Bankruptcy is a great way to reset, so to speak, and to get on the path to a happier, less stressful and more fulfilling life. However, though discharging your oppressive debt may appeal to you for several reasons, you are likely hesitant to file for one main reason: your home. If you file for bankruptcy, it means you lose your home, right? Not necessarily. Louisiana’s homestead exemption laws are in place to protect people from losing their homes when hard times befall them.

According to FindLaw, homestead exemption laws allow you to protect a certain amount of real property from creditors. Every state’s homestead laws are different, with some states foregoing them entirely. Fortunately, Louisiana is not one such state. As a Louisiana property owner, you can protect up to 160 acres and $7,500 in real property. If you are a disabled military veteran with a 100% disability rating, the amount you can protect increases to $150,000.

Of course, there are exemptions to Louisiana’s homestead exemption laws, and you may have to sell or forfeit your property in one of four situations. For instance, if your property had a pre-existing lien on it before you established it as a homestead, homestead exemption laws may not apply to you. If you pledged your property as credit for a mortgage, homestead exemptions may not apply. If you owe overdue taxes to the state or any county or municipality within the state, your property may not qualify for homestead exemption laws. Finally, if you owe money to any builders, contractors or mechanics who performed work on your property, you may not be able to take advantage of Louisiana’s homestead exemption laws.

This article is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is for your educational purposes only.