While home ownership has historically been considered a hallmark of the American Dream, financial distress and bankruptcy can reverse fortunes rather quickly. Fortunately, all states have laws intended to help struggling homeowners keep their primary residence when seeking bankruptcy protection.
Commonly referred to as homestead protection laws, these statutes allow property owners to declare a portion of their property a "homestead" and thus off limits to creditors. States limit the amount that may be exempted by acreage, property value, or a combination of the two, often allowing for a much greater exemption of rural properties. As long as the exemption is for your primary residence (i.e. not a vacation home), creditors may not seize it to satisfy debts.
The federal government also offers homestead protections, but property owners may not use both exemptions. Understanding your state's homestead laws will help you make an informed decision.
Brief Overview of New Hampshire Homestead Protection Laws
The state of New Hampshire provides up to $100,000 worth of property (based on equity) to be declared a homestead in the event of a bankruptcy. This amount may be doubled for married couples.
See FindLaw's Bankruptcy section for related articles.
|Code Section||480: 1|
|Max. Property Value That May Be Designated 'Homestead'||$100,000 ($200,000 for married couples)|
|Maximum Acreage (Urban)||-|
|Maximum Acreage (Rural)||-|
Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the enactment of new legislation, decisions from higher courts, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a New Hampshire zoning and land use attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Federal Homestead Exemptions at a Glance
New Hampshire imposes a $100,000 limit on homestead exemptions -- double that amount for married couples -- significantly more than 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 New Hampshire still allows a higher limit than the federal government (and you may not claim both exemptions).
Research the Law
New Hampshire Homestead Protection Law: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.