My mom is buying her mobile home.

My mom is buying her mobile home.Problem is…the tags are outdated and the owner of the park is the one she pays her mortgage to.She was told she could not have a title because she is buying…and the owner pays for the tags.But…the tags have not been paid for since 2004.Shes trying to get work done on her mobile home and has to have a current registration in her name…after asking the owner they cant find a copy of the current registration…What does she do?

One thought on “My mom is buying her mobile home.

  1. It sounds as if your mother is buying the home under what is commonly referred to as an installment sale. In an installment sale, your mother pays a monthly payment towards ownership, and at the conclusion of the payments, she would receive title to the home. This is, frankly, a very poor situation from your mother’s perspective, as you have since discovered, in that she has no legally recognizable ownership interest in the home until the whole thing is over. Right now, she has what is termed an “equitable ownership interest” in the home.

    I assume that the zip code you gave is where the home is located? If so, then I believe she is seeking a permit from the County of San Bernardino (and not through the State Department of HCD, which would be the case for most mobile home owners). The County can handle the permit in one of two ways, however, in either case, the registration must be paid current before the permit can be issued. First, the permit can be issued in the park owner’s name, as they are presently shown as the Registered Owner on the title. Alternatively, the park owner can transfer title into Mom’s name, and then retain “legal ownership” of the home, which is essentially a lienholder’s interest. The title transfer will take 2 to 6 weeks to process, so it would be faster for the park owners to obtain the permits for work to be done, but they are going to have to pay the registration fees.

    One final note, your mother should have the entire transaction reviewed by an attorney familiar with manufactured and mobile home law. It sounds as if she may be getting a bad deal if the park is not paying the registration fees as they are supposed to do. They also should be in a position of transferring title to your mother if and when she can pay the loan off. Finally, the entire deal should be documented in writing – if its not, your mother is taking a huge risk in that if the park is sold to someone else, she may not be able to prove what the original deal was, and second, she may not be able to ever enforce her rights in that the landlord can always claim she was just “renting” the home. Have her contact someone right away to make sure the deal is properly documented.

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    David Gibbs
    The Gibbs Law Firm, APC
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