If my parents bought me a mobile home, can they now ask for repayment plus interest after 2 years?

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If my parents bought me a mobile home, can they now ask for repayment plus interest after 2 years?

My parents bought me a mobile home and put it on their land.  After 2years of us living here they decide they want me to pay for the home when it was just given to me and now they want to charge interest on top of that. Can they do that if my name is on the title and my mom’s name is on the title as a lienholder? If the home is paid for should she even be on the title as a lienholder? What should I do?

Asked on March 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Can they make you repay the home? It depends on the terms AT THE TIME they bought the home. If it was intended to be a loan of some sort (e.g. they'd buy it for you; you'd repay it at some point), then they can seek repayment. On the other hand, if it was intended as a gift at that time, they cannot expect you to repay it--once a gift is given, the giver is owed nothing. So it depends on the terms when the transaction occured.

2) You mother might have a lien on the home as a way to ensure that you do repay it; this would also tend to support that it was a loan, not a gift.

3) You can be charged interest if the agreement provided for interest.

4) The fact that your name is on the title has no bearing on whether you were in essence loaned the  money for the home and have to repay.

In short, there's no simple answer, since it depends on what was said and intended at the time of the purchase. You should consult with an attorney who can review all the facts for you, in detail; bring all documentation, correspondence, etc. with you.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should take all the documentation to an attorney to review on your behalf.  It does not make any sense that your Mother is listed as the lien holder on the mobile home if in fact there is not a lien and it was paid for outright.  Also, if there is not "contract" between the two of you or any type of loan document for the mobile home then how is she going to prove anything?  You have had to sign something that proved you are indebted for the item and you have not indicated here that you signed anything.  Go and see a lawyer on the matter just to be on the safe side.  I would consider moving the home to another piece of property as well.  Good luck to you.


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