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Mobile Homes and Foreclosure

What You Need To Know

  • I Am Buying My Mobile Home.  What Happens lf I Miss My Monthly Mobile Home Payment? 

    What happens next depends on the legal status of your mobile home.  The seller's legal remedy differs depending on whether your mobile home is a titled vehicle parked on the land or if it is considered permanently affixed to the land with a foundation.

    If you are buying a mobile home that is affixed to the land, you are only buying real estate.
      The mobile home is part of the land and you are buying both, just like you cannot buy a house without also buying the land on which it sits.  Because the mobile home has become part of the land, only real estate laws apply.  If you borrowed the purchase price from a bank, then you have a mortgage and the lender's only legal option if you miss a payment is to file a foreclosure action.  Buyers subject to a foreclosure action are considered homeowners and qualify for programs like Save The Dream Ohio that can help them save their home. 

    However this is not true for the other types of mobile home buyers discussed below.  See the Foreclosure section for more information.  If you are buying the mobile home on land contract and you miss a payment, the seller has to file either an eviction or a foreclosure depending on how much you have paid and how long you have been making payments.  See the Land Contract section for more information.

    If you are buying a mobile home that is not affixed to the land, you are only buying a mobile home and mobile home laws apply to your purchase.  Buying a mobile home is similar to buying any titled vehicle like a car, bus or boat.  If you miss a monthly payment, the seller, having a secured interest (recorded lien) in the mobile home has the right to self-help repossession.  However this is only allowed when it can be done without breaching the peace.  See Ohio Revised Code § 1309.609(B)(2).  As a practical matter it is rarely attempted, because it is extremely difficult to tow away an occupied mobile home without breaching the peace.

    There is however a judicial process called "replevin" that accomplishes the same result as repossession.  If successful, the seller obtains a court order against the buyer who missed his payment forcing him to turn over possession of the mobile home to the seller.  A replevin action moves quickly and the buyer must request a hearing within five business days of receiving the notice of replevin.  See the Replevin Timeline page for more information. 

    Note that once the creditor has recovered the mobile home via replevin, there are other laws that require further notices to the buyer.  If the original purchase money financing paperwork came from a financial institution, the creditor will be required to comply with Ohio's Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) notices; if the paperwork came from a mobile home dealer, the creditor must comply with the UCC and Ohio's Retail Installment Sales Act (RISA) notice provisions. 

    When dealing with replevin and associated legal issues it is always recommended that buyers consult an attorney for legal advice.  If you cannot afford an attorney call 1-866-Law-Ohio or visit OhioLegalServices.org for your closest legal aid office.

Renting A Mobile Home

Mobile Home Park

Where you rent the mobile home determines which law applies to your rental contract.  If the mobile home you are renting is situated in a mobile home park (also known as a manufactured home park) then your rights as a mobile home renter or tenant are governed by Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4781.  If the park operator or manager wants to evict you from the park for any reason, including non-payment of rent or another breach of the lease, then he has to follow the rules and procedures set forth in O.R.C. Chapter 4781. 

Mobile Homes On Private Land

If you rent a mobile home sitting on private land not part of a mobile home park, then your rental contract is governed by O.R.C. Chapter 5321 because you are considered in the same situation as a tenant renting a house or apartment.  Your rights as a tenant under Ohio's landlord-tenant law, Chapter 5321, are about the same as those granted to a mobile home park tenant. 

For example, Chapter 5321 allows a landlord to terminate a month-to-month tenancy for any reason whatsoever by simply giving the tenant a thirty-day notice that the month-to-month lease will not be renewed the following month.  If the tenant does not vacate the mobile home at the end of the month, the landlord may file an eviction action in court after he gives the tenant one last three-day notice to vacate.

The landlord's ability to give a thirty-day notice is exactly the same as the laws that govern mobile home park tenant contracts.  Though mobile home owners renting a lot in a mobile home are given greater rights, if you are renting a mobile home, whether it is in a mobile home park or on private land, the law treats renters (tenants) the same

This website provides general legal information and not legal advice.  The law is complex and changes frequently. 
Before you apply any general legal information to a particular situation, consult an attorney. 
If you cannot afford an attorney call 1-866-Law-Ohio (1-866-529-6446) or visit OhioLegalHelp.org for your closest legal aid office.