This has nothing to do with the family history objectives of this website, but I wanted to post it on the web somewhere, in the hope that others might find it and that it might help them avoid having to go through what we have gone through recently.
If you have a mobile home and the title says that Bombardier Capital has a lien against it, we’ll tell you what you need to do. We learned it the hard way, but we’d like to make it easier for you.
First off, I want to say that the we’ve found the folks at Bombardier to be nice people who have been great about everything. Nothing I say here is meant to criticize them in any way.
Nothing in this post should be understood to be legal advice. All I’m trying to do is put you in touch with the right people to work with to have your lien released. If you have any legal concerns, please consult a lawyer.
My wife Ruth is from Eastern Kentucky. About fifteen years ago, she bought a piece of property in Pike County, near where she grew up, so that we would have a place to stay when we came to visit nearby family or just to vacation.
A few months after getting the land, she bought a little mobile home to put on it. It’s what they call a “park model” — the cutest little place you ever saw.
About the Lien
After the home was delivered and set in place, it was some time before we received the title. As far as we can remember, it was years before we noticed that there was a lien registered against it. This seemed strange because Ruth had paid cash for both the land and the mobile home, and had never once been contacted by the company that placed the lien.
A lien is a form of security interest granted over an item of property to secure the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation.Wikipedia
So why was there a lien, when there was no debt to repay? And what should we do about it?
We asked a lawyer, and the advice we got was not to worry. He said that it wouldn’t matter unless we wanted to sell it someday, and that letting a sleeping dog lie was probably best.
So that’s what we did, until late last year when Ruth decided — after fifteen years of enjoying it — that the time had come to sell.
About Bombardier Capital
Bombardier is a major Canadian company that got its start making the first snowmobiles. Over the years, it transformed itself into a broadly based transportation company, building railway and subway cars, among other things. In the 1980s, it diversified into aviation, which is now its primary business focus.
In 1973, according to the Wikipedia page for Bombardier, the company created Bombardier Capital Inc., It was based in Colchester, Vermont, and “offered financial services such as lending and leasing.” It seems that one of its focus areas was financing inventory, including lending money to mobile home dealers to finance the unsold units on their lot.
Apparently that’s how the lien on Ruth’s place came to be. Bombardier must have loaned money to the dealer she bought it from, and put a lien on it — while it was in the dealer’s inventory — to ensure they would get paid.
When the dealer sold the home to Ruth, they probably would have used the cash she gave them to pay off Bombardier, and Bombardier should then have released the lien so that Ruth would have a clear title. That’s where something fell through the cracks.
When it came time for Ruth to finally sell the place, Bombardier Capital had long since ceased to exist. Bombardier, the parent company, still existed but it shut down its financing subsidiary, Bombardier Capital, more than a dozen years ago.
How to Get Your Bombardier Capital Lien Released
We had no idea how to get a lien release from a business that no longer existed. But without a release, Ruth couldn’t sell the mobile home or the property it was on. And she had a willing buyer eager to close a deal.
We were successful in the end, but it was only with a lot of luck and after several stressful months of taking wrong turns and and going down dead ends.
I won’t go into all that. The important thing is telling you how to avoid the mistakes that we made.
It turned out that Bombardier is a socially responsible company, and its legal department has a procedure to help people in exactly the position we were in. The trick was finding out about it.
What You Need to Do
All you need to do is send an email to this address:
That’s “legacy underscore bombardier underscore capital at aero dot bombardier dot com” (I don’t want to include a link here, because it might generate junk mail for the good people at Bombardier).
Include a scanned copy of your title, showing that Bombardier Capital holds a registered lien.
Find out what kind of documentation your state or county requires to have a lien released. We wasted several weeks because we, and the lawyer at Bombardier, thought that a signed and notarized affidavit would do the trick. We were wrong. Kentucky requires that the lien release be on a specific “Title Lien Statement” form (below).
If this reaches even one person who finds themself in the position we were in, and prevents them from going through the tribulations we did, then sharing this post will have been worth it.
Best of luck.
If this does help you, please, please let me know with a comment below.