In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews today was a Q&A by Stephanie Reid. Reid was “formerly on staff with the Senate Select Committee for Manufactured Homes,” said the GSMOEF – the GSMOEF, or the Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners Education Fund, which is affiliated with the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League (GSMOL).
It will be recalled that GSMOL provided the initial tip to Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) that Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) was being funded by the Tides nonprofit. Not only did their report prove to be accurate, it led to the discovery that Warren Buffett – via so-called ‘dark money’ funding of NoVo Foundation – which in turn was the top donor to the Tides.
Translated, Warren Buffett money arguably benefited opposition to manufactured housing image and political efforts. See the broader list of organizations Buffett’s bucks have been tied to, linked here, or the hot-linked text-image box below.
Against that backdrop, is this Q&A submitted by Reid. Note the allegation about immigrants, noted in the headline, above. We’ve highlighted that portion by making it bold, but otherwise, the text is as sent by GSMOL’s affiliated GSMOEF.
Question: I own a mobilehome park where there are many abandoned homes. Can I sell them without registering as a real estate agent?
Although I heard from only a few park managers and realtors about this issue, it was a volatile-enough problem that it needed to be included in this series.
The majority of calls on this subject were from residents who reported many observations of illegal acquisitions. The most egregious example – of, well, theft – were of a few MHP owners and managers who routinely “sold” abandoned homes to persons who were living in this country without proof of citizenship.
The “undocumented” resident would pay for their MH in cash installments. Then, when the resident paid the last installment on their home, the park owner or manager would order the undocumented resident and their family to leave the park immediately under threat of being reported to immigration authorities.
The family would flee the park and the home was then sold to the next undocumented family with the same outcome.
A penalty of $2,000 would hardly dissuade a theft of a home that would yield thousands more, if the theft was prosecuted at all.
Answer: Generally, the answer is “no”. First, in order to act as an agent between a seller or buyer of a used mobilehome or manufactured home, you either must be registered with HCD as a “manufactured home dealer” or with the Bureau of Real Estate as a licensed real estate agent. Acting as an unlicensed dealer or agent can result in criminal penalties, civil penalties, and citations of up to $2,000 for each illegal sales activity.
The only exception to this is if the prior residents/homeowners have “walked away” from the homes, a park owner may sell them if he/she first obtains the right to ownership through a court action for the judgment of abandonment (Civil Code Section 798.61) or after a warehouse lien sale (Civil Code Section 798.56a).
After that, if the park owner intends to rent, sell or salvage the units, the park owner must go to HCD and transfer title to his or her name, which includes paying all property taxes or HCD fees that are owed. HCD also has special procedures for when the prior registered owner cannot be found or when there are unpaid or unsatisfied loans on the home.
Only after registering as the new owner may the Park owner (who is now the homeowner) rent, sell, or salvage the abandoned homes.
By Stephanie Reid. Reid was formerly on staff with the
Senate Select Committee for Manufactured Homes Communities.
Manufactured home community and other industry professionals will span the gamut of reactions to the above. The same can be said about an industry trade publication quoting from a resident group.
The industry’s professionals may slowly be waking to the following vexing reality. Big companies are often fueling the problems that create problems for smaller firms, as well as woes for numbers of manufactured home residents. See the related report, further below the byline and notices.
As a final thought, it was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) exiting prior present who said that manufactured home professionals had to be in alignment with the interests of their consumers in order to be successful. Chris Stinebert’s interesting point is found in the link below.
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MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform
Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019 – With manufactured housing producers, retailers and communities offering their best homes (and related consumer protection) ever, and in light of the failure of the ostensible representation of the industry’s post-production sector to fully and effectively advance the marketing, consumer financing and, most importantly, the full acceptance of federally-regulated manufactured housing as the nation’s premiere source of non-subsidized affordable housing and homeownership, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has launched a new project and initiative to fight selected, especially egregious instances of discriminatory and exclusionary zoning targeting manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers.
The last decade-plus has not been especially kind to the manufactured housing industry and consumers of affordable housing. The 21 stCentury began with a great deal of promise for the industry and consumers alike.