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Replevin is a civil action to recover possession of specific personal property prior to the entry of judgment and can only be accomplished as set forth in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2737.  Replevin is the judicial equivalent of self-help repossession.  Generally the only time a replevin action is filed is when a self-help repossession will not work.  A replevin action is costly, in attorney fees, court costs and bond costs, and takes time for the filing, hearings, trial and judgment.

Replevin is used by creditors to gain possession of personal property such as a mobile home, car, boat or airplane when the buyer fails to make payments.  It only applies to mobile homes that are not permanently affixed to the land.  Once a mobile home is on a foundation, it becomes part of the real estate.  Unless the real estate is being purchased by a land contract, a foreclosure action would have to be filed when the buyer of real estate fails to make his payments. 

Replevin is the equivalent of a foreclosure on a mobile home that is not attached to the land.  The main difference being that in a foreclosure you don't have to leave your house until the case is over and the house is sold to a new owner, whereas in a successful replevin the mobile home is given to the creditor at the beginning of the case before it goes to trial.

Replevin Self-Help Answer Form

To help low-income Ohioans unable to retain legal counsel, the Ohio Poverty Law Center has created an answer form that mobile home purchasers can complete and file in their replevin or foreclosure case.  The link listed below to the form is completed through a self-guided interview process that enables immediate, easy, 24/7 access at no cost to low-income Ohioans who have no legal representation in their lawsuit. 

The form is created by an online application that prompts Ohioans to answer questions with the information needed to create this legal document.  Using this online template, an individual is guided through an “interview session” and responds to a series of questions regarding her own situation.  After completing this information, a personalized replevin or foreclosure answer is produced that can be saved and printed.  The final form also includes instructions for signing and filing the document with the court.


Below is the timeline of a typical replevin action. 

Day 1
  • Payment is missed
Day 2
  • Creditor goes to clerk of court and files a complaint, motion and affidavit for an order of possession of property
    •  Must include description, value and location of the specific property
Day 3 - 4
  • You receive your copy the motion and other documents mailed by the clerk of court
    •  Also included is a notice (form) that you can fill out and return to the clerk of court to request a
        hearing, the date, time, and location of which has already been determined and is included in
        the mailing
    •  The notice must be in duplicate must be received not less than seven business days prior to the
    date on which the hearing is scheduled
Day 8 - 9
  • You must deliver your written request for a hearing to the office of the clerk of court, not later than the end of the fifth business day after you receive the notice in the mail.
    •  The day you receive the notice in the mail from the clerk of court is day zero and the next day
        is day one, etc.  A business day is any day the office of the clerk of court is open for business,
        which does not include weekends and court holidays.

  • You may avoid having a hearing but retain possession of the property until the entry of final judgment in the action by filing with the office of the clerk of court, not later than the end of the fifth business day after you receive the notice, a bond executed by an acceptable surety in the amount stated on the notice
    •  Ask the clerk of court about what "an acceptable surety" means for your court
  • If you neither request a hearing nor purchase a bond and the court finds there is probable cause to support the motion, then the court may issue an order of possession without conducting a hearing
    •  The court may grant a continuance of the scheduled hearing, if prior to the hearing you establish a
        reasonable justification for your failure to request the hearing within the prescribed time
  • The hearing is limited to a consideration of whether there is probable cause to support the motion for an order of possession of property
  • If a decision is made in favor of the creditor, the court will enter an order of possession in favor of the creditor
    •  An order of possession issued by a court shall not be effective until the creditor files with the court a
       bond in an amount twice the approximate value of the property
    •  After the bond is filed, a levying officer receives the order, takes possession of the property and
       leaves you a copy of the court’s decision ordering possession
Recovering Your Property
  • If you are able to, you can file a bond for twice the value of the property then it will be returned to you pending the outcome of the case
    •  If you are unable to obtain the bond, if asked, the court may lower the required bond amount
  • If you lose the case and judgment is issued against you, the creditor can choose whether to take the property back or accept payment from the bond in the amount of the value of the property and any other losses sustained

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.