Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/24/1994 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 358 - MOBILE HOME CERTIFICATES OF TITLE                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY opened HB 358 for discussion.  He noted the                   
  committee has heard HB 358 once before.                                      
  Number 318                                                                   
  SPONSOR, addressed HB 358.  He submitted a revised work                      
  draft, version O, for CSHB 358.  He stated the subcommittee                  
  revised the work draft to "allow" the titling of mobile                      
  homes, rather than "mandate."                                                
  Number 340                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated at the first hearing CSHB 358, version                 
  K, had been adopted.  He clarified the new version before                    
  the committee was version O.  He asked MR. LOUNSBURY to                      
  Number 343                                                                   
  MR. LOUNSBURY explained CSHB 358, which stated "an act                       
  requiring a mobile home owner to obtain a certificate of                     
  title," was changed to read "an act allowing a mobile                        
  home..."  He stated Ben Marsh, Alaska Manufactured Housing,                  
  agreed a title would be a great asset for them.                              
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified the title of CSHB 358, version O,                   
  reverts back to the original title of HB 358.                                
  MR. LOUNSBURY agreed.  He continued page 1, line 13 of CSHB
  358, version K, was changed from "shall issue," to "may                      
  issue a certificate of title."                                               
  Number 387                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY reiterated the changes to page 1, line 13 of                  
  CSHB 358, version K.  He noticed the fee was still $100.                     
  There was a minor grammatical change in Section 1,                           
  subparagraph (b).                                                            
  Number 400                                                                   
  MR. LOUNSBURY stated they felt CSHB 358, version O, was a                    
  good bill.  He mentioned there had been concerns about the                   
  $100 fee and they would work with it as long as the bill                     
  remained at least revenue neutral.  He noted acquiring a                     
  title for other types of property costs at least $100;                       
  therefore, as the fee stands, it is not over and beyond a                    
  real estate charge to title property.                                        
  Number 418                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS clarified there had not been any                     
  changes to Section 2.                                                        
  MR. LOUNSBURY affirmed REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS.                              
  Number 424                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG moved to adopt CSHB 358, version O.                    
  Number 434                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the committee secretary to call the                     
  IN FAVOR:      REPRESENTATIVES VEZEY, KOTT, B. DAVIS, G.                     
                 DAVIS, SANDERS, OLBERG.                                       
  ABSENT:        REPRESENTATIVE ULMER.                                         
  MOTION PASSED                                                                
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY moved to the Anchorage teleconference site.                   
  Number 439                                                                   
  ASSOCIATION (AMHA), supported CSHB 358.  He stated LEONARD                   
  GROSS was also present to testify.  They had requested HB
  358 in order to correct the problems resulting from HB 99,                   
  from the 1993 Legislative Session.  He stated without                        
  someone to guarantee titles to mobile homes, the buyer does                  
  not have a means of finding out if there are any liens                       
  against the units.                                                           
  MR. MARSH noted the AMHA represents probably 50 percent of                   
  the mobile homes in Alaska, therefore they consider                          
  themselves as the spokespersons for the industry.  They have                 
  been organized for 50 years.                                                 
  Number 462                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired if MR. MARSH indicated he felt a                     
  title from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would                        
  guarantee ownership.                                                         
  Number 465                                                                   
  MR. MARSH replied a title from DMV would give the sale of                    
  mobile homes a great deal more assurance.                                    
  Number 470                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY referred to MR. MARSH's indication that                       
  without a title, a person would not know if there were liens                 
  against the property.  He asked about the relationship                       
  between a title and a lien.                                                  
  Number 475                                                                   
  MR. MARSH deferred the question to MR. GROSS.                                
  Number 478                                                                   
  ASSOCIATION, supported CSHB 358.  He pointed out a lien is                   
  recorded on mobile home titles, just as vehicles are.                        
  Presently, under the new system, they have to file under the                 
  Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).  He stated a UCC can only be                  
  traced to a persons name; therefore, it is very difficult to                 
  research for outstanding liens.  He stated he knew of two                    
  cases where individuals were induced to buy a trailer and                    
  gave deposits based on a fraudulent bill of sale.  He                        
  believed CSHB 358 would defend the public.  He felt the $100                 
  fee was reasonable seeing as how it currently costs $88 for                  
  UCC filings, which lack any assurance.                                       
  Number 493                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY reiterated a lien is expressed on the title,                  
  and clarified this would only be correct if it was a                         
  mortgage or lease-interest holders lien.  He noted a                         
  mechanic could not put a lien on a title.                                    
  MR. GROSS stated CHAIRMAN VEZEY's comments were true.  He                    
  stated the intent is to protect the buyer, not the owner.                    
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY said MR. GROSS was implying CSHB 358 would                    
  provide protection against liens, when a person could still                  
  buy a mobile home and later find out there was $50,000                       
  against it liens.  He pointed out CSHB 358 did not address                   
  the problem with liens.                                                      
  Number 506                                                                   
  MR. GROSS responded if the title was clear and protected by                  
  a UCC filing, he did not understand how a mechanics lien for                 
  example, could be put on a mobile home title.                                
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY answered they would file a lien under                         
  "Alaska's Lien Law."                                                         
  Number 510                                                                   
  MR. GROSS asked if a lien would be recorded under the                        
  individual's name or under the title of the trailer.                         
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY replied he understood the filing could be                     
  made a lien against the property.  He believed a lien was                    
  usually against property as opposed to against an                            
  individual, which would be a suit.                                           
  Number 515                                                                   
  MR. GROSS stated liens against property are recorded in the                  
  Recorder's Office and can be traced.                                         
  Number 519                                                                   
  MR. MARSH interjected if the DMV were to carry titles on                     
  mobile homes, and a mechanic wanted to place a lien against                  
  a mobile home, he asked then if it would be convenient for                   
  the mechanic to send in a picture for identification as the                  
  lien holder of the title.                                                    
  Number 524                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG summarized the elimination of titling                  
  mobile homes in HB 99 from 1993 caused problems.  He stated                  
  the intent of CSHB 358 is to cure those problems.  He                        
  believed the questions about liens were ancillary when                       
  compared to the main question of trying to reinstate                         
  peoples' ability to acquire a mobile home title.  Having the                 
  title service available at least gives people the option.                    
  Number 534                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified his point as some people have tried                 
  to imply a title is a "panacea" for ownership rights and                     
  interest.  He stated a title does not guarantee ownership;                   
  it is only a change of documents giving financial                            
  institutions a sense of security.  He felt CSHB 358 would                    
  not resolve all the problems there are in determining the                    
  ownership of mobile homes.                                                   
  Number 544                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG agreed; however, CSHB 358 only                         
  attempts to enable people title to mobile homes.  This                       
  intent was not to fix every problem.                                         
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY referred to the $88 cost for a UCC filing and                 
  noted this cost was higher than what he was familiar with.                   
  He asked why.                                                                
  Number 552                                                                   
  MR. GROSS corrected CHAIRMAN VEZEY in that a mobile home is                  
  personal property, not real property.  Assuming a contract                   
  is over five years, the initial filing, extension and                        
  releasing plus filing with both the local areas and the                      
  state, would make up the cost.                                               
  Number 562                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified MR. GROSS was referring to six                      
  filings.  He outlined the cost includes an $8 local filing                   
  and a $10 state filing, which must be repeated two                           
  additional times.                                                            
  MR. GROSS affirmed CHAIRMAN VEZEY, and added the process was                 
  for two people.                                                              
  Number 570                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY noticed the calculation did not add up                        
  correctly.  He inquired if the AMHA felt the $100 fee was                    
  economically feasible.                                                       
  Number 576                                                                   
  MR. GROSS responded they originally proposed $50; however,                   
  it was suggested that $100 was necessary to make the program                 
  feasible for the state.  They did not object to the $100                     
  Number 585                                                                   
  VEHICLES (DMV), answered questions on CSHB 358.                              
  Number 587                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY referred to her testimony at the previous                     
  hearing of CSHB 358 when she indicated the work related to                   
  the issuance of titles varied from very easy to troublesome,                 
  requiring a lot of research.  He asked her to elaborate.                     
  Number 594                                                                   
  MS. HENSLEY answered the issuance of a title to mobile home                  
  with the proper documentation (i.e., bill of sale,                           
  manufacturers' statement of ownership (MSO), bank mortgage                   
  papers indicating a serial number) is a regular automobile                   
  Number 611                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG pointed out with an initial sale, the                  
  DMV would need an MSO, a lien document from the financing                    
  institution, and a copy of the contract from the dealer.                     
  Number 614                                                                   
  MS. HENSLEY stated upon the initial sale from the dealer,                    
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG was correct.  If the sale was a                        
  regular person-to-person sale, the DMV would need a bill of                  
  sale and they would have to research if the mobile home had                  
  ever been titled before.  This research tends to cause                       
  problems.  For example, when a mobile home has been sold                     
  after 3-4 prior owners, and the new owner would like a                       
  Number 621                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY commented statutes provide that certain                       
  information is required for the DMV to issue a title.  This                  
  information, he noted, should be provided by the people                      
  requesting a new title.  He felt the DMV was really required                 
  to do any searches.                                                          
  Number 630                                                                   
  MS. HENSLEY clarified the files she was referring to were in                 
  archives; therefore, it requires a manual search for the                     
  original owner because they are no longer on the computer                    
  system.  The process is time-consuming.                                      
  MS. HENSLEY stated the title mandate in the original HB 358                  
  caused her to originally believe the proposed $50 fee had to                 
  be raised to $100 to make the bill revenue neutral.  She                     
  pointed out the higher fee was negotiable; however, making                   
  CSHB 358 at least revenue neutral was necessary.  She noted                  
  the reason mobile home titling was deleted by HB 99 was                      
  because the manual research they were having to do was very                  
  labor intensive.                                                             
  Number 654                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY clarified the work gets difficult because the                 
  DMV does go back past one chain of ownership.                                
  MS. HENSLEY affirmed CHAIRMAN VEZEY.                                         
  Number 658                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated he believed the problem really                  
  existed with people who have completely lost the title after                 
  several sales, and the DMV has to search with only a bill of                 
  sale and a serial number.                                                    
  MS. HENSLEY replied REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG's comment was                      
  "exactly the case."                                                          
  Number 666                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired if the titles were found on a search                 
  based on manufacturer's serial numbers.                                      
  MS. HENSLEY answered they do a manual search with the bill                   
  of sale and serial number.                                                   
  Number 669                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if the DMV was searching manually                       
  through microfiche.                                                          
  MS. HENSLEY replied CHAIRMAN VEZEY was correct.                              
  Number 671                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS did not understand why                          
  searching for a mobile home title was so much more difficult                 
  than searching for an automobile title.                                      
  MS. HENSLEY responded the statute for mobile home titling                    
  stated they "may" title the mobile home; thereby, not                        
  requiring people to get titles.  Automobiles titles are                      
  required for the new owner to register for and acquire.                      
  Number 678                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked how long the mobile home                        
  titling laws have stated "may."                                              
  MS. HENSLEY answered the titling of mobile homes has been                    
  "may" ever since it was put into statute.                                    
  TAPE 94-37, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY questioned if it would not be feasible to                     
  state if it is not reasonable to locate the title from the                   
  DMV, then the title is the buyer's/seller's responsibility.                  
  He questioned the responsibility of both parties.                            
  Number 020                                                                   
  MS. HENSLEY responded she felt his suggestion would be a                     
  legislative call.  She noted according to meetings with the                  
  sponsor and the industry, one of the main concerns was that                  
  the industry and individuals are unable to obtain financing                  
  without a vehicle title.  She emphasized DMV would continue                  
  titling mobile homes; however, the program would need to be                  
  revenue neutral by providing the revenue and the funds to                    
  Number 059                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG what type of                      
  financing would be available for a used mobile home.  What                   
  is the value life considered to be.  He guessed 25 or 30                     
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG answered CHAIRMAN VEZEY was about                      
  right.  Most bankers want and require titles.  Without a                     
  title they do not have to furnish a loan.                                    
  Number 076                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY questioned at what point of a mobile homes                    
  life would a bank not finance it.  He offered 20 years as an                 
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG replied Alaska Housing at one time                     
  wrote 20 year mobile home loans.  He stated a bank could                     
  have a policy to not finance a mobile home after 20 years,                   
  but some judge the mobile home on its condition.                             
  Number 093                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated manufactured housing covered more than                 
  mobile homes.  He clarified the subject of their debate was                  
  a transportable home, and not just a prefabricated home.                     
  Number 098                                                                   
  MR. GROSS answered they were referring to transportable                      
  homes that become a permanent residence.  Quasi-permanent                    
  homes sometimes on leased or personal property.                              
  Number 107                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked when the home becomes an improvement to                 
  real property, is it no longer considered a mobile home.                     
  MR. GROSS explained if a mobile home was on a quasi-                         
  permanent foundation rather than blocking, it would make a                   
  Number 115                                                                   
  MR. MARSH clarified, the distinction by the municipality of                  
  Anchorage was if the mobile home is on a permanent                           
  foundation such as footings and concrete, it would then be                   
  considered real estate.  If the mobile home is on leased                     
  property or blocks, then it is considered personal property.                 
  Number 121                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG added if the mobile home was not                       
  permanently attached to real estate the bank would actually                  
  do a real estate mortgage on the property and a separate                     
  mortgage on the mobile home.                                                 
  Number 128                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY referred back to his original question of the                 
  fee and whether or not it was reasonable.  He stated the                     
  reasonableness of the fee depended entirely upon how much                    
  work is expected from the DMV.  He asked if the committee                    
  felt the DMV should be responsible for doing searches, and                   
  suggested there could be a cutoff point to make the                          
  individual responsible.  He compared the suggestion to real                  
  property where the title is entirely up to the individual.                   
  Number 144                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG pointed out subdivision lots do not                    
  come with MSOs.                                                              
  Number 154                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY agreed with REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG.  He                        
  directed his comment to MR. GROSS and MR. MARSH, and stated                  
  CSHB 358 is a "stopgap" measure, which makes people feel                     
  better and satisfies financial institutions.  He reiterated                  
  they do not feel the fee is unreasonable and the DMV did not                 
  really know how much the cost for implementation would be.                   
  Hearing no objection from the industry, he did not believe                   
  the legislature would be inclined to lower the fee.  If the                  
  fee were lowered, the state would have to have a                             
  responsibility cutoff point.                                                 
  Number 174                                                                   
  MR. GROSS responded he was happy with the fee.  He felt the                  
  fee was worth it to have a central registry, even though it                  
  would not be title insurance.  He commented if the title is                  
  not required, however, the problems MS. HENSLEY mentioned                    
  will continue.  He would prefer the title exchange to be                     
  Number 187                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG mentioned the subcommittee voted                       
  unanimously in favor of "requiring."                                         
  Number 190                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked what would then be done with those                      
  people who do not comply.                                                    
  Number 194                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG stated there would not be a rush to                    
  the DMV office to buy mobile home titles.  Titles would                      
  probably be bought when an individual decided to sell a                      
  mobile home.                                                                 
  Number 199                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated he did not feel that was the case.  He                 
  stated the problem exists in the sale of 30-50 year old                      
  mobile homes for the price of $3,000 to $5,000.  He noted                    
  mobile homes were a common form of housing.                                  
  Number 214                                                                   
  358 is a "stopgap" measure, and stated it could be revised                   
  in the future.  He believed in the future there could be a                   
  smaller fee and DMV, by regulation, could establish a                        
  research cost per hour.                                                      
  Number 224                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY responded research should be incumbent upon                   
  the Alaska Manufactured Housing Association to investigate                   
  the needs of their own industry and propose suggestions.  He                 
  stated he was amenable to the difference between the words                   
  "allowing" and "requiring."  He was, however, more                           
  comfortable with "allowing."                                                 
  Number 236                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked if CSHB 358 could make titling                  
  required from this point forward.                                            
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY answered the problem was not with people                      
  getting titles if they were financing through a financial                    
  institution.  When two people buy and sell, the title then                   
  tends to drop out of the system and may never return.                        
  Number 243                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS asked if titling was required as of                   
  now, would the problem take care of itself in 20 years.                      
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY replied he did not believe anything would                     
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG believed CHAIRMAN VEZEY was absolutely                 
  right.  Once a mobile home is no longer able to be financed,                 
  it "falls into a gray area," he commented.  He felt this                     
  problem probably should not be addressed in statute.                         
  Number 259                                                                   
  MS. HENSLEY mentioned her fiscal note was based on not                       
  requiring everyone already owning a mobile home to come in                   
  and acquire a title.  She stated at the point of sale, the                   
  individual would need to provide the proof and obtain the                    
  title.  She also based her fiscal note upon the number of                    
  mobile home sales per year, the turnover rate and the                        
  average years the mobile home was owned by an individual.                    
  The average year of mobile home ownership she believed, was                  
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY inquired if there was indication from the                     
  industry as to how many times a mobile home might be                         
  Number 274                                                                   
  MS. HENSLEY replied they did not advise her of that.                         
  Number 276                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG estimated with an average 8-year                       
  turnover it would possibly be financed three times.  He                      
  noted as the mobile home ages the term shrinks dramatically.                 
  Number 281                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated version O of CSHB 358 had been                         
  adopted, which incorporates page 2 of the original HB 358.                   
  He asked the pleasure of the committee.                                      
  Number 287                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG moved to pass CSHB 358, version O,                     
  from committee with individual recommendations and                           
  accompanying fiscal note.                                                    
  Number 296                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked the committee secretary to call the                     
  IN FAVOR:      REPRESENTATIVES VEZEY, KOTT, B. DAVIS, G.                     
                 DAVIS, SANDERS, OLBERG.                                       
  ABSENT:        REPRESENTATIVE ULMER.                                         
  MOTION PASSED                                                                

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