Posted: Apr 18, 2012 6:09 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2012 6:44 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Matthew Bolin will need to start writing checks for his mortgage again. Bolin bought a mobile home from The Park Girl Mobile Home Sales.
The owner of the La Feria business was arrested for felony theft. Bolin is one of 69 customers suing the owner, Jo Leigh Ares. She's accused of taking their money without providing mobile homes, the right mobile homes or clean titles.
Raul Noriega of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid is representing the customers. He said, "They're all feeling very afraid and deceived."
Bolin said that's why he stopped writing a check for his monthly mortgage payments. "Now I have finance companies, several, knocking on my door, calling me," he told us. "I don't know what to do."
Stephanie Franke is one of the people trying to recover money owed. She works for Legacy Homes. The company built and financed the mobile homes Ares sold.
The company cut ties with Ares after her arrest last year. CHANNEL 5 NEWS was there when trucks hauled the leftover homes off the sales lot. Franke says the company can't simply forget about the homes already sold. Those customers still need to pay.
The legal mess is already four months old. The process was delayed when Ares filed for bankruptcy protection. However, a judge decided her customers could still sue her for damages.
Today a Cameron County judge ordered those customers to keep making the payments. The money will go into an account run by the courts.
The judge promised the customers their money won't be touched until Ares goes to trial or the lawsuit is settled. This means Legacy Homes also won't be getting money until then.
So for now, Bolin will need to start writing checks again for his mortgage payments.