The Maine legislature enacted a change to Maine's homestead exemption, effective July 18, 2008. The change increases the homestead exemption for a single homeowner to $47,500 (from $35,000) and for joint owners from $70,000 to $95,000. Individuals over the age of 60, or who are disabled, or who have disabled or elderly dependents can also claim an exemption of $95,000 per person for a maximum exemption of $190,000.
This change in Maine's homestead exemption provides additional protection for homeowners in bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy situations alike. It represents the first change in homesead exemption laws in more than a decade. Homeowners will be better able to retain their primary asset against the claims of creditors and truly obtain a fresh financal start after bankruptcy. It is another step by state legislators to provide relief to debtors in response to the harsh effects of the Congress's changes to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005.