Last month I was wondering about my personal liabilities and did I have my important assets adequately protected. One of my most important assets is the home I own and live in. I remember that my real estate agent, mortgage broker, and even the title company would make sure they reminded me about the importance of filling out my “Nevada Declaration of Homestead” form. It seemed like it was always mentioned by and promoted by real estate professionals and related industry professionals. I don’t believe that is the norm today. If your reading this and have a question mark in your head right now, then you might want to go to the county recorders office and verify that you have this document on file.
I realized I had that big question mark in my head as well. I also understood new homeowners had Homestead Laws available to them for protection of the equity in their homes. I just wasn’t sure if I filed my “Nevada Declaration of Homestead” form in the first place. Normally the form is filed with the county recorders office, right when you first purchase your home. For some reason I totally forgot, and I’ve been in my home for over 10 years. Panic!!! I went to a satellite office for the “Clark County Recorders Office” and asked them if I filed the form. I found out that I had not! It took me about 30 minute to complete the form and have it recorded and I was out the office. They actually had a notary in the office as well. Great service!!! Why was this important to me and maybe important to you?
I got this directly off of the Clark County Webpage (http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/depts/assessor/services/pages/Homestead.aspx):
WHAT THE LAW PROVIDES:
When you record a Declaration of Homestead, Nevada law protects the equity in your home up to $550,000 from general creditor claims (unpaid medical bills, bankruptcy, charge card debts, business/personal loans, accidents) but would not preclude a seizure or forced sale of your residence from general creditors if your equity exceeds the $550,000. A creditor may file suit and can record a judgment lien against any real property you own. Recording a Declaration of Homestead protects your principal residence up to the statutory maximum. For example, if the value of your home is $645,000 and you have a first mortgage of $485,000 plus a second mortgage of $10,000, the equity is $150,000.
WHAT IS NOT PROTECTED:
The Homestead law does not protect you against debts secured by a mortgage or deed of trust, payment of taxes, IRS lien, mechanic’s lien, child support or alimony payments.
Don’t be like me and wait 10 years to file a “Declaration of Homestead”. It cost just $17 and a little time out of your life to secure up to $500,000 of protection for your home. I’m not an asset protection specialist but this is a basic, easy solution that the state of Nevada provides you.
Also those of you who may be in other states other than Nevada, you might have something similar. Check with your state or county offices.
702-862-9506 / firstname.lastname@example.org: Steve
702-499-7826 / email@example.com: Kimba