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Only In West Virginia
by Robert Franco | 2008/02/25 |

The West Virginia Record reported a lawsuit, Fluharty v. Pond, that makes you raise an eyebrow. The suit revolves around the sale of 69 Dogwood Trail in Harpers Ferry, WV. The buyers, Fluharty, are suing not only the sellers, Pond, but also Countrywide, MERS, Stewart Title, and others.

On Jan. 4, 2007, Pond offered to sell the Fluhartys a parcel of land at 69 Dogwood Trail, Harpers Ferry. The Fluhartys claim that prior to the sell Pond misrepresented facts about the property and building to them. Nancy McBride had suggested the Fluhartys contact Countrywide for a loan. The Fluhartys also claim she provided them with incorrect information about the property as well. Countrywide had used Kirk McBride, son of Nancy, to do the appraisal of the home, which the Fluhartys claims was wrong and misleading. They also claim Countrywide was to oversee the loan process. They were unaware they were purchasing a mobile home. Pond purchased an owners title insurance policy from Stewart Title with Golden and Amos as insurance agents for the transaction.
They are seeking that cancel the sale under the deed of trust, be assessed damages, compensatory and punitive.

Really?? They were unaware that they were purchasing a mobile home? How does that happen? "Quick, Pa, them buyers are comin' 'round to look at the house today - hide them there wheels in back of the shed!"

Maybe the appraisal was misleading. Who knows. But, didn't these people even see the place they were buying? If they bought a "house" sight unseen, maybe they got duped by the sellers. How can they blame the bank or the title company... let alone MERS?

Only in West Virginia, I guess. No disrespect to any West Virginians intended, but this case does seem to feed the stereotype.

Robert A. Franco

Source of Title Blog ::


Categories: Huh?

417 words | 3706 views | 6 comments | log in or register to post a comment

I don't know how long this link wil...
I don't know how long this link will remain active.

It doesn't look like a typical mobile home from the picture.
by James Powell | 2008/02/25 | log in or register to post a reply

No, you are correct. It doesn't lo...
No, you are correct. It doesn't look too much like a mobile home. Thank you for providing that link. But this brings up another interesting question - why didn't they sue the Realtors? They sued everyone else involved.

I saw an appraisal of a mobile home once that looked like someone just took a chainsaw to the side to cut out a big hole and then they built an addition. It looked like it was all still just bare plywood. Yes... we have some of "those people" in Ohio, too.
by Robert Franco | 2008/02/25 | log in or register to post a reply

After reading, I had to see picture...
After reading, I had to see pictures, and I'm glad James provided them. Too funny, it is funny stuff! We are certainly seeing more frivolous lawsuits.  
by Greg Knowles | 2008/02/25 | log in or register to post a reply

If it's permanently attached to the...
If it's permanently attached to the land, which you really can't tell from the photo, then it's not truly a "mobile home".

I happen to live in a factory-built home which was trucked in from Clarion, PA and assembled on-site onto a permanent foundation, and it's better constructed than most site-built homes I've seen. I don't see the problem.
by Scott Perry | 2008/02/25 | log in or register to post a reply

Hopefully the judge in this case wi...
Hopefully the judge in this case will realize that the lender relies on the appraiser for an accurate definition of the house structure. I can guarantee that if Countrywide had known this was originally a mobile home, they'd have had more to say about it. Seems to me that the seller, realtor (it doesn't say, but I'm assuming Nancy McBride is the realtor), and the realtor's son/appraiser pulled a fast one here on the buyer, lender, and (to a lesser extent) the title company. 
by Ben Kohnen | 2008/02/26 | log in or register to post a reply

In our market we have constant issu...
In our market we have constant issues with mobile homes and manufactured homes. Most of the new rural average priced housing stock is title as mobile homes though they have been placed on permanent foundations with wheels removed.

I can say from experience that until two years ago most mortgage lenders, Countrywide included were oblivious to the mobile home issues and as long as the appraiser didn't raise issues, the lender didn't either. [If the title agent was alert they would have noted the mobile home status in the tax assessment and put an exception into their policy for the mobile home title.]

FNMA and FHLMC and FHA and VA - everyone woke up to the issue close to two years ago and now it's anybody's guess what the lender will do when we are working with a potentially titled house.

Bottom line, anyone working with a mobile home or manufactured home should be very careful to locate the original title or certificate of origin or evidence of surrender.

We now take the precaution of recording title surrender documents as exhibits to the deed, if such documentation is available.

by Diane Cipa | 2008/02/26 | log in or register to post a reply
Source of Title Blog

Robert A. FrancoThe focus of this blog will be on sharing my thoughts and concerns related to the small title agents and abstractors. The industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and I believe that we are just seeing the beginning. As the evolution continues, what will become of the many small independent title professionals who have long been the cornerstone of the industry?

Robert A. Franco



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