Because the Government in all it's wisdom does not want you to be homeless, in case you get yourself in trouble. They are allowing you to keep the first $250,000 of equity in your primary residence. If you live in the Great Falls, MT area, the average list price is below that. As long as you make your current monthly morgage payments and are not in trouble with your lender, know one can place a lien on your house and try and take it away, but you must have a Homestead in place. That means on file at your local County Court House. Contact your Attorney for legal advise, I am not an Attorney and I do not profess to know all the legal ramifications of the Homestead Act. Please contact an Attorney for a more legal answer. A Title Company can also help you with filling a Homestead Deed on your property.