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What are the consequences for a voluntary repossession of a mobile home not attached to land?

Dallas, TX |

Owner wants to move and has been trying to sell. Potential buyers cannot afford mortgage payment and lot rent - double wide. Owner wants to "return" or do a voluntary repossession. Home is in a mobile home park and not considered "real" estate, as home is not attached to the land. Real estate agents cannot assist because the home is not attached to land. The value of the home is depreciating and not worth the remaining balance owed on the home. What can the owner do? Owner feels trapped. Would this be treated like a repossessed car? Would home be sold and could owner be sued for balance? Please advise.

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Attorney answers 1


The consequences are similar to that of a repossessed vehicle - in most states they are treated the same. Your loan was a contact between you and the bank, whereby they agreed to lend you the money to buy the mobile home, you agreed to make the monthly loan payments, to keep it insure, to maintain it, etc. A voluntary repo is a breach of the agreement. Once you do that, the lender is free to follow the provisions of the controlling state and federal law to recover what was permitted to it under the contract.

Just as with deeds in lieu of foreclosure and short sales, it seems that many consumers don’t understand the position they put themselves in if they turn in an item of collateral - in no way does that wipe out the obligation. You put yourself at the creditor’s mercy. It is not obligated to accept anything less than the full amount due it, which is the full value of the contract, whatever that was.

The lender is likely to do both - to sell the motor home to recover whatever it can toward the debt, which from what you say is worth less than the debt, and then to add all its costs of sale, etc. and sue you for the balance.

Please note that I do not practice in your state, and that the above is not intended as legal advice, is for educational purposes only. The National Association of Consumer Advocates is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization. NACA maintains a web site at where it lists geographically consumer law attorneys all over the US. Please look there for someone in your area who specializes in debt collection defense to advise you.

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