Declare a Homestead

Montana Homestead Declaration - Montana Declaration of Homestead - Homestead Rights in Montana - Southwest Montana Homestead Rights - Homestead Exemptions - Bozeman Homestead


A "homestead" is the house or mobile home in which a person lives and the land on which it is erected. To be eligible for a Homestead Declaration, the person's property must be his/her primary residence. The term "homestead" also includes any improvements to the land, which are legally termed "appurtenances," like a swimming pool or a fence, etc.


Photo Mount Ellis Horses ©Brett FaganA Declaration of Homestead or Homestead Declaration is a simple legal document that, in times of economic turmoil, can assist you in protecting your house and property for up to $250,000 in Montana. In cases of the death of the household head, the decedent's (dead person) surviving spouse is entitled to a homestead allowance of $20,000.


A Declaration of Homestead is simply a short form that could prevent the attachment of your land and dwelling by a creditor, but the land and dwelling must be your "bona fide residence." Call the county in which you live about securing a Homestead Declaration; they are often free and inexpensive to file.


Here in Montana the Montana Homestead Declaration form is free to download online from many county agencies and costs up to $11 to file. Don't forget to have your Homestead Declaration notarized, and if you decide to purchase a form online, ask for verification that the form you are paying for and downloading has been legally tested.


Anyone can make up a Montana Declaration of Homestead form and offer it on-line for a fee. And also ask about any specific guidelines the the form should follow. In fact, the best course of action is to speak to your county clerk, county recorder, or an attorney.


Remember that if you use your property as collateral on a loan, the Homestead Declaration  does not apply. If you choose not to pay your property taxes or special or rural assessments (SIDs or RIDs) you are not covered by the Declaration of Homestead either.


If you refuse to pay someone you hire to do home or land improvements the worker can file a mechanic's lien against your property. If the value of your property exceeds $250,000, creditors may request the district court judge to partition the land and sell part or all of it.

Check with your state about monetary coverage, but in Montana, a Homestead Declaration protects up to $250,000 in home value against most creditors’ claims. And, please, do not abuse the rights a filed Homestead Declaration form gives you. A homestead can be “undone” by filing a Declaration of Abandonment.


States with Homestead Rights: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.


For More on Declaration of Homestead From the State of Montana

Montana Housing Resources - Montana Home Buying Assistance

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