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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 10, 2013 04:45 PM
From: Senator Michael L. Waugh
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protection of Primary Residence From Certain Court Judgments
I am reintroducing legislation that creates a new subsection in Section 8124 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. This subsection will protect the primary residence of an individual subject to a judgment in court in certain circumstances. Currently over 40 states have enacted some form of homestead protection.

Under this bill, a homeowner may file a “Declaration of Homestead” with the county recorder in his or her county of residence. With this declaration, the value of the person’s primary residence – up to $300,000 - is protected from a judgment. If the home is worth more than $300,000, the home may be sold, but the homeowner automatically retains the first $300,000 of the sale proceeds.

This declaration will not prevent the home from being sold to satisfy a judgment that is the result of a mortgage foreclosure, unpaid property taxes or a mechanic’s lien.

The “Declaration of Homestead” shall only apply to the primary residence, and shall include condominiums, townhomes and mobile homes. It shall not be available to protect vacation homes, commercial properties (including residential rental properties) or undeveloped land owned by the person subject to the judgment.

This was Senate Bill 1421 of the 2011-12 session of the General Assembly. Co-sponsors of Senate Bill 1421 were Senators Fontana, Greenleaf, Rafferty and Solobay.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Greg Beckenbaugh in my office at 787-3817 or at gbeckenbaugh@pasen.gov .

Introduced as SB908