Homeowners Cry Foul Over Mobile Home Title
It’s a pretty horrible feeling to realize you don’t own your home and now you can’t even find the guy who supposedly does. As FOX 4 Problem Solver Linda Wagar reports, William Monterrosa has spent the last few days packing up his belongings. He’s afraid he’s going to lose his home.
Monterrosa said he’s paid more than $27,000 for a modest trailer in Independence that he shared with his wife until she had a stroke and moved to a nursing home.
“My wife is in a nursing home and can’t help me,” said an emotional Mr. Monterrrosa who moved from the El Salvador to the United States more than 30 years ago.
Mr. Monterrosa needs help, getting the title to the mobile home he’s been making payments on for seven years. In Missouri, mobile homes are like cars. The day you buy it, you should be given the title. But the man who sold Mr. Monterrosa this home has never given him a title. And Mr. Monterrosa is afraid he’ll never see one.
“He stole my money for nothing,” said Mr. Monterrosa. “I don’t think he owns this house.”
In fact, a few months ago, Mr. Monterrosa stopped giving the man his monthly mortgage payment. He said he wouldn’t make another payment until he got the title. But he said the man refused to give him one and then threatened to take his mobile home away.
He not owning the house.
A family friend asked us to help Mr. Monterrosa and his wife. We encouraged him to contact Independence Police because it’s a crime to sell a mobile home without a title.
And Mr. Monterrosa isn’t the only person who is a victim. We also heard from Sara Reiss. She lives in the same mobile home park, bought her home from the same man and has also never received a title.
“Like a drop of paper in the trash, he just poof disappeared,” said Mrs. Reiss of the man she bought the home from in 2008. She said he used to stop by her home every month to pick up a mortgage payment until last November, when she told him she wanted to make her final payment and wanted to be given the title.
She hasn’t seen him since. She tried calling him every day for two months, but he would never pick up the phone. She’s frustrated because she knows that without a title she can never sell the home, something she had wanted to do so she and her husband can move back to their hometown of Moberly, Missouri.
FOX Four Problem Solvers decided to pay a visit to the man behind these illegal mobile home transactions. His name is Hal “Eddie” Porter. We found the northland home where he lives by checking court records. A recent civil suit against him listed it as his address.
Mr. Porter said he didn’t give titles to Mrs. Reiss or Mr. Monterrosa because they signed contracts saying they wouldn’t get one until after they made their final payment.
We asked him if he had the titles and he said “no” they were being held by the two men he bought the company from. We asked him where the men lived and he wouldn’t tell us.
When we told him he was violating Missouri law by not giving the buyers the titles, he told us he was unaware of the law and would correct the situation immediately. More than a week later, neither Mrs. Reiss nor Mr. Monterrosa had heard from him. We had almost given up hope, when Mr. Porter suddenly called us, concerned that Independence Police are now investigating the matter. He again told us he was taking care of the problem and they would have their titles by next month. So for now this is a Problem Solvers in the works. We’ll let you know whether Mr. Porter keeps his promise.