Published on:

What’s a Homestead Exemption?


Wondering about what homestead exemptions are? (See Steve Duin’s column in May 15th, 2008 Oregonian, Sleeping dogs and the Berkman trial.)

Note: Exemptions generally, in the context of debtor-creditor law (bankruptcy, debt collection, etc.) can get very tricky, so if you are more than curious, i.e. you are looking your creditors in the eye or over your shoulder, please consult a legal professional for advice.

1) Wikipedia, Homestead Exemption

2) For Oregon, visit the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) and use the index to find the section you need.

3) If you need to survey all 50 states, start here. Or, check your own state’s statutes from, e.g., Findlaw’s Official State Codes link.

4) Or, start with the Oregon State Bar overview. Excerpt:

“If two or more members of a household are judgment debtors, each person is entitled to claim these exemptions in the same or different property. A judgment debtor’s government benefits are normally totally exempt from execution. There is also an Oregon exemption (sometimes call the “Homestead Exemption”) available for the equity a person has in their residence if the residence is located within the state of Oregon.
The exemption amounts for different types of residences (for example, mobile homes on a rented pad, a mobile home on owned real property, or a traditional residence built on a foundation) vary depending on the type of residence you have, and are complex. You may want to consult with an attorney to determine what exemption value (if any) you have in your home or other property when faced with a judgment or the need to file bankruptcy.

In most cases, the judgment amount must exceed $3,000 before a judgment creditor can force the sale of a judgment debtor’s residence (the judgment remains a lien on the property, however)….” (full article here)

Published on:

One response to “What’s a Homestead Exemption?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I might be forced into foreclosure later this year.We have managed to scrape and same about $85-88K over the years, and now, while we have been calling it out retirement fund, it might become our home-purchasing fund. I have not been able to get a definitive answer, so I found this board, and am posing the question, in hopes of someone with DIRECT knowledge might be able to help. We have a “change date” coming up 3/1/2011. That is when our fixed, interest only quits, and converts to an arm.

    Its not all bad here. Since the rates have dropped like a rock, the current LIBOR + 2.25% will change the “interest only” note from a 30 year 5 year interest-only to a 25 year fixed rate, to be adjusted again in a year, and the same thereafter. monthly pymt, to a full PITI monthly of about the same, roughly $1580 per month. We have submitted all of the requested docs to B of A, and now are awaiting their “modification offer.”

    NOW, THEN . . .
    Does the Current Homestead act in Oregon protect the debtor from coming after our home in Oregon? I have read different numbers. Some claim that $33000 is the highest amount covered, other sources say $50K.

    Please don't throw stones, here. We were snookered into this beast of a loan by a mortgage lender who actually said, in response to a question regarding when is the “Change Date” on our loan, than She really doesn't get into the underwriting and mechanisms often enough to know, and why don't I call an 800 Customer Service for the answer to my question. HOOoooooOOEEYY! Gasbag!

    So, how much of my newly purchased Oregon home protected from the evil claws of the B of A foreclosure folks? BTW, the home price (the place we are looking at, is an Amazing $84,900, and there is indication that the bank would 'probably accept' an offer of $78000, with the seller (the bank) paying all closing costs.

    Thanks for ANY help you might shed. I would also call an attorney who is well-versed in Real Estate, in someone wants to send his/her Phone number.

    My new years resolution is to try to help a stranger each day for the year. I am going tomorrow and get a fistful (10) of $1 McDonalds gift certs, and a bunch (10) of $2 Subway gift certs.

    It is actually fun to give folks around here that are out of work just a small bite to eat.

    My World is currently a great place to be. I hope yours is also!


Contact Information