My mother has taken a mobile home loan for a property in Florida. She has another home in South Carolina. Her husband has passed away last summer and for the past 3 months she hasn’t been able to afford the payments. What will happen if she’s unable to pay off the mobile home loan and allows the home to be repossessed? What’s the difference between a repossession and foreclosure? Can the mortgage company put a lien on the other house? What if she sells the other house first? Can they go after the proceeds? Can the company go after her social security money and retirement savings?
If the mobile home is a personal property bought from a dealer, and the owner is unable to pay off the mobile home loan (personal property loan), then the dealer (or creditor) will simply repossess property. Repossession means that the creditor will take over the ownership and sell off the home at a public auction.
If the sale price isn’t enough to cover the unpaid debt, then the mobile home owner has to pay it off as he owes the debt. Now, in the situation stated above, your mother has taken out a mobile home mortgage loan and not a personal property loan. So, the home will not be repossessed, rather it will be foreclosed if she is unable to pay off the mobile home loan and doesn’t qualify for a workout plan.
Since your mother couldn’t pay for the past 3 months, therefore she should have a straight talk with the mortgage company. I suppose the company hasn’t contacted her yet with a Notice of Default, so there’s still some time left for her to send a hardship letter and request for an alternative payment plan.
However, if your mother gets a Notice of Default and fails to repay the dues within the specified time period, then company may declare a foreclosure. If your mother fails to negotiate with the company for a workout plan, then the latter will sell off the mobile home through foreclosure sale. And, if the company is not able to recover enough proceeds from the sale, then it may ask for payment of the deficiency amount.
If your mother fails to pay the deficiency amount, the company may file a deficiency judgment and get an order issued by the court. If she still doesn’t pay it or is unable to pay it, then a lien may be placed on the property in South Carolina (SC). But in order to place this lien, the mortgage company will have to seek a sister-judgment. This means that the company will try to get a judgment in SC based on the Florida judgment even though it may not have a license in SC.
If your mother sells the SC property first, there’s a chance that the mortgage company may come after the proceeds provided the latter receives the sister-judgment from that state. The mortgage company cannot place a lien on your mother’s Social Security (SS) check as SS is protected from such liens. As for the retirement savings, the mortgage company may ask your mother to liquidate the entire savings in order to repay the loan but this depends upon the laws in the state of Florida.
Samantha Taylor is a contributing Financial Writer, Moderator and Community Mentor of Mortgagefit. She specializes in mobile home loan and real estate related field. You can ask any mortgage/real estate related problems to her in Mortgage Forum.
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