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Posts Tagged ‘Attorney General’

Attorney General Sues Manufactured Home, Modular Housing Company, and owner Stanley Hall

May 28th, 2018 Comments off

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New York “Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced an order directing Walker’s Manufactured Housing, Inc. (“Walker’s”) and its owner, Stanley Hall, to explain their failure to sit for testimony as required by the Attorney General’s subpoena,” said in a release to the Daily Business News.

 

My office will aggressively investigate retailers of manufactured home and land deals who shirk their legal obligations to provide homes that are safe, durable, and suitable for occupancy,” Attorney General Underwood said. “Transparency and fair dealing is necessary in every transaction involving New York State consumers.”

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Underwood is the acting AG in New York. She took over the role recently, after a scandal forced the resignation of her predecessor earlier this month. 4 different women alleged that prior AG Eric Schneiderman sexually assaulted and abused them, per the New York Times.

Following multiple consumer complaints, the Attorney General’s office opened an investigation into the company’s business practices and issued a subpoena for Stanley Hall to appear for questioning,” the state tells MHProNews.

Mr. Hall refused to answer questions, improperly asserting a blanket Fifth Amendment privilege, and terminated the hearing. The order issued by Supreme Court Judge James P. McClusky of Jefferson County compels Walker’s and Stanley Hall to explain why the Judge shouldn’t further order their compliance with the Attorney General’s investigation, per the NY AG’s office.

My office will aggressively investigate retailers of manufactured home and land deals who shirk their legal obligations to provide homes that are safe, durable, and suitable for occupancy,” Attorney General Underwood said. “Transparency and fair dealing is necessary in every transaction involving New York State consumers.”

Multiple consumers in Jefferson County filed complaints with the Attorney General’s office regarding the advertising, sales, and installation practices of Walker’s Manufactured Housing, Inc.,” stated the attorney general’s office.

The Attorney General issued a subpoena to Stanley Hall to appear for questioning.  But Hall refused to answer any questions and terminated the hearing, per the AG’s release. The order announced gives Walker’s and Mr. Hall until late June to explain their failure to properly provide testimony to aid the Attorney General’s investigation.

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Mr. Hall said he has never received any complaints of incomplete buildings, delays, not following design specifications or other similar accusations in 52 years of business. When asked why he asserted his Fifth Amendment rights during the conference, Mr. Hall said he was following his attorney’s advice,” per the Watertown Daily News.

There’s a lot of false information; a lot of false accusations” from the AG’s office, Mr. Hall told local media.

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Mistake in Local Reporting?

Some mainstream media reports have apparently misunderstood the fact that Walker’s is a retailer, not a manufactured or modular home builder.

Satisfaction Guaranteed,” states part of the Walker Manufactured Housing website, which makes it clear that the firm sells housing built by Champion Homes, and/or other producers of factory-built housing.

We ensure complete satisfaction every step of the way. Whether you are a first time buyer or a returning customer, the process is always the same and we will take into consideration budget and availability for your Watertown sectional home. We guarantee our services and get you the best value for your money.”

MHProNews has reached out to Hall for a comment, and will update and monitor the case as it develops. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Allegations of Flooded, Fixed, Flipped ‘Mobile Homes’ hit state, international news

August 29th, 2014 Comments off

9wants-to-know-still=credit-posed-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-The City of Federal Heights is changing building inspection rules in response to a televised investigation in a manufactured home community by 9Wants to Know, exposing safety concerns when flooded “mobile homes are resold to unsuspecting families,” NassauNewsLives tells MHProNews.

Hundreds of flood damaged homes were sold rather than scraped. Those damaged units were fixed in a fashion the media says covered up problems, rather than repairing and replacing building materials subject to mold, electrical or other safety and health concerns.

It [the flood] took the mobile homes off the cement blocks and twisted and turned them sideways, and when that happens, the structural integrity of the home is damaged beyond repair,” said Evans Economic Development Director Sheryl Trent. “In every case, we found it was not safe to occupy.”

Colorado law doesn’t prevent investors from buying condemned manufactured or mobile homes and reselling, so long as the home condition is properly disclosed. Pat Coyle, director of the Colorado Division of Housing said failure to disclose a previously flooded condition is fraud.

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Coyle sent a letter to all manufactured housing installers – as well as to municipal and county building inspectors – warning that it’s considered fraud and a violation of the Consumer Protection Act if a seller “knowingly fails to identify” the facts about a flood damaged home. 

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The management company that owns the community where this practice has allegedly been taking place is Utah-based, and has some 40 other MHCs they operate.  NassauNewsLive states the management firm didn’t return calls. ##

(Editor’s Note 1: This is an example of a recent Masthead commentary on the high cost to the industry’s image such incidents represents, see: MHDeath and Disaster, the Other Image Campaign In the case of the story above, the media is urging those allegedly victimized to contact the state attorney general.  The legal costs alone could outweigh any short term profits, not to mention the economic damage to a firm’s or the industry’s reputation.)

(Editors’ Note2: Both of the news agencies in the report above used improper industry terminology, which is why MHProNews  developed this fact sheet for reporters in our media center. Industry professionals are advised to send a link to this page every time a news agency uses the wrong terminology.)

(Still images and video credits: 9Wants to Know)

New York State Community Owners: Take Notice

June 30th, 2014 Comments off

A questioner writes to “Anne” of the democratandchronicle.com in Rochester, New York, saying when she and her husband sold their manufactured home in a community and asked the community manager for the return of their security deposit, he replied they had to produce all three years of receipts because they paid with a money order. “Anne” says New York state law requires owners of MHCs to issue a receipt for each and every payment not made with a personal check. MHProNews.com understands the community owner may be slapped with a complaint by the state attorney general’s office; but also, laws vary regarding this issue from state to state. ##

(Photo credit: thinkstock.com–manufactured housing community)

Manufactured Home Community Ordered to Make Restitution

May 19th, 2014 Comments off

While the Bon Ayre manufactured home community in Smyrna, Delaware advertised residents were not liable to pay real estate taxes, the community sent out invoices December 2013 billing them for taxes from 2006, up to $291 each, MHProNews.com has learned. After receiving complaints from residents, the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit has ordered Bon Ayre within 60 days to refund to 194 tenants the share of taxes they paid, and to notify the attorney general’s office within 90 days that the refunds have been issued. According to news.delaware.gov, Attorney General Beau Biden says, “We’re acting to ensure that residents of manufactured home communities are treated fairly and that community owners are held accountable to the promises they make and to their obligations under the law.” The final settlement was secured with Bon Ayre and approved in a legally binding court order. ##

(Photo credit: First State Manufactured Housing Association)

Manufactured Home Community Residents Air Complaints

December 31st, 2013 Comments off

Led by resident Brooke Mathers of Lazy Wheels Mobile Home Park in Bothell, Washington, over 90 residents of manufactured housing communities (MHCs) from around the state met with dispute resolution personnel from the Washington attorney general’s office, local officials, representatives of manufactured homeowners organizations and Linda Garcia, co-owner of Lazy Wheels. Mathers said Lazy Wheels manager Nancy Phillips neglects complaints, bullies residents which makes them afraid to come forward with issues, takes advantage of Latino residents who are not fluent in English and is inconsistent with rental charges. Garcia said, “Nancy is an eccentric person, but is extremely diligent. The trailer park is her life and she loves to help people. She bends over backwards to help anyone who needs it and we feel so lucky to have her.”

Debbie Blessington of Bothell’s Code Enforcement Division said there are many violations at the community but most are homeowners who have made modifications without the proper permits. There is an ongoing issue about some empty manufactured homes at Lazy Wheels, according to bothell-reporter.com. Garcia said she is in the process of determining if they need to be repaired or demolished. As MHProNews has learned, Blessington said issues with management are a legal matter, not a city matter. Mathers plans to call more meetings in the future.

(Photo credit: Sarah Kehoe/bothell-reporter.com)

Legislative Update–Delaware

June 3rd, 2013 Comments off

Ruth Briggs King, Delaware’s State Representative from the 37th District, writing in capegazette.villagesoup, says she has introduced three pieces of legislation in support of residents of manufactured housing: House Bill 65 extends the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund for another five years; House Bill 66 requires owners to disclose certain provisions of a rental agreement on a form created by the attorney general’s office; and HB 83 sets minimum standards for roads in manufactured housing communities. As MHProNews reported May 28, a class action suit brought by three MHC owners and two MHC residents is challenging the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority over fees allegedly collected illegally since 2006.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

Attorney General, Community Owners Settle Suit

May 23rd, 2013 Comments off

Following up on a post MHProNews last published April 8, 2013 regarding a lawsuit filed against an MHC owner for allegedly violating Penn. law requiring payment relocation expenses to residents of communities that close, realestaterama says Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has settled with the owners. Kenneth Mayes, II and his sister, Sharon Mayes, who had agreed to sell Hilltop Mobile Home Park in State College, Penn. to a student housing builder, closed the community Feb. 28, 2013, but some residents complained they did not receive payments as required by state law. The agreement calls for the Mayes to pay $26,700 to the Commonwealth, $21,700 to be distributed to residents of Hilltop, and $5,000 for court and attorney’s fees. In addition, $10,000 will be set aside for other residents who file a valid claim within 30 days, with funds to be added if claims exceed $10k.

(Photo credit: Abby Drey/centredailytimes)

Company Banned from Dealing in Factory-built Homes

May 8th, 2013 Comments off

Robeson County, North Carolina manufactured home dealer McMillan Properties has been banned from doing business by Attorney General Roy Cooper for selling substandard homes and homes that were never delivered. According to what carolinalive tells MHProNews, 52 consumers in the Robeson County area have filed complaints against Bradley and Sherry McMillan who owe $359,015 as part of a consent judgment issued by Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning. Cooper filed suit in June 2012 against the McMillans,”Tricking consumers into paying for homes that aren’t safe to live in is unfair and illegal,” Cooper said in a news release issued Wednesday. “Homebuyers who were treated wrong now have a chance to get some money back, and I encourage any consumer who may be eligible for a refund to file a complaint with my office today.” The couple so far has failed to repay any of the money. If they violate the ban they will owe $100,000 in civil penalties.

(Image credit: HousingWire)

Residents Seek State Protection from Landlord

March 27th, 2013 Comments off

According to lehighvalleylive residents of Greenbriar Valley manufactured housing community (MHC) in east-central Penn. allege owner Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (ELS) is unjustly raising their rents and they are seeking protection, as they approach April 18 when rents for the 319 site community will rise again. One residents says his site rent has increased from $374 to $539 a month in ten years. At a Greenbriar homeowners association meeting State Rep. Robert Freeman says he sponsored legislation last year that gives manufactured home owners more rights if their community is sold, and will work with residents to seek more protection. He favors rents being tied to the consumer price index and intends to meet with the attorney general regarding protection for homeowners under the state’s Consumer Protection Act. As MHProNews knows, ELS is the largest owner of MHCs in North America with some 380 communities comprised of over 141,000 homesites.

(Photo credit: Bill Wechter/nctimes)

Mass.’ Peters Pond on Sun’s Buy List

December 24th, 2012 Comments off

Updating a story we ran Dec. 12, 2012 concerning Sun Communities, Inc.’s acquisition of 11 Morgan RV Resorts for $135 million, one of the properties is Peters Pond RV Resort in Sandwich, Mass. which has had some recent troubled times. Cape Cod Times tells MHProNews Morgan’s principal, Robert Moser, and the company were allegedly using harassment tactics in forcing residents to sign up for a membership. The Mass. Attorney General sued Morgan RV for failing to repay $446,785 to nearly 80 residents; Morgan has subsequently appealed that judgment. On 73.4 acres, Peters Pond is valued at $8.1 million. It is not known what effect the acquisition by Sun will have on the case.

(Photo credit: Cape Cod Times–Peters Pond)