Riverside County Law Library

Homestead Declaration

What is a homestead?

  1. The house in which a family lives, plus any adjoining land and other buildings on that land.
  2. Real estate that is not subject to the claims of creditors as long as it is occupied as a home by the head of the household.

Reference: Homestead (n.d.) retrieved from http://www.nolo.com/dictionary/homestead-term.html

What is a homestead declaration?

The County of Riverside Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder states that “The homestead declaration, or ‘Declaration of Homestead’, is a statutory protection where-by a portion of a homeowner’s equity in his or her residence may be protected from judgments, liens and creditors.” It also “names the declared homestead owner, describes the homesteaded property and states that the property is the homestead owner's principal place of residence.” 

There are different amounts available for different homeowners:

  • $50,000 for single homeowners
  • $75,000 for families
  • $100,000 for seniors, disabled and low-income homeowners earning $15,000 or less annually

It is necessary that the homeowner filing this declaration be living at the specified residence, and the homeowner can only have one declaration at a time. 

Reference: Homestead Declaration (n.d) retrieved from http://www.asrclkrec.com/Recorder/HomesteadDeclaration.aspx 

Online Resources:

County of Riverside Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, Recording Requirements
http://www.asrclkrec.com/Recorder/RecordingRequirements.aspx
Contains fillable and printable Homestead Declaration form.

Nolo Law for All, The California Homestead Exemption
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/the-california-homestead-exemption.html
Discusses exemption amounts, marriage, scope, bankruptcy, requirements, and statutes in California relating to homestead exemptions.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/legal_guides/h-1.shtml
Answers questions about the regulation of homestead filing services (any service offered or performed for compensation in connection with the preparation or completion of a homestead declaration).

The Superior Court of California, County of Riverside Self-Help
http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/ej155.pdf
PDF contains references to laws on the exceptions of enforcement of judgments, including homestead exemptions and declarations.

Print Resources:

Title: Summary of California Law, v.9 v.12 v.14  (R) (I) (T)
Publisher: Witkin
CallNo: KFC 80.W5
ISBN: N/A
Description: Volumes covers homesteads as they pertain to tax (v.9), cotenants (v.12), and probate (v.14) issues.

Title: California Real Estate (Miller & Star) v. 5, ch.13 (R) (I)
Publisher: West
CallNo: KFC 140.M53
ISBN: 9780873371735
Description: Chapter 13 discusses the effect of homestead exemptions, declared homesteads, amount of homestead exemptions, and effect of homesteads in various situations including bankruptcy and probate.

Title: California Jurisprudence 3d, v. 37 (R) (I) (T)
Publisher: West
CallNo: KFC 65.C343
ISBN: N/A
Description: Volume 37 covers homesteads and homestead declarations providing references to code sections and cases.

Title: California Real Estate Law & Practice, v. 3 & 10 (R) (I)
Publisher: Matthew Bender
CallNo: KFC 140.B4
ISBN: N/A
Description: This multivolume set, contains information and references to relevant homestead laws, including homestead declarations.

Title: California Forms of Pleadings & Practices, v. 25 (R) (T)
Publisher: Matthew Bender
CallNo: KFC 1010.A65 C3
ISBN: N/A
Description: Listed volume covers homesteads and homestead declarations with brief explanations and references to code sections.

Title: Homestead Your House (R) (I)
Publisher: Nolo Press
CallNo: KFC141.Z9 W36 1991 REF
ISBN: 9780873371735
Description: Answers frequently asked questions about homestead exemptions and declarations, and gives information on declarations for the different types of applicants. Book also contains examples of forms for filing.

Call numbers are for use in RCLL. Initials after title specify which library the item can be located (R) Riverside, (I) Indio, (T) Temecula. ISBN numbers are for use outside of the library, such as for personal purchase.

Pertinent California Codes:

Civil Code § 1207
Code of Civil Procedure § 704.710-704.995

Please Note: The information presented in this research guide is intended to provide a foundation for legal research. For information pertaining to your case please consult with an attorney, court facilitator or specialist.