Posts Tagged ‘Dodd-Frank’

Highlights Of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger’s First Six Months, What’s Next?

June 12th, 2019 Comments off


Retailers. Communities. Have you noticed how relatively quiet word from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been in the past 6 months?


Yesterday, June 11, marked the first six months of Director Kathleen L. Kraninger taking the helm from acting director Mick Mulvaney. 

Mulvaney has since moved on to the role as acting chief of staff for President Donald J. Trump.

The federal agency is still enforcing laws, but is striving – per their statement below – to do so in a more thoughtful manner, where business has a better sense of what it can or can’t do.  That increased certainty should be good for business over the long haul. In the video interview that follows below, she makes it clear that protecting and educating consumers matters to her.




Here is her most recent, perhaps first, mainstream news video interview on the topics that follow. By the way, this interview with Bloomberg – a left-of-center media outlet – exemplifies a balance that some may not realize can exist in the mainstream.  There are weaponized interviews, ‘fake news,’ and balanced reports.  This is arguably fair and balanced.




The CFPB news release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews will be followed with some additional details about the new director, plus manufactured home industry related material.




WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 11th marks the first six months of Director Kathleen L. Kraninger leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve American consumers. As Director, my focus is to prevent harm to consumers by using all the tools Congress gave us, including education, regulation, supervision and enforcement. I look forward to building on the efforts and progress of these first six months,” said Director Kraninger.

Under Director Kraninger’s leadership, the Bureau:

Educated consumers about financial products and money management

• Launched an initiative, Start Small, Save Up, to increase emergency savings among consumers;
• Expanded the Misadventures in Money Management financial education tool for active-duty servicemembers;
• Educated consumers about mortgage closing scams;
• Educated consumers on debt collection, including steps they can take to resolve a debt, telling the difference between a legitimate debt collector and scammer, and top debt collection questions answered;
• Performed an extensive analysis and report on what suspicious activity reports reveal about elder financial exploitation;
• Provided technical assistance to VITA (Volunteers in Tax Assistance) sites in how to support the people who they serve in making choices about saving part of the tax refund;
• Issued a set of reports for use by state and local leaders working to set up child savings programs;
• Released an education page on financial preparedness for a disaster;
• Received and handled 170,000 consumer complaints;
• Released a financial well-being practitioner toolkit for use by financial educators;
• Provided consumers a list with contact information on specialty credit reporting companies;
• Educated servicemembers and other consumers on new credit freeze protections, jointly with the FTC;
• Released an action booklet on building and managing credit for consumers as part of the Your Money, Your Goals;
• Continued to provide the Your Money, Your Goals guide to service providers to use as they inform individuals transitioning from incarceration on financial information and tools to manage their financial lives;
• Released two snapshots focused on mortgage and servicemembers complaints;
• Facilitated the training of over 1,700 social services staff with information and action steps in money management that they can share with the people who they serve; and
• Reached 25 million publications distributed and 25 million hits on its web service, AskCFPB, over the life of these services.

“Congress charged the Bureau with conducting financial education programs and ensuring consumers receive timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions. We will continue to look for ways to release innovative financial education tools and partner with public and private sector entities engaged in consumer financial education to maximize the reach of these tools,” said Director Kraninger.

Examined to Promote Compliance and Enforced the Law

• Took action against one of the 10 largest HMDA reporters for violating HMDA and Regulation C;
• Took action against a mortgage servicer for violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act; RESPA; Regulation X; the Truth in Lending Act; and Regulation Z;
• Filed a law suit against a debt collection firm for violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act;
• Filed a law suit against a credit repair company and several related entities alleging that they violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act and also the Telemarketing Sales Rule;
• Took action against a student loan servicing company that engaged in unfair practices that violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act;
• Took action against a company that violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act; the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; Regulation P; the Truth in Lending Act; and Regulation Z;
• Took action against an online lender that extends unsecured payday and installment loans for violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act;
• Took action against an individual who brokered contracts offering high-interest credit to veterans for violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act;
• Took action against a company for violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Truth in Lending Act; and Regulation Z;
• Took action against a federally chartered savings association for violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act; the Electronic Fund Transfer Act; and Regulation E;
• Sought to enhance protections for servicemembers;
• Secured over $12 million in redress for consumers and $22 million in Civil Money Penalties; and
• Announced changes to policies regarding Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) to ensure they provide more information about the potentially wrongful conduct under investigation.

“Enforcement is an essential tool Congress gave the Bureau – particularly because education, rulemaking, and supervision will not prevent every violation. We will use enforcement against bad actors who don’t comply with the law. Ensuring that justice is served in the public interest – that is our goal in using the enforcement tool. Further, a purposeful enforcement regime can foster compliance, help prevent consumer harm, and right wrongs,” said Director Kraninger.

Modernized, clarified, and reduced burden of rules

• Issued the first proposed rulemaking to implement the requirements and prohibitions applicable to debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act since it was passed in 1977;
• Became a coordinating member of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), a world-wide effort to promote financial innovation that benefits consumers;
• Published a request for information concerning the need for and scope of exceptions under the Remittances Rule;
• Issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to commence developing proposed regulations addressing PACE financing, a relatively new form of financing of home improvements for environmental purposes;
• Issued new written guidance to clarify the TRID Rule and thereby promote mortgage firms’ compliance with the rule;
• Issued new standards the agency will use to meet its obligations under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to conduct reviews of certain rules to evaluate their burden on small businesses;
• Issued comprehensive assessment reports evaluating the effectiveness of the ATR-QM and Mortgage Servicing (Regulation X) Rules to comply with Section 1022 of the Dodd-Frank Act;
• Published proposed rules to delay implementation of and to reconsider the Mandatory Underwriting Provisions of the small dollar rule;
• Published proposed rules to reconsider the mortgage reporting thresholds in the 2015 HMDA Rule and published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to obtain information to assist in the development of proposed rules to reconsider data points in the 2015 HMDA Rule.
• Issued final policy guidance explaining how the Bureau will modify publicly disclosed HMDA data to protect the privacy of consumers; and
• Commenced implementation of measures to streamline and improve the Bureau’s rulemaking process, such as providing materials to the public that are easier to understand, receiving more feedback from small businesses on proposals, planning to release SBREFA panel reports earlier in the process, maximizing public engagement by generally using a 90 day comment period for complex proposals, and posting all comments submitted in rulemakings to the public docket.

“I am committed to improving the Bureau’s rulemaking process as it will lead to better policy outcomes,” said Director Kraninger. “Improving the rulemaking process will ensure we have clear rules of the road that protect consumers and more effectively execute the Bureau’s mission. This process will increase transparency, public engagement, and thorough, data-driven analysis. To further improve our regulatory process we are developing a way to obtain input from state and local officials, as well as an initiative to ensure that outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations are identified and addressed.”

During her first six months, Director Kraninger has also visited all of the Bureau’s regional offices throughout the country and engaged with regional staff, as well as participated in an on-site exam. In this time, Director Kraninger has engaged with over 600 consumer groups, consumers, state and local government officials, military personnel, financial institutions, academics, non-profits, and former and current Bureau advisors, and traveled to 10 states. Lastly, Director Kraninger announced enhancements to the Bureau’s advisory committees and announced a symposia series aimed at stimulating a proactive and transparent dialogue in the policy development process.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.




When manufactured housing professionals think of the CFPB, a common thought is about the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.  A fresh, deep review of that can be accessed via the hot-linked text-image box below.  Note that the following covers a timeframe prior to the new director, thus, is no reflection on her either way.


Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

What’s next at the CFPB?  That will depend in good measure on what occurs on Election Day, 2020, and the runup to that event.  Stay tuned.

That’s this hump day morning’s first installment of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation.


Financing – Dramatic Shift – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Insider News Tips

October 13th, 2018 Comments off



What follows dramatically changed the manufactured home industry.


It started with the SAFE Act. Two years later, it was Dodd-Frank. While Dodd-Frank was being passed into law, came first one, then another letter from 21st Mortgage Corp that was sent to the independents of manufactured housing.

In the wake of that trifecta came
• a steady wave of independent retail closures.
• Thousands of manufactured home communities had been losing occupancy for approaching a decade. Losing occupancy in communities resulted in relatively few outright failures, but far more that sold out to larger portfolio operations.
• All of the above resulted in a number of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.
• U.S. Bank essentially shuttered a profitable manufactured home lending operation, citing low volume and regulatory risk.
• Communities that made loans on manufactured homes to buyers – like UMH Properties – likewise stopped making those deals, due to regularly risk.

All of the above created dramatic change for the industry. They are points few who understand the facts would deny. So, what are the insider insights?


This column will focus on one aspect today that has literally impacted the entire industry, without exception. Other reports from inside MHI, and later from inside Clayton Homes, and other organizations impacting MHVille will follow in the days ahead.


The View of Insiders at MHI

Recent reports on MHProNews have spurred a surge in news tips from manufactured home industry readers and insiders. These aren’t the fluff-talk that others may publish, but rather core issues that make or cost companies opportunities and money.

Among those numerous tips and comments?

Those that focused on inside information from and about the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and how they’ve handled the industry’s post-production and production agendas.

It should be noted, prior to proceeding to this manufactured home regulatory and financing focused report, that there have been some ‘fake news’ tips coming in too. MHProNews seeks evidence and corroboration on claims, not just a mere allegation.

Evidence and corroboration are important for our work. Why? Because some hate an operation, agency, and/or person so badly that they will make up something that sounds salacious, plausible or ‘juicy.’ But if it turns out to be untrue, has no corroboration, etc., then we at MHProNews don’t run it.

It should also be noted that those who provide news tips may hold different policy, political, or other views than MHProNews’ publishers.

For example, among the tips are voices that are pro-MHI, or pro-Clayton, etc. So why do pro-Clayton, 21st, MHI, etc. voices pick up a phone, or send messages, documents, and other forms of news tips, and insights?

Among the reasons we have been told by such sources is that they may like some person or industry organization, but nevertheless they too have concerns with specific things said, or done. Others raise the flag on some failure to act in a timely or proper fashion about an important issue.

Nathan Smith is among those who has said that the industry must admit its past failures. Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison – MHI’s President and CEO, has also generically admitted past failures. Both of those were captured on videos by MHProNews.

It’s facts, evidence, reason, and related we pursue at MHProNews. Insights and information are then shared with manufactured housing readers and investors through the lens of how it impacts the industry.

With that tee-up, let’s examine how a financing related issue dramatically changed the manufactured home industry, as told to MHProNews from voices in or associated with the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).


Inside MHI and Financing, and MH Consumers

The industry’s retailers and communities didn’t have to hear from Harvard’s Eric Belsky to know that credit – access to capital and financing – are essential to manufactured housing.

The industry’s consumer groups have also protested what then CFED’s Doug Ryan – who today is Prosperity Now’s point-man for manufactured housing issues – called Clayton’s monopoly on manufactured home lending. Ryan said that in an article published by American Banker.

What MHI insiders have stressed to the Daily Business News on MHProNews is that the consumer groups offered during the Obama Administration to compromise with MHI.

They [MHI] are now trying to sell S 2155 as an accomplishment, as a win by MHI,’ said one source. “But MHI specifically rejected that same deal with consumer groups about 4 years ago.


“Stomping” and MHI’s Dick Jennison

A caller told our publisher that when L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach sends a message to MHI’s team members, asking for a comment, or sharing some information, those messages are supposed to be forwarded by staff to MHI’s President, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison.

He will come stomping out of his office” in anger said the caller. Another source at MHI said that “Dick [Jennison] gets red-faced when he gets upset” – including, but not limited to, those messages.

MHI will work with alternative bloggers and trade media competitors, in an effort to try to counter news coverage by MHProNews, or some report by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, explained a person privy to such details.

Without specifically using those words, these sources were saying that MHI strives to ‘control the narrative’ as much as they can.

MHI team members have traditionally been a mix of both Democrats and Republicans, explained one. They don’t necessarily do that formally, but that has been the modus operandi (MO – method of operation) for years, explained that source, who believed it was a good association practice.

MHI felt the heat rising from the grass roots of the industry about financing and Dodd-Frank, explained one. They felt they had to “do something” to get what looked like a win on the heavy regulations coming out of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

But they could have had that same win with the MLO rule years ago, simply by making that agreement with the consumer groups. It would have required no legislation in Congress, because it would have been done via the CFPB. That would have “saved millions of lobbying [and overhead] dollars in the process.

For anyone who’s business was negatively impacted by those years of regulatory overreach during the Obama era, they are potent admissions that imply what were avoidable burdens and costs for thousands of industry companies.


Attempted Choke Hold on Information, “Scandal…”

Dick, wants to hold things very close to the vest.” There are circles within MHI staff, and circles within MHI members, per several insider sources.

The division boards and staff may make recommendations, but it’s the MHI Executive Committee that has the power.

The Executive Committee tasked Dick with carefully managing the budget. He’s done that to their satisfaction,” said a known voice.

Meanwhile, an MHI VP has told MHProNews that Jennison “didn’t really understand, or much care about, the industry itself.” Additional details on that will be part of an upcoming related report.

Dick’s job [at MHI] isn’t lobbying per se. It’s to manage the people, and [to] manage the budget.”

Reacting to those MHI insider comments, one industry professional and longtime association member said that it’s not “the millions wasted on lobbying Dodd-Frank” that bothers himas much as the billions in lost business or [business] valuations caused by MHI’s failure to compromise with consumer groups on Dodd-Frank. That’s the scandal.”

Some of the professionals they essentially put out of business were longtime industry friends of mine,” said a retailer. “I pray that Republicans hold the Congress, and that in the next two years the Feds expand their investigation into the market manipulation of manufactured housing that’s taken place. Buffett’s control of the industry through crony Democratic capitalism is an issue that could unite the left and the right. It’s cost taxpayers, homeowners, housing seekers, and small businesses like myself tremendously.”

An MHI member producer said that wiping out thousands of the independents in retail “hobbled every non-vertical producer” in the industry.


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Another interesting observation was from one caller, who described them-self as not being crazy about MHARR because of style. But that person admitted that what they, MHProNews and others have often forced the much larger Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to pivot or change course.

The insights above confirmed prior sources, some of those are linked in the ‘related reports’ that are found further below.

The bottom line on this issue is that capital and restrictions on financing that dramatically changed the industry could have in many cases been avoided and/or mitigated. As one put it, had MHI settled the high-cost lending and MLO rule issues 4 years ago, they could have been focused on exclusionary zoning or other larger issues instead.

This is part one of a planned multiple part series that will include tips and insights from industry insiders.


One of those noted above said that they wanted to get some things off their chest, and another that said they wanted more transparency, so that the industry can deal with the real issues, heal, and advance to its true potential.  A third said that no other resource is as read as MHProNews, and this gave them the anonymity they needed to keep their job, and still share useful insights.  Other motivations were mentioned by professionals involved in the above, but stating them could reveal the source.

More from inside MHI, Berkshire owned brands, and other organizations connected to the manufactured housing industry in the days ahead. “We Provide, You Decide.” (C) ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$






President Trump – “Bigger than Watergate,” “We Need Accountability” – National, MH Industry Impacts

May 18th, 2018 Comments off


Imagine if during the 2008 campaign, if someone in the Bush Administration had planted one or more FBI informants in then Senator Barack Obama’s campaign. Then further imagine, that federal investigations were started, based in part on information paid for by opposition to then-candidate, Senator Obama.


Then envisage that word of that hypothetical attempt to illegally influence a presidential election had leaked out, or if the story was broken by news media. That would have been a huge scandal, and rightly so.  Part of the bedrock of the American political system are free and fair elections.

To have the power of the federal government weaponized for political opposition purposes would debatably be “worse than Watergate.”  That wouldn’t be a partisan issue, its a question of integrity and the rule of law to protect the rights of all.

There is no evidence that the above hypothetical ever occurred during the Bush years.  But there is mounting evidence that federal taxpayer funded resources were used to influence a presidential election.

That in brief is what President Donald J. Trump’s Thursday tweet means with respect to Obama-Clinton operatives.

That has sparked political pundits, media outlets, and public reaction.

Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI ‘SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN IMBEDDED INFORMANT,‘” the president tweeted in reference to a National Review report published last week, said the Hill, a news source based in the nation’s capital.


For those who may not recall, the Watergate scandal occurred when President Richard Nixon, a Republican, was tied to the attempted coverup of a crime, in which former FBI and CIA agents broke into the offices of the Democratic Party and George McGovern (that year’s Democratic Presidential candidate).

Watergate was the location for the DNC offices at that time.  The Watergate break-in was an illegal political spying effort, designed as part of an illicit plot to help defeat McGovern.  It was no doubt a dark, ugly chapter in our nation’s history.


The photo above at the left is an aerial view of the Watergate complex, the buildings which at the time were the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That’s what gave rise to the name of the break-in and cover-up scandal, called, Watergate.

But today, we’re not talking about former federal agents.

Rather, the concern is that active, paid FBI and other federal agency staffers have illicitly been involved in derailing a political campaign – and post-election – of attempting to unseat a duly elected president.

If the leak yesterday – that the above concerns are part of what an upcoming inspector general report will allegedly reveal – that would be a bombshell.

Andrew McCarthy says, ‘There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the [Trump] campaign.’ If so, this is bigger than Watergate!

There are now numerous reports that allege that Obama-era led agencies used their surveillance powers to monitor and attempt to disrupt the Trump campaign.

This is not the first time that the Obama administration has been accused of spying on the Trump campaign.

Last year, President Trump accused the former president of wiretapping Trump Tower shortly before the 2016 election.

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped,’ in Trump Tower just before victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” the president tweeted in March 2017.  Then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later clarified the tweet to mean that the Trump campaign had spied upon, not a literal wiretap.


Attorney, Author, Talk Radio Mark Levin Calls for Accountability


MHVille – First Look

The Daily Business News has for over a year made the case held by thousands of manufactured housing professionals, from coast-to-coast. Namely, that the current Trump administration has been far more business-friendly than former President of the United States (POTUS) Barack Obama’s Administration was.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and others have praised President Donald Trump for his pro-growth, pro-business policies.  The NFIB has hundreds of manufactured housing industry members.

POTUS Trump has also been more business-friendly than the Bush or Clinton Administrations were. That’s according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) survey, NFIB surveys, and statements from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

The regulatory freeze that has given the industry relief from several pending regulations did not occur under Barack Obama.

Rather, President Trump is undoing many of the costly and burdensome regulations of prior administrations.  These points aren’t a matter of posturing, they are all a matter of record.

Accurate Trump Administration Predictions

Based upon the Trump Administration’s policy stances, statements made over a year ago from MHARR’s top officials predicted that President Trump would be pro-business, and that others in the industry needed to rally around his efforts.

Proof?  See the focused 2 minute 20 second video, posted above. Note that foresightful MH industry leadership.

By contrast, Democratic presidential candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton pledged very similar policies on regulations as Barack Obama had initiated with Congress.

Secretary Clinton named Dodd-Frank as an example.  She pledged to keep those onerous regulations as they had been during the POTUS Obama years, suggesting that she may also strengthen them.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is officially hoping that next week the House will vote to pass their version of S. 2155.  That bill includes a roll back of the CFPB’s so-called MLO rule, that effectively gagged unlicensed personnel from speaking to consumers about lenders and loan terms.

It must be noted that this Congressional effort would not be taking place with any hope of enactment under a hypothetical Hillary Clinton presidency.

Who says?

That’s the application of the logic of former MHI government relations vice president, Jason Boehlert.

President Obama opposed a similar MHI backed bill, threatening to veto it. Secretary Clinton said she agreed with Mr. Obama, pledging to do the same or ‘strengthening’ Dodd-Frank.  Now, look again at the video with MHARR posted above, and ask, what were MHI and those who rule that association thinking?

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session



The Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation of the so-called “Trump campaign-Russian collusion” allegations has now turned one year old.

Even as third-party analysts claim that 90 percent of mainstream media reports have been anti-Trump, public opinion has nevertheless shifted away from Mueller.

In a recent survey, just over half the country now believes that Mueller’s so-called probe into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign is – as the 45th president has often called it – “a witch hunt.”

It’s worse than most realize, because there was never a predicate crime being alleged.  

Democratic attorney Alan Dershowitz argued over a year ago that there is no federal crime of collusion.

Had collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign existed, said Dershowitz – noting that there is no evidence of any collusion – it would have looked bad.  But the Harvard law professor Dershowitz said that even if the alleged collusion existed, it would not have been illegal.

Then what was the Mueller investigation all about?

Recall that President Obama said days before the election, that the Russians were unable to interfere in the American elections.  There is no evidence that a single vote was changed by Russian attempts to hack.

Recall that MHProNews advised readers last year that even a CNN producer admitted to undercover investigators a year ago that the Russia-Trump stories were “bullsh-t.”

An underreported aspect of the specious ‘Russia’ story is that governments around the world, including the U.S. government, attempt to influence each other’s elections all-too-often.

Recall that Barack Obama attempted to interfere with Israel’s elections, and with the Brexit vote in England. Arguably worse, is that POTUS Obama – following calls from the Clinton State Department – invaded Libya.  For what?  The Libyan nation – as a result of that Obama-Clinton action – has since been destabilized. As but one tragic result, America later lost diplomats in Benghazi, Libya.  That’s been one of many consequences from that outrageous Obama-Clinton military plan to attack Libya’s leadership. The previously pacified Libyan people now are suffering a civil war.

The Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, per sources, is their “payback” for Secretary Clinton’s alleged interference in the Russian elections.

Ironically, every scandalous effort to weaponize federal resources are boomeranging back onto Democrats and their anti-Trump allies.

The U.S. ought to be vigilant and protect the election process, against foreign and domestic manipulation and interference.

U.S. policy ought to respect the rights of foreign nations.   Furthermore, U.S. policy ought to pro-actively protect our own nation’s borders, and then it can call upon others to act similarly.

For years, America has been living in a topsy-turvy world.  So much so, that Barack Obama candidly and accurately said not long ago that there are two ways that the nation looks at the facts.  That’s sad, but true.  Isn’t he, Secretary Clinton, and their allies part of the reason that claim is accurate?

Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

Plausible allegations of officials – starting during the Obama era – using:

  • federal agents,
  • taxpayer dollars,
  • and illicitly applying federal legal procedures to stop or unseat a campaign – or a duly elected president – are all indeed worse than Watergate.
  • Aren’t these an apt description for an attempted coup?



Simplified Summaries of Threads

Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile said that the Hillary Clinton campaign rigged the primaries, to prevent Bernie Sanders from becoming the Democratic Party’s candidate.

“Hacks” – Explosive 2016 Campaign Claims by Former DNC Chair, Donna Brazile

It is now clear that the Clinton campaign paid millions for the so-called “Steele Dossier,” which used foreign intelligence assets – British and Russian sources – to try to paint then candidate Trump in an unfavorable light.

That bogus politically-motivated ‘fake dossier’ – along with leaks of one or more FBI memo(s) – were in turn used by then FBI director James Comey to spark the Mueller probe.

If that isn’t outrageous enough, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has a staff packed with Clinton campaign donors.

Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on what looks to be a political effort initially designed derail candidate Trump, and later used to spark a stir they apparently hoped would lead to a duly elected president’s impeachment.  All on totally spurious – faked! – grounds.

If this is so, it’s not just outrageous, its criminal.


Why This Matters to MHVille, Next Week

Next week, the House will vote on their version of S. 2155, which includes a provision that would remove the MLO rule.  The mortgage loan originator (MLO) rule that is widely seen as harmful to manufactured housing industry retailers, communities, lenders, and others.

GovTrack tells MHProNews the odds of passage for S. 2155 stands at 56 percent.

Under President Obama, such a measure would have been vetoed.

Under a hypothetical Hillary Clinton Presidency – based upon her campaign promises – a bill like S. 2155 that will change Dodd-Frank would have been vetoed.

If S.2155 bill passes – and MHProNews’ publisher has editorially supported a similar such pro-business, pro-consumer change like this for years – it will be a Trump Administration accomplishment.

It would be entirely spurious for MHI to claim any legitimate bragging points.


MHProNews reported that days before the 2016 election that MHI had not one, but two paid pro-Clinton speakers on their stage in Chicago.

Warren Buffett was pro-Barack Obama and pro-Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Buffett is the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.  Berkshire is the parent to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and has interests in a raft of other suppliers, lending, and services entities that intersect with manufactured housing.  Berkshire’s brands are widely seen as dominating MHI.

Based upon feedback from industry sources, there is a growing realization that MHI has been slow-walking or stonewalling reforms that hurt the industry, rather than championing them.

The Washington Post’s recent report on HUD, Pam Danner and manufactured housing underscored those concerns.

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

As a result of years of MHI failures and allegedly weaponized reports, there is also a growing interest in creating a new post-production association, one that truly represents the independent retailers, communities, lenders and others.


Manufactured Housing is Non-Partisan

Manufactured housing – because it is affordable housing – ought to be viewed as a non-partisan issue.  It has long enjoyed the support of Democrats and Republicans alike for that reason.

But during end of the ‘Bush 43’ years, and during the eight years of the Obama presidency, anti-business policies often harmed our industry.

By contrast, President Trump – and cabinet members such as Secretary Ben Carson – have been working to undue those harms, pledging a new era of cooperation.  Would that have taken place under madam Clinton’s leadership?


Developing News on More Manufactured Home Lending

There is a developing story on financing that you may not hear from MHI or their echo-chamber surrogates. They will certainly not reveal it unless and until MHProNews hereby and in upcoming reports spotlights it.

When you see that upcoming report, you’ll see why.

Watch for that pending finance focused report from the MH Industry’s leading independent news source.

For almost a decade, MHProNews has brought you the most popular “Industry News, Tips and Views that Pros Can Use.” ©

With facts, evidence, and sound analysis in hand, then readers can apply the next tag line: “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Which is all part of the reason why a top level executive said – as part of a longer communication – that “…if MHProNews is writing about it, I want to know about it.” (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third-party images, and cites are provided under fair use guidelines.)

PS: Our thanks to those who have taken the time to mention that they see that MHProNews reports, analysis and projections have proven to be accurate, time and again.

PSS: Watch for an exclusive report on a non-profit group that is attempting to harm manufactured housing industry businesses.

Related Reports:

Kanye Controversy, Universal Income, Venezuela, President Trump, Manufactured Housing, First Principles, and You

Manufactured Housing Supporting VP Mike Pence in Elkhart, Indiana – Highlights

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative


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Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

November 28th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoShadowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsHindsight is 20/20.

This may be seen as one of the larger, most consequential reveals in the manufactured housing (MH) industry of 2017.

What Frank Rolfe told Inside MH viewers on MHProNews about the odds against passing Preserving Access in 2015 was actually acknowledged by a previous vice president of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

The statement was made on-the-record, directly to MHProNews, and on behalf of MHI.

The surprising admission by the MHI VP clearly contradicted much of what MHI was telling its members and the industry for the next three years.

Given Democratic gains in the House and Senate, it is not widely anticipated that Obama will seek to strike a conciliatory mood with Republicans on fiscal issues, or on issues related to a softening of Dodd-Frank,” said Jason Boehlert in an statement to MHProNews.

Boehlert, was the prior Government Relations (GR) VP, before current SVP Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. The context of Boehlert’s comments was the time frame in the aftermath of the 2012 re-election of President Barack Obama.

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstitueMHIVPGovtAffairsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsBoehlert’s statement on behalf of MHI then said a few paragraphs later that MHI’s plan would be as follows. During the lame duck session, MHI will be working to pass legislation (H.R. 3849 and S. 3484) reforming portions of the Dodd-Frank and SAFE Acts.“  Those were the bill numbers for earlier versions of Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act


How did so many thousands of MH Industry professionals miss this revelation that was hiding in plain sight?” L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, publisher of MHProNews said, applying that statement to himself as well.

We trusted MHI then,” but, “time and the many revelations about MHI and its often errant communications of the past couple of years should place Boelert’s comments in its clear meaning. Too many of us in the industry and as members were trusting. But in hindsight, Boelert said it himself.”

The MHI bill was never going to happen.

Time for MHI to Use Secretary Clinton’s Comment?



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True MHI believers may shrug and say – as did Secretary Clinton at her infamous Benghazi hearing – “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

 Just as those who bled, died and cried over Benghazi said, “plenty,” so too is this revelation.

 That written comment was never retracted or corrected. It would, sources say, have to be okayed by higher ups before being sent to MHProNews.

 Logically MHI’s leadership:

    Knew their multi year effort for Preserving Access was doomed to fail,

   Should have known, based upon the logic of Boehlert’s statement, shown again in the graphic below (Note: Boehlert was later promoted to SVP).


To see Boehlert’s full statement click the image above.

  1. If MHI leaders knew, then weren’t they deceiving their own members – and through them, the rest of the industry – on their ability to pass Preserving Access?
  2. And if they didn’t know, did they fail to think through the logic of Boehlert’s statement? 

As a reminder, Richard “Dick” Jennison promised passage of Preserving Access to MH Industry members in 2015, during his address to industry members in Louisville in 2015.


Photo of Dick Jennison at the session where he promised industry members that Preserving Access would be passed, ‘but we need your help.’ VP Jason Boehlert’s analysis made it clear, that wasn’t happening. What kind of promise did Jennison make?


MHI continues to be silent on this an all the other allegations, perhaps hoping it will blow over.

As the Daily Business News exclusively reported, their is word that Frank Rolfe, a member critical of MHI on such matters, has likewise decided to go silent.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

Thus, the call for action outlined above, and added insights on this Dodd-Frank, Preserving Access related topic is linked cartoons below.


As the allegations and concerns about MHI continue to mount, another look at what Warren Buffett said about habits and history, are linked below.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

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Historic! Affordable Manufactured Housing, Local/ National Politics, Professionals, Investors and the Home-Buying Public

November 4th, 2017 Comments off

SearsCatalogPreCutHomesCircaEarly1900ManufacturedModularPrefabHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFrom its earliest days, America had a need, a thirst, for affordable housing. About a century ago, Sears sold pre-cut kit homes by catalog as one way to obtain that affordable American Dream of home ownership.

As Americans have long been a people ‘on the move,’ the original trailer houses started to pop up in the 1930s.


Those true trailer houses – that was their proper name – had to be ‘parked’ somewhere. Thus evolved the first ‘mobile home parks.’


Over time, trailers evolved into mobile homes. While most where built by companies that cared about quality, enough problems over issues such as thin and poorly insulated walls or fire safety, occurred that in 1974 – with the cooperation of many in the industry – a set of federal construction and safety standards took place.


Just as phones have evolved over the last roughly 100 years, so too has factory built homes evolved. Trailers led to mobile homes, which later became manufactured homes. Each was an important, evolutionary step. See the Walk Down Memory Land story linked here, or the two videos, above.

 Those standards were were by law regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Thus was born the HUD Code for Manufactured Housing.


The article above was published last year, so now it has been 41 years and counting since the first manufactured home was built. There have been NO New MOBILE HOMES BUILT in the USA in over 41 years.

Since June 15,1976, the day the first HUD Code manufactured homes were built, there have been no more mobile homes built in the USA. That many of those pre-HUD Code mobile homes were better built than many thought is attested to by the fact that roughly 2 million of them still exist today. Thousands upon thousands of those older, true mobile homes have been updated.  They attract and keep people like the Chione family (see video interview below), who used to own conventional housing, who are now very happy in their more affordable, quality lifestyle.


That said, numbers of those older mobile homes that aren’t updated tend to have more fires than modern manufactured homes.  


See the download and all the facts from the NFPA, other sources at this link above and below. Credit: MHLivingNews.

The older mobile homes that aren’t properly installed are also more windstorm prone.  So as news watchers note, those old mobile homes are often destroyed in tragic ways. 

As the graphic reflects, hundreds of thousands of mobile homes and manufactured were being sold every year.


Pre-HUD Code mobile home shipments peaked in the early 1970s at numbers well over 500,000 new housing units a year. As the video interview with the engineer below reflects, conventional housing adopted some production saving techniques from the mobile and manufactured housing industry, to keep their costs lower than they would otherwise be too.

 As engineer Skip VanZant says in the video interview below, factory built homes influenced conventional housing in some ways, just as site-builders also influence manufactured and modular home builders today.



A variety of conditions, including poorly underwritten and thousands of fraudulent loans were made in the 1990s. Manufactured housing had its version of the conventional mortgage/housing crisis about a decade before. But unlike the conventional housing lenders circa 2008 and its aftermath, manufactured home lenders that had loans that went sour a decade before got no federal bailouts.

Most of the personal property/home only/“chattel loan” lenders in manufactured housing left the space, never to return.


Even with higher interest rates on most chattel loans than conventional housing, which exists because there are no federal guarantees and other common-sense market forces, the cost AND PAYMENTS on most manufactured homes is LOWER than other forms of housing. Who said? The federal government, after a in depth study. Click here to see that research by the GAO.

But other lenders either never entered into the questionable practices that caused the meltdown, or they instituted safeguards that cleaned up bad practices.  There was no need for a manufactured housing version of Dodd-Frank post 1998-2003, because the loans were not taxpayer backed, and because the industry painfully cleaned up its own mess.

Mainstream Housing Compared to Manufactured Homes, by Informed Consumers

Informed consumers like Jerry and Karen McKibben are but one of many examples of well-to-do home owners who opted for the manufactured home lifestyle.  


The McKibbens did so after careful study of the facts about the manufactured homes of today, vs. the mobile homes of yesteryear.


More than one veteran finance pros of that era told MHProNews phrases said that conventional housing lenders did similarly to what caused the MH Industry’s 1998-2003 meltdown.  When “no doc,” ”liar loans” were made by the millions in the run-up to the 2008 mortgage/housing crisis, many of those customers may have been better suited to manufactured homes. But the conventional housing market made buying a new or existing site built house easy.


MHI award winner, retail, communities and finance veteran – and industry success story – attorney Marty Lavin did an in depth, 25 minute interview MHProNews. In that interview, we walked through the issues facing consumers and financing, including a historic look at the meltdown and how the industry cleaned up its own act.  While Lavin is well know fro the quotes in the graphic above, as he sat in his multi-million dollar yacht for a discussion with MHProNews, he said what maybe every bit as compelling an insight. Lavin explained the lesson of “Not Enough Hunger.” Not to be missed reading, linked below.


Additionally, the problems of FEMA/Katrina and the image issues that resulted from that impacted the industry too.



Not to be overlooked, was the buyout of Clayton Homes in 2003 by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The subsequent buyout of Oakwood Homes by Buffett’s firm was later rolled into Clayton.


As this next chart reflects, the decline in shipments continued. The 2008 Conventional Housing Crisis, also impacted Manufactured Homes too. It was in mid-October 2009 that what we called today MHProNews was first published. The first mission was to get the industry to believe Itself again.



From Cavco annual report, based upon MHI data.  

The industry finally bottomed out in 2010. The slow climb up is reflected in the numbers as shown.


Meanwhile, federal support for the GSEs and the conventional housing market continued, but not without a price. The Dodd-Frank born Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took over the relevant parts of the SAFE Act.



Richard Cordray quotes and those from the report and video on this page, and linked here. In the video below, Cordray explains why the rates and points are higher on lower cost MH chattel home loans.

Now recall that manufactured housing played no appreciable role in the multiple trillion dollar housing collapse. Manufactured home lenders played no role in that debacle. But the was punished, so to speak, along with the rest of the housing markets lenders.


As a result of a combination of factors, including regulator risk and relatively low volume of new manufactured home sales, several lenders who were profitable and prudent exited the market.  U.S. Bank is the best known.  Months before that event, MHProNews published an article entitled The High Cost of Low Volume Sales. It presaged in some ways the U.S. Bank and other industry exits.


On Mainstream Media sites, like Washington D.C.’s The Hill, or on MHLivingNews, MHProNews and hundreds of other mainstream media sites, L. A. “Tony” Kovach and Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC promoted the MHI sponsored Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act at our own cost. As the email forwarded to MHProNews by a third party from Kevin Clayton reveals, they felt the message was “Strong.” State associations shared this message, why didn’t MHI?



This forwarded email was forwarded to MHProNews by a third party. Why wasn’t all of the pro-industry research, video, and educational materials supporting MHI’s Preserving Access bill shared by MHI?

Almost two decades since the peak of 1998, thousands of the industry’s professionals, including some owners, never experienced those higher volume heydays.

But the visionaries new all along that Manufactured Homes would make a come back. 

Sam Zell,
John Bostick –
Sunshine Homes,
Frank Rolfe,
Gary and Tom Fath –
New Durham Estates,
John Caron – Caron Campbell,
Highland Mobile Park,
Deer Valley Homebuilders,
Bob Crawford,
dozens of other clients and sponsors, along with
MHARR and thousands of industry professionals across the spectrum have seen the value of promoting manufactured housing, and being goal and solution oriented.


However, there are also those industry professionals that point to:

rent control,
business certainty, the
truth about MH appreciation, and
HUD related regulatory issues among several other important causes for the industry’s failure to advance back to its true potential.



As each of the above links demonstrate, those are issues that MHLivingNews, MHProNews and/or MHARR have spotlighted, often for years.


That these are serious issues are demonstrated by facts from MHI’s members, such as Clayton Homes or MHVillage. Clayton Homes has had cumulatively had millions of views of its videos. Even though they are the largest factory builder today, and sell roughly half of the new homes shipped last year, why aren’t their sales far higher?


The industry needs to wake up to the realities behind the numbers.

MHVillage understandably boasts of millions of visitors each year.  But their own statistics reveals that they are converting only a tiny fraction of those into buyers.


A client company told our publisher the following.  Tony, the most powerful thing I’ve heard at this event is when you said that if pretty pictures, Facebook likes and good-looking videos was all that was necessary for industry growth, then we’d be selling half-a-million or more new homes a year right now.’


Clayton and Cavco are #1 and #2 in industry production today. 20 years ago, it was Fleetwood and Champion who were the top two producers. With all of their marketing dollars, Clayton (or even Cavco) are growing at a slower pace than the industry at large. Pretty pictures, great websites and Facebook likes have value. But if that alone were enough, wouldn’t those two largest MHI members be growing faster than say Sunshine Homes, or New Durham Estates are?

What MHLivingNews and our related client experiences have demonstrated is this. Serious home buyers who are well qualified or who want to pay cash want answers, not slick ads. Tom Fath and Stan Posey said it well.


This isn’t about mud slinging against MHI, even though some tell MHProNews that MHI has for several years alledgedy attempted to sideline our pro-growth efforts. Forget for the moment any conspiracy theories you’ve heard.
Just answer this. What good reason did MHI, 2, 3 or 4 years ago have for not promoting their own member’s – MHLivingNews – MHProNews – best practices, pro-growth efforts?

Education, and information are keys.

That education and information is necessary for professionals as well as for the general public.


MHI members, MHARR members, state associations and their members and others have praised the work of MHLivingNews and MHProNews.


Hillary Clinton, left, Warren Buffett, right. Credit – Boston Globe.  But Buffett’s stock has soared since the Trump victory.  Buffett pushed for Clinton, has been pro-tax, pro-Dodd Frank, pro-big government policies like ObamaCare.

Before MHProNews began seriously spotlighting the weaknesses at MHI, the question has to be asked.  Why did MHI undermine, and/or fail to support our pro-growth, educational efforts? Even when those efforts would have benefited MHI and their members?


It is not the purpose of today’s article to do a deep dive into the MHI issue, nor about allegations of Dick Jennison and a few others at MHI trying to undermine our pro-growth work.  But rather it is to create a baseline snapshot of where the industry came from, is and where it could be going.  Our story is just a subset of the larger story of the industry.


Isn’t Frank Rolfe correct in saying that to a great extent, ‘the industry itself’ (read, MHI) has slowed the progress of manufactured home acceptance and advancement in a market that is crying out for affordable housing solutions?

Nathan Smith – Pro-Active, not Re-Active and ‘All to myself…’ 


President Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, MHARR

Warren Buffett, Wall Street, CFPB and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign


The bombshell this week revealed by interim Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Donna Brazile stated that the Clinton campaign colluded with the DNC to rig the nomination process in favor of Hillary Clinton.  When asked this week by CNN, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said she absolutely believes that the nomination process was rigged.


For close observers of the electoral process, none of it was a surprise. Many of those items about the “rigged system” and others were noted by MHProNews in the run-up to the election.

What was the surprise is that such a high ranking Democrat as Donna Brazile came out and said the system was corrupted in print. As the Daily Business News summary this week reflected, Brazile also tossed President Barack Obama under the bus as a cause for the Democrats poor financial and other party woes.

Warren Buffett supported Clinton, early on and proudly.

How did that make sense, for the owner of the industry’s largest manufactured home lenders and producers?


Warren Buffett, right, credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews.


Is it because, as a rival producer has told MHProNews that Dodd-Frank and the CFPB helped make Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton, Vanderbilt, 21st Mortgage and Wells Fargo a lot of money?



Notice. One can agree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above.

Why did 21st President and CEO Tim Williams say to an MHI audience that the threat to the MH industry was coming from progressive thought? Yet, Chairman Buffett was supporting that same progressive ideological stance by supporting Hillary Clinton?

Wall Street and Warren Buffett wanted Dodd-Frank kept in place. Why?

Is it because heavy regulatory burdens drove so many smaller lenders out of business?

Why did progressives like the Seattle Times, or CFED (since rebranded as Prosperity Now) attack Buffett, Clayton and his lenders? Why do they do so still? Do they really not see eye to eye on this relatively modest changes to Dodd-Frank that the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act seeks?

If that is so important to the future of the industry, why is Buffett’s Clayton buying up retail locations, suppliers and production?  Is it a conflict of interest for Clayton to dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and yet be buying up conventional home builders now?

Why has no one else in the industry noted that Buffett also has made a move in the real estate brokerage?


Housing will always be needed. Alan Amy isn’t alone or the first to suggest that the billionaires want to dominate manufactured housing.

Manufactured homes are the future of housing.  But there are caveats, which the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), MHProNews and MHLivingNews have documented over the course of the years.

The race for control of Congress in 2018 and the next presidential cycle in 2020 began just after the end if the last election.

President Donald J Trump, and his Vice President Mike Pence, began and have stayed on message with their agenda, saying they will be in the promise keeping business.

While MHProNews was editorially supporting the Trump campaign, MHI has not yet denied that it had two pro-Clinton speakers on their stage last year in Chicago, just days before the 2016 election. There was no formal endorsement of Clinton, but MHI was also predicting that the Senate would go Democratic too.

Tim Williams was Chair at the time. When the Obama Administration had promised to veto Preserving Access if it passed, why was there no hint that the election of then candidate Trump and the GOP holding the Senate would be good for Preserving Access? Instead, what was said was that MHI would approach both parities and seek that bi-partisan effort that had already failed for 5 years.


If MHI was serious about getting Preserving Access passed, why didn’t they promote any of the articles or videos that MHLivingNews and MHProNews produced in support of those efforts?

Doesn’t Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) Sam Zell suggest the answer?

Didn’t failure to secure an independent lending base for the industry cost the industry big bucks?

Who’s failure was it, if not MHI’s? It wasn’t MHARR’s bill, it was MHI’s bill. Unofficially, MHARR sources have told MHProNews for years that if any member of staffer of Congress asked them, they always said they supported Preserving Access.

But MHARR felt that Duty to Serve was the better course. Isn’t Zell’s logic and MHARR’s alike?


The record reflects that this publication was supporting MHI’s Preserving Access efforts. We did so even when there was a steady stream of allegations and actions by MHI staffers, presumably with the consent of executive committee members, to undermine us, even as we were members and supported their efforts.

Next Friday, MHARR members meet by conference call. Among their decisions will be if they expand their membership to include the post-production, meaning lenders, financial services, communities, retailers, services, transporters and others that MHI now has as members.

The signals are mixed, and we aren’t going to predict if MHARR expands or not.

But isn’t there a need for an association that is going to faithfully represent the industry’s post-prosecutor without the kinds of apparent conflicts of interest that Buffett-dominated MHI has?

It is important to note that most of MHI’s members de facto have no say in the governing of the body. While there are several boards, only the four person MHI Executive Committee has the final say. 

The facts, concerns, allegations and opportunities the industry has are hiding in plain sight, are thus not? Good people have worked for years to support MHI’s efforts. What has over 15 million in spending over 5 years achieved?


The Trump Administration has signaled that it will take a look at anti-trust issues. Some say that hasn’t yet occurred for a variety of tactical and strategic reasons. If it does occur, will that in time look into the anti-trust, racial, and other concerns about Buffett/Clayton and their lenders raised by Democrats like those shown?

MHI and Berkshire Hathaway units like Clayton, VMF and 21st have routinely been given the opportunity to respond to such issues. In Deadwood, MHI Sr VP and General Counsel! Rick Robinson said, “Tony, I won’t be taking any questions from the press” in front of dozens of people.



Robinson is a good speaker, good writer and likeable person, says MHProNews publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. The questions that they duck and dodge will only continue until they are properly addressed in a transparent way, he opines.

Why has MHI taken so many logically flawed positions, such as de facto supporting Pam Danner, when the Trump Administration would make it easy to replace her?


If there is a problem with the facts as laid out, MHI, Berkshire Hathaway or their surrogates are hereby invited again to respond. Why have they routinely ducked, dodged, detracted, distracted, and defamed instead? 

It’s your industry. Will you wait for a monopolistic operation to gobble you up for pennies on the dollar some day? Perhaps to wake up on day 5 years or so from now, and see that Manufactured Housing is doing tens of billions more a year in business? Only to see that your business was worth more than you obtained? 

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parent company to MHProNews and



Battle Over Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Sweeping New” Rule

October 25th, 2017 Comments off

WashingtonDCNightDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a release, touted its support for a bill that would strike down a new anti-arbitration rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

 Per the Chamber’s statement, “The CFPB promulgated an anti-arbitration rule that subjects millions of consumer contracts to regulations that degrade consumer protection. Even though this regulation is directed at financial firms, the CFPB’s rule impacts businesses of all types that the Bureau believes touch consumer finance – even mobile telephone service providers and website operators.”

The Senate passed a bill yesterday that will stop the CFPB’s new rule in its tracks. The vote was 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie.  The House has already passed H.J. Res. 111.  

The House revokes new CFPB arbitration rule by a vote of vote 231-190.  The president has promised to reign in the CFPB, so the Senate passage sealed the fate of this particular anti-arbitration rule. 

This was the CFPB’s latest anti-business, job killing rule, per the Chamber.

HouseFinancialServicesCommitteePressReleaseThe House Financial Services Committee, in a release to MHProNews said, This is a victory for consumers, a defeat for the wealthy trial lawyers lobby and a rejection of the unchecked, unconstitutional and unaccountable CFPB.  Instead of carrying water for the Democrats’ favored special interests, the CFPB should actually work to protect consumers. 

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) added, “I commend the Senate for joining the House in fighting for consumers and for draining the bureaucratic swamp of yet another political regulation.  Laws that Americans live under must be written by their elected representatives, not unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.  It’s good to see Congress reclaim its legislative authority and operate as our Constitution requires.

Smaller banks, lenders, and thousands of others in business have also opposed the ever greater encroachment of the agency on American business Life.

One respected manufacturd home industry example, follows.


Lance Inderman, credit, MHProNews.

It’s my personal opinion that they we have incrementally given up every bit of financial freedom we have lost. Dodd Frank was a big increment along with Obamacare,” industry veteran and prior Texas Manufactured Housing Association Chairman, Lance Inderman has said to MHProNews.

I’m of the opinion that giving up key parts of the reform to get a “win” for posterity makes no sense. We need to keep educating the populace and congress on the facts that we compete on a different price point and therefore a different finance scale with their multi million dollar ocean front homes paid for by their donors.”

In a posted comment on MHProNews, Inderman has also said that, “I started at the bottom working for minimum wage washing dishes, flipping burgers, mopping floors and learning how to deal with the public. I have become successful because of hard work, perseverance and delayed gratification.”

People that produce wealth in the private sector despise government and its tax arm while the wealthy that deal in the public sector despise the true private sector that refuses to be enslaved by government contracts and connections because they don’t know how to do it,” Inderman has said to MHProNews.

The Next In a Periodic Series on Dodd-Frank, CFPB

Nothing changes until it’s challenged.

The Daily Business News will be doing another finance focused report, perhaps as soon as later this week, that impact on manufactured housing. Stay tuned. ## (News, Analysis.)

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Nathan Smith, Prior MHI Chair, MHI Gov’t Relations Chair, SSK Communities vs. Lesli Gooch Manufactured Housing Institute SVP Position Statements

September 4th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIIndustryHasntAlwaysBeenForthrightWithItselfNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesPriorMHIChairGovtRelationsChairMHProNewsNathan Smith is often described as a jovial, successful professional.  He has attracted significant attention inside and outside of the manufactured housing (MH) industry. His SSK Communities are large enough to make the top 50 list among manufactured home community (MHC) operators.

So, when Smith speaks, MH industry pros listen.

Smith has become a serious player in the Democratic Party, but has told MHProNews that he has and is willing to support candidates from either the GOP or the Democratic political parties.

Smith has been active in a number of state associations, including Kentucky and Indiana.

But he is best known for his activity at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), as a previous executive committee member, MHI’s Chairman, and as chair of their important Government Relations (GR) committee.

Smith has praised MHI’s staff on several occasions, verbally and in writing.

So, industry professionals will find the numerous disconnects between MHI’s Senior Vice President (SVP) Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. and what Smith said in this exclusive MHProNews video interview noteworthy.

Smith says in his own words that “the industry” – clearly speaking in the context was MHI, and using a common euphemism MHI applies to describe its self-described representation of the industry as a whole – has often not been “forthright” (i.e. honest) with itself.



Didn’t MHI fail to be proactive in the issue raised in the latest Masthead blog? See that, linked here. The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act is being discussed in the video, among investment, general industry, and other topics. Still image from video below, credits Manufactured Homes,

Specifically, MHI has often not been “proactive” says Smith, in dealing with issues facing the manufactured housing industry.

While a statement like that may seem expected from the independent producers’ trade group – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) – to hear that so candidly from MHI’s then chairman is noteworthy.

Further, the partner in SSK Communities has made a strong statement that Gooch took exception on with respect to a video interview that Marty Lavin did with MHProNews.  Yet, Lavin and Smith made very similar points about the impact of CFPB regulations on manufactured home consumers.

Gooch vs. Smith – Disconnects

Gooch didn’t want to stress the under $20,000 loan point in promoting Preserving Access.  She wanted to promote instead a later revision made by MHI’s GR, to focus on lending in the under $70,000 loan range.

Was that a reactive move by Gooch?  Something that Smith said he wanted MHI to avoid in the future?

Another disconnect within MHI is their promoting their D.C. fly-in, which recently took a reported 60 percent drop in attendance from last year.

Smith advocated for something similar to what MHI/NCC member Frank Rolfe has too, as the video below reflects. Rolfe, as regular Daily Business News readers know, has stated that Preserving Access is a waste of time, based upon what his representative told him.

But perhaps the biggest bombshell in this 2 minute, 16 second video is Smith’s closing statement about manufactured home communities.  Some would call his comment an admission.  While it was delivered as a joke, wasn’t Smith making a point in a humorous way that he clearly believes in?

To see a more detailed review of the issues raised in this video interview with Nathan Smith, and a surprising admission by MHI President and CEO, Richard A. “Dick” Jennison in an approximately 20 second video, please click here.

We Provide, You Decide.” ## (News, analysis.)


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Senators Fighting for Preserve Access to Manufactured Housing, Reality Checks

August 16th, 2017 Comments off

Featured image credit, Manufactured Housing, MHProNews.

The CFPB is “protecting” people right out of affordable manufactured homeownership. Congress should fight to give families opportunities – not take them away,” said Representative Andy Barr (R-KY) when a group of bipartisan representatives introduced the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act back in March, per Global Newswire.

There is widespread industry agreement on Barr’s statements.

More recently, a group of bipartisan U.S. Senators have also introduced a bill entitled the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) sponsored bill, per Financial Regulation News.

Sponsors of the Senate bill include Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Gary Peters (D-MI).


Pictured in order: Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Gary Peters (D-MI). Credits, Senator Joe Donnelly, Wikipedia, MHProNews.

The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act aims to address guidelines that were introduced in January 2014 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that restricts approvals of so-called high-cost mortgages under the Home Ownership and Equality Protection Act.  It also addresses issues with the so-called MLO rule.


Featured image credits, CNN Money, Pexels, Rational Standard, MHProNews.

There is widespread agreement by manufactured housing professionals and associations that the goals of Preserving Access are good ones.

The problem?

Third-party experts state that the odds are only 6 percent for the passage of the bill (see screen capture, below).  After MHProNews broke that reality check to the industry, the MHI DC ‘Fly-In’ resulted in one of the lowest attendance by members…ever.  Sources say that MHI’s cosponsor efforts are lagging behind that of the previous Congress.


The Daily Business News has been documenting the reality of the bill, vs. the hype being promoted by those who count the number of emails going to members of Congress.


On the record comment by an MHI/NCC member. For more, click above.

At each stage, MHI has been given – and failed – to respond to the concerns about the bill’s realities, including the 5 years of previously failed attempts to pass the predecessors to this current bill.


Image credit, Manufactured Homes.

MHProNews has also spotlighted the anti-Preserving Access forces, including by Prosperity Now (formerly known as CFED).


For many Americans, manufactured homes are the most affordable form of housing available. This bill would help prevent federal regulations from getting in the way of financing for families that need it. I am grateful a bipartisan group of colleagues joined me in introducing legislation to keep manufactured housing obtainable for working class families,” Donnelly said.

The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act addresses one of the biggest issues surrounding manufactured housing finances – Dodd-Frank – which creates problems for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit who seek to become homeowners.

Low-cost manufactured housing presents a unique opportunity for prospective homeowners, but the lack of financing options post-Dodd-Frank has pushed even this further out reach. People who feel they no longer have an option for homeownership will continue to rent because of this.

In a time when rents are increasing far faster than wages, this is a less than ideal situation.


The Daily Business New also recently reported that according to HUD, that over 8 million renters are considered “worst case” renters – who could be a single emergency expense away from losing the roof over their heads.

Congress needs to understand how important access to credit is for working families, veterans, retirees, and those living in rural America. The negative impact these federal rules are having on their ability to become homeowners can be corrected with this bill,” per Financial Regulatory News.

While Dodd-Frank and the CFPB were intended to help protect consumers from high-cost mortgages and loan products, it has instead made it harder for deserving people to obtain financing for affordable manufactured housing.

Even when they may have qualified with the right lender, people searching for financing for a manufactured home are often denied.

The reason?

Because industry professionals are banned from talking to consumers about their financing options unless they have a loan originators license. Isn’t this an infringement on our First Amendment rights to free speech?


Featured image credits, CNN Money, Pexels, Rational Standard, MHProNews.

A pro-Preserving Access, an MHI connected source tells MHProNews this past week that they don’t believe that the association’s leadership actually believes they will pass the bill.  Is it time to take an entirely different strategy?

Unfortunately, financing for the product has been jeopardized by one-size-fits-all regulations that fail to recognize the unique nature of manufactured housing loans,” Toomey said.

What Toomey and Others Aren’t Saying

The problem, which Toomey doesn’t address, is the one noted above.  Namely, that the solution proposed by MHI has only a 6% chance of passage.

Meanwhile, MHI failed to join the PHH vs. CFPB case – or missed taking more certain options – that could have changed the currently problematic state of the Dodd-Frank Act. ## (News, Analysis.)

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Freedom of Speech, Rep. Jim Renacci, Don Glisson, Jr. Triad Financial, and Dick Ernst

August 15th, 2017 Comments off

Featured image credits, CNN Money, Pexels, Rational Standard, MHProNews.

The Central Government should be limited to basic functions. Defending the nation against foreign enemies, preserving order at home, mediating our disputes.” – Milton Freidman.

The widely cherished First Amendment rights – especially to freedom of speech – is a hot topic on many fronts.

I believe that churches have a right of free speech and an opportunity to talk about positions and issues that are relevant to their faith,” said Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio.

We think it’s very, very discriminatory [the MLO rule] to the [MH] industry, and it hurts the consumers,” said Dick Ernst, manufactured home industry finance consultant, to MHLivingNews.


Dick Ernst, consultant and MHI Financial Services Chair.


U.S. Representative Jim Renacci. Credit, Renacci.House.Gov.

While seemingly unrelated, in both cases, freedom of speech is being restricted by the U.S. government, through what some say are problematic applications of federal laws.

The quote by Representative Renacci, per Newsmax, is regarding a GOP bill which would allow churches to be able to back political candidates.

It would be in keeping with a Trump Administration campaign promise to Evangelicals and others faith-based groups that provided his ticket and the GOP with important support last November.

Currently churches, as well as non-profits, are banned from taking a political stance and endorsing a candidate during any elections, while they receive tax-free benefits.

The proposed bill would allow them to once more openly back a political candidate, should a house of worship choose to do so.  Under the plan, faith-community support could occur without the risk of losing their tax-exempt status.

Supporters say this would restore a fundamental right of free speech.

There is plenty of controversy about the bill.

Some opponents suggest that political endorsements by faith-communities could become a way to funnel tax-free funding into election campaigns.

Others simply don’t believe a pastor or church should be able to tell you who to vote for.

On the other side is the fundamentally constitutional question. Shouldn’t that speech be protected under the First Amendment?  Shouldn’t churches have the same rights as, certain supporters say, a labor union?

This bill would seek to correct that problem.

Free Speech and Manufactured Housing

Similar to this faith community scenario, another piece of legislation has restricted the freedom of speech in the manufactured housing industry. The Dodd-Frank Act was passed in reaction to the market crash in 2008.  Democratic lawmakers sought a solution to what they felt was a too-big-to-fail problem. A way to ensure that nothing of the sort ever happened again.

Congressman Frank denied before the meltdown that there was a risk. GOP leaders warned against the looming problems by 2003, as the video below reflects.


Credit, Seeking Alpha.

The Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed into law in 2010, was never intended to have anything to do with manufactured housing – said a letter by Barney Frank to an MHProNews reader, which read in part:

I do not think it is necessary to include manufactured housing as part of our effort to prevent abusive mortgage practices, and I am now working with my staff to see if we can find a way to make a change that would deal with the problem you correctly point out… “

But somehow along the line, that understanding vanished.

Soon after the law was passed, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) had set up a whole new set of regulations surrounding the financing of manufactured homes.

It’s cutting off a route to home ownership for low- to moderate-income families around the nation — especially in rural areas,” said Ernst in an exclusive to MHLivingNews.

don glisson jr triad fin svcs credit

Don Glisson, Jr., Credit: Triad Financial.

This would be like going to a car dealer to buy a new SUV, and when you ask for help securing a loan, they hand you the phone book and say they can’t help you, so just pick one out yourself,” said Don Glisson, Jr., President and CEO of Triad Financial Services.

The net result forces people to risk violating a law, lose customers looking for information, or causing under-informed buyers to shop for lenders in a market that has a limited number of lenders.

One example MHLivingNews shared is the story of Eric Powell, who planned to purchase his father’s single-section manufactured home. But due to the restrictions placed on lending after the implementation of Dodd-Frank Powell was unable to secure a normal loan, and ended up paying a much higher rate than would have occurred prior to the CFPB’s regulations.

Our compliance costs have quadrupled in the past three years alone,” said Glisson.

The limitations on what retailers can and can’t talk about with the individuals looking to purchase a manufactured home, while different than endorsing a political candidate, is still a violation of free speech, say industry professionals.

In the past, a retailer could pre-qualify a buyer by accessing their credit reports and analyzing their income — just like every Realtor ® in America does — and with that info they could at least determine what lender not to send the application to,” says Glisson.

Ernst said something similar.

Realtors refer customers every day to lenders, but CFPB says they’re exempt, because they’re not being compensated. But our people aren’t either,” says Dick Ernst.

While the two laws were born out of understandable concerns – in each case the impact has been a problematic harm to free speech rights. MHProNews will continue to track and report on such constitutional issues that impact business and politics.  ## (News.)

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New Mortgage Lending Changes Impacting Hundreds of Thousands of MH Owners

June 14th, 2017 Comments off

Dodd-Frank. FHFA and the GSEs. Mortgage and lending related “unintended consequences” – or failures to act by federally chartered Enterprises – are common issues south of the U.S. Canadian line.

But our brethren north of the border apparently have their own financing woes for manufactured home owners now too.

Canadian Mortgage Trends (CMT) reports that, “One of the seemingly unintended groups to fall victim to the government’s latest mortgage changes is owners of mobile homes [sic], according to some concerned mortgage brokers who are seeing the effects on their clients.”

Canadian manufactured home professionals, like those in the U.S., prefer the term manufactured home be used on newer, code compliant models.

CMT states that “The issue stems from the new rule that prohibits insured properties from being refinanced, and that most lenders require mobile homes [sic] located in a mobile park [sic] to be insured, regardless of the amount of equity the owner has.”

DustanWoodhouseCanadianMortgageExpertsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe majority of the 183,000 households living in mobile manufactured homes, through government policy change, have the potential of being locked out of accessing the equity in their homes through traditional bank and credit union channels,” said Dustan Woodhouse, a DLC Mortgage Experts broker based outside of Coquitlam, B.C.

Woodhouse says people are discovering the scale of this issue as those in Canada’s version of mobile or manufactured homes and seek refinances are being told it’s not possible; at least not through major lenders at their best rates.

An RBC spokesperson told CMT that it requires all mobile and manufactured homes to have default insurance, issued by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). That de facto prohibits any of those homes from being refinanced, at the RBC’s better rates.



Image credit, Royal Bank of Canada, RBC., provided under fair use guidelines.


CMHC photo credit, Globe and Mail.

Joe Tomkins, a mortgage broker with DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts in Nanaimo, B.C. said, “A client of mine had to refinance for personal reasons and they needed to get equity out of their home…It had to go to a MIC (mortgage investment corporation), and it was 12% and included a very high fee as well. But that was the only option.”

Joel Olson, a DLC Mortgage Experts mortgage broker in Kamloops, B.C., had clients refinance at 12%, plus they reportedly paid a $4,000 fee because “that was the best and cheapest option of everybody out there.”

Olson added that the restrictions aren’t unique to mobile and manufactured homes, but may  include small condos under 550 square feet, houses on leased land, or housing built using alternative building methods, etc.

To be very fair to a private lender…they realize that the ability for them to resell that home in the case of default is now very small and so their risk increases quite a lot as well,” he noted. “They do have a higher default on mobile homes [sic]…but that’s still a very small number.”


Mortgage Application Credit – Compare Save, posted on the Daily Business News
under fair use guidellines.

“Sure you can buy a new mobile home [sic] in a park today with 5% down, and it can be insured by CMHC,” he said. “You just have to make the decision knowing that if you ever want to refinance, here are your refinance options: 12% interest, x-amount of dollars for a fee.”  ##

(Editor’s note: Canada, we hope you can sort it out much faster than your neighbors to the south have managed so far.)

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