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Foreclosures of Manufactured (Mobile) Homes

The law often is unclear as to whether a manufactured home is considered real estate. If the manufactured home is treated as real estate, the foreclosure rules are similar to any other home. If the manufactured home is treated as personal property, the foreclosure rules then are similar to car repossessions discussed in Chapter 14, above. The answer will vary from state to state and often will depend on where the home was when the loan documents were signed. Was it on the dealer’s lot or was it attached semi-permanently to your own land or at a manufactured home park? Is there a title to the home or are the ownership documents recorded in the local land records?

You should consider seeking a loan modification (as discussed in the prior chapter) if you are behind on payments, whether your manufactured home is classified as real estate or as personal property. Similarly, no matter how your state law treats manufactured homes, filing bankruptcy can stop its seizure and provide options for curing the default. In addition, manufactured home loan documents often state that you have the right to “cure” your delinquent payments. You can stop the seizure if within 30 days of the notice date you pay past-due amounts, late charges, and related fees.

If your manufactured home is treated as personal property, a lender may send a representative to repossess your manufactured home; more likely, however, your lender will take you to court and try to have the court order a sheriff to seize your manufactured home. Like other court actions, you should get legal help as soon as possible to defend against the lender’s claims.

Manufactured Home Evictions from Parks. If you rent park space for your manufactured home, failure to make your lot rent payments can result in your eviction. Typically, the park owner must first file a legal action to evict you. In some states, this legal action will be similar to other landlord and tenant actions, as discussed in Chapter 20. Other states have special legislation dealing with manufactured home park evictions, and these may even allow a park owner to seize your home.

You will need to check with a specialist who is knowledgeable about these issues in your state, such as a lawyer, manufactured home park tenants’ association, or manufactured home owners’ association. You should deal with your lot rent as a priority debt just as high as your manufactured home loan payment.