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Posts Tagged ‘consumer complaints’

Done! AG Bag$ Manufactured Modular Home Retailer

April 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Attorney General (AG) Lawrence Wasden has announced the conclusion of a consumer protection lawsuit against manufactured home retailer Hathaway Homes Group, LLC, and its former owner, Paul J. Hathaway,” the Idaho AG’s Office told the Daily Business News on MHProNews.Judgments entered…in Fremont County District Court restrict Hathaway Homes and Hathaway from doing business in Idaho.”

 

Reporting on the same case, “More than a dozen former customers told the Post Register in recent years they were treated unfairly by Hathaway Homes Group. They said Hathaway cheated them in one way or another.” Hathaway declined comment.

According to the Idaho State Journal:

  • Hathaway Homes Group and All Terrain LLC (another company that Hathaway owned) and Hathaway himself are undergoing Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
  • Recent court documents show continued liquidation efforts. Wells Fargo moved to repossess Hathaway’s office in St. Anthony. And auctions are being held for property that Hathaway owned through his businesses.
  • The liquidations are attempting to repay the millions of dollars of debts that Hathaway owes to his former creditors, the largest of which (about $3.8 million) is owed to TAG Lending in Utah.
  • According to an April 2018 court disclosure document, creditors had unsecured claims against Hathaway and his businesses totaling more than $8.2 million.”

 

Here is the balance of the media statement, continued from the above, from the Idaho AG’s office.

 

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On March 29, 2019, Hathaway signed a settlement agreement with the Office of the Attorney General. The settlement and final judgment were filed for the court’s approval on April 9. Once approved and the final judgment signed, starting May 1, Hathaway will be prohibited from:

  • advertising or selling new or used manufactured homes to Idaho consumers or misrepresenting his authorization to do so; and
  • advertising or selling new or used manufactured homes from within Idaho, unless he’s properly licensed and works under a state-licensed business entity.

“The financial and emotional toll Mr. Hathaway’s alleged fraudulent actions have had on consumers cannot be quantified,” Wasden said. “While the conclusion of this case does not restore what consumers lost, it is intended to prevent Mr. Hathaway from causing others similar harm in the future.”

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division started its investigation in early 2017. Hathaway customers reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Customers alleged that Hathaway Homes accepted their down payments for new, unbuilt manufactured and modular homes that were never ordered from manufacturers. Customers also alleged Hathaway misrepresented the conditions of his used homes and failed to perform the warranty work on his installed homes.

Wasden filed a lawsuit against Hathaway Homes and Hathaway under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act in September 2018. Hathaway Homes, which was under the control of a bankruptcy trustee, did not appear in the case, and a default judgment was entered on April 2, 2019. The default judgment prohibits Hathaway Homes from doing business in Idaho except to the extent necessary to complete the bankruptcy matter.

Wasden’s office will monitor Hathaway’s future business activities. Anyone who observes Hathaway violating the settlement may file a complaint with the office.

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A prior report by MHProNews on this case can be accessed via the linked text-image box below.

 

AG’s Hathaway Lawsuit OK’d

 

This isn’t the only legal issue brewing in MHVille.  MHProNews has been notified about allegations involving a major Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member.  We’re providing that firm an opportunity to respond, before we proceed with a report.

It’s Monday, Monday. We hope it will be good to thee. That’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Clayton Homes Consumer Complaints Saga Continues, Mold and More

October 4th, 2018 Comments off

 

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Before diving into the update, for those who missed or need a refresher on the red-hot report on the ABC news affiliate video report about Clayton Homes complaints, you can see the video and commentary at the link below.

 

Clayton Homes Ripped by Customer Complaints Spotlighted on ABC News

MHProNews has called:

  • The retailer.
  • The TRU River Birch plant, owned and operated as part of Clayton Homes.
  • A Clayton/Maryville HQ contact that a TRU staffer advised us to call to get to a simple question.

Was the home built before or after the Clayton takeover from River Birch?

MHProNews made it clear that we were open, of course, to learning anything more than any of the above involved wanted to share.  But even that simple question about when this specific home was built, as of this time, has not been answered.

 

Clayton Connected Sources Share Insights…

Off the record, several comments have come in from informed sources who have or still do work with Clayton’s manufacturing division.

One comment was that Clayton is happy to reimburse retailers for authorized work done.  That’s a practice that is fairly common for manufactured home producers.  It’s a valid statement, as far as it goes.  There are several questions, though, which that too raises.  Where was the follow up by the factory to what the retailer said, per local media, the repeated efforts to give the factory out to the Navarre residence?

Because no one at Clayton wouldn’t formally reply, that is a question left hanging.

“Trailer R Us”

An inside joke, inappropriate but share by several in the industry with MHProNews, is that the Clayton “TRU” name is short for Trailers R Us.”  That’s noted, because Cody Navarre said on camera that his desire is for them to take the “trailer” [sic] back, and he’ll have a site-built house constructed.  It’s improper terminology. But what would it take to erase that nomenclature from the Navarre family’s vocabulary, after this?

Another TRU retailer told MHProNews that he had a manufactured home that he could “see daylight” out of the corner of a bedroom. A Clayton contact told the Daily Business News what causes that, explain that is an “easy fix.”  That said, that retailer told MHProNews that they’d tried to get the Clayton factory out for months.  They were “afraid to sell that home,” in that condition. They also didn’t want shoppers to see that, and possibly cost them sales for non-Clayton product.

 

 

A Clayton source also said that after watching the video on the original report, linked here, that several items on that home owner’s list were cosmetic items, which could have been done “in a day.”

That may be true.

But the TRU River Birch service crew came out and fixed only a window, finding mold.  They said they would be out later in the week to “replace” the roof. Time will tell.

Regardless of when this home was originally built, absent any insight to the contrary from Clayton Homes, they are presumably responsible for the service of any new home under warranty. After months of delay, per the ABC affiliate report, that first factory service run finally occurred.

So Clayton has apparently, per the sources, “dropped the ball” in pro-actively addressing an issue that common-sense says will only get worse. A leaky window – or a leak on the ceiling – doesn’t fix itself.  When the address the roof leaks, will they find mold there and/or other issues?

As to the retailer – who, for whatever reason – can’t or won’t address a matter, why didn’t the factory step in more quickly?

A source said that this retailer had a manufacturer that pulled their line of homes. Again, we called the retailer, and so far, no return call from someone in authority. If another HUD Code manufactured home produce pulled their line, that’s an interesting piece of the Navarre tale puzzle.

 

Resolving Disputes

Only a tiny fraction of a percent of homes go to dispute resolution. The good news is that there is a process for this kind of scenario, and perhaps this consumer was not informed about that process. There is no federal equivalent to that for conventional home buyers, who can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have similar complaints.

Rephrased, this could matter could be an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. But will Clayton, who has the money to do so, use this as a teachable moment in that market?  Or will they just hope it blows over, leaving possibly hundreds of thousands – potentially millions, given social media, etc. – with a poor impression about manufactured homes?

This is an example of what Marty Lavin calls, ‘the other image campaign.’ Until these types of issues are avoided, addressed and/or satisfactory corrected by Clayton/Berkshire Hathaway, will it be a surprise if manufactured housing continues at record low shipment levels?

Time will tell if Clayton and/or their parent company invests in turning a problem scenario into a silver lining opportunity. The Daily Business News will continue to monitor developments in this troubling story.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Fraud Charges Levied against Manufactured Home Seller

June 26th, 2013 Comments off

A Shannon, North Carolina man has been charged with defrauding 45 people of $437,702 by not delivering manufactured homes they had purchased, and is in jail under a $800,000 secured bond. Bradley Malcolm McMillian, 38, is facing two counts of obtaining more than $100,000 worth of property by false pretense, nine counts of selling manufactured homes without a license, and obtaining property by false pretense. NC Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a lawsuit in June 2012 against McMillian, after 52 consumer complaints were filed about McMillian Properties. Banned by a consent judgment from doing business in Robeson County, the robesonian.com informs MHProNews McMillian has also been ordered to pay $100,000 in civil penalties.

(Photo credit: robesonian.com–Bradley Malcolm McMillian)

CFPB Region Director Could be Watching You

January 8th, 2013 Comments off

OriginationNews reports the person who helped plan staffing, enforcement and direction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is now the regional director of the West Region office of the agency in San Francisco, covering 18 western states including Alaska, Hawaii and Guam. Edwin L. Chow is responsible for consumer protection and supervisory activities of regulated depository financial institutions with assets over $10 billion, and also in charge of non-depository financial services companies, supervising staff and managers in those locales. Consumer complaints against mortgage companies can now be filed on-line with the CFPB, and the company has 15 days to respond, at least to the CFPB. Lack of a response could bring the heat of investigation from the Bureau. Commissions for the loan originator (LO) are a fixed percentage based on the loan amount, with a focus on the best deal for the customer rather than the best percentage for the lender and/or the LO. MHProNews has learned that as of Jan. 28, FHA-approved lenders and LOs must provide accurate, timely and complete and pertinent company identification information to the FHA; and lenders need to regularly  review and update TPO (third-party origination) information in the Sponsored Originator Registry. How the agency will define Qualified Mortgages is yet to come.

(Image credit: Federal Housing Administration)

King pleads Guilty!

October 27th, 2011 Comments off

King_photo_courtesy_of_blueridgeIn a follow up to a story published on MHProNews August 17th, BlueRidgeNow reports that 55 year old Roger Leon King plead guilty to 7 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, totaling more than $290,000. Arrested in August on 2 counts, King was charged with five additional counts in September while incarcerated. King pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a minimum of six months and a maximum of eight months in prison. Court records show the judge ordered King to pay $251,335 in restitution before he could be considered for early work release. The Manufacturing Building Division of the Department of Insurance received consumer complaints regarding King’s manufactured home businesses, Repo Connections in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

(Photo credit: BlueRidgeNow)