Ohio Mobile Home Parks Become Foreclosures for Sale

by Peter Vernon on States

Families living in manufactured-home parks in Columbus, Ohio are upset they were not notified that the parks they have called their home for many years are in the process of becoming forclosures for sale.

Foreclosure proceedings have been lodged against Mann’s Stelzer Estates, Mann’s County Estates, Westbrook Mobile Home Park and ByWay Trailer Park. These parks comprise over 700 lots for manufactured homes.

In addition, foreclosure cases have also been filed against three mobile-home park estates in Clark County and one park in Union County.

Richard Carle, a former laborer in his 50s, and his wife live on Carle’s disability benefits and has been living at Mann’s County Park in Pickaway County for 17 years.

Carle only found out that his park is being added to lists of foreclosures for sale when he was inquiring about a big increase in his water bill.

Carle said that owners of parks should inform residents about what is happening to parks, especially when the parks are at risk of becoming foreclosures for sale. He is worried because his mobile home was constructed in 1966 and it might not survive a move.

Jim Buchanan, an attorney working for Southeast Ohio Legal Aid Services, said older mobile homes would fall apart if they are moved and there are only few places where older mobiles homes can go because of new zoning laws.

This May, the Ohio House approved a bill that would protect tenants living in homes turned foreclosures for sale. The bill would require property owners to inform tenants about any foreclosure notice within two months of the notice filing. It would also require lenders to give an additional month to tenants to find another rental property once the foreclosure action is completed.

However, even if the House bill becomes enacted, it would not help renters of lots in about 1,814 mobile home communities across Ohio. Renters of lots in mobile parks are not included in the bill because mobile homes, trailers and manufactured homes are classified differently under Ohio law.

Democratic Representative Mike Foley, co-sponsor of the renters’ bill, said the bill was already in the final stages when he found out that mobile home communities would not be included in the bill because they are classified under a different category.

Foley said he has developed additional legislation that would also protect mobile homes. Also, lawyers for the lenders foreclosing on the Mann’s parks promised that there is no intent to evict the mobile home residents.

But residents are still worried because the lenders can just turn the parks into foreclosures for sale anytime.