Do You Know if You Have a Homestead?

 

In 2020 we did a video about homesteads and what they’re for (you can find that linked below). But in a nutshell, homesteads allow homeowners to protect the value of their property, most commonly from issues with creditors. It’s a good preventative measure just in case something goes awry.

How might you find out if you have a homestead when you’re not sure? Well, you can check the closing papers from your purchase for a homestead declaration recording fee. But you can also check the online registry of deeds (we have a video on that too).

If you have any further questions about homesteads, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Homesteads video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCscq…

Registry how-to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdJ2-…

Search for yourself: https://www.masslandrecords.com/

Copyright © 2021 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.​

Keep It, Scan It, or Shred It?

What do I keep and what do I shred?

Documents related to the purchase of your home, including your settlement sheet, your promissory note, home inspection report, and title insurance policy are some important things you should keep.

Documents like a deed, homestead, and mortgage are public records and can be freely accessed in most counties in Massachusetts. No need to save hard copies.

For a refinance, the discharge document is the most important to keep on file.

Utilize scanning to keep your documents digital!

If you have any questions about the importance of keeping documents, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

How to Protect Your Home with a Homestead Declaration

What is a homestead declaration? What might you need it for?

This is a good opportunity to be proactive instead of reactive. A homestead declaration is for a homeowner to protect the equity of their home—or the difference between the value of the home and the value of their debt. Your equity may come into question when dealing with a creditor because most people’s net worth is in their home.

In MA your equity is protected up to $125,000. Beyond that, you can file homestead declaration to increase the amount.

Whether you’ll need it or not is unpredictable, so it’s a smart idea to be protected ahead of time. Watch on to hear what a homestead declaration can’t protect you against.

If you have any questions about homestead declarations and how to file one, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Forgiveness vs. Forbearance

What is the difference between forgiveness and forbearance? Simply put, forgiveness is the elimination of debt, while forbearance is the act of putting off payment, though interest does accrue.

When dealing with forbearance, be clear about whether your service provider or lender will require the full amount due at the end of the forbearance period or if they will add it to the end of the loan. Either way, pay what you can along the way in order to lessen the blow of a lump sum when the time comes.

Look for a short sale scenario video in the future to hear what happens when the amount owed exceeds the value of your property.

If you have any questions about loan forgiveness or forbearance, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.