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A Homestead Declaration is a tool available to Nevada homeowners to protect equity in a primary residence (up to a maximum of $550,000.00) from general creditor claims such as medical bills, charge card debts, business/personal loans, and accidents, thereby exempting that value from final process of any court or forced sale or seizure.
Historically, the Legislature has acted to protect homeowners by raising the statutory maximum during times of significant economic growth. The current statutory maximum homestead protection is $550,000.00 (set in 2007). Although housing prices settled considerably during the recession, they have recovered and already exceed the peak from 2007-2008. Over the past five years, Nevada has had the highest appreciation rate in the country at an average of 12.45 percent per year and is projected to continue at similar levels.
As such, a 10% increase is needed to raise the statutory maximum exemption to $605,000, ensuring that equity protection remains in line with the projected growth in property value in the state over the next five years. The Legislature meets every other year, so if the body does not act now, property owners will have to wait an additional two years while home values continue to soar.
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 115.050 authorizes the amount of the Homestead exemption which currently sits at $550,000 set in 2007. A recent history of the exemption reveals that it was increased from $95,000 to $125,000 in 1995, to $200,000 in 2003, to $350,000 in 2005, and to $550,000 in 2007 during the height of the real estate bubble.
An individual may only claim one residence as his or her Homestead and the Declaration may be filed at any time before a sheriff's sale. While the Homestead exemption does protect the homeowner against most claims, it does not protect home equity from child support or alimony obligations, taxes, IRS liens, repayment of benefits, and/or mechanic's liens and debts secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on the home. The exemption extends to 2nd or subsequent mortgages and home equity loans.
This is not a North/South issue. A number of homeowners at both ends of the state find themselves in very valuable homes after having invested modestly in properties several decades ago. Properties from Lake Tahoe through the Truckee Meadows have appreciated significantly, as have home values in Summerlin and Henderson. As these values increase, homeowners find themselves more and more at risk of liens or lawsuits over the equity in their homes, based entirely on factors outside their control.
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Thank you for reading and for your support, from the whole team at Hear the People