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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33803
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I took back a mobile home with a deed in lieu of

Customer Question

I took back a mobile home with a deed in lieu of foreclosure. My family held the note and deed of trust. The previous owners owed back space rent and around $1600.00 in utility bills, over $2000.00 total. Am I responsible for these bills? We have sold the mobile for all cash and had to pay these bills so we didn't lose the buyer. Can I take the park to small claims in an attempt to recover? My thanks. ********@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Who was on any lease or rental agreement with the landlord as the tenant for the lot space?

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Did the landlord sue and file a lien on the mobile home?

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Why did you have to pay the debt in order to sell the home?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1.The previous owners were on the space rental agreement. 2.The park did not sue or file a lien on the mobile. 3.The title company asked the park for an amount owed on space and utilities and the park issued those figures. The title company would not close the deal without payment of these amounts. I asked if we could close the escrow and hold the amounts in escrow until the park and I settled either in or out of court, they said no. I had to pay and close the escrow or we would have lost the buyer.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, did you include anything in your deed in lieu agreement that stated that they had to pay you for any delinquent fees or rent on the property that you had to pay to convey title to a new buyer?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I did not have anything like that in the deed in lieu, but I did send them and the park e-mail messages saying that I would not be responsible for any back space rent or back utilities. I have copies of these e-mail messages in my files.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The previous owners agreed in an e-mail back to me, that I still have a copy of, that I am not responsible for any back payments for space rent or utilities, but it does not state that they would reimburse me, if I had to pay for these charges
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, the problem I see here is that this is a debt that the tenant owed the landlord and you had no legal obligation to pay it. So I think that if you tried to sue, a judge is going to say this was a gift from you to the tenant since you voluntarily paid a debt off for them that they owed the landlord without any agreement in place that they would repay you.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

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