California Homestead Law

by Douglas Jacobs, Esq.

April 18, 2007

The Homestead protection laws will protect your home against most creditors, except consensual ones (mortgage companies, for example), up to the value of the homestead exemption. The amount of the exemption varies greatly from state to state.
In California, there are two kinds of Homestead exemptions. There is the automatic exemption, and an exemption created by recording a document. To record the homestead, a simple declaration of Homestead is filed with the county recorder’s office. If one isn’t recorded, California law grants an automatic Homestead to all California residents on their home. There are some differences between the two types of homesteads, but, for most people filing bankruptcy, the automatic exemption is sufficient.
The amount of the homestead is $50,000 for a single person; $75,000 for a married couple; and $150,000 for a disabled person, someone over 65, or someone over 55 living on gross income of $15,000 or less per year per ($20,000 if married).

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.

Last modified: December 22, 2012