pictures of RVs - full-time homes

The Arizona Supreme Court decided those living in motorized homes (such as motor homes and RVs) cannot protect their homes.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s decision In re Drummond, 23-0009 (Sup. Ct. Arizona, 3/7/24) bans motor home and RV owners from using the homestead law (ARS 33-1101) to protect their home (laws that have been in place since Statehood). This is alarming, particularly for seniors and low-income individuals who rely on this protection from their creditors. This ruling essentially denies them the same rights as those living in mobile homes, or more traditional homes.  This decision overturns three prior court decisions protecting motor home/RV homeowners.

The purpose of Arizona’s homestead law is to allow everyone to keep their home even when struggling with debt. By excluding motor home/RV owners from this safeguard, the Arizona Supreme Court has created a disparity that will disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.

Given the rising popularity of motor home and RV living, especially among retirees and those seeking more affordable housing options, this decision will have far-reaching consequences. It’s essential for the Arizona Legislature to amend this law to provide protection for all homeowners.

The fact that someone’s home has a motor makes it no less the their’s home.

In Drummond the Arizona Supreme Court found that a motor home cannot be exempt as a homestead, but that a mobile home can be. Their decision turns upon the false interpretation of ARS 33-1101 that it “requires a permanent connection with the land..” Justice Timmer dissented from the majority finding that “… I agree with federal court decisions that “mobile home,” as used in § 33-1101(A), can reasonably be interpreted as either a trailer home that is not self-propelled or a motor home that is self-propelled when either is used as a permanent residence. See Warfield, 663 F.Supp.3d at 1081; Irwin, 293 B.R. at 30.”

In the picture above, there are three similar homes: a motor home, a 5th wheel and a mobile home. All are movable, all can be a permanent residence, all are or can be attached to utilities. So what is the difference? To quote Justice Timmer “In other words, whether or not a home has a motor, the homestead exemption fulfills its purpose by protecting the family’s interest in that home. See Warfield, 663 F.Supp.3d at 1082 (“[T]he fact that a debtor’s home has a motor makes it no less the debtor’s home.”).”

In Summary:

The Arizona Supreme Court got this one wrong.  The only way to address this is to contact your state legislators and demand they revise Arizona Revised Statute 33-1101 to specifically include motor homes, 5th wheels, tiny homes, and anything else you can think of that is used as a residence (perhaps not card-board boxes).

The bottom line: Those who are hurt the most by this decision are those who do not have the power to be heard.  It is up to you and me to speak up for our seniors and those who live in these non-traditional homes.

Are you experiencing hardship with bankruptcy and your home? Get relief today by obtaining FREE financial advice from Diane.  All you have to do is follow the steps on the Individual Bankruptcy page by clicking the button below.

545 words|2.8 min read|Categories: Bankruptcy Articles & Resources, Consumer Issues, Real Estate|By |Published On: March 7th, 2024|Last Updated: March 28th, 2024|

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Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.

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