The Homestead Declaration is a homeowner’s sworn statement that claims their property as their “homestead” and that claim is recorded with the clerk of the county courthouse. This state law enables the property owner to ‘set apart’ their property (the homestead) and ‘designate’ it as such I the interests of protecting their home from a forced sale, thereby protecting its owner equity and denying such a sale to pay off creditors.
Sounds simple? Actually, it is. This is how I did it in Montana for my property. I went to a place that specializes in legal forms, and purchased my “Homestead Declaration” form for $9.00. Then I filled it out in the County Courthouse. The clerks helped me with it, as it is required to identify the property both by address and by the plat number they have in the courthouse. You need to bring ID with you and any other persons who are on the actual deed to the property, as the document is notarized. The fee to file here is $16.00 and it is done.
Here I was able to go directly across the hall, pay the fee, and obtain for 50 cents a copy of the document and a filing number. The original is then filed, later registered, and in about a week or two they send you the original in the mail with the county seal on it. There it is! A done deal!
Let me tell you what this document does and how it protects you. As mentioned, it is a Constitutionally-protected law, as the states that do this enact it on their own…a power reserved to the states. In the grand scheme of things: to a certain assessed dollar value, they are not allowed to take your home. For us here in Montana, that amount is $250,000, and rest assured, my home is much less than that figure. Now let’s discuss what this does for you, and how it relates to the big picture, specifically Obamacare and Medicare.
The feds and states are almost completely “in-sync” with Obamacare. What the feds can’t grab the states can scoop up, and vice-versa. In Montana, if you do not have health insurance, the state government automatically enrolls you in Medicare. The bills that rack up you will have to pay back, rest assured, for medical treatments under such. They can grab your assets and gobble up your bank account, garnishing your wages along the way.
But they can’t touch your home.
Same for the feds, because it is under the Constitutionally-protected laws of the state.
JJ’s advice: If you live in a state that permits this, fill out that Homestead Document ASAP.
The Homestead Declaration is not to be confused with a Homestead Exemption. This is completely different, and deals with exemption from property taxes and income and such. Here is a list of states that offer you the chance to fill out a Homestead Declaration:
“Homestead rights don’t exist under common law, but they have been enacted in at least 27 states: 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, and Wyoming. If you own, and live on, property in any of these states, you should definitely take the time to file this important document.”
There you have it, Readers. Remember, prepping is not just for a natural disaster or a global thermonuclear war. You must also take care of business in the context of the present time, and this means protecting your assets, finances, and property in a standard, legal context.
JJ’s advice: While we live in a functioning (although dysfunctional) society, you must use all of the tools – business, legal, and social – that you can use to protect you and yours.
Plain and simple, the Homestead Declaration is a way that can help you safeguard your assets and maintain your home while the society is as it is. Check and see if you are in one of the listed states and do the research to follow the requirements as I listed them for what I did here, in Montana. States vary, but the procedure is basically the same, with fees varying and maybe some small changes in procedure or residence requirements. Use this tool if you can, and if you are considering buying property for a retreat, consider one of the aforementioned states that satisfies your survivability requirements. Should you commit, fill out the Homestead Declaration form, and protect your home: not just when the SHTF, but before, as well. Keep up that good fight and tell us about your experiences. We’d love to hear from you. JJ out!