Oregon Homestead Laws
Declaring bankruptcy is a sad time in many people’s lives. Fortunately, going bankrupt doesn’t mean you have to lose everything. If you own and live in a home, you can claim it as your “homestead.” States create homestead laws to limit the value and size of land you can claim as exempt from a bankruptcy or other court judgments.
However, there are circumstances where the homestead exemption won’t help you. For example, in Oregon, the homestead exemption won’t help you with the following debts:
- Construction liens for labor or materials for improving the homestead property
- Purchase money liens or mortgages on the homestead property
- Land sale contracts for the property
- Child support judgments, at the discretion of the judge considering factors such as the resources of both parents, ages & needs of the children, new family supported by the debtor, etc.
The table below outlines the main homestead laws in Oregon.
|Code Sections||Oregon Revised Statutes Sections 18.395 to 18.422 – Homesteads|
|Maximum Property Value That May Be Designated 'Homestead'||The maximum property value that can be claimed is $40,000 or $50,000 if there are two or more household members who are debtors with an interest in the homestead.|
|Maximum Acreage (Urban)||Oregon limits the homestead exemption in an urban area to 1 block. An urban area is defined as any town or city with property portioned off into blocks and lots.|
|Maximum Acreage (Rural)||The maximum amount of land that can be claimed outside a town or city with blocks or lots is 160 acres. However, note that the 160 acres would have to have a maximum value of less than $40,000 to $50,000, which is unlikely even in rural areas.|
If you’re concerned about your debts, you should seek help with a local credit counseling agency. Credit counseling can help you maintain a budget and put yourself back on track. If you need legal advice on homestead laws or representation in a bankruptcy or other debt case, you need to speak with an Oregon debtor lawyer. Or, if you’re worried about losing your home due to a different type of real estate issue, you should speak with a local, experienced real estate lawyer.
Note: State laws are updated frequently, ao it’s important to contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you’re reviewing.
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