The "Homestead" Act or Deed protects every homeowner in Puerto Rico from the risk of a judgment against their principal residence. This is an important issue and beneficial for the stability of every person who has purchased his or her residence. Specifically, it protects the owner from a lien, judgment or execution for the payment of debts, except for the following exceptions:
- for non-payment of a mortgage;
- due to the collection of state and federal taxes;
- when payments are due to contractors for repairs to the protected property;
- in bankruptcy cases;
- loans, mortgages, contracts and promissory notes on behalf of or insured by the Puerto Rico Production Credit Association, the Small Business Administration, the Housing Finance Authority of Puerto Rico and the Federal Administration of Farmers' Homes. In addition, by the Federal Home Administration (FHA), the Veterans Administration and the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, and their successors, as well as on behalf of any other state or federal agency or entity that guarantees mortgage loans that are insured and sold on the secondary market.
Is the protection of the Homestead indefinite?
Yes, once requested, the protection will subsist as long as the owner remains living in the residence. If one of the spouses dies, the protection will remain as long as the widower continues to occupy the residence. Also, it will be maintained after the death of both of them, for the benefit of their children until the child is an adult. When one spouse leaves the family, the protection will continue in favor of the spouse who remains in the residence.
What do I need to apply for a Homestead?
In order to prepare the deed, you will need to send us a copy of the property deed. You must also include a CRIM sheet with the property's cadastral number. Then, we order a title study to verify the information in the Property Registry. This ensures that the property is free of liens or other encumbrances against it. From time to time, there are liens that the owner does not realize until the title search is done.
We can then prepare the Homestead Deed for you to sign in our presence. If you are outside of Puerto Rico, we can prepare a Power of Attorney for someone else to sign for you. Finally, it is essential that we present the Deed at the Property Registry. In this way, the protection of the Homestead will be duly noted.
At Abogado Notario Online, we take care of the whole process. To request an estimate for a Homestead Deed, click on the link below.