Our personal property and homes are important to us. They’re assets that we want to protect as much as possible against creditor claims. The Virginia Homestead Exemption provides some relief from such claims and from wage garnishment. Though it’s called the Homestead Exemption, it also protects other property as well. Since the homestead exemption protects assets against creditors, it often is used when someone will be filing for bankruptcy.
Under Virginia law, householders are allowed to protect part of their property value from creditors:
- $5,000 for a single homeowner;
- $500 per dependent is added to a homeowner’s exemption;
- $10,000 for married homeowners;
- $10,000 for homeowners age 65 and over; and
- $10,000 for veterans with a service-connected disability of 40% or more.
Real property that may be subject to protection includes homes, condominiums, mobile homes, and manufactured homes. The exemption cannot be used for vacation homes, but only applies to the homeowner’s primary residence. In addition, the exemption can be applied to rents, profits, and sale proceeds garnered from an exempted property. If a property is owned by a couple as a “tenancy by the entirety” the entire exemption can be used even if the debt is only against one spouse.
Note that the exemption does not just apply to real estate. The exemption can also be used for other property, including furniture, cash, tax refunds, stocks, and collectibles.
How to Use the Homestead Exemption
To take advantage of the homestead exemption, you must file a Virginia Homestead Deed with the county recorder in the county where the property is located. It’s important that the Deed be formatted correctly and list all of the property you want covered by the exemption.
If the homestead exemption is being claimed because of a pending bankruptcy, the Homestead Deed must be filed on or before the fifth day after the date of the meeting of creditors.
Schedule an Appointment to Learn More About Homestead Exemptions.
Contact the Dillon Law Group to discuss your options. Our attorneys have the skill and experience to advise you. Please call us at 757-962-4796 to set up an appointment or contact us online by using our convenient Contact Form. We assist clients in Virginia Beach, Newport News, and surrounding communities.