by Judon Fambrough and Ted C. Jones
True. Two types of homestead are recognized in Texas: rural and urban. They can not be claimed simultaneously (publication 1136). Specific provisions are made in the law for claiming business protection in association with the urban homestead (publication 701).
False. A rural homestead for the head of a family may contain no more than 200 acres. A single adult's maximum homestead is 100 acres.
True. A residence may be claimed as a homestead prior to actually living on the property. Homestead rights commence when a person obtains the right to possess the land, uses it as a homestead and intends to claim it as a home. Usage, not occupancy, is required (publication 525).
True. Texas allows a lifetime homestead for the surviving spouse (publication 701).
False. Proceeds from the sale of a homestead retain homestead protection for six months. If the funds are reinvested in another homestead during this period, neither the funds nor the new homestead may be seized by creditors.
True. A lender can claim a valid lien against a Texas homestead if the loan is to refinance a federal income tax lien. Texas law permits five valid liens against the homestead for: all or part of the purchase price; property taxes levied against the property; work and material used for improvements; an owelty arising from a partitioning or divorce; and refinancing a federal tax lien.
True. Changing the Texas homestead laws requires amending the Texas Constitution. Actions by the Texas legislature to alter the law merely enable Texans to vote on the proposed changes via a constitutional amendment.
False. Texas homesteads can be taken in condemnation actions. The proceeds are protected for a reasonable period to reinvest (reasonable is not defined by these rules).
False. Failure to request a property tax exemption does not alter the protection afforded by homestead laws. It merely results in a potentially greater property tax burden. Homestead rights can not be waived because they are constitutionally vested (publication 857).
True. A Texas homestead can be claimed in a federal bankruptcy filing (publication 953).
False. Assessments are charges levied against property by state or local authorities to fund improvements benefiting the land. Because assessments are not taxes, assessment liens do not attach to homestead property (publication 1110).