MHP Asset Protection Advice?


#1

My partner and I recently put a 53 space mobile home park under contract in SC and are currently doing our DD. The structure of our park is as follows:

  1. There will be lot renters where money is paid each month to rent the land; most likely collected by a management company

  2. We will add homes to our park and lease option them incorporated with a net lease to buyers with stated terms. The monies collected will also more than likely be the responsibility of the management company.

I have spoken with an attorney and CPA and their advice is:

  1. Form 2 LLC with one that owns the dirt and the other is where the monies are collected and dispersed.

OR

  1. Just have 1 LLC and then adequate liability insurance for the park along with personal umbrella policies.

Our main concern is asset protection, but any advice on the structure is welcome. Does anyone feel any of these options are the better route? Would you suggest something different? Lastly, would you use an attorney to set everything up or is this something we could very easily do on our own and save the attorney fees.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Post Edited (11-16-07 09:51)


#2

ASSUMING you are NOT located in California

Here is my simplistic two cents (not to be construed as Legal Advice)

‘Dirt LLC’ to hold title for the dirt and any/all equipment used to maintain the property. No equipment or ancillary buildings etc in use at the property is in any of the LLC members personal names.

Strip any & all the equity of ‘dirt’ & equipment via a VALID note to a ‘Management LLC’ This LLC receives all monies (lot rents etc) to service the Note & management fees to run the park. If formed in Nevada the Interest rate payable on the Nevada held notes are not subject to restrictive “Other State” usuary laws. ‘Dirt LLC’ must be kept destitute.

Management LLC does not hold ANY Dangerous assets, and is not in any way tied to the Dirt LLC via % ownership etc. It does NOT pay salaries for park workers etc that must be done through the Dirt LLC. Preferably neither the Dirt; Lease Option nor Management LLC should be single member LLC’s.

Depending on recognition by your state form a series “Lease Option LLC” that then holds title to all units ‘owned’ but have lease optioned. The Lease Optioned units are an Ins Liability so have adequate insurance on each. Lease Option documents MUST record the Lease Option LLC as the Lessor and ‘owner’ for the INS policies.

Any & all electrical (or other dangerous) work done at the facility and particularly to the leased units must be done by LICENSED workers to avoid INS denials and difficult to defend lawsuits. Never personally sign for any work orders, always have an authorized employee of Dirt LLC do it. Have very tight employee Job Descriptions & responsibilities on file & signed. Always be careful of who you choose as a business partner and very careful who you hire.

If a series LLC is not possible just do one LLC to hold all lease option units but make sure all are stripped of any equity. Multiple LLC’s for each unit leased (the next best option) would be safer but very expensive.

Make sure the Management LLC holds the notes on each unit owned by the Lease Option LLC to effectively strip any equity in the units. Make sure you do the title transfer & the notes at the same time to avoid vulnerable periods of ownership. You must adequately capitalize the Dirt LLC & Lease Option LLC to avoid other issues.

If you are financing the Lease Option units the seller(s) may have a problem with the Lease Option LLC ownership (min recourse on LLC defaulting). Be VERY careful here with tying yourself personally to the title just to get it on site and to qualify for any financing. I would avoid having a paper trail of you ever owning the unit & never just lend the money to someone to put it in their name you could still be attached to the unit via discoveries.

Management LLC should be kept under the radar. No-one other than you & immediate ‘members’ need to know it exits. The notes it holds are valuable assets. There are other levels of protection for the Management LLC but it gets more involved.

The best nominee for your Domestic Dirt LLC is your attorney so consult him on all of the above. Many are clueless about the intricacies so find one up on all the issues. Other LLC’s may be formed elsewhere such as Nevada etc but they will have a nexus in the state of operation. Best to have the stealth Management LLC in Nevada or New Mexico etc. Choose a reputable company in that state to set it up. The decision where to form the LLC factors in the best state for ‘charging order’ protection on all but especially the Management LLC.

NEVER NEVER mix personal finances with LLC’s. Keep all accounting above board and carefully document any transfer of monies between LLC’s.

Pay all taxes.

DOCUMENT DOCUMENT

Document everything within the LLC Operating Agreement carefully and then work on your own personal asset protection because you are very vulnerable when dealing with this ‘residential culture’.

Good luck


#3

Under the books and courses tab you will find courses by Dyches Boddiford on Asset Protection he has some great material as well as the seminars he does throughout the year on the subject, Dyches is very knowledgeable in this area and his materials could be a real benefit to you. Dyches has materials that cover all your other area’s of concern as well.