Protection of Homeowner Equity for Declared Homesteads from Debt Collection Judgments

Question:
I tried to represent myself against a professional debt collection law firm on a debt that I thought would be easy to defeat at trial, when I could tell my side of the story. A few days ago, the court allowed a summary judgment against me on the debt, plus interest and attorney’s fees.  There is no trial anymore, the case is over.  Is there anything that I can do to protect my home, which has about $50,000 in equity, based on current market values?

My response:
Sorry to hear about the court ruling against you and awarding a judgment for all the items sought in the complaint by the debt collection law firm.  Most debt collection cases are decided without trial.  See my prior blog on this at this blog link.

Protecting the equity in your home from a money judgment (other than for child or spousal support) is pretty easy.  A homestead declaration is available online for FREE at Los Angeles County Government’s web site.  Form Link Declaration Otherwise, you can get one at the local law library or many mailbox stores with legal forms.  Prepare the form and take it to a notary public who will notarize your signature on the form, then you must record the original with the county recorder or county clerk’s office. Record the declaration as soon as possible, preferably before the debt collection law firm records its judgment in your county of residence.

The homestead declaration will protect the equity in your home, up to the statutory amounts.  For example, a single individual may keep up to $75,000 in homeowner’s equity.  Low income families can protect even more equity.  The funds must be applied towards another home, with a homestead declaration, purchased within six months of the sale of the former home.

There are other advantages to having the homestead declaration recorded. For instance, if the creditor attempts to sell the property of the judgment debtor, when a homestead declaration has been recorded, the court must presume that the homestead exemption applies.

I have other blog postings and a legal guide on Avvo.com to help you deal with other aspects of a money judgment, such as wage garnishment. Wage Garnishment Legal Guide. Please do this immediately, as it may only be a few days before the debt collection lawfirm records the abstract of judgment in your county.

Robert Stempler
www.StopCollectionLawsuits.com

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.