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    Post: Arkansans Urged to Gets Facts before Buying FEMA

    Posted by Sharon on 2/06/10

    Saturday, Feb 6, 2010

    Arkansans Urged to Gets Facts before Buying FEMA Traile...

    Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is warning the
    state's consumers about predicted efforts to resell the
    more than 100,000 FEMA surplus manufactured homes and
    travel trailers which are being auctioned by lot to brokers
    and other resellers. The Attorney General predicts that the
    retail market may soon be flooded with these surplus units
    which have been stored by FEMA at several locations across
    the South since shortly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    “We expect that these units will be offered to the public
    in various venues, including the internet, and at prices
    which may appear to be deeply discounted,” McDaniel
    said. “However, a discounted price does not necessarily
    mean the buyer is getting a good deal, and buyers
    interested in acquiring a surplus manufactured home or
    travel trailer need to proceed with caution.”

    Over 90,000 of the surplus units being auctioned are travel
    trailers. The buyer will not know how long the travel
    trailer has been stored, or the conditions of storage. Many
    of these units may suffer from a lack of maintenance, and
    may have mold, mildew, or other water damage. There may
    also be issues with possible formaldehyde giving off gas
    and possible leaks in any LP gas equipment. Rules adopted
    by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which is
    overseeing the auctions, prohibit the resale of the travel
    trailers for use as housing.

    While resllers are required to provide prospective buyers
    with disclosure information received from FEMA regarding
    the condition of the unit, McDaniel urged Arkansas
    consumers who may be interested in purchasing any travel
    trailer or manufactured home to ask questions about the
    source of the unit and its condition before buying. He also
    suggested that potential buyers not rely solely upon the
    information provided by the seller, but also obtain an
    independent inspection of the unit before buying.

    Finally, the Attorney General noted that buyers may be
    faced with issues regarding titling and registration of a
    purchased unit, and questions regarding the payment of
    sales tax on the purchase. “Proceed with caution, extreme
    caution, if you are tempted to respond to what appears to
    be an attractive offer for a travel trailer or manufactured
    home,” McDaniel said.

    For more information or to file a complaint, contact the
    Public Protection Department of the Arkansas Attorney
    General's Office at (501) 682-2341 or toll-free statewide,
    at (800) 482-8982. A complaint form can also be found on
    the Attorney General's Office website, by clicking here .

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