Indiana Park Owners - Adandoned Home with Lien


#1

I would love hear from anyone familiar with Indiana laws. I took over a park in Indiana on 5/1. Upon takeover, the park manager informed us that one of the tenants abandoned his home (took all the appliances and removed his deck, shed, etc) several weeks ago.

We found out that Greentree has a lien on this home and promptly send them a certified letter (per Indiana statute IC 16-41-27-29) that they need to be responsible for the lot rent. However, GT is telling us that someone is apparently still making payments on the home and therefore the home will not go into repo. As such, they are saying that we are responsible for collecting lot rent and that GT is not responsible for anything. We believe the tenant’s in-laws are the ones making the mortgage payments, but cannot get that info from GT.

At this point, I am a bit unclear what recourse I have. I am now in contact with the attorney, but would love to see if any fellow park owners have experienced something similar.

Thanks in advance!

Howard


#2

Track down the in-laws or the home owners themselves.

Someone around the park should be able to point you in the right direction. Mabye the old park owner would have a name or address. Maybe a neighbor could help you.

It is much easier to take care of these problems without a lawyer whenever possible.

If the home owners have a lease for the lot then they are the people you should be after. Learn your local eviction laws now and start that process if you do not have any luck tracking them down quickly.

Briton (IN)


#3

Howard,

I’ve been down this road but not in Indiana. You will need some help from a competent attorney but if Indiana law is anything like FL law then it does not matter if someone else is paying on Greentree’s loan. The lenders 1st position lien should still be subject to storage charges for as long as the home is on your land. Notice requirements must be strictly adhered to. Here is the FL statute FWIW - take a minute to see if Indiana has something similar. 1st put the pressure on the lender with proper notice then negotiate to purchase the home at a discount should you want to keep it in your park.

Good luck and keep us posted,

Karl

723.084 Storage charges on mobile homes.–

(1) As provided by this section, any lien or charge against a mobile home for storage upon the real property on which the mobile home is or has been located is subordinate to the rights of a lienholder for unpaid purchase price or first lien, which is recorded on the title of the mobile home, and the assignee of such lienholder if not recorded on the title. However, storage charges, as provided in this section, may be collected by the real property owner from the lienholder and the assignee of such lienholder by an action at law as authorized by this act. The term “lienholder” as used in this act applies only to the lienholder for unpaid purchase price or first lien who has recorded said lien on the title of the mobile home.

(2) The real property owner shall be entitled to collect storage charges accruing from 5 days after the lienholder receives written notice of either an eviction proceeding instituted by the real property owner against the homeowner, or that the mobile home is abandoned or voluntarily surrendered by the homeowner. The notice shall state that an action for eviction has been filed against the homeowner, the amount of the daily storage charges calculated pursuant to this section, and the date upon which the homeowner is required to make regular payments to the property owner.

(3) The lienholder must notify the property owner within 30 days of receipt of the notice pursuant to subsection (2) whether it intends to make payment of the storage charges and, if the lienholder agrees to make payment, to pay the storage charges accruing to that date. Thereafter, the lienholder shall pay storage charges according to the schedule of payments that the homeowner was responsible for paying. In the event that the lienholder does not notify the property owner of its intention to not pay storage charges, the storage charges shall accrue and be due and owing to the property owner. In the event the lienholder notifies the property owner within 30 days of the receipt of the notice that it does not intend to pay the storage charges, the storage charges shall not accrue, but the lienholder shall not be entitled to any of the protections set forth in this act, and shall be subject to any remedies available to the property owner including retention of possession of the mobile home and foreclosure thereon to satisfy the landlord’s lien for rent.

(4) In the event that the lienholder files either an action for replevin of the home or forecloses on the lien for unpaid purchase price or first lien, the lienholder is responsible for storage charges accrued from 30 days after the date of filing of the action for replevin or foreclosure.

(5) In the event that the homeowner declares bankruptcy, the lienholder is responsible for storage charges accrued from and after 5 days after the final court action discharging the bankruptcy, or releasing the collateral, whichever occurs first.

(6) The maximum storage charge available to the real property owner is a daily rate equal to one-thirtieth of the amount of the monthly payment last paid by the homeowner, the then-current lot rental amount paid by the homeowner, or if no payment has been made, the payment required pursuant to contract between the real property owner and the homeowner. The maximum daily storage charges may be increased over time in accordance with the notice requirements under applicable provisions of Florida law, including, but not limited to, this chapter.

(7) Notice required as set forth in subsection (2) shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested. Notice by certified mail shall be effective on the date of receipt or, if refused, on the date of refusal. All other notices may be by regular mail, and will, for purposes of calculation of time, be considered delivered 5 days after the date postmarked.

(8) For any lien for unpaid purchase price or first lien recorded after April 8, 1992, the lienholder shall notify the property owner of the lien against the mobile home and the address of the lienholder.

(9) It shall be unlawful for the property owner to refuse to allow the lienholder to repossess and move the mobile home for failure to pay any charges which were not noticed in accordance with the requirements of this section. In the event that the real property owner refuses to allow the lienholder to repossess and move the mobile home, then the real property owner shall be liable to the lienholder for each day that the real property owner unlawfully maintains possession of the home, at a daily rate equal to one-thirtieth of the monthly payment last paid by the homeowner to the real property owner, or, if no payment has been made, the payment required pursuant to contract between the real property owner and the homeowner.


#4

I like Briton’s advice here too - just include all parties in your notice requirements since the bank has a vested interest in their investment and the in-laws have little to no skin in the game.

Karl


#5

Howard,

I just emailed you the information that I received from the Indiana BMV regarding abandoned mobile homes. It also has the contact information for the person who handles this for the BMV. I think that info should help out quite a bit.


#6

Howard,

My usual source for such info in Indiana is out for the week. In a nutshell, I think nevans is on the right track. Indiana has a strong abadoned homes statute, one which allows you to take the home if interested parties do not respond. Once I hear from my IN person, I will post what she does in her 200 unit park in such circumstances.

John Hyre


#7

We had a similar problem when we bought our park in Alabama. The tenant was nowhere to be found and lot rent had already accrued in the thousands of dollars.

We tracked down the grandmother, who was a co-signer on the loan. She was the one who was paying the payment (at age 75) because she did not want non-payment on her credit. She told us, however, that the Dr. had just told her she could no longer work so she would not be able to continue with the payments. She even came to the park, and Jim helped her write a letter to Greentree and faxed it to them, stating such. (Greentree had already told us there was nothing they could so as long as the payments were being paid.)

She continued to make payments, even after the letter! We finally solved the problem by requesting the City to condemn the home, which they were happy to do. Jim called Greentree and told them we were under order of the City to have the home gone in 30 days, so their collateral would disappear at that time due to our tearing down the home!

We bought the home from them for $1,000 (a 1995 2/1) and did the necessary work to bring it up to standards. Funny how the “feet to the fire” works! The grandmother had ceased making payments, so they said, and they expedited their normal channels so not to end up with nothing.


#8

Thanks to everyone for all the responses. It i s so reassuring to be able to have this type of support, especially being a newbie.

I’ll post the results once this is resolved (hopefully soon!)