Georgia Real Estate Laws
Becoming familiar with real estate laws can be very beneficial for investors and the normal consumer alike. Being familiar with landlord-tenant laws, homestead laws, and adverse possession laws can be very helpful.
Real Estate Laws: Homestead Exemption
This is one way some people can protect themselves in bankruptcy. The Homestead Laws were created in order to prevent total loss. They allow creditors to exempt up to $20,000 of the home.
As an example: If your home is worth $100,000 and you have a $90,000 mortgage on the property, then you have $10,000 of home equity. If you file bankruptcy, your equity ($10,000) will be exempt under the Georgia homestead exemption. This means creditors can’t touch your equity and you can keep your home.
What Kinds of Property Apply?
Georgia’s real estate laws limit the homestead exemption to your personal residence. This can include, however, a condo or co-op!
You aren’t limited to the typical single-family home, which can be such a relief in many people’s circumstances.
What If I’m Married?
It’s doubled! But only if you’re filing for bankruptcy jointly and the property is owned by both of you. So, as a married couple you could potentially exempt around $40,000 of home equity under this exemption.
Filing jointly for bankruptcy can have big benefits and drawbacks. Be sure to read more about it before deciding one way or the other!
Do I Have to Apply?
In Georgia, the homestead exemption is automatic. This means that you don’t have to file some kind of motion or declaration to reap its benefits when you’re going through bankruptcy. This can definitely be a relief if you find yourself in this situation. It’s one less “T” to cross during a hectic time in your life.
Georgia bankruptcy exemption amounts are adjusted periodically to account for inflation. This includes the homestead exemption. Before filing bankruptcy, check the latest exemption amounts to find out if the equity in property that is important to you is exempt.