For a mobile home owner, dealing with a foreclosure can be a scary chapter in his or her life. The Balance describes foreclosure as “the process that lenders use to take back a house from borrowers who can’t pay their mortgages.”
Foreclosure means you couldn’t or didn’t keep up with the bills and now you’re losing your home as a result. Life comes with so many different curveballs. We get it. You’re probably not here because you want to be here. No one gets to the point of foreclosure, wishing for it to happen.
But now what? You’re here with questions such as “Can the park really take your mobile home?”
Well, let’s explore the answer to that and other details pertaining to foreclosure in mobile home parks.
Can the park really take your home?
So can the park really take your mobile home in the event of foreclosure?
Before we delve into that, let’s discuss the difference between foreclosure and repossession. Yes, we’re going to get into technicalities. But don’t worry. We’ll break it down into easy-to-understand phrasing.
Foreclosure vs. repossession
Your mobile home’s technical property type affects whether you’re dealing with foreclosure or repossession. Actually, the types of loans for mobile homes can be similar to loans for vehicles or other property items such as furniture or appliances.
So, if your mobile home is attached to the property (meaning you own both the home and the land), you could be dealing with foreclosure.
However, if your mobile home is not attached to the property — as in the mobile home is your property, but the land it sits on belongs to the mobile home park — then the lender would treat it much like a vehicle. In such a case, although the mobile home is a dwelling for people to live in, you would be dealing with repossession rather than foreclosure. Foreclosure protections that apply to housing purchased with a mortgage do not apply to mobile homes in the scenario just described.
Because mobile homes that sit on a rented lot do not have good foreclosure protection, they can essentially be repossessed like a car.
So in short, yes, the park can really take your mobile home.
That’s the hard cold truth about foreclosure — or rather about repossession to be accurate. But let’s delve further into the topic of foreclosures as they apply to mobile homes.
Regulations vary from state to state
To be sure, regulations and processes can vary from state to state. Your due diligence is required to ensure you’re not led astray in nuances that may or may not apply to your specific locality.
Foreclosure isn’t immediate
Generally, foreclosure or repossession don’t happen over a payment that’s a few days late. Review your agreement to see what the penalties for late payments are and when they begin to be applied.
Regardless, it’s always the best policy to be in communication with your lender. Don’t wait weeks. Reach out to them as soon as possible if you’re struggling to make ends meet or suspect that you will be late due to a job loss or other financial difficulty. This can afford you the opportunity to work out a deal and seek understanding in hopes of evading foreclosure or repossession. You may have a second chance if you simply reach out.
Additionally, it should be noted that losing your mobile home can happen in as little as two months.
The start of the foreclosure or repossession
To be clear, the process will begin with notifications from your lender and incurred late fees. From there, things can escalate to eviction, as the mobile home is no longer yours.
Eviction could be inevitable
Finding yourself behind on payments is reason enough for eviction from your mobile home. Your lender may call for foreclosure or repossession.
Other reasons include failure to pay lot rent, breaching the terms of your lease, being convicted of being a predatory sex offender (or being convicted of other crimes), or the closure of the park.
Whatever the reasons for eviction, we offer hope at the end of this article. It’s not the easy way — there is no easy way. However, the future is not without hope.
Stopping foreclosure or repossession
That’s right. There are ways to stop a repossession or a foreclosure. We’ll give you the rundown on both. All hope is not lost until you’ve explored and exhausted your options.
So let’s look at what it takes to stop this beast called “foreclosure” in its tracks. Only one thing will stop this beast. In typical dragon fashion, it requires money. But not the glittery, gold variety.
By money, we mean cash. Some states offer a redemptive period for homeowners grappling with foreclosure.
As we stated above, be transparent with your lender. You may be surprised at how willing they are to work with you during your time of struggle. Many would rather work with you than go through the hassle of foreclosure.
Now let’s look at the other nasty beast you may be facing.
If you’re facing repossession of your mobile home, you could choose the road of bankruptcy to prevent it from swallowing you up. Filing for bankruptcy is not a decision to be made lightly. Make sure you consider the drawbacks to filing for bankruptcy — you may be setting things in motion that cannot be undone. In filing for bankruptcy, your mobile home will be protected by an automatic stay and the repossession will come to a screeching stop.
Through the court system, a new payment plan will be calculated. The amount of the loan and the length of time you’ve been paying will contribute to the calculations.
Beware: It may not end after the house is sold
In the case of a mobile home foreclosure or repossession, you will be evicted from your home and the lender will sell it. It’s possible that things don’t end there.
If the sale doesn’t bring in what you owed, you may be sued by the lender. This is called a deficiency judgment. A deficiency judgment is used to recover costs which the sale did not cover. Hopefully, you won’t have to worry about dealing with a deficiency judgment! More expenses are certainly not what you want to deal with.
The cost of foreclosure or repossession
Another point to be aware of is that a foreclosure or repossession of your home can ruin your credit. You may even face significant limitations for about five years — such as being limited in your ability to buy another house.
A last-ditch effort to mitigate the effects
As a last-ditch effort to mitigate the effects of foreclosure or repossession, you can sell your mobile home before you get to that point. Companies such as US Mobile Home Pros are often willing to pay off your debt and purchase your home. This will at least help you navigate away from the negative effects of walking through foreclosure or repossession. We work with brokers all across the country, enabling us to broaden our reach and help as many homeowners as we can. To get a quick quote and find out what we could potentially offer you, complete the short form below and one of our agents will be in touch soon!
Take note of right of first refusal
So what is a right of first refusal? There might be a clause in your contract with the mobile home park that sets out a right of first refusal. In most cases, it means that if you intend to sell your home, the mobile home park must be given the first option to buy it, or the opportunity to match any pending offer you have. The clause also states — again, in most cases — that the new buyer, if not the park itself, must be approved by the mobile home park. (The exception is if the new buyer intends to move the mobile home.) Either way, if your mobile home is sitting in a mobile home park, be sure to check out all the contract stipulations surrounding the sale of your mobile home. We navigated thousands of homeowners through this clause. Give us a call today to see if we can help you.
Selling foreclosed mobile homes
Oftentimes, lenders who have foreclosed mobile homes on their hands are in a hurry to sell them. This means that there is a flip side to the struggle of mobile home foreclosure. The lender’s haste can make for prime shopping time for a buyer.
Beware of rescue scams
Times are tough if you’re facing foreclosure or repossession. Unfortunately, people in dire straights are often the target of scammers or con artists.
Watch out for the scams. Make sure you’re careful about who you allow to give you advice or offer you help. Find reputable companies to assist you in navigating the foreclosure or repossession. “Help” from a phony company can set you back further than the foreclosure or repossession itself.
Look for reviews, testimonials, and certification before you agree to work with any company that assures you they’ll “help.” A reputable company won’t balk at your concern for legitimacy.
What about my personal belongings?
While appliances, cabinets, and fixtures must stay with the mobile home, you can and should remove your personal belongings if you’re home is foreclosed or repossessed.
Seek professional legal advice
In the end, we want to caution you not to view us as a substitute for your attorney. As we noted above, the factors associated with foreclosure or repossession can vary across different localities. For the best information, reach out to a local attorney. They’ll set the record straight and provide pertinent and up-to-date information related to your situation.
Life after foreclosure or repossession
We hope you’re able to ward off the possible threat of losing your home. Our hearts go out to you if this is the path that you find yourself treading.
There comes a time to move on and face a new chapter in life. If you find yourself having to make fresh arrangements for a new home, remember that mobile homes have proven themselves as economically viable housing.
Consider renting a mobile home
If you find that buying a mobile home is not an option, renting a mobile home may be just what the doctor ordered. It could serve as a good catalyst to save up for your dream home. Mobile homes provide affordable housing.
There are four big reasons why renting a mobile home would serve you well.
The pros of renting
- Renting means repairs are not on you. That’s right. As a renter, your landlord or mobile home park management will handle repairs. Plumbing issues? They fix it. Air conditioning challenges? Their problem. Being a homeowner comes with unexpected setbacks in the form of expenses. But as a renter, you can form a somewhat steady expectation of what you’ll be spending each month. Being a homeowner, on the other hand, is much less steady in terms of home expenses.
- Renting means you can save up for a dream home. As we stated above, you have a somewhat steady projection of expenses as a renter. That means you have a clearer target goal for income each month, allowing you the freedom to save for a dream home as you manage your financial goals.
- Renting a mobile home is better than renting an apartment. There are perks to renting a mobile home over an apartment. In a rented mobile home, you can be assured of a more house-like structure and its comforts. For example, you may have a yard and you won’t have to worry about thin walls disturbing neighbors next door to you. You and your neighbors will be separated by more than a single wall. Having an amount of space you’re comfortable with is valuable.
- Renting a mobile home offers more bang for your buck. Oftentimes, a mobile home rental will cost less than an apartment rental. This is good news and a big win all around. What’s not to love about having a yard, getting more out of your dollar, and not having to worry about the repairs that come with owning a home?
When it comes to renting a mobile home, you’ll surely want to read the lease and park policies before you sign any paperwork. Always read the fine print and ask the right questions. After all, if it’s going to be your new home, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into.
If you choose to rent, check out these 7 questions to ask before signing a lease with a mobile home park. There are perks to living in a mobile home park — such as minimal maintenance and not having to pay property tax. But it’s good to know what questions to ask before committing to a rental.