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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
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4 years ago my husband left and left me with all the

Customer Question

4 years ago my husband left and left me with all the liabilities, including a travel trailer that we were living in after we lost everything in the '07 Witch fire in Southern CA. I was unable to continue making payments on the trailer, as he took our money with him.
I did not have money for a divorce lawyer, but he did, so I got stuck with the liability of the trailer, with the judge saying that I should arrange to give it back to the finance company, which I have been trying to do through their repo people.
The trailer is still sitting in my yard. It has a porch attached to it and a tree a few inches from the other side. It cannot be taken out unless the porch is torn down. The side pull outs are not working and are out. The hot water tank was leaking for years without my knowledge and the floor is rotted. The top is leaking and the cabinets and walls are rotting. The bank asked me to get a quote on tearing down the big porch. The roof has actually collapsed into the porch from water sitting on the roof. I got a quote for $1600 to take the porch down, which still leaves the situation of the trailer being in rough shape and the pull outs being behind the tree, which would rip them off unless they can be fixed to pull back in. They have been sitting pulled out since '07. We paid $416 I think per month since November '07, and paid for approximately 4 - 4.5 years. The trailer, I think, cost $33,000. My ex took all paperwork when he left so I don't know the details.
The bank sent out at least 4 different repo companies that I can remember over the years. I cooperated fully with them, let them through my gate each time and showed them the trailer and the dilemma about them not being able to drive away with it. Not one of the repo companies ever called me back to come and get the trailer once they saw the situation, to help take down the porch, or to try to fix it so that it could be driven away. And it still sits here.
I am in Southern California. I continue to be cooperative, but wonder if they are just giving up on taking it or what I should do. I do not have the money to pay anyone to take the porch down, or to have someone fix the trailer so that the pop outs will close.
My question is this. If the repo people don't want it, and won't take it, or won't pay to take the porch down and fix it to be taken away, what are my options with the finance company? My ex won't help with anything, but tells me I have to return it to the finance company so that he can start cleaning up his credit which went bad when he refused to take it and refused to make any more payments on it. It is in my name as well.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While the court may have directed you to turn the trailer back to the finance company, it is not up to you to force the finance company to take it back and your ex is just out of luck. If he wants his credit repaired he can help you in making it right on the debt----but you will not be in trouble with the court if they don't take it back or if you can't afford to do the porch demolition.

Your options with the finance company are to either pay them or don't pay them. They may or may not sue you and your ex---but the reality is that if you can/t afford to pay them then there is little you can do about it. If you are sued in the future, all you would have to do is file for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection and the debt would go away.

For now, just consider that you have done all you can do---both financially and with regard to asking the lender to take the trailer back. You can stop worrying about it because there really is nothing more for you to do at this point. The ball in in the finance company's court.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Kindly, remember to rate my service to you. That is how I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best this holiday season,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I read under California law that someone could go to jail for not cooperating with repo people, hiding the vehicle, etc. I do have a locked gate, but I let them in every time they come to see the trailer, either honking their horns at the gate, or calling me first for an appointment, and I let them see for themselves what the situation is. It is in plain sight and has never moved from that spot since the day it was delivered. The porch was built that same week back in '07. The gate is locked to the entire property because we have a big animal rescue here. We lock it for the safety of the animals and to make sure no animals are able to leave the property and go out to the road if they are loose, creating liability for the rescue. The gate has been locked for 15 years, 24/7, unless we open it for a vehicle to leave or enter.It has never been locked because of the trailer being here. I am an honest, conscientious person and this whole thing really troubles me. I hate not being able to pay the remainder of the money due and owing on it.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

I empathize with your inability to pay the debt---but that is not your fault if you cannot afford to pay it. It is simply life.

You are not hiding the trailer---they know exactly where it is---you are in no danger of going to jail.

Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions.

You may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further.

I wish you well,