Friday, March 25, 2005

Homesteads on the Radio

Media interest in the Declaration of Homestead continues. This morning I was a guest on WUML, the University of Massachusetts Lowell radio station, to explain Homestead basics. Fortunately, the discussion didn’t get bogged down in the “should you record a new homestead after refinancing” debate. I don’t mind talking about that, but that’s all most of us can do is talk. Until the Appeals Court or Supreme Judicial Court decide this issue in a case or until the state legislature clarifies the existing statute, we’re left to speculate. Because there is no consensus, I suspect either option will protect the family home. After explaining all the benefits of the Homestead, one of the radio hosts asked “If it’s so good, why isn’t it automatic?” I can think of a couple of reasons: The credit card and banking industry have much more powerful lobbyists than homeowners do. You only have to look at the new bankruptcy law for evidence of that. Another reason the homestead might not be made automatic is that every homestead that is recorded gives the state $35 in revenue. In Lowell, which is in the middle of the state’s 21 registries size-wise, we record about 5000 homesteads per year. That translates into $175,000 per year for the state just from Lowell. Speaking of radio, we’ve been experimenting with a new method of providing you with information – recorded sound. We’ll be recording some short (5 minute) discussions on registry topics that will appear as links on our website. All you have to do is double click, and you can listen to us talk about electronic recording, homesteads, and other registry topics.

No comments: