STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1411
RE: S.B. No. 566
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, to which was referred S.B. No. 566, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Credit Union League. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Legislative Reference Bureau and Hawaii Financial Services Association.
Your Committee finds that attachment and execution are legal remedies for satisfying money judgments. Specifically, attachment is typically the pre-trial provisional remedy of seizing property in anticipation of a favorable ruling for the party claiming to be owed money, whereas execution is the seizure and transfer or sale of money to satisfy a money judgment.
Your Committee further finds that statutory homestead exemptions protect a certain amount of value in a debtor's home from attachment and execution, including in bankruptcy proceedings. Under existing law, the homestead exemption amounts are $30,000, if the debtor is either the head of a family or 65 years of age or older, or $20,000 for all other persons. However, these amounts have not been adjusted since 1978. Your Committee notes that $1 in 1978 had an equivalent buying power of more than $4 in 2020.
Your Committee additionally finds that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been substantial on the State. The percentage of persons in the State who are not current on their mortgage loans more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. Furthermore, nearly half of the households in Hawaii have reported a decline in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This measure will provide policymakers with the information necessary to make an informed decision on whether the homestead exemption should be increased and, if so, the appropriate amount of the increase.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that the Legislative Reference Bureau may solicit input from any individual or entity the Legislative Reference Bureau believes necessary to complete the study; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 566, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 566, S.D. 1, H.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce,
AARON LING JOHANSON, Chair