Southern Nevadans refinancing failing to re-file Homestead

Most Homesteads become null and void after refinancing, Lubbers & Borg warns

LAS VEGAS – With mortgage rates at all-time lows and the real estate market considered to favor buyers, many homeowners are seeking to refinance their homes. What most people don’t realize, according to Las Vegas law firm Lubbers & Borg, is that the Homestead on their home will almost always become null and void after they’ve refinanced.

“Most people know they should file a Declaration of Homestead when they first purchase a home,” said Brooke Borg, partner with Lubbers & Borg. “However, few people realize that when a refinance occurs, the Declaration of Homestead must be re-filed.  If that homeowner runs into financial problems down the road, they could lose the protection the Declaration of Homestead would have afforded and they will have no idea how it happened.”

A Declaration of Homestead is critical to protect a home from creditors’ claims. A Declaration of Homestead is filed with the County Recorder’s Office and is signed by the homeowner and notarized stating that the signor must reside in the home. It also states that no prior homesteads have been filed by the owner for the property.

The Declaration of Homestead protects the home up to $550,000 from general creditors’ claims including unpaid medical bills, bankruptcy, charge card debts, business/personal loans and accidents. However, it does not protect the home from claims involving a seizure or forced sale of the home from general creditors if the equity in the property exceeds the statutory maximum, which is currently $550,000.

“We encourage all homeowners, whether they are considering refinancing or not, to be sure they have a Declaration of Homestead in place,” said Borg, who specializes in real estate law. “Any homeowner can do this by contacting their county’s Recorder’s office directly or by searching their Web site. If a homeowner has recently refinanced then it’s imperative that they re-file the Homestead since the original document is no longer valid.”

Borg warns that homeowners should be aware of companies that are in the business of filing Declaration of Homesteads on behalf of homeowners.  These companies target new homeowners or those who have recently refinanced, however many times, these companies offer the services for double the rates an attorney would charge.

Originally founded as The Lubbers Law Group, Lubbers & Borg has been known as an advisory firm for small businesses since its establishment in 1999. The firm focuses on real estate matters, business planning, asset protection, probate, wills and trusts.

For more information regarding Lubbers and Borg call 702-257-7575 or visit www.lubbersborg.com.

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