Homestead exemption acts are active in most states. They are designed to protect homeowners from creditors and provide the right to stay in the home for the surviving spouse, minor children and unmarried children of a deceased owner. States differ on what debts the home is protected from and the monetary value that can be exempted.
Connecticut began enacting exemption laws in the 1700s and began modernizing them in 1977. The motor vehicle exemption established in 1983 has not been adjusted since. The homestead exemption was established in 1993 with an exemption amount of $75,000.
Updates To The Law
In 2003, Connecticut raised the exemption amount to $125,000 for judgments and debt related to medical treatment. The act also provides provisions for interest in personal property up to $1,000.
How it Works
The Connecticut Homestead Exemption law is based upon the fair-market value and equity value of a home. The law permits a debtor to exclude his home from the execution of a judgment up to a value of $75,000, or $125,000 if the debt is the result of a medical-related bills.
Exceptions and Limits
The value protected under Connecticut law is doubled if the home is owned jointly by both spouses. In that case, the exemption for a homestead would be valued at $150,000, or $250,000 if the debt was the result of a hospital or medical bills. The exemption law in Connecticut does not protect the homeowner from debt related to taxes, mortgages, statutory liens and consensual liens.
National Homestead Laws Past and Present
When the original Homestead Act was passed in 1862, it was designed to encourage settling and protect home ownership in the new frontier of the west. By 1934, over 1.5 million applications for homesteads had been processed covering over 10% of all land in the United States. In 1976, Congress passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act which repealed the national Homestead Act in the 48 continental states and granted Alaska a 10-year extension on claims. This repeal led to individual states enacting their own homestead laws to protect homeowners.
Mark Berger has been writing since 2010, with most of his work appearing at Answerbag. Berger has a Bachelor of Science in liberal arts, concentrating on advertising, marketing and creative writing. He graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta.