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Posts Tagged ‘consumer protection’

National non-profit Suggests Manufactured Housing as an Option to Renting

March 2nd, 2016 Comments off

neighborworks_america__their_creditNeighborWorks America, in acknowledging National Consumer Protection Week March 6-12, offers six tips to empower renters to protect themselves and make informed decisions. According to what marketwired tells MHProNews:

  • You should avoid rental scams that require you to wire money or pay a security deposit before you have signed a lease.
  • Since most landlords check credit scores, it is important to strengthen your credit and establish savings goals. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reports nearly half of all renters are paying more than 30 percent of their incomes in rent.
  • Acting like you are going to live there for a couple of years can lead to asking good questions, like how old are the appliances. “Doublecheck that you do want to rent versus own and compare prices and long-term investment of each route you could take. For example, at a time when rising home prices and rental rates are halting many people’s housing plans, manufactured housing can provide an affordable option. The newer models may be more energy-efficient and therefore save on utility costs.”
  • Select a moving company carefully. Instead of marking boxes by their contents—cameras, shoes, silverware—use a sequential numbering system so you will know if box 14 did not make it and thereby ward off potential theft.
  • Consider renters insurance. A nasty leak or a fire will protect the landlord’s property but not yours.
  • Decide between a management company and an individual landlord. With an individual landlord, if there is a problem you can sometimes negotiate rent.

NeighborWorks America is a national nonprofit that promotes access to homeownership and affordable rental housing. ##

(Image credit: NeighborWorks America)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Rep. Neugebauer Questions Overreach of CFPB without Oversight

March 9th, 2015 Comments off

cfpb_credit_cfpbFinancial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Randy
Neugebauer (R-TX), evaluating the five-year history of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), informs MHProNews the agency does not perform in a sustainable manner, lacks transparency and accountability, and is “susceptible to political influence.” He sees value in the agency but would like to re-structure it. He says in a video, “We must reflect and focus on what consumer protection means for credit availability, the cost of credit, and consumer choice,” and notes the government should not make financial choices for the American people. He recounts the story of a constituent who does not want to lose her overdraft protection on her prepaid credit card. “Consumer protection does not happen in a vacuum. New regulations and regulatory actions have consequences for real people,” he says, suggesting the pendulum may be swinging too far towards paternalism in the amount of protection offered by the CFPB, which does not allow for innovation in the marketplace. ##

(Video credit: YouTube; image credit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com  Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to-Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Chairman Hensarling at Hearing on CFPB

September 13th, 2013 Comments off

the-committee-on-financial-service.pngHouse Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at the full committee hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) semi-annual report with Director Richard Cordray.

“This morning we welcome Director Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB, to deliver the bureau’s latest semi-annual report. Mr. Cordray, we recognize that the bureau’s latest semi-annual report may be a little bit dated due to the legal controversy that previously surrounded your appointment and thus delayed your timely appearance. Nonetheless we welcome you today and congratulate you on your recent Senate confirmation.

“As all of us know, the CFPB was designed to operate outside the usual system of checks and balances that applies to almost every other government agency.

“Number one, the CFPB is effectively unaccountable to Congress. It is exempted from the Congressional budgetary and appropriations process. Unlike many other agencies, there is thus no check to ensure the CFPB director is spending the people’s money effectively to promote consumer protection, much less effectively in a time of runaway debt and deficits. Not even the agency from which the CFPB obtains its funding, the Federal Reserve, has oversight over the CFPB director’s spending.

“The CFPB is unaccountable to the executive branch. The director, once appointed and confirmed, can only be removed by the president for cause. Neither can the nation’s chief executive enforce spending discipline on the Bureau because it is not subject to the Office of Management and Budget. Nor does CFPB have their own Inspector General.

“I also find it fascinating, as Syria has dominated our national consciousness, that it merely takes a majority vote of Congress to launch military action or to go to war, but it takes a super-majority vote of the Executive Branch Financial Stability Oversight Council to overturn a ruling of the CFPB, and then only if that ruling can be shown to threaten the safety and soundness of the entire U.S. financial system.

“Next, the CFPB is also uniquely unaccountable to the courts. Section 1022 of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that where the Bureau disagrees with any other agency about the meaning of a provision of a Federal consumer financial law, a reviewing court must give deference to the Bureau’s view under the Chevron Doctrine.

“Finally, in many respects, the CFPB is uniquely unaccountable even to itself since there is fundamentally no ‘it,’ no ‘they’ – only a he. There is no commission, only one omnipotent director, fundamentally accountable to no one.

“Combined with this breathtaking lack of accountability is a grant of power under Dodd-Frank to the CFPB Director that is unilateral, unbridled and unparalleled. The director can unilaterally declare virtually any financial product or service as ‘unfair,’ or ‘abusive,’ at which point Americans will be denied that product or service even if they need it, understand it and want it. Be he our credit czar, national nanny or benevolent financial product dictator, Mr. Richard Cordray is now empowered fundamentally to decide what types of credit cards Americans are allowed to have, what types of mortgages they may have, whether or not they can access a pay day lender.

“All of this does beg the question: who will protect consumers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

“True consumer protection requires access to competitive, transparent and innovative markets vigorously policed for force, fraud and deception. True consumer protection empowers consumers and respects their economic freedoms to make informed choices free from government interference and fiat.

“Consumer protection is not a zero-sum game – where for consumers to win producers must lose, or where borrowers can only win when lenders lose. Consumer Protection is not, having powerful government agencies ‘nudge’ consumers to make ‘correct’ choices in the belief they are incapable of making rational decisions for themselves.

“When it comes to true consumer protection, and when it comes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, this committee will do everything we can to demand the highest levels of accountability, transparency and answers.”

American Banker Interviews Richard Cordray

August 20th, 2013 Comments off

While bankers fear the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under Director Richard Cordray may be too aggressive, he assures them he is balancing safety and soundness with consumer protection. In a wide-ranging interview with American Banker, he says despite the fight over his initial recess appointment, he and his staff prioritized their mission: Protect and empower consumers in a financial marketplace. He says the Bureau recently received its 200,000 complaint, a statistic he says indicates the protection is being effective, as MHProNews has learned. Responding to a question regarding the biggest challenges of the agency, he referred to the four D’s: Deceptive and misleading marketing of products; debt traps like payday loans and deposit-advance products that can garner up to 390% interest; discrimination—treat all consumers the same; and dead ends, like debt collection, loan servicing, and possibly student-loan servicing and other instances in which the consumer is between two institutions. For the complete interview, please click here.

(Image credit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

CFPB: Cap Excludes Comp

May 31st, 2013 Comments off

Saying it is too difficult to calculate individual pay early in the origination process, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) now says loan officer compensation should not be included in the three percent cap threshold under the qualified mortgage rule. However, as nationalmortgagenews informs MHProNews, compensation paid by the creditor to a mortgage broker should be included, and so should fees paid by the consumer to the creditor. “This cap ensures that lenders offering qualified mortgages do not charge excessive points and fees,” says the CFPB. Mortgage Banker Association (MBA) president and chief executive David Stevens, says, “We welcome the stipulation that compensation paid by brokers and lenders to loan originator employees do not count toward the points and fees threshold for what constitutes a qualified mortgage. Both of these provisions should facilitate a more efficient and affordable marketplace for borrowers.” He adds the CFPB is trying to balance consumer protection with access to affordable credit.

(Image credit: hansafx)

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)

New Director for Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission

August 16th, 2012 Comments off

WLTZ-TV reports from Montgomery, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed State Rep. Elwyn Thomas as Executive Director of the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission (AMHC) effective Sept. 1, 2012. As the state’s regulatory agency, the AMHC enforces installation program standards and focuses on industry compliance, consumer protection, and assists communities with developing storm shelters. In addition to serving in the Alabama Legislature for 15 years, Thomas has 30 years experience as a real estate developer and real estate evaluator for the banking industry. Thomas will resign from the legislature in order to assume his new duties. As MHPronews has learned, Alabama has one of the highest concentrations of manufactured housing producers in the nation.

(Image credit: State of Alabama)

Responsibility for MHC Resident Complaints Varies

June 27th, 2012 Comments off

The WausauDailyHerald reports from Wisconsin complaints from MHC residents may be handled by a state agency or by a local or county body depending upon the number of people who have complained and the severity of the complaint. The Dept. of Safety and Professional Services handles some complaints, and sometimes its the Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Local jurisdictions can apply for permission to act as state inspectors, but only 24 entities have done so, leaving the remainder to the state. In counties where the state has jurisdiction, inspectors only go out when there is a complaint, or when a new MHC is established or one expands. MHC owners who belong to the Wisconsin Housing Alliance want a single state agency to control all matters relating to MHCs. MHProNews has learned some inspectors insist local officials can respond more quickly to a problem.

(Image credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Ohio and OMHA Collaborate on New Commission

June 22nd, 2012 Comments off

The Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) tells MHProNews one time OMHA director Dan Rolfes suggested over ten years ago that all aspects of MH industry rules and regulations should be under one roof. On May 23, 2012, the Ohio General Assembly voted to establish – and the governor signed into law – the Ohio Manufactured Homes Commission (OMHC) to regulate and enforce all aspects of manufactured housing from top to bottom—licensing of dealers, fines, MH community regulations, inspections, board of health reviews, consumer protection, etc.. The commission is governed by a nine-member body, six of whom are required by law to have been approved by OMHA. Tim Williams, executive vice-president of OMHA, while offering thanks to legislators and governors of both parties over the years to reach this goal, says, “The license fees may be lowered by as much as 20 percent under current draft fee schedules subject to OHMC’s continued review. Regulation for affordable manufactured home ownership in Ohio MH communities will be reasonable and balanced while maintaining homeowner safety and affordability. The full benefits of this historical effort will be seen in the coming months and years.” Some rules will not come under the umbrella until Dec. 2012. To learn more about this major OMHA’s initiative, please click on this link.

(Photo credit: Ohio Manufactured Homes Association–Tim Williams)

MHI Hires SNR Denton

May 25th, 2012 Comments off

Earlier this month the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) contracted with noted legal experts SNR Denton to pursue statutory changes to the Dodd-Frank Act and the SAFE Act through the enactment of HR 3849, The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. The law firms other thrust will be to alter the regulations contained in the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) that restrict the availability of financing for the purchase of manufactured housing. With more than 60 locations worldwide, SNR Denton’s roots go back 225 years. MHI will continue its relationship with Porterfield and Lowenthal to deal with current and proposed legislation and regulations that impact manufactured housing finance. For a detailed analysis, please click here. For link to MHI article, click here.

(Image credit: Manufactured Housing Institute)