IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN THE TRANSFER OF REAL ESTATE ON WHICH THERE SITS A MOBILE HOME OR DOUBLE-WIDE OR MANUFACTURED HOME - WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT, DO EVERYBODY A FAVOR AND FIND THE TITLE ASAP.
Okay, glad I got that one off my chest. LOL
Listen up, if the seller does not have the original - not a copy - mobile home title in their possession, you need lots of time to resolve your situation. It's not gonna happen quickly and so you don't want to be two days before closing and have your title agent ask you for the mobile home title and you say HUH? What title? This is especially serious when the buyer is getting a mortgage because the mortgage lender won't close without controlling the destiny of the mobile home title.
These are the most common situations:
- Seller borrowed money using the mobile home as collateral, so just like a car loan, the lender has the original title in their file. They will not give it to anyone until they have been paid in full. This is especially tough if the new mortgage lender wants the title surrendered before you close. [I know that sounds hideously impossible because it is.]
- Seller lost the mobile home title. In this case, the seller must apply to the state department of motor vehicles for a duplicate title.
- Seller never got a mobile home title when they purchased the home. This one is tough. In PA, you can give the department of motor vehicles as much history as possible and wait while they research the title. If they can locate the records, they will issue a duplicate of the existing title -which is in the name of whoever sold it to your seller. You seller then has to go find those people and get them to transfer the title to the seller so the seller can transfer the title to the new buyer. Got it? Hope you can find the previous owner and they are nice.
- The property has gone through foreclosure and the lender just never thought about the mobile home title. The foreclosure attorney can go back to the judge and ask for a court order cancelling the mobile home title. This court order is just as good as evidence that the title was surrendered.
Here's some advice for everybody. If you have in your possession evidence that a mobile home was surrendered, record it as an exhibit with the deed. Get it on record, PLEASE, because you know that piece of paper will fall into someone's black hole and then the entire process will have to be repeated in the next transfer.
There's alot more we could chat about on the subject of mobile home titles, but if I can get just that one message out there - please start working on it as soon as you can. Any fix will take time and time makes people nervous and time is rate risk and, well you know, time is just one thing most folks aren't prepared for.
Take care, be diligent and have patience. ;)