home> real estate

Massachusetts Homestead Act

 The Massachusetts Homestead Act provides limited protection of the value of the home, up to $500,000, against unsecured creditor claims. The Massachusetts Homestead Act is General Laws (MGL) Chapter 188. The homestead act is designed to protect home ownership from execution and forced sale, so long as the owner or covered family member occupies or intends to occupy the property as his or her principal place of residence.


The declaration of homestead is filed at the Registry of Deeds for the county where the property is located. The Act has two sections under which a person may file. Under Section 1 an owner of a home may file for the benefit of his or her family. Although only one owner files, a declaration filed by one spouse benefits both, and their children. Under Section 1A, a person age 62 or older (or a disabled person) may declare an Elderly or Disabled Person's Homestead. The Section 1A homestead benefit does not extend to other family members, but each qualified owner may file separately. Upon filing a Declaration of Homestead in Massachusetts, the property is exempt from attachment, execution or forced sale for the payment of “non-exempted” debts.


The following is a list of problems that are not protected by the Homestead Act: federal, state and local taxes and liens; mortgages contracted for the purchase of the home and most other mortgages; debts and encumbrances existing prior to the filing of the declaration of Homestead; probate court executions for spousal or child support; attachments on land not owned by the owner of the homestead; and court ordered executions in cases of fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence, and lack of capacity.

personal injury

Personal Injury



will, estates & probate

Will & Estates

Real Estate

Real Estate

Criminal Law

Criminal Law

266 Main Street, Stoneham, MA 02180
Phone: (781) 438-6600 - Fax: (781) 942-7034 - richard.woods@comcast.net