Reposession of mobile home in Texas

Buyer defaulted on promissory note on a Texas personal property mobile home. She will not communicate. How do I get her out. Demand was sent, and a notice to vacate. Help.

Get an attorney to step you through this the first time. Your education is worth it. Then you’ll know exactly how it works in Texas, and you can probably do all subsequent repossessions yourself.

It sounds like you are RTO-ing (or rent-crediting) this home to the tenant? That’ll make this a regular eviction, unless title has transferred.

It’ll go something like this:

  1. Provide statutory Pay-or-Quit notice (probably both tape it on resident’s door, and mail copy certified mail)

  2. Waiting statutory amount of time

  3. File eviction w. local county court

In court just show the judge your rental paperwork (don’t confuse matters with the purchase agreement). But even if the resident makes a ‘stink’ about how this is a RTO agreement, it will not make much difference. The judge will likely say ‘well, regardless of what we call it, did you make your payment this month?’ The resident will have to say ‘no,’ and you’ll win the eviction.

Then you begin again with another resident and try and provide affordable housing to a more deserving more reliably family.

To your continued success,


This is not a rental, the title has been transfered.

You have two options. The first is to offer to pay the tenant to leave – essentially greenmail them to give you the home back. How much? Maybe $500 to $1,000 based on the next option. The other option is to hire an attorney and file for foreclosure. Ask the attorney what that will cost, and that may help you make your decision on #1 above. It might cost you $2,000+ in legal fees to do the foreclosure correctly, not to mention take months of time. So paying the tenant even $1,000 to get out now may be a bargain when you compare the legal fees and opportunity cost of no payment on the home for months.

Even before the SAFE Act, many park owners were getting fed up with the foreclosure process in the U.S., and changing over to rentals. Transferring the title to someone who you know going in has a high likelihood of default is a flawed business model. If the customer cannot pay you in cash, then “trusting” them in the form of a promissory note is often a scary concept, when you have to factor in filing a foreclosure instead of a simple eviction (which is easy and quick).

One other option – but I warn you that this option is flawed - is simply to file for the eviction (even though you probably really need a foreclosure). Sometimes the tenant will run off by the mere sight of the constable at their door, without even bothering to see if the action is appropriate. Since it only costs about $150 to file an eviction and get them served, you might try that option first and see if you luck out. But if they’re sophisticated, they’ll know that you can’t foreclose using a simple eviction. My bet is that they’re too stupid to know the difference. Ask you attorney to make sure that this is even a legal strategy in your area before you proceed.

Do you own the land? If not, you are technically going to have to file a foreclosure-type action. This involves at least two demand letters sent (30? 60? I forget) days apart. You will need a lawyer. (Unlike eviction.) I think we spent about $1000 on the last one, which did not involve going to court – they paid the fees and caught up.

We’ve had just about 100% success with “voluntary surrender” letters that the tenants sign when we own the land (and we can non-renew the ground lease). We sometimes offer a little “greenmail” to encourage them on their way and get the house back in quasi-good condition. We always mention how much they owe and say that we will not pursue them for the balance or report them to credit agencies if they sign the letter. This seems to be a good motivator.

We have not actually tried the problem of “evicting” the usual way when the tenant leases the land but has a mortgage on the home. The technical requirements of this are ridiculous (must haul the home to a licensed and bonded impound yard, which such thing probably does not exist). In this situation, if we had to, we would probably follow Frank’s advice and try an eviction the “usual” way and see what the judge does.

Actually, voluntary surrender letters have also worked when we did not own the land, but you have a lot less leverage. And it sounds like your tenant is already ignoring you.

As Jefferson says, your mileage may vary.