CONSUMER RECOVERY FUND
The Consumer Recovery Fund is a fund made up of monies that licensed dealers and brokers of mobile homes, manufactured homes, and factory-built buildings, designed for residential use, have paid to the Department for each home they have sold.
Only consumers who have been damaged by the acts or omissions of licensed dealers or brokers of manufactured homes, mobile homes or factory-built buildings designed for residential use can file a claim against the Consumer Recovery Fund. The consumers’ complaint items must be verified as dealer responsibility before the Department can have a Consumer Recovery Fund hearing scheduled on behalf of the consumer filing the claim. Only those complaint items that have been verified as dealer responsibility can be entertained by the Consumer Recovery Fund.
How Long is a Claim Valid
A claim can be made for up to two (2) years from the date of installation, or the date of purchase, whichever is later.
What damage may be claimed from the Recovery Fund
Recovery Fund claims are limited to actual damages, not interest or attorney fees. It is not limited in terms of other possible claims.
What is needed to have my claim verified
The Department must first receive the consumer’s written and signed complaint against the licensed dealer or broker. The consumer must list the individual complaint items and provide documentation to support any claims made against the dealer or broker.
What happens after my complaint is verified
A copy of the Department’s written determination of the complaint items is mailed to the consumer and to the dealer or broker. A Consumer Recovery Fund Claim Form is enclosed with this determination. The consumer must complete this form and return it to the Department. The completed and notarized Consumer Recovery Fund Claim Form must be received by the Department prior to the expiration of the two year statute of limitations.
What happens after my completed Consumer Recovery Fund Claim form is received
The Consumer Recovery Fund Claim Form is checked for completeness. Special attention is paid to ensure the consumer’s signature is notarized, the consumer’s social security number is on the form, and that the consumer has indicated the amount being claimed against the fund.
If the Consumer Recovery Fund Claim Form is complete, this form, along with any attachments, is forwarded to our legal section. Our legal section will submit a request for a Consumer Recovery Fund hearing to the Office of Administrative Hearings which is a separate state agency that hears administrative hearings for all state agencies. The Office of Administration will respond to the Department’s request and provide the Department with the date and time assigned for the Consumer Recovery Fund hearing.
Our legal section will send a Notice of Hearing, via certified mail, to the consumer and to the dealer or broker. The Notice of Hearing will provide the date, time, and location of the hearing.
The Department will not present your case to the Administrative Law Judge. You may represent yourself or, if you have legal counsel, you may have your attorney represent you in the hearing. At the hearing, you will be required to present evidence and/or witnesses which you feel will support your allegations. This evidence may consist of, but is in no way limited to, the following:
Front and back of your purchase agreement.
Earnest money receipts you were issued by the dealership.
Front and back of any canceled check(s) which relate to monies you paid the dealer or broker or to out-of-pocket expenses you incurred to repair/replace item(s) which have been verified by the Department as the dealer’s responsibility to correct.
Front and back of financial lender’s installment contract.
Complaint Verification form from the Department.
Itemized estimates from properly licensed contractors for complaint items verified, by the Department, as the dealer’s responsibility to correct. You should make every attempt to obtain at least three estimates for each item.
Any advertisement, promotional or sales brochures received in connection with your sale.
Any other pertinent documentation.
You must bring originals or legible copies of all documents you will present at your hearing.
How long does it take to receive any payments granted
Approximately 60 – 65 days from the date of mailing of the Order, signed by the Director of the Department. The Order will state that the Recommended Decision of the Administrative Law Judge has been adopted by the Director as his decision in the matter.