Homestead Exemption and Specific Performance For Breach of Sales Contract
A caller stated that he defaulted on a contract to sell his homestead. The contract buyer sued him for specific performance seeking a court order against the seller to complete the sale. The seller asked me if the Florida homestead protection applies to the specific performance suit. The seller tells me that he read that the homestead law means that no one can force him to sell his house.
Florida’s constitutional homestead provisions do not protect this seller against a specific performance action seeking an order compelling the seller to complete the terms of the contract. The Constitution states that homestead property is exempt from a forced sale “under process of any court” and that no judgment shall be a lien on the homestead. The buyer’s specific performance action does not seek a money judgment that could become a lien on the homestead or force the sale to satisfy the judgment. The specific performance suit is a breach of contract action directed at the individual owners. Specific performance is a remedy to cure a breach of contract.
The Florida homestead exemption protects your house against the execution of money judgments. The exemption does not permit you to ignore or escape from contracts you may have made to sell the homestead to a third party.
About the Author
Jon Alper is an expert in asset protection planning for individuals and small businesses.
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