All states have some type of statutory homestead exemption to help struggling homeowners avoid losing their primary residence. When a property owner files for bankruptcy, he or she may claim a certain portion of their equity as a homestead and thus off limits to creditors.
Without these protections, creditors may seize homes to repay debts, leaving their owners homeless. States limit the amount that may be exempted by acreage, property value, or a combination of the two, sometimes allowing for a much greater exemption of rural properties. The federal government also offers homestead protections, which actually cover more types of property than most state laws, but only one exemption may be claimed.
Brief Overview of Alaska Homestead Protection Laws
Unlike most states, Alaska does not impose an acreage limit for homestead exemptions. The state allows homestead exemptions of up to $72,900, but does not allow married couples to double that amount. Alaska's homestead exemption applies to one's primary residence (not a vacation home or second property). There are no extra steps that need to be taken in order to claim this exemption, since it is applied automatically during a bankruptcy proceeding.
While Alaska law generally limits debtors to the state exemption, federal courts have ruled that Alaskans may use the federal exemption instead if they choose.
See FindLaw's Bankruptcy section for related articles.
|Max. Property Value That May Be Designated 'Homestead'||$72,900|
|Maximum Acreage (Urban)||-|
|Maximum Acreage (Rural)||-|
Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, higher court decisions, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact an Alaska bankruptcy law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Federal Homestead Exemptions at a Glance
Alaska has a $72,900 limit on homestead exemptions, more than three times the federal exemption amount of $22,975 (current as of 2015). Additionally, the federal exemption may be applied to burial plots and mobile homes as well as homes. Married couples may double this exemption to $45,950, but Alaska still allows a higher limit than the federal government (and you may not claim both exemptions).
Research the Law
Alaska Homestead Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.