2020 Georgia Code
Title 44 - Property
Chapter 7 - Landlord and Tenant
Article 6 - Abandoned Mobile Home
§ 44-7-115. Foreclosure of Liens on Abandoned or Intact Mobile Homes

Universal Citation: GA Code § 44-7-115 (2020)

Notwithstanding any conflicting provisions in Code Section 44-14-349, all liens acquired upon an abandoned mobile home or intact mobile home under Code Section 44-7-113 shall be foreclosed as follows:

  1. Any proceeding to foreclose a lien on an abandoned mobile home determined to be intact by a local government agent shall be instituted in the magistrate court of the county where such mobile home is located within one year from the time the lien is recorded;
  2. The person desiring to foreclose a lien on an abandoned mobile home determined to be intact by a local government agent shall, by certified or registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, make a demand upon the responsible party in the amount of the lien and for the payment of rent and fees accrued after the filing of the lien; provided that the amount of such rent shall not exceed $3.00 per day. If the responsible party cannot be located, notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation for two consecutive weeks;
    1. If, within 30 days of delivery to the appropriate address of the written demand required by paragraph (2) of this Code section or within 30 days after the last publication in a newspaper, the responsible party fails to respond to such demand or refuses to pay, or if the responsible party cannot be ascertained, the landowner may move to foreclose such lien. The person asserting such lien may move to foreclose by making an affidavit to a magistrate court showing all facts necessary to constitute such lien and the amount claimed to be due. Such affidavit shall aver that the notice requirements of Code Section 44-7-113 have been complied with, and such affidavit shall also aver that a demand for payment has been made and refused or that the identity of the responsible party cannot be ascertained. The landowner shall verify the statement by oath or affirmation with a signature affixed thereto.
    2. In addition to the filing fees required by Code Section 15-10-80, the fee for filing such affidavit shall be $5.00 per abandoned mobile home upon which a lien is asserted;
    1. Upon the filing of such affidavit, the person asserting such lien shall give the clerk or judge of the court the address, if known, of all responsible parties and the clerk or judge of the court shall serve notice informing such responsible parties of a right to a hearing to determine if reasonable cause exists to believe that a valid debt exists; that such hearing shall be petitioned for within 30 days of receipt of such notice; and that, if no petition for such hearing is filed within the time allowed, the lien shall conclusively be deemed a valid one, foreclosure thereof allowed, and a public sale pursuant to Code Section 44-7-116 shall be authorized.
    2. Any notice required by this paragraph shall be by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery or, if the responsible party is unknown, by posting such notice at the county courthouse in such place where other public notices are posted;
  3. If a petition for a hearing is filed within the time allowed pursuant to paragraph (4) of this Code section, the magistrate court shall set such a hearing within ten days of filing of the petition. Upon the filing of such petition by a party defendant, neither the prosecuting lienholder nor the court may sell the mobile home. If, at the hearing, the magistrate court determines there is reasonable cause to believe that a valid debt exists, then the person asserting the lien shall retain possession of the mobile home or the court shall obtain possession of the mobile home, as ordered by the court;
  4. If no petition for a hearing is filed, or if, after a full hearing, the magistrate court determines that a valid debt exists, the court shall authorize foreclosure upon and sale of the mobile home subject to the lien to satisfy the debt if such debt is not otherwise immediately paid. The holder of a security interest in or a lien on the mobile home, other than the holder of a lien created by Code Section 44-7-113, shall have the right, in the order of priority of such security interest or lien, to pay the debt and court costs no later than 15 days after a magistrate court's order to authorize the foreclosure. If the holder of a security interest or lien does so pay the debt and court costs, such person shall have the right to possession of the mobile home, and that person's security interest in or lien on such mobile home shall be increased by the amount so paid. A magistrate court order shall be issued to this effect, and in this instance there shall not be a sale of the mobile home. If the debt owed is not timely paid by the holder of a security interest or an appeal of the magistrate court decision has not been timely filed pursuant to paragraph (8) of this Code section, the court shall issue an order authorizing the sale of such mobile home;
  5. If the magistrate court finds the actions of the person asserting the lien in retaining possession of the mobile home were not taken in good faith, then the court, in its discretion, may award damages to the mobile home owner and to any party which has been deprived of the rightful use of the mobile home; and
  6. Any order issued by the magistrate court shall be appealable pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 5, provided that any such appeal shall be filed within seven days of the date such order was entered and provided, further, that, after the notice of appeal is filed with the clerk of the trial court, the clerk shall immediately notify the magistrate court of the notice of appeal. If the order of the magistrate court is against the responsible party and the responsible party appeals such order, the responsible party shall be required to pay into the registry of the court all sums found by the magistrate court to be due in order to remain in possession of the mobile home. The responsible party shall also be required to pay all future rent into the registry of the court as it becomes due in such amounts specified in paragraph (2) of this Code section until the issue has been finally determined on appeal.

(Code 1981, §44-7-115, enacted by Ga. L. 2018, p. 666, § 1/HB 381.)

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