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Manufactured & Mobile Homes

Ohio has strong laws that protect people who buy manufactured or mobile homes.

manufactured and mobile home consumer lawA customer who purchases any mobile home or manufactured home in Ohio is protected by several strong laws.

The Consumer Sales Practices Act makes it illegal for any seller or manufacturer to do anything that is unfair or deceptive or unconscionable to a consumer. In addition, there are specific laws that can govern advertising practices, deposits on sales, the sales process, repairs and warranties. Federal laws exist that set industry standards for construction and safety. Also, when the seller arranges for the financing for you, other consumer protection laws can apply to protect you.

Consumer Protections In the Areas of Construction and Warranties.

The National Manufacturer Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 established standards covering equipment and installations in the design, construction, fire safety, plumbing, heat producing, and electrical systems of mobile homes. These standards, and more, may be found at the government's web site by clicking here.

In addition, most manufacturers offer a warranty that covers performance of the structure and factory installed items such as plumbing, heating, and electrical systems.

Federal law protections for consumers in the financing of mobile homes.

Under the Federal Truth in Lending Act, credit terms must be disclosed to the consumer prior to purchase. In addition, the consumer may have the right to rescind a transaction resulting in a lien on the manufactured home, other than a lien to finance its purchase. Under certain circumstances, federal law may preempt state law and impose certain requirements on lenders. These include:

  1. The creditor must give the consumer a refund of the unearned finance charge if the debt is prepaid.
  2. Prepayment penalties are not allowed, and the right to prepay the indebtedness must be clearly disclosed.
  3. Notice of default in a specified form must be sent to the debtor 30 days before repossession, foreclosure, or acceleration.

When does a mobile home become real property?

Generally, real property is land, and anything that is built on the land. A mobile home is considered real property when the owner:

  1. Surrenders the title to the Clerk of Courts in the court in which the title was issued,
  2. Attaches the home to a permanent foundation on land owned by the home owner, and
  3. Connects the home to appropriate facilities.

Any secured party, such as a bank to whom the consumer is making payments on a loan used to purchase the mobile home, must permit the change of status and execute a mortgage prior to the home owner surrendering title.

However, only those mobile homes manufactured after January 1, 1995, and at least 22 feet wide, may become permanently situated and, thus, become real property.

If you need help, contact an attorney.

For more information call 1-888-331-6422.

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