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Bankruptcy And Manufactured Homes: What You Need To Know

Law Blog

In many states in the US, people purchase manufactured homes to place on their property instead of building a home. This is a less expensive and faster way of getting a home on your property, so you can begin living in your new place right away. While manufactured homes are cozy and make good homes, they begin life as personal property subject to certificate of title laws. Manufactured homes may be lost in a bankruptcy if the paperwork isn't prepared properly. 

What Is Different With Manufactured Homes?

Because manufactured homes are subject to certificate of title laws, a security interest must be noted on the certificate title. Whether the home remains personal property covered by a certificate of title or becomes real property covered by a mortgage when it's installed at your new place on a piece of land isn't clear. This means when it come to bankruptcy, the manufactured home becomes a tricky subject. Even major lending institutions sometimes mess up the paperwork in such a way that their security interest isn't properly perfected. 

Bankruptcy trustees know to watch out for these circumstances when it comes to manufactured homes and closely examine your financing documents. If these documents are not prepared properly, the trustee can intervene, and you can lose your property. Anytime a lien isn't perfected by the time a bankruptcy petition is filed, it's too late for the creditor. The trustee can take over the creditor's interest. 

What Can You Do?

Whenever you own a manufactured home, show all your financial documents to your lawyer. He or she can determine whether the paper work is in order. If it isn't, the lawyer can try to the lender fix it before you file for bankruptcy. If you have the paperwork corrected, keep in mind that it must be done at least three months before you file bankruptcy. If you don't wait the allotted amount of time, the trustee can nullify the fixed paperwork. 

What Issues May Arise?

If the trustee eliminates a lien because it's unperfected, new preferences issues may arise. Keep in mind that payments on secured loans aren't avoidable preferences, but payments on unsecured loans might be. So, whenever a trustee avoids a lien, the loan is considered unsecured at the time, so all pre-bankruptcy payments to your creditors within the 90 day time period become avoidable preferences

If you decide to buy a manufactured home, instead of building a house, make sure the paperwork is done correctly. You don't want to lose your property over some mistakes in paperwork. If you have questions about your paperwork prior to filing, discuss it with a bankruptcy attorney to determine if you are at risk for losing your mobile home.


8 December 2014