Chapter 2. The Family Home
Art. 152. The family home, constituted jointly by the husband and the wife or by an unmarried head of a family, is the dwelling house where they and their family reside, and the land on which it is situated. (223a)
Art. 153. The family home is deemed constituted on a house and lot from the time it is occupied as a family residence. From the time of its constitution and so long as any of its beneficiaries actually resides therein, the family home continues to be such and is exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment except as hereinafter provided and to the extent of the value allowed by law. (223a)
Art. 154. The beneficiaries of a family home are:
(1) The husband and wife, or an unmarried person who is the head of a family; and
(2) Their parents, ascendants, descendants, brothers and sisters, whether the relationship be legitimate or illegitimate, who are living in the family home and who depend upon the head of the family for legal support. (226a)
Art. 155. The family home shall be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment except:
(1) For nonpayment of taxes;
(2) For debts incurred prior to the constitution of the family home;
(3) For debts secured by mortgages on the premises before or after such constitution; and
(4) For debts due to laborers, mechanics, architects, builders, materialmen and others who have rendered service or furnished material for the construction of the building. (243a)
Art. 156. The family home must be part of the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, or of the exclusive properties of either spouse with the latter’s consent. It may also be constituted by an unmarried head of a family on his or her own property.
Nevertheless, property that is the subject of a conditional sale on installments where ownership is reserved by the vendor only to guarantee payment of the purchase price may be constituted as a family home. (227a, 228a)
Art. 157. The actual value of the family home shall not exceed, at the time of its constitution, the amount of the three hundred thousand pesos in urban areas, and two hundred thousand pesos in rural areas, or such amounts as may hereafter be fixed by law.
In any event, if the value of the currency changes after the adoption of this Code, the value most favorable for the constitution of a family home shall be the basis of evaluation.
For purposes of this Article, urban areas are deemed to include chartered cities and municipalities whose annual income at least equals that legally required for chartered cities. All others are deemed to be rural areas. (231a)
Art. 158. The family home may be sold, alienated, donated, assigned or encumbered by the owner or owners thereof with the written consent of the person constituting the same, the latter’s spouse, and a majority of the beneficiaries of legal age. In case of conflict, the court shall decide. (235a)
Art. 159. The family home shall continue despite the death of one or both spouses or of the unmarried head of the family for a period of ten years or for as long as there is a minor beneficiary, and the heirs cannot partition the same unless the court finds compelling reasons therefor. This rule shall apply regardless of whoever owns the property or constituted the family home. (238a)
Art. 160. When a creditor whose claims is not among those mentioned in Article 155 obtains a judgment in his favor, and he has reasonable grounds to believe that the family home is actually worth more than the maximum amount fixed in Article 157, he may apply to the court which rendered the judgment for an order directing the sale of the property under execution. The court shall so order if it finds that the actual value of the family home exceeds the maximum amount allowed by law as of the time of its constitution. If the increased actual value exceeds the maximum allowed in Article 157 and results from subsequent voluntary improvements introduced by the person or persons constituting the family home, by the owner or owners of the property, or by any of the beneficiaries, the same rule and procedure shall apply.
At the execution sale, no bid below the value allowed for a family home shall be considered. The proceeds shall be applied first to the amount mentioned in Article 157, and then to the liabilities under the judgment and the costs. The excess, if any, shall be delivered to the judgment debtor. (247a, 248a)
Art. 161. For purposes of availing of the benefits of a family home as provided for in this Chapter, a person may constitute, or be the beneficiary of, only one family home. (n)
Art. 162. The provisions in this Chapter shall also govern existing family residences insofar as said provisions are applicable. (n)