Homestead Exemptions By State 2020

A homestead exemption is a legal provision that helps shield a home from some creditors following the death of a homeowner spouse or the declaration of bankruptcy. A homestead exemption can block the forced sale of a primary residence and provide tax relief for surviving spouses. Homestead exemptions are only for one primary residence and no other exemption can be claimed on any other property anywhere.

Homestead exemption is a great option for those facing financial hardship, such as people filing for bankruptcy or widow or widower facing higher bills than he or she can no longer afford to pay due to the passing of a spouse.

Homestead exemptions can protect a home up to a certain value of the homeowner’s equity in it. If the homestead’s equity exceeds the limit of the exemption in that state, creditors may force the debtors to sell. In this case, the debtors would receive the monetary amount of the bankruptcy exemption.

Tax reductions under homestead exemptions are usually a fixed discount on taxes. For example, a home valued at $150,000 using a $50,000 homestead exemption will be taxed on $100,000 of assessed value.

Homestead exemptions vary by state, including how it is applied and how much protection it offers against creditors. The exemption is an automatic benefit in some states and a claim must be filed in others. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have no homestead exemptions.

The current federal bankruptcy exemption amount as of 2019 is $25,510. While most states require homeowners to use the state’s limit, some will allow the homeowner to use either the federal or the state.

Below is a table with each state’s homestead exemption amounts.

Homestead Exemptions By State 2020

State Homestead Exemption Amount Married Couples / Joint Owners 2020 Pop.
New JerseyNone8,936,574
PennsylvaniaNone12,820,878
Kentucky$5,0004,499,692
Tennessee$5,000$7,5006,897,576
Virginia$5,000$10,0008,626,207
Alabama$15,000$30,0004,908,621
Illinois$15,000$30,00012,659,682
Missouri$15,0006,169,270
Indiana$19,300$38,6006,745,354
Hawaii$20,0001,412,687
Utah$20,000$40,0003,282,115
Wyoming$20,000$40,000567,025
Georgia$21,500$43,00010,736,059
Maryland$22,9756,083,116
West Virginia$25,000$50,0001,778,070
Michigan$30,00010,045,029
Louisiana$35,0004,645,184
North Carolina$35,000$70,00010,611,862
Oregon$40,0004,301,089
Maine$47,5001,345,790
South Carolina$58,255$116,5105,210,095
Nebraska$60,0001,952,570
New Mexico$60,000$120,0002,096,640
Alaska$72,900734,002
California$75,000$100,00039,937,489
Colorado$75,000$150,0005,845,526
Connecticut$75,000$150,0003,563,077
Mississippi$75,0002,989,260
Wisconsin$75,000$150,0005,851,754
Idaho$100,0001,826,156
New Hampshire$100,0001,371,246
North Dakota$100,000761,723
Delaware$125,000982,895
Vermont$125,000$250,000628,061
Washington$125,0007,797,095
Ohio$136,92511,747,694
Arizona$150,0007,378,494
New York$165,550$331,10019,440,469
Montana$250,0001,086,759
Minnesota$390,0005,700,671
Massachusetts$500,0006,976,597
Rhode Island$500,0001,056,161
Nevada$550,0003,139,658
ArkansasUnlimited3,038,999
District of ColumbiaUnlimited720,687
FloridaUnlimited21,992,985
IowaUnlimited3,179,849
KansasUnlimited2,910,357
OklahomaUnlimited3,954,821
South DakotaUnlimited903,027
TexasUnlimited29,472,295