Creditors threatened to take my home. Is there something I can do?


By: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA)

Actions to take if creditors threaten to take your home.
Resource Information

Creditors threatened to take my home. Is there something I can do?

Yes. You can file a Declaration of Homestead to protect the home where you reside from unsecured debt. The Declaration is a simple form which includes the legal property description, and it must be filed in the Clerk and Recorder's Office of the Montana County where the property is located. You may only file the Declaration on the one home where you reside. A Declaration of Homestead will protect your home up to a maximum of $350,000 of value in the property.

Once filed, the declaration only protects the property from unsecured debt. Unsecured debt is when you take on debt without putting down collateral, like medical bills and most credit cards. Secured debt is when you offer collateral for a loan, like a mortgage or car loan. A Declaration of Homestead may not protect your property from government debt, such as Medicaid or tax debt. Filing a Declaration of Homestead will not protect your home from foreclosure. A Homestead Declaration will protect your home from unsecured debt, like credit cards and medical bills, up to a maximum of $350,000 of value in the property.

Where do I find more information about Declaration of a Homestead?

To learn more, read the Montana State University Extension Office's article on Declaration of Homestead.

Where do I find the form?

The State of Montana Law Library and MSU Extension have a form available for download at http://www.montana.edu/extensionecon/pdf/homsteaddeclaration.pdf.

How do I get more help?

Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) provides free civil legal help to low-income people. Contact us to see if you qualify:

  • Apply anytime online at mtlsa.org;
  • Call our Helpline at 1-800-666-6899 (Helpline hours are limited).

What help can I find at MLSA?

  • Legal advice and representation;
  • Referrals to volunteer attorneys and other providers;
  • Self-help clinics and materials.
Find more resources using our interactive Legal Guide.
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