Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that complainants in an Oregon Department of Justice case against a Medford manufactured housing dealer will be provided free mediation services as part of a settlement filed in Jackson County Circuit Court. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance are Miller Estate Sales, Inc. and its president Brad Miller of Medford. The agreement admits no law violation.
Miller Estate residents filed complaints with Justice over the last year alleging that Miller and his company had made verbal promises concerning lot lines, driveways, and structural details that were never fulfilled. Numerous residents also complained to Justice about the company failing to provide purchase agreements as required by Oregon law and rule.
"Buying a manufactured home often is the largest purchase that Oregon residents will make in their lifetimes," Myers said. "This case clearly points out the necessity for consumers to get promises in writing especially in complex and expensive transactions."
Over the length of the investigation, a Justice attorney and investigator met with representative complainants, who live in the Miller Estate manufactured housing park in Central Point, and with representatives of the Miller Estates Homeowners Association. Justice also discussed the situation with executives of the Manufactured Home Owners of Oregon, Inc. and staff of the Manufactured Dwelling Park Community Relations Program of the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department.
Under the agreement, the company and its owner must change its past business practices to comply with the state's consumer protection laws, honor all representations made to consumers during the course of a sale of a manufactured dwelling, use sales forms that comply with Oregon statutes, and pay Justice $20,000 for its consumer protection and education fund.
The settlement also names ten couples and four individuals, who if they wish, may enter into mediation with the respondents, free of any charge. Others, not named in the court order, may request mediation services by contacting Justice at 1-877-877-9392; Miller Estate Homeowners Association attorney Doug Gard of Medford, (541) 779-4588; or Miller Estates attorney William Deatherage of Medford, (541) 779-2333 by Thursday, October 6, 2005.
Mediation will be provided by staff from the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. In addition, if either party terminates mediation procedures, consumers may choose binding arbitration. Justice will choose the arbitrator and the company will pay the full cost of arbitration.
Consumers wanting more information about buying a manufactured home may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Two brochures, Agencies and Information You Should Know About Buying a Manufactured Home and Your Manufactured Structure–Important Information About Owning a Manufactured Home are available upon request.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org