetts State Legislature, in its wisdom, has amended the Homestead Laws, M.G.L., Ch. 188, substantially increasing its protection to homeowners. It is now available to single as well as married homeowners, with or without children, so long as the home is the principal residence of the owner.

Effective October 25, 2000, the protection under the Homestead Act has been increased to $500,000.00 of the equity in the home from future creditors' attachments, levy on execution and sale. Not exempt are prior existing debts and debts owed for State, Federal, or Real Estate taxes, or Court Orders for support of a spouse or minor children. In addition, the Legislature has also made available an alternative Homestead exemption, if the owner of the principal residence is at least sixty-two (62) years of age, or is permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age. This exemption is for $500,000.00 for each qualified individual owner, EACH OF WHOM must file separately, that is, $1,000,000.00 for two owners, for example, husband and wife. To claim a Homestead exemption for a permanently physically or mentally disabled homeowner, the Homestead form must be accompanied by a letter signed by a Massachusetts Licensed Physician certifying that the person meets the disability requirements for the Supplemental Security Income under the Provision of 42 U.S.C, 1382c(2)(3)(A). For a filing fee of $35.00 for Recorded Land or Registered Land, the Homestead Form can be recorded or registered in the Registry of Deeds for the District wherein the property lies. The Suffolk County Registry of Deeds covers real estate in Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.

To obtain the appropriate form and further information, your should contact your attorney directly. The forms are also available at the various Registries of Deeds and via this web site. The Suffolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 24 New Chardon Street, P.O. Box 9660, Boston MA 02114-9660.

Copyright 1999 Suffolk  Registry of Deeds.;   All Rights Reserved.