Michigan/Muskegon mobile home parks sued

MUSKEGON – The Center for Civil Justice (CCJ) and the law firm of Rosi & Gardner filed a class action lawsuit against a mobile home conglomerate that owns 66 mobile home parks in Michigan for unlawfully converting titles to mobile homes that they claim have been abandoned. 

One of the named Plaintiffs purchased a 1970 mobile home with money he inherited. When he decided to relocate, he found a buyer for his mobile home but the mobile home park refused to approve the purchase.  In fact, the mobile home park repeatedly proposed that he simply sign over title to the mobile home in lieu of unpaid lot rent. Plaintiff refused because the value of the mobile home was much greater than the rent he owed and he informed the park that he would pay the rent from the sale proceeds.  He continued with his efforts to sell his home when he heard from an interested purchaser that someone was living in his home.  Plaintiff discovered he had been formally evicted from the park without having been given notice and three weeks later, the mobile home park had claimed they “purchased” his mobile home, obtained title and sold it.

“Buying a mobile home has been one of the most affordable options for low-income families to achieve the dream of homeownership,” said Kelly Bidelman, CCJ executive director.  “For the mobile home park to be able to take ownership of someone’s home because they claimed they were abandoned, is outrageous.”

The class action lawsuit outlines the unlawful actions of Sun Communities, Inc. and subsidiaries, including conversion and unjust enrichment. “Through this lawsuit, we want to stop this practice of mobile home parks taking people’s homes without notice and without any compensation,” said Greg Abler, CCJ’s housing law attorney.  “Our research has shown that the Defendants’ actions have stripped the titles from over 100 Michigan mobile home owners ... based on claimed abandonment,” added co-counsel Philip Rosi.

The lawsuit was filed February 7, 2019, in the Muskegon Circuit Court.

CCJ is a Flint-based non-profit law firm that advocates for low-income people in Michigan.

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