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Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Trouble With Homestead Exemptions

Looks like I was wrong about the portion of a recent post dealing with homestead exemptions.

From reading the statute and an article written by an Alabama attorney, it appeared to me that Alabama's homestead exemption of $5,000 would protect someone like me against a judgment of $1,500. But an attorney who I think knows what he's talking about has told me it is just the opposite--that I would only be protected if my house was worth under $5,000. The part over $5,000, my correspondent says, is not exempt. And seeing as how my house is worth more than $5,000, I'm not exempt under the homestead exemption.

At least, that's the way it appears at this point. No one likes being wrong about something, but I can give myself a break given the confusing language of the statute--and the absurdity of someone trying to go after your house over a $1,500 judgment.

If any readers have additional insights about homestead exemptions, I would welcome the input.
I'm still exempt from the efforts to seize my property, I believe, on numerous due process and procedural grounds. Below is the Claim of Exemption that I filed, and I believe it still has merit on several counts. And regardless of the merits in my claim, a contest must be filed by the other party and a hearing held before authorities proceed with their sheriff's sale.

My Claim of Exemption, by law, puts a stay on the proceedings. But as I noted in the previous post, Shelby County folks evidently plan to move forward anyway.


My name is Roger Shuler, and I am the defendant in the case Mike McGarity v. Roger Shuler, Civil Action CV 00-1248. I received a writ of execution, signed by clerk Mary Harris on September 21, 2007, stating that I owed a judgment in the amount of $2,229.64. I received a sheriff's notice of levy on February 8, 2008. On February 29, 2008, I received a notice of sheriff's sale, informing me that my home is to be sold at auction at noon on April 7, 2008, on the front steps of the Shelby County Courthouse.

Pursuant to Rule 69 (d) of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, I state as follows:

* Under Code of Alabama 6-10-2, my home (real estate at 5204 Logan Drive) is exempt from levy and sale in this matter. Section 6-10-2 states: "The homestead of every resident of this state, with the improvements and appurtenances, not exceeding in value & dollar 5,000 and in area 160 acres, shall be to the extent of any interest he or she may have therein, whether a fee or less estate or whether held in common or in severalty, exempt from levy and value under execution or other process for the collection of debts during his or her life expectancy."

• Pursuant to Greene v. Connelly, 628 So. 2d 346 (Ala., 1993), the judgment in this matter is void because the court acted in a manner inconsistent with due process.

* I've received no word that a certificate of judgment has been filed in this matter as required by Code of Alabama 6-9-211.

* The sale in this matter is due to be stayed because the subject property is exempt.

Roger Shuler
Pro Se

Notary Public

My commission expires: ___________________

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