Title VII. – THE FAMILY (n)
CHAPTER 2 > THE FAMILY HOME (n)
SECTION 1. – General Provisions
Art. 223. The family home is the dwelling house where a person and his family reside, and the land on which it is situated. If constituted as herein provided, the family home shall be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment, except as provided in Articles 232 and 243.
Art. 224. The family home may be established judicially or extrajudicially.
SECTION 2. – Judicial Constitution of the Family Home
Art. 225. The family home may be constituted by a verified petition to the Court of First Instance by the owner of the property, and by approval thereof by the court.
Art. 226. The following shall be beneficiaries of the family home:
(1) The person establishing the same;
(2) His or her spouse;
(3) His or her parents, ascendants, descendants, brothers and sisters, whether the relationship be legitimate or otherwise, who are living in the family home and who depend upon him for support.
Art. 227. The family home may also be set up by an unmarried person who is the head of a family or household.
Art. 228. If the petitioner is married, the family home may be selected from the conjugal partnership or community property, or from the separate property of the husband, or, with the consent of the wife, from her paraphernal property.
Art. 229. The petition shall contain the following particulars:
(1) Description of the property;
(2) An estimate of its actual value;
(3) A statement that the petitioner is actually residing in the premises;
(4) The encumbrances thereon;
(5) The names and addresses of all the creditors of the petitioner and of all mortgagees and other persons who have an interest in the property;
(6) The names of the other beneficiaries specified in Article 226.
Art. 230. Creditors, mortgagees and all other persons who have an interest in the estate shall be notified of the petition, and given an opportunity to present their objections thereto. The petition shall, moreover, be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
Art. 231. If the court finds that the actual value of the proposed family home does not exceed twenty thousand pesos, or thirty thousand pesos in chartered cities, and that no third person is prejudiced, the petition shall be approved. Should any creditor whose claim is unsecured, oppose the establishment of the family home, the court shall grant the petition if the debtor gives sufficient security for the debt.
Art. 232. The family home, after its creation by virtue of judicial approval, shall be exempt from execution, forced sale, or attachment, except:
(1) For nonpayment of taxes; or
(2) In satisfaction of a judgment on a debt secured by a mortgage constituted on the immovable before or after the establishment of the family home.
In case of insolvency of the person constituting the family home, the property shall not be considered one of the assets to be taken possession of by the assignee for the benefit of creditors.
Art. 233. The order of the court approving the establishment of the family home shall be recorded in the Registry of Property.
Art. 234. When there is danger that a person obliged to give support may lose his or her fortune because of grave mismanagement or on account of riotous living, his or her spouse, if any, and a majority of those entitled to be supported by him or by her may petition the Court of First Instance for the creation of the family home.
Art. 235. The family home may be sold, alienated or encumbered by the person who has constituted the same, with the consent of his or her spouse, and with the approval of the court. However, the family home shall under no circumstances be donated as long as there are beneficiaries. In case of sale, the price or such portion thereof as may be determined by the court shall be used in acquiring property which shall be formed into a new family home. Any sum of money obtained through an encumbrance on the family home shall be used in the interest of the beneficiaries. The court shall take measures to implement the last two provisions.
Art. 236. The family home may be dissolved upon the petition of the person who has constituted the same, with the written consent of his or her spouse and of at least one half of all the other beneficiaries who are eighteen years of age or over. The court may grant the petition if it is satisfactorily shown that the best interest of the family requires the dissolution of the family home.
Art. 237. In case of legal separation or annulment of marriage, the family home shall be dissolved, and the property shall cease to be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment.
Art. 238. Upon the death of the person who has set up the family home, the same shall continue, unless he desired otherwise in his will. The heirs cannot ask for its partition during the first ten years following the death of the person constituting the same, unless the court finds powerful reasons therefor.
Art. 239. The family home shall not be subject to payment of the debts of the deceased, unless in his will the contrary is stated. However, the claims mentioned in Article 232 shall not be adversely affected by the death of the person who has established the family home.
SECTION 3. – Extra-judicial Creation of the Family Home
Art. 240. The family home may be extrajudicially constituted by recording in the Registry of Property a public instrument wherein a person declares that he thereby establishes a family home out of a dwelling place with the land on which it is situated.
Art. 241. The declaration setting up the family home shall be under oath and shall contain:
(1) A statement that the claimant is the owner of, and is actually residing in the premises;
(2) A description of the property;
(3) An estimate of its actual value; and
(4) The names of the claimant’s spouse and the other beneficiaries mentioned in Article 226.
Art. 242. The recording in the Registry of Property of the declaration referred to in the two preceding articles is the operative act which creates the family home.
Art. 243. The family home extrajudicially formed shall be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment, except:
(1) For nonpayment of taxes;
(2) For debts incurred before the declaration was recorded in the Registry of Property;
(3) For debts secured by mortgages on the premises before or after such record of the declaration;
(4) For debts due to laborers, mechanics, architects, builders, material-men and others who have rendered service or furnished material for the prosecution of the building.
Art. 244. The provisions of Articles 226 to 228 and 235 to 238 are likewise applicable to family homes extrajudicially established.
Art. 245. Upon the death of the person who has extrajudicially constituted the family home, the property shall not be liable for his debts other than those mentioned in Article 243. However, he may provide in his will that the family home shall be subject to payment of debts not specified in Article 243.
Art. 246. No declaration for the extrajudicial establishment of the family home shall be recorded in the Registry of Property if the estimated actual value of the building and the land exceeds the amount stated in Article 231.
Art. 247. When a creditor whose claim is not mentioned in Article 243 obtains a judgment in his favor, and he has reasonable grounds to believe that the family home of the judgment debtor is worth more than the amount mentioned in Article 231, he may apply to the Court of First Instance for an order directing the sale of the property under execution.
Art. 248. The hearing on the petition, appraisal of the value of the family home, the sale under execution and other matters relative to the proceedings shall be governed by such provisions in the Rules of Court as the Supreme Court shall promulgate on the subject, provided they are not inconsistent with this Code.
Art. 249. At the sale under execution referred to in the two preceding articles, no bid shall be considered unless it exceeds the amount specified in Article 231. The proceeds of the sale shall be applied in the following order:
(1) To the amount mentioned in Article 231;
(2) To the judgment and the costs.
The excess, if any, belongs to the person constituting the family home.
Art. 250. The amount mentioned in Article 231 thus received by the person who has established the family home, or as much thereof as the court may determine, shall be invested in constitution of a new family home. The court shall take measures to enforce this provision.
Art. 251. In case of insolvency of the person creating the family home, the claims specified in Article 243 may be satisfied notwithstanding the insolvency proceedings.
If the assignee has reasonable grounds to believe that the actual value of the family home exceeds the amount fixed in Article 231, he may take action under the provisions of Articles 247, 248 and 249.