How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ed Johnson Your Own Question
Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, International HR Consultant
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  GPHR cer BS, U.S.C. Pueblo; Immigration Law by Am. Mngmnt Association & USCIS Bus. Liaison ofc 1999
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ed Johnson is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husbands parents purchased a doublewide and land from a ...

Customer Question

My husbands parents purchased a doublewide and land from a dealer in Sanford, NC-waited for payment book-didn't come, called several times-dealer left no way to contact-(in 1992) 6 months later after calls, letters to Goldome bank, nothing. Found out they filed bankruptcy. Now 2007 my husband still living here-parents died no will we wish to get title to our home. We eventually want to sell and retire, please help-I can't believe we have to wait 20 years for this, we have paid taxes every year, did upkeep, improvements etc. Please Help
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 9 years ago.

Dear gunsmoke,

If I understand correctly, the company with whom you finance the mobile home is bankrupt, before you were able to make the first payment.

Please confirm, has anyone attempted to make a collection on the payment?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: No attempts by anyone have been made since the day they moved in (1992) to collect anything, no paperwork has ever been received by the family-nothing. My husband has just paid the taxes every year since 1992.
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 9 years ago.

Dear gunsmoke,

So as I understand it, you still need to get the orginal title or registeration for the mobile home, correct?

Do you have the mobile home identification number?

In your father's papers, are there any documents that look like this?

Who is the manufacturer of the mobile home?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: There isn't any paperwork on this land/home purchase at all except a vague receipt for a $500.00 downpayment on day of application. They have NO paperwork, not even copy of their application for financing or anything. The salesman who took the cash downpayment could never be located after he left his job and the dealership that did not have this as a listing had nothing either. According to little info the salesman was selling this for an attorney friend in Charlotte, NC-traced this it is a dead end as well. Have to go to work now, will speak to you again soon. Thank you.
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 9 years ago.

Dear gunsmoke,

How you go about this depends on the answers to the following questions:

1. Was this purchased new or used?

2. Do you have the vehicle identification number for the mobile home: it should be someone where on the frame or underside, etc.

3. do you know the manufacture name and model?

4. Was it previoulsy registered out of state or in the state?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: Mr. Johnson
When I arrived home from work tonight read your reply, I will give you the identification number, model etc., on Saturday. There is no registration for this doublewide. Double wide and land was bought by a couple new previous to 1992. They went into reposession with Goldome. Goldome had them sign the title to the land back to them and relieved them of all debt. Ihave a copy of the original deed to the first owner and the one back to Goldome. There is no further paperwork of any kind on this package after that date except for my husbands' parents giving 500.00 cash down payment, they were given keys and told to move in. Paperwork was forwarded to Goldome who then had already filed bankruptcy right prior to this deal. A year or so later husbands' parents traced to an office in Florida who said they had the application and would send payment book in 14 days and never did so. I spoke to a previous employee of Goldome in New York a year ago who informed me that everything was sold to different banks etc., there are no records of who got what and his statement was that no one would care anything about this package at all at that time or now, it was a drop in a very big bucket. This was almost exact time that savings banks went under and Goldome was a part of that as well. We need a title to the land in our name and our doublewide. Thank you so much for responding to me as I felt previous to this that we were in a dark hole with no light coming our way.
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 9 years ago.

Dear gunsmoke,

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX not actually require the serial number to answer now. However, you will need it, as I will describe.

REGARDING THE LAND: The best solution would be to hire a title company to do a thorough title search on the property, to ensure that no one has filed a new deed in the county registrar of deeds. Deeds and liens can only be filed on property in the county in which the property is located. You just want to be sure of who the last owner of record is in the county clerks office. Even though you believe you have the last deed, you need to be certain of it, and the only person who can do that, is the title company.

You also have to have the title company to search for liens and recorded mortgages on the property. The liens and mortgages are also recorded in the county recorder's office. You have to do this, because the best method of conveying the title to you, as you are aware, is to have the last known owner to covey title through a quit claim or warranty deed.

If it turns out the last known owner is the bankrupt company, then you have to do one more search. When companies go bankrupt, they are normally appointed a trustee; the trustee normally has authority to transfer title. If you can find the trustee, then you can ask them to convey title. The bankruptcy court records can tell you who the trustee was, if anyone at all.

NOTE: it is important to take care of your "due diligence" before going to court for the ultimate remedy.

NOTE 2: You have to be ware, that if you find the trustee, he may want to attach his authority to attempt to collect the debt in the name of the company; however know that the statute of limitations has now run out on that debt.

After you have done your due diligence, you now have the option to petition the court for title to the property by adverse possession. In North Carolina, the duration of such possession is seven (7) years under color of title and twenty (20) years elsewhere. North Carolina Code §1-35 through 43. IN your case, you will do it under color of title. To be guaranteed success, you will most likely have to hire an attorney.

NOTE 3: If you can find the representatives of the assets for the company, or a company officer, you can sue in court for title.

REGARDING THE MOBILE HOME: This is a different issue. Again, you have some due diligence to perform. Using the registration number or (vehicle ID), you need to check with the state to see if it is registered to anyone at all. You are looking for the last registered owner. That person, can convey title to you.

In the absence of finding that person, you can follow the state procedure for taking title to abandoned property. You can retitle the mobile home.

Retitling the mobile home is easier if you have the manufactures Certificate of Origin, (MCO). Because of the age of the mobile home, this may be hard to come by. You have to contact the manufacturer to see if they can produce a copy or a new original.

If the wheels and axles are removed from the mobile home, and your double wide sits on a foundation, then it should be considered attached, or a land improvement, and appear on the tax rolls with the land. So you need to also check with the assessor's office to find out how the property is assessed. Land, Land with improvements, or land, and mobile home separately.

If the vehicle has the wheels and axles removed, then it would have been converted to real estate. The owner of the mobile home would have had to file the following form to covert it to real estate:

so check with the DMV to see if this was done. If it was converted to real estate, then the adverse possession move will covey title with the mobile home.

Now this gets tricky, if there remains a lien on the land and or the mobile home or both, the statute of limitations has run out. SO, you can petition the court to remove the lien and clear the way to remove the lien holder from the title, if any.