In my state homestead exemptions apply, by statute, only to "first and second" mortgages.
Can you direct me to the statute? This is very interesting.
Edit to add and make a request - If you can't give me the actual statute, then maybe indicate which state you are in - I can then find the statute. . .
While certainly I have not read every homestead statute in the US, I am quite perplexed that any Statute would protect a homeowner from a consensual lien, regardless of its rank in order of recording.
Interestingly a colleague of mine apparently put on a seminar dealing with homestead laws. I found the below snippet. I do not know when it was written but can tell you that the law firmís name changed several times over the past 6 or 7 years and Mr. Hebert left about 2 years ago:http://www.ashrlaw.com/dox/homestead.pdf
Every state that allows a homestead exemption excludes certain debts from its protective provisions. Whether by statute or by case law, every state recognizing a homestead exemption does not protect the debtor from consensual liens, mechanicís liens on homestead property, or real property taxes. Many states also carve out of the homestead exemption child support and/or spousal maintenance obligations. Beyond these fairly uniform exceptions, there is quite a divergence. For instance, Minnesota excepts from the protection of its homestead exemption certain health care liens. Several states exempt out-of-state taxes.22 Alabama only protects the debtor from contract claims, and Mississippiís statute offers no protection from bail bond liability. Tennessee, the state with the most unique carve-outs, exempts a number of very specific debts, including fines for voting outside oneís precinct, carrying a concealed weapon, and selling liquor on election day.