Washington State Homestead Exemption Update
Christina Henry and Northwest Consumer Law Center (NWCLC) have teamed up to expand Washington State’s Homestead Exemption. The current statute provides only $125,000 in protection for families and homeowners. With home prices rising so very quickly, it is easy for a family to be left in the cold.
What Does the Homestead Exemption Do?
Homestead exemptions were designed to protect families from predatory creditors when times get tough. The last year has hit a lot of families hard, and many small businesses even harder.
Why Does The Exemption Need Updating?
With medium home values in Washington State over $400,000 ($666,500 in King County as of December 2020. Realtor.com) it is easy to have too much equity, and the increases are accelerating.
“Prices rose around 37% in both Okanogan and Chelan counties to $258,225 and $559,000, respectively. The median price in Pacific County in Southwest Washington increased more than 51% to $239,000. In the metro, prices rose about 17% in Pierce to $445,000, 16% in Kitsap to $329,000, 14% in Snohomish to $566,000 and 10.4% in King to $730,500.” Bizjournals.com. (I’m noting that Realtor.com and Bizjournals.com can’t keep up with the changes in King County).
The homestead bill Christina is pushing for to protect families and small business owners has been placed on the legislative calendar – SB 5408.
What does SB 5408 do?
- It raises the homestead exemption from $125,000 to the median value per county of a single-family home for Washington
- It ensures bankruptcy filers won’t lose their homestead exemption due to property value increases after the date of
Who is Sponsoring the Bill?
State Senators Stanford, Das, Dhingra, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Lovelett, Nguyen, Randall, Robinson, Rolfes, Saldaña, Wellman have signed up to sponsor the bill so far.
What Can I Do to Help?
Contact your local district state senators and representatives. Let them know that protecting your home is important to you. You can go to Washington State District Finder to locate who represents you. Make your voice heard – now. Session is starting and this will move quickly!
What Else Can I do?
Money. It is always about getting the word out. NWCL has setup a dedicated webpage for you to provide your support. To make your donation CLICK HERE. This is a separate link specifically for the homestead exemption bill than NWCLC’s normal donation link. NWCLC is a registered non-profit organization under 501(c)(3). While the donation is likely tax deductible, you are encouraged to check with your tax professional.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to answer them