If you file for bankruptcy in Maine, the Maine homestead exemption protects equity in your home. The amount depends on your age, whether you have dependents, and whether you are married and filing jointly. Read on to find specific information about the homestead exemption in Maine.
For information about how the homestead exemption works in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy. For more articles on exemptions, see our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.
The Maine Homestead Exemption Amount
Under the Maine exemption system, homeowners may exempt up to $47,500 of real or personal property used as a homestead, including a cooperative. If the debtor has minor dependents, that amount is raised to $95,000.
If the debtor is over the age of 60 or is physically or mentally disabled, the exemption amount is raised to $95,000.
Doubling for Married Couples
In Maine, married couples who file bankruptcy jointly and own their homestead jointly can double their homestead exemptions. That means that married debtors may exempt up to $95,000 total or $190,000 if they have minor dependents or are over 60 or disabled.
The Scope of the Maine Homestead Exemption
In Maine the homestead exemption applies to real and personal property used as the your residence, including a house, mobile home, co-op or condominium. The exemption also includes burial plots.
The homestead exemption also applies to the proceeds from the sale of any of this property for six months after you receive the proceeds.
Can You Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in Maine?
Some states allow bankruptcy filers to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions instead of the state exemptions. Maine is not one of those states. If you reside in Maine you must use the state exemptions.
(To learn more about which state exemptions apply to you, see Which Exemptions Can You Use in Bankruptcy?)
No Need to File a Homestead Declaration
In Maine the homestead exemption is automatic – you don’t have to file a homestead declaration in order to claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy.
Finding the Maine Homestead Exemption Statute
Maine’s homestead exemption is found in the Maine state statutes at Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Title 14, Section 4422 (http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/14/title14sec4422.html). To learn how to find state statutes, check out Nolo’s Laws and Legal Research area.