Knowing your rights as a homeowner gives you leverage

As someone who is aging, you may worry about being able to make your payments on time for your home. If something goes wrong, will you be kicked out of your house? Are any of your rights as a homeowner protected?

New York has homestead protection laws that could help people in that situation. According to the laws, small property owners can protect their equity if they have to go through bankruptcy. Additionally, those facing foreclosure can actually state that part of the property is a homestead and protected against a sale. People can protect between $75,000 and $150,000 worth of personal homestead property. Married couples receive double the amount of protection.

These laws help protect people from losing their properties when they're facing hard times. It's good for those trying to avoid foreclosure or losing their properties. Tenants aren't usually protected in these cases, which is something to consider. Homestead laws are aimed at protecting the elderly or disabled who may be otherwise forced to leave their homes if faced with foreclosure or eviction.

Remember that if you have a property with a tenant, your tenant may not be protected against eviction during a foreclosure or bankruptcy. The homestead laws typically only apply to your primary residency, not to other properties you have.

No matter what your situation may be, there's someone who can help you understand your legal options. Our website has more on real estate transactions and what to expect when you own property. With good knowledge, you can help protect yourself, your investments and the life you've built for yourself.