[ PHOENIX ] — With the start of Arizona’s 2022 legislative session, Representative Andrea Dalessandro has advocated for stronger consumer protections by introducing House Bill 2297 (HB2297), which reverses certain elements of the 2021 Arizona House Bill 2617 (HB2617), “Homestead Protections.”
Healthcare Rising Arizona has worked on HB2297 with Representative Dalessandro because 1 of 6 Arizonans has unpaid medical bills, and medical debt is a serious issue facing Arizona families. Dalessando is a member of Healthcare Rising Arizona.
Arizona has historically protected the primary residence, or “homestead”, through limiting the ability of debt collectors to use the value of a person’s home to collect on their debts. These protections recognize the importance of allowing people to keep their primary homes while paying off debts. The “homestead exemption” in current law protects home equity up to a certain amount from debt collectors and prohibits debt judgments from attaching to the value of the primary residence.
Unfortunately, Arizona’s homestead exemption has been substantially weakened by legislation passed last year. That legislation, HB2617, gutted protections for Arizona homeowners by automatically converting past and future debt judgments into liens that attach to the homestead, and allowing debt collectors to evade the homestead exemption if the homeowner refinances.
Rep. Dalessandro has introduced HB2297, which would reverse these harmful changes to restore the integrity of Arizona’s homestead exemption, restore protections for consumers who refinance their homes, and restore the prohibition against debt judgments attaching to the homestead.
“Imagine if you needed to refinance your house to replace a broken AC unit in the middle of summer,” said Dalessandro. “If you had any outstanding debt judgments, you would not be able to access those needed funds as they would be automatically sent to creditors. HB 2297 recognizes the need for homeowners to have autonomy over their home equity by reversing these pernicious automatic liens.”
You can read the summary of the bill here.
Paid for by Healthcare Rising Arizona. Not authorized by any candidate.