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Question DetailsAsked on 5/30/2017

Need old mobile home removed or demolished. No title. For as little as possible. In El Dorado County, CA

Home was built in the 1970's and is approximately 1500 sq. ft. My mom has lived in it for 25 years. Long story short she was leasing to own from a lady who went through bankruptcy 20 years ago and was told to stop the payments until she was notified. Has never been notified and has not made a payment on it in 20 years. Therefore, the reason for the no title. But the time has come for it to be replaced, so we need to dispose of it.

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3 Answers

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Unfortunately, on the title - you cannot legally dispose of it without holding title without exposing her to a lot of potential liability (including even criminal charges if the owner got nasty and tried to recoup the max after the bankruptcy), and a junkyard or scrap metal dealer should not accept it without a title in her your mother's name.


Your options are to contact the original owner's bankruptcy lawyer for a release and title - though you are about 19-20 years late on following up on the no payments thing. And it is quite possible that the trailer and lease payments were assigned or sold to someone (or reclaimed by a lender) in the bankruptcy, so it may be someone you have never heard of would come looking for 20 years of payments (though they probably could not collect through the legal system on more than 3-7 years worth.


Another possibility is the owner never declared this property in bankruptcy - which would be illegal (if she truly owned it, which might also be in question) - so there is significant potential for hassles/problems if she or some other owning party comes looking for their property in the condition it was in 20 years ago !


If you/she owns the land, then I would get an attorney to effect a quitclaim (abandonment of ownership) on the trailer and get a title for it - otherwise you will likely have to (assuming this type/size of mobile home is counted as vehicles in your state) post a bond for the appraised value of the trailer in case someone comes looking to recover it in order to get a title. If built-in on the land (no longer mobile) then it is probably real property - technically belonging to whoever owns the land, according to the recorded title. A surprise may come about here - might turn out your mother does not own the land and the title belongs to someone else, so she could technically be evicted from the land in that case.


If the previous owner owned the land, then could be a real mess - though that also brings up the possibilitiy of a walk-away, though you would definitely need an attorney's input on that and the risks involved, whether the lease is still valid, and your mother's equity in the trailer.


I definitely think you need a real estate attorney on this to avoid mis-steps which could result in a lot of hassle or cost to your mother. Also, since she was leasing to own, would have to come up with a copy of the original contract and proof of payments to be able to prove what her ownership percentage in the trailer is - depending on how many payments she had made, it is even possible that the property was declared paid off/abandoned in the bankruptcy proceeding and she actually owns it - though getting a title will still be a hassle.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD

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To clarify more...the mobile home is in a mobile home park and we pay space rent every month. So neither the owner, nor my mother owns the land.

Answered 1 year ago by michellepruett

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Well, that eliminates the real property case, and also the possibility of abandoning it in place. Since she has been paying the space rental (presumably in her name) the trailer park owner will certainly hold her liable if she moved away and left the trailer there.


More and more sounds like you need an attorney - perhaps an estate/probate attorney since they are fairly conversant in cleaning up incomplete titles in estates, and if she doesnot have one already might lead into an estate planning session to clean up any other loose ends in her assets and look at other factors like Will and Powers of Attorney and such which she should have at her age.


and of course dig out any documentation on the lease, payments she made and any receipts or cancelled checks for them, any paperwork from the bankruptcy especially any saying don't pay until she is contacted because normally a continuing lease has to be paid through the bankruptcy proceeding unless the lease is being cancelled in the bankruptcy, etc.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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