OKLAHOMA CITY — For two months now we’ve been following the bankruptcy case of a mobile home company located here in Oklahoma.
With the Chapter 11 filing more than a dozen families were left without the homes they had already paid for.
This week the case went back to court.
More than a dozen Oklahoma families filed complaints against the company. In all, these customers paid about $150,000 for mobiles homes they never received and may never get.
Instead of having clarity at court, they walked away more confused and now very angry.
“She shouldn’t be getting away with taking victim’s money. She’s messing with people’s lives here, their children; their whole lives are just turned upside down,” says Carol Fields.
Carol Fields is furious about losing thousands of dollars. Her husband got a job in the oil field so they relocated from Indiana to Oklahoma. They paid $47,000 for a package deal that included land and a mobile home.
“Acres are what I bought in Hydro Hills Oklahoma,” Fields says.
But Wheeler Rental and Mobile Home Sales filed Chapter 11. Now the Fields are out that money and still have no place to live.
“She’s messed up our family, all of our hopes and dreams are gone and that’s not fair to our kids or us,” Carol Fields says.
Dennis Fields says, “[I’m] Mentally tore up, I literally don’t know what to do, honestly still to this day.”
Lee Cockream’s home was destroyed by a hundred mile an hour straight line winds. He handed over a check to buy a new mobile home for himself and his 83-year-old mother.
Lee Cockream says, “We’ve got you approved; we need a two thousand dollar earnest check and your title. So I said ok. On the 26th I took it down there and gave her the two thousand dollar check.”
The problem is the court documents show, Wheeler filed for bankruptcy on the 22nd, four days before accepting his check.
Last month more than a dozen other victims stood at the courthouse waiting for the scheduled bankruptcy hearing. The owner was quote “incapacitated” and didn’t show up so the hearing was rescheduled. This week, at the second hearing families found out Wheeler’s attorney had filed a motion for dismissal.
After complaints piled up from all over the state, Wheeler’s owner lost her license. And because of that her attorney says she can’t reorganize and in-turn cannot make a profit. So now the case goes to state court.
“There’s probably more opportunity for these people to try to find assets through state court than there would have been through the bankruptcy,” says John Maile with the Used Motor Vehicle and Parts Commission.
John Maile works for the state. He says moving the case out of bankruptcy court might benefit these angry customers in the long run.
Maile says, “They could make Mrs. Wheeler personally libel for what happened they could go against her personal assets which they could have done under the bankruptcy proceeding.”
But these families want the owner arrested.
“You take someone’s cash like that and their hopes and dreams like that and you destroy them likes she has she should be thrown in jail and pay everyone back what she got,” Carol Fields says.
Officials tell us if criminal charges are filed and if there is a conviction the owner could be made to pay restitution. We’ll keep following this case.