Facing a mound of bills can be extremely stressful. The decision to declare bankruptcy can be in your best interests, but that doesn’t stop it from being a very sad time. Fortunately, a bankruptcy doesn’t mean you have to lose everything. When you own your own home and live in it as your primary residence, you can claim it as your “homestead.”
State homestead laws limit the value and size of the property you can claim as exempt from bankruptcy and other court judgments, such as credit card debts. The following chart details the homestead protection laws in Mississippi.
|Code Sections||Mississippi Code Title 85, Chapter 3: Exempt Property, which includes Homestead Exemption|
|Maximum Property Value That Can Be Designated “Homestead”||The most a debtor can save in bankruptcy for his or her land and the buildings on it is $75,000. However, the value of any liens or taxes, such as a mortgage or construction lien, is first deducted from the property value to determine if it’s above or below the $75,000 maximum.
However, married couples can double their exemption only if they live in separate residences. If over 60 years old, you can claim the homestead exemption even if not living there, for example if your spouse is living in a nursing home.
For a mobile home or manufactured home you live in, you can protect up to $30,000 of equity, but you can’t double up the homestead exemption and mobile home exception.
|Maximum Acreage||Some states have a different set maximum acreage for the homestead exemption depending on whether the property is in a rural or urban area. In Mississippi, it’s just one set maximum of 160 acres.
However, even with no acreage limit, urban real estate is typically more expensive. The value of an acre in the Eastover neighborhood of Jackson would be worth substantially more than an acre in Holmes County, which has the lowest life expectancy of any county in the U.S.
If you have questions about these homestead laws or need representation in a bankruptcy or other debt case, you should speak with a Mississippi debtor lawyer. If your debts are a growing concern for you and your family, please seek the help of a local credit counseling agency. Credit counseling can help you develop and maintain a budget that puts you back on track.
For other real estate problems that are making you worry about your ability to keep your home, you should speak with an experienced real estate lawyer.
Note: State laws change all the time, it’s important to verify these homestead laws by conducting your own legal research or contacting an attorney.
Research the Law
Contact a qualified attorney.