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In May of 2002, I bought a double wide 70x22 River Chase manufactured home from Clayton Homes in Hot Springs, AR. I wanted a home for myself and my husband to live in after we were married.
Needed something big enough to also have space for his son (then 15 years old) to live with us.
When the mobile home movers arrived, we had not been able to get the the land yet. They went ahead and set the first half wherever they wanted instead of waiting a few minutes for us to OK the location. It was 8-9 feet away from the water lines on the property. When they brought side 2, they refused to unhook and move side 1 to marked location and continued putting side 2 onto side 1.
Many things were not right about the house - It had been a model on the lot at Clayton Home in Hot Springs, AR, for about 1 year (they said). We found glue that had dripped all over the walls in three rooms. Trim pieces were missing from the wall that joined the two sides. Kitchen floor never seemed right.
Wiring was substandard and my husband, a retired electrician was able to catch and fix all the problems before they caused breakers to go out or a fire to start inside walls. The AC never worked properly and needed service every year.
We lost the ability to live in the home in January 2019 because of a fire in the family room near that fireplace. The house did not completely burn to the ground, but the fire went through all the electrical wiring in the house and ruined all the wall boards, torched the finish on kitchen cabinets, etc. The fire department said the heat had reach 400 F degrees.
Insurance estimator said that repairs to allow living in the structure would be a minimum of $120,000. We had put so much into the repairs we were making in the house at the time, there was no way we could ever afford to fix it. We claimed the damage with our insurance company who paid us a lump sum "replacement settlement."
OK, so we would make a down payment on another home and have the old one moved out and the new one moved in. NOPE!
No one would talk to us about that because the existing home was burned. OK, we will get something else put on our land and demolish the burned home. NOPE! That would cost about $8,000.
YIKES! Then, we were told by insurance we had to pay the rest of the mortgage held by 21st mortgage. OK, we will negotiate what we can pay to them. NOPE!
Whole amount was all they were willing to take. By that time, we had paid $2,900 as deposit on a place to live while deciding what to do next (refunded by insurance, but that took 3 months.) We paid $3,000 to have mobile home moved to another part of property because disposing of it was $5,000 to move + disposal fee. Insurance reimbursed us $2100. We were out $900 + all the cost of buying concrete block for piers, people to grade the property, someone to cut down many large hardwood trees, etc.
With extra expenses for electricity at the property and at the rental we were staying in, water for both, and travel to and from there to our property every day - we had eaten up another $2,000. Our old truck was using a tank of gas every two days, so we had to get a car with better gas mileage - $1,200 down. Money was leaving our hands faster than we could count.
We contacted a contractor who was building sheds in the area and was also branching out into building cabins (little houses) for people. Paid them $9,700 down to buy material, get started and finish a cabin (36x24) in three weeks.
After almost a month, we believed we were a few weeks from moving in. However, the work was stopped because the walls began bowing out after trusses were put in place and sheathing was installed to prepare for metal roof. There was so much expense in all this, it was hard to keep track. We had paid another $9,700 to contractor to purchase doors, windows and other materials needed when the trusses were completed - big mistake!
Contractor said it would be fixed, but that didn't happen and he left all his tools and equipment and never returned.
Most of the funds we had received from insurance were gone with everything left needed to repair the mess the contractor left and go forward with the cabin to live in.
21st Mortgage called, and called, and called. We made some payments, but were not able to do so after my husband quit his job to get one with more hours and then was let go. WOW!
LONG STORY - SHORTENED - We are being threatened with foreclosure for lack of payment on the mortgage. We do not have any more $ to finish the cabin, let alone pay mortgage payment for a burned-out house which is sitting 5-6 feet off the ground in the woods.
And, they are putting a lien on the property where we live even though the property actually belongs to my husband, and the house is only in my name. 21st mortgage has never, not one time, acknowledge that the house was damaged by fire and uninhabitable even though I have told each person I talked to about this fact. The last time they called, I said I could not pay and would have to file bankruptcy or something like that because we were broke. A "supervisor" got on the phone and began harassing me, belittling me, and making accusations that I had purposely "cheated" their company in order to build a "brand new big home." Did I fail to mention that 21st Mortgage is owned by Clayton Homes?
Did you know that Clayton Homes is owned by a parent company - Berkshire Hathaway of Maryville, TN - which is owned by Warren Buffett (recently in the news). Clayton Homes is also connected with Vanderbilt Mortgage.
So, just to be clear, Clayton Homes owns 21st Mortgage who holds 180,000 mortgages in 46 states and is worth $900 billion). They cannot settle for a lesser amount when we owe them $34,000 for a burned out mobile home which is worth $0.00 in its current state because why?
I wonder if a letter (or a lot of letters) sent to Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes, which owns 21st Mortgage and requires buyers to finance through their own mortgage company. By the way, we were also led to believe we had to buy insurance from them; but, changed to State Farm when we found out they had lied to us about that.
Product or Service Mentioned: Clayton Homes Fleetwood Mobile Home.
Reason of review: Problems with payment.
Monetary Loss: $100000.
Preferred solution: Forfeit the rest of the mortgage since I have already paid over $100,000 in mortgage payments for a house that is worth $0.00!.
Clayton Homes Cons: Having to contact sales staff to get home fixed, See comments.