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MI: Affixture Affidavits for Mobile Homes

by William D. Meagher and Rana Razzaque
Trott & Trott, P.C. — USFN Member (MI)

An affidavit of affixture is a statutory mechanism available in the state of Michigan for converting mobile homes from personal to real property. Legislation was enacted in 2005 establishing that perfection of a security interest in a permanently affixed mobile home could be accomplished through the recording of a mortgage, instead of solely through a lien on the certificate of title. The legislation also requires a lender to submit an affidavit of affixture after a foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. An affidavit of affixture is processed through the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth’s Building Division Unit (DLEG). 

Recently, things have changed. Submissions for affidavits of affixture that were previously approved by the DLEG are now being rejected. There has always been the understanding that the submission and processing of the affidavits of affixture may be subject to change. The DLEG’s prior procedures were relatively lenient, and the state is now tightening its standards. Reasons for the rejections vary; some concerns seem legitimate under the statute while others are questionable. What is certain is that avenues once commonly available to the lender are no longer so common, and there are some situations where litigation will be required to obtain the affidavit of affixture. 

While changes in legislation have attempted to clarify and correct the problems surrounding the titling and perfection of a security interest in a mobile home, along with the affidavit of affixture process, the legislation has not addressed all possible issues that may arise. Now that the DLEG is adjusting its processing standards, Trott & Trott is working with the state to correct the problems with a view towards avoiding litigation to obtain affixture affidavits. The issues and potential resolutions are being discussed with both the DLEG and the Michigan attorney general’s office. Gaps in the current legislation, along with the DLEG’s more stringent stance, have made it potentially more difficult for the lender to obtain a processed affidavit of affixture after a foreclosure sale in certain situations. Our firm hopes to see the matter resolved in the near future and without litigation.

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