By: Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently upheld the lower courts’ decisions holding that a debtor’s non-primary residence qualified for the federal “homestead” exemption under section 522(d)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code. In re Maresca, Case No. 19-3331 (2d. Cir. Dec. 14, 2020). Read the full opinion here.

The facts of this case are straightforward and undisputed. After Debtor and her husband purchased a home, they divorced but continued to own the property jointly. Although Debtor no longer resided at the property, it served as her ex-husband’s primary residence and her son spent several days there every week. In 2016, Debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and claimed a federal “homestead” exemption for the property under section 522(d)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code.