homestead exemption

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

An exemption from liability given to all or a portion of a primary residence. In most states, only a portion of the homeowner's equity, such as $20,000, can be protected from a bankruptcy trustee or creditors who wish to sell the home to pay off debts owed by the homeowner. Other states exempt all of a homeowner's primary residence from repayment of debts, and still other states exempt all of a homeowner's primary residence only if it is under a certain size.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.