If you have to file for bankruptcy or currently have serious debts in the state of Washington, you might just be in luck. Each state has their own homestead laws, but today, we are going to discuss the Washington homestead laws and how they might be of benefit to you as a homeowner.
Before we get into the details of Washington homestead laws, let’s take a look at the history behind them.
History of The U.S. Homestead Law
In 1862, The Homestead Act was created by a government that was trying to push its people to move westward. The Homestead Act gave people the opportunity to claim free land from the government, eventually leading to more than 270 million acres of public land being claimed. With this act in place, westward expansion became extremely desirable, as one could simply move west and claim 160 acre lots of land. Eventually, 1.6 million people took advantage of The Homestead Act. So you’re probably wondering, “Why would this act put in place way back in 1862 affect me today?”, and the answer is relatively simple; it has changed since its installation but retains its essential values.
Modern Homestead Laws In The United States
Today, homestead laws are much different than the original Homestead Act, and each state that may have once been covered by the original act have slightly altered the homestead law’s effect on their state. Homestead laws today can protect certain portions of a person’s property from being confiscated to settle debts like foreclosure. If someone finds themselves in a situation where their home is at risk of being taken or foreclosed on, they may be able to apply or declare their property as a “homestead” making it untouchable to unsecured creditors. Homestead laws are meant to protect the homeowner’s interests.
Our Homestead Laws in Washington
All western states have different takes or variations of the original homestead laws, but still, retain the ideologies that the original laws instilled. In Washington, homestead laws allow for a maximum exemption of $125,000 but do not so closely specify the amount of acreage.
While this may seem like a slam-dunk of a deal, there is a slight hitch. While you may feel extremely protected because you are secure from unsecured creditors, you are not protected from secured creditors like your mortgage holder. So make sure to pay your mortgage payments because even if you declare a homestead exemption, your lender can foreclose on your home.
You Have Options
Foreclosure can be a tricky problem to navigate and it’s important to know that in the state of Washington, you have options. When utilizing foreclosure exemptions keep in mind that if the federal exemption will better benefit you than the homestead exemption, you are able to utilize it. Keep in mind, the federal homestead exemption changes every three years, so be sure to check the status of the exemption before choosing.
Property exemptions can be hard, so if you need to, contact our real estate attorneys for help.
Contact Us For Real Estate Legal Assistance
At Pavithran Real Estate & Family Law firm, we have the most talented team of real estate attorneys that can provide you with the legal assistance that you need in order to file for an exemption to save your property from being seized or foreclosed. If you’re looking for a firm that practices real estate law in Issaquah, look no further, because we are here to help you with any legal real estate needs that you may have.
Contact us today for real estate legal assistance in the Issaquah area. We are ready to help you regain your peace of mind.