Most states allow property owners to declare a portion of their home a "homestead" and thus protected from creditors, which helps keep a roof over the heads of homeowners who are having financial difficulties. Specifically, homestead laws prevent forced sales of debtors' primary residences, which typically come into play after a bankruptcy filing. Generally, Tennessee property owners may designate up to $5,000 worth of their property as a homestead, or $7,500 if it involves more than one debtor.
According to Tennessee statute, the homestead exemption "shall not be subject to execution, attachment, or sale under legal proceedings during the life of the individual." Wherever a marital relationship is present, homestead protections may not be waived without consent of the other spouse.
|Max. Property Value That May Be Designated 'Homestead'||$5,000 or $7,500 if more than one debtor is subject to liability|
|Maximum Acreage (Urban)||-|
|Maximum Acreage (Rural)||-|
Note: State laws are constantly changing. We make every effort to keep our state law listings up-to-date, but you may also want to contact a Tennessee debtor-creditor attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Homestead Protections for Older Tennessee Homeowners
Tennessee offers additional protections for unmarried homeowners over the age of 62, who are entitled to a homestead exemption of up to $12,500. To qualify, the individual must use the property as his or her principle place of residence. The homeowner can take an exemption of up to $20,000 if married to someone younger than 62, and $25,000 if both are over 62. In addition, a homeowner of any age with custody of at least one minor child also is entitled to an exemption of up to $25,000.
Federal Homestead Protections
Tennessee property owners may choose to take the federal homestead exemption when filing for bankruptcy, but may not take both federal and state exemptions. Federal homestead exemptions protect a portion of your equity from creditors.
Research the Law
Tennessee Homestead Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.