This has happened to me in the past and with my experience of investing along with administrative procedures, I can offer a couple of viable options.
If you cannot get satisfaction through DMV, you can file a UCC 11 to see if the lien is of public record. If you have proof the lien was satisfied and the lien claimant will not cooperate to remove, you can fill out a UCC 3 to cancel lien as debtor…yes, most people do not know that there is a provision on a UCC 3 for the debtor to cancel a lien…check it out!
In my case, when I purchased one of my mobile home parks, there was an abandoned mobile home on my property and the former owner of the home was in arrears over 1 year on the lot rent. What I did was an administrative procedure to obtain title to the home.
Essentially, I did a search to find the former owner, sent a registered mail package with a contract offer for them to cure the arrears on the lot rent. In that offer, I gave them a period of time to respond with instructions for sufficient response and the provision that an insufficient response would be a ‘tacit agreement’ to grant me specific power of attorney for the ownership of the mobile home. When they did not respond, I had an affidavit prepared for their non response, gave them a Notice of Fault and Opportunity to Cure by giving them another chance to cure the problem. When they did not respond, I did another Affidavit of Non Response as well as an Affidavit of Non Performance, thus awarding me through their default a specific power of attorney to the transfer of title of the mobile home.
Although at first reading, the above seems unusual and potentially complicated, it is simple, a legal process, and Administrative Judgments are equally powerful as Judicial Judgments, if you know what you are doing.
Was the effort worth it? I think so; I resold the mobile home with owner financing, sold the note for thousands of profit, plus I now have lot rent income on my dirt that is underneath this mobile home.
Learn contract law and you can solve most any problem, even on the title to a mobile home. Hope this helps.