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      RS 20:1     




§1.  Declaration of homestead; exemption from seizure and sale; debts excluded from exemption; waiver; certain proceeds from property insurance exempted

A.(1)  The bona fide homestead consists of a residence occupied by the owner and the land on which the residence is located, including any building and appurtenances located thereon, and any contiguous tracts up to a total of five acres if the residence is within a municipality, or up to a total of two hundred acres of land if the residence is not located in a municipality.

(2)  The homestead is exempt from seizure and sale under any writ, mandate, or process whatsoever, except as provided by Subsections C and D of this Section.  This exemption extends to thirty-five thousand dollars in value of the homestead, except in the case of obligations arising directly as a result of a catastrophic or terminal illness or injury, in which case the exemption shall apply to the full value of the homestead based upon its value one year before such seizure.  This homestead exemption from seizure and sale shall extend automatically to the proceeds from any property insurance policy received as a result of damage caused by a gubernatorially declared disaster to a homestead and that are held separately in an escrow account identified as insurance proceeds paid from the damage of a homestead for its repair or replacement.

(3)  For the purposes of this Section, "catastrophic or terminal illness or injury" shall mean an illness or injury which creates uninsured obligations to health care providers of more than ten thousand dollars and which are greater than fifty percent of the annual adjusted gross income of the debtor, as established by an average of federal income tax returns for the three preceding years.

B.  The exemption provided in Subsection A shall extend to the surviving spouse or minor children of a deceased owner and shall apply when the homestead is occupied as such and title to it is in either the husband or wife but not to more than one homestead owned by the husband or the wife. The exemption shall continue to apply to a homestead otherwise eligible while owned in indivision by the spouses, and occupied by either of them, when the community property regime of which the homestead is a part is dissolved by judgment which so provides, pursuant to R.S. 9:381 et seq., or Article 159 or 2375 of the Louisiana Civil Code. If either spouse becomes the sole owner and continues to occupy the homestead as such, the exemption as to that spouse shall be deemed to have continued uninterrupted.

C.  This exemption shall not apply to any of the following debts:

(1)  For the purchase price of property or any part of such purchase price.

(2)  For labor, money, and material furnished for building, repairing, or improving the homestead.

(3)  For liabilities incurred by any public officer, or fiduciary, or any attorney at law, for money collected or received on deposits.

(4)  For taxes or assessments.

(5)  For rent which bears a privilege upon said property.

(6)  For the amount which may be due a homestead or building and loan association for a loan made by it on the security of the property; provided, that if at the time of making such loan the borrower be married, and not separated from bed and board from the other spouse, the latter shall have consented thereto.

(7)  For the amount which may be due for money advanced on the security of a mortgage on said property; provided, that if at the time of granting such mortgage the mortgagor be married, and not separated from bed and board from the other spouse, the latter shall have consented thereto.

(8)  For any obligation arising from the conviction of a felony or misdemeanor which has the possibility of imprisonment of at least six months.

D.  The right to sell voluntarily any property that is exempt as a homestead shall be preserved, but no sale shall destroy or impair any rights of creditors thereon.  Any person entitled to a homestead may waive same, in whole or in part, by signing a written waiver thereof; a copy of such waiver shall be provided to the homeowner; however, if the person is married, and not separated from bed and board from the other spouse, then the waiver shall not be effective unless signed by the latter, and all such waivers shall be recorded in the mortgage records of the parish where the homestead is situated.  However, if the homestead is the separate property of one of the spouses, the homestead exemption may be waived by that spouse alone in any mortgage granted on the homestead, without the necessity of obtaining a waiver from the non-owning spouse.  The waiver may be either general or special and shall have effect from the time of recording.  The waiver shall not be required or permitted for the rendering of medical treatment, medical services, or hospitalization.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a waiver of exemption from seizure as to an exempted homestead shall automatically include insurance for that property to the extent subject to the creditor's mortgage or security interest.

Amended by Acts 1977, No. 466, §1; Acts 1980, No. 249, §1, eff. July 12, 1980; Acts 1999, No. 1365, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2004, No. 481, §1; Acts 2006, No. 601, §2; Acts 2009, No. 201, §2, eff. June 30, 2009.

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