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DTS Manufactured Home Lending Committee Member Says MHI in “Unholy Alliance” to Divert Needed GSE Support Away from Manufactured Housing

March 12th, 2019 Comments off

 

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The source of the following memo is known to have served on one or more Duty to Serve (DTS) committee(s) with the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, other Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff, and MHI member companies that participated in various discussions about access to lower cost lending for manufactured homes.

 

Never forget, not every MHI member agrees with what the Arlington, VA based trade group is doing.

The memo itself says it was not for attribution, meaning it was sent to MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach for consideration of coverage on an ‘off the record’ basis.

The edits by the Daily Business News are shown in brackets, for example, to make clear that the sender provided an article from Housing Wire and was commenting on it.

The memo raises several troubling concerns that parallel issues that MHProNews has previously spotlighted. First, here’s the text of the memo to MHProNews.

 

Tony:

[I] offer the following points with respect to the article…[below from Housing Wire] on GSE reform and MHI signed on to – and thereby promoting — a “go slow” approach. These are not for specific attribution…but point out the hypocrisy inherent in MHI’s conflicting positions:

1.     How can MHI claim to be pressing the GSEs to implement DTS in a timely fashion, when they simultaneously advocate a “go slow” approach to needed GSE reforms overall? 

2.     How can MHI align itself with the site-built industry, which does not want GSE reform to negatively impact their much larger purchase-money loans (thus the overly-cautious go-slow approach), when the HUD Code manufactured housing industry wants and needs – on an expedited basis – GSE support for its much smaller consumer loans?

3.     This amounts to an “unholy alliance” between MHI and the site-built industry, which is trying to preserve its virtual monopoly on GSE support.

4.     This, however, is consistent with – and would seem to confirm – that MHI and large HUD Code manufacturers have cut a bargain with the GSEs and FHFA to divert much of DTS to a euphemistic “new class” of homes, which are not mainstream, affordable, manufactured homes (and particularly not chattel-financed manufactured homes).

5.     How can MHI claim to be working in Congress to enact beneficial reforms for the HUD Code industry when they are simultaneously trying to effectively slow-roll reforms that have already been mandated by Congress as part of DTS?

Conclusion: There can be no legitimate or acceptable private explanation or excuse by MHI behind closed doors for the predicament that they’ve placed the industry in with this action.  Instead, the inherent hypocrisy must be exposed and openly debated.”

  

MHI, Clayton and their allies have ducked such debate before.  The memo’s commentary and analysis draws to a conclusion with the words, “See the full article below.” That article by Housing Wire said the following, and is provided under fair use guidelines that apply for media.

 

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Shown for illustration purposes, this isn’t directly related to Housing Wire’s report.

Housing industry to FHFA: Go slow on GSE reform

Letter encourages agency to make affordable housing a priority

March 6, 2019

By Kelsey Ramírez

 

Talk of housing reform is heating up, and now several members of the housing industry are encouraging the Federal Housing Finance Agency not to go too fast, and to make sure affordable housing remains a priority throughout the process.

 

Many key members of the housing industry sent a letter to the FHFA, encouraging it to build on the current structure of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

“As the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) begins its next chapter under new leadership, our organizations seek to emphasize the vital role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), currently play in the mortgage market,” the letter, addressed to FHFA Acting Director Joseph Otting, said. “There is a unique opportunity today to maintain and build on important progress that has already been achieved in reforming the operations of the GSEs since the financial crisis.”

 

The letter states that GSE reform and an end to the conservatorship is ultimately necessary in order to ensure the safety and soundness of the housing market.

However, the letter encourages policymakers to act slowly and carefully.

 

“Any efforts to meaningfully change the GSEs’ market presence must be undertaken carefully, with vigilant monitoring and frequent recalibration (if necessary) to avoid disruptions to the flow of mortgage credit into the single-family and multifamily real estate markets,” it states. “Efforts to reduce the GSEs’ footprint should not move forward unless there is compelling evidence that the private market is able to assume an expanded role.”

 

The housing industry argued that GSE reform should accomplish two key objectives:

 

1. Preserving what works in the current system

2. Maintaining stability by avoiding unintended adverse consequences for borrowers, lenders, investors or taxpayers.

 

“Recognizing the vital role that the GSEs currently play, it is critical that any administrative reforms do not disturb essential functions in the secondary mortgage market,” the letter said. “Policymakers must take great care that actions to institute reforms to the GSEs are prudently developed and implemented over a sensible time horizon.”

 

The letter asks that housing finance reform maintain the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the single-family market. It also asks that the GSEs still be required to meet the needs of underserved markets and support affordable housing.

 

“We urge policymakers to take these principles into account to ensure that access and affordability are preserved under the current, and any future, housing finance regime,” the letter concludes.

 

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs recently voted to advance the nomination of Mark Calabria as director of the FHFA to a full Senate vote.

 

Previously, Calabria famously called for the end of the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Click here to read more about what Calabria as director of the FHFA would mean for the future of the GSEs.

 

Now, many think that GSE reform could be on the verge of becoming a reality.

 

The letter was signed by: the Asian Real Estate Association of America, the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumer Mortgage CoalitionEnterprise Community PartnersHabitat for Humanity International Leading Builders of AmericaLocal Initiatives Support Corporation Make RoomManufactured Housing Institute Mercy Housing, the Mortgage Bankers AssociationNareit, the National Apartment Association, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Association of Realtors, the National Community Stabilization Trust, the National Council of State Housing AgenciesNational Housing ConferenceNational Housing Trust, National League of Cities, the National Multifamily Housing Council, The Real Estate Roundtable, the Real Estate Services Providers CouncilStewards of Affordable Housing for the Future and Up for Growth Action.

 

Click here to read the letter in full.

 

—- End of Housing Wire article sent by confidential source to MHProNews —-

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It must be recalled that Fannie Mae’s Paul Barretto told MHProNews in front of dozens of industry professionals that neither 21st Mortgage Corp, nor Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) provided data to the GSEs to help them launch a chattel loan program. By contrast, other MHI member lenders did. That begs the question, why did the Berkshire Hathaway brands work to foil lending on ‘regular’ manufactured homes, while diverting GSE lending to the Clayton Homes backed “new class of homes?” MHI and official voices in Knoxville are mute on those types of #NettlesomeThings questions. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/fannie-maes-paul-barretto-news-making-remarks-in-tunica/

 

Additional Concerns This MHI Memo Raises?

To set the context for this analysis, a similar prior case that also involved lending will be recalled. 

In 2015, MHProNews’ publisher – acting on a tip from within MHI – publicly called out Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President and CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and MHI SVP Lesli Gooch for attempting to deliberately mislead their own members. The subject of the alleged deception was a Senate hearing with then Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray regarding the MHI backed Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.  Recall that Preserving Access was never passed.

But at that time, MHI had issued an emailed statement to their members that was accurate in quoting then Senator Joe Donnelly (IN-D), but failed to mention the pushback from Cordray, or other key parts of the full discussion. Those omissions by MHI to their members completely changed the meaning and context for what had actually occurred in that hearing. MHI postured progress, but in fact no progress had occurred. The MHI source provided CSPAN video to back up their contention that MHI was deliberately misleading their own members, and through MHI state affiliates, the Arlington, VA based trade group was misleading the industry at large.

 

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

In hindsight, which Warren Buffett reminds us that the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield, it is now clear that the MHI plan for Preserving Access was filled with contradictions and purported head fakes. It didn’t matter to the powers that be if Preserving Access passed or not. But as the Jason Boehlert quote above reminds readers, it wasn’t expected to pass. So why did MHI spend millions in the effort? http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/industryvoices/2012-election-results-and-coming-lame-duck-session/

 

Based upon the evidence presented, which MHI did not dispute, a column by Tony Kovach called Jennison and Gooch out for their alleged attempt at the deception of the industry and the Arlington, VA based trade association’s own members, and asked for their resignation and or termination. But instead, then MHI Chairman Tim Williams, who is president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corp, arranged for a vote of confidence in Jennison.

 

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Notice. One can agree or disagree 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.  Why were millions spent, when Buffett was clearly ‘tight’ with then President Barack Obama? Why spend millions lobbying for Preserving Access, when then President Obama said he’d veto it if it ever hit his desk?

 

WarrenBuffettBarackObamaWikipediaMotherJonesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Buffett was a strong supporter of candidate and President Obama. Obama in turn was a strong support of Dodd-Frank, and not changing the CFPB. See related, linked below. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/manufactured-housing-institute-vp-revealed-important-truths-on-mhis-lobbying-agenda/

 

Rephrased, instead of holding those two senior MHI leaders accountable for deception, Jennison and Gooch were defended and retained by the direct and specific intervention of Williams, Clayton Homes representative on the executive committee, and others who align with them.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has noted more than once that Jennison and Gooch were given bonuses for their work, according the federal document filings by MHI and confirmed by MHI’s CEO Jennison. Again, MHI staff nor MHI Executive Committee leaders have not denied those bonus payments to Jennison, Gooch, or others.  You can access the report below by clicking on the hot-linked text-image box. 

 

Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

 

The letter reported by HousingWire and signed onto by MHI to FHFA Acting Director Joseph Otting, is arguably a double cross of the claims that MHI has been making even recently to the industry.  When MHI claims that they are acting to expand lending on manufactured housing, it is arguably demonstrably untrue.  See the “Illusion of Motion” further below. 

Without contradicting the source that sent the memo and tip above, the scenario that source describes is arguably far more corrupt than that DTS committee source alleges.

MHProNews will be asking for MHI, MHARR, and federal officials to react to this report now that it is published.

But equally important, this is the latest piece of evidence that seems to confirm what Marty Lavin, JD, former MHI member and award winner, previously said to MHProNews. Namely, that the so-called big boys get their way, and the rest of the industry only benefit from MHI when the big boy interests happen to align with independents.

   The manufactured home industry is struggling during an affordable housing crisis.

   There is mounting evidence that the Omaha-Knoxville metro powers have purportedly weaponized MHI and other operations in a manner that is contrary to the interests of the vast majority of other independent firms in the industry.

   DTS was clearly diverted to the “new class of homes” lending that MHI sources have told MHProNews was initiated by Clayton Homes. Leaders from MHI only member production firms have complained that this is an abuse of the industry’s most affordable housing, and that the ploy is aimed to benefit Clayton while harming others.

MHProNews will continue to unpeel the onion as more details emerge. See the related reports below, for more on Duty to Serve and finance related issues.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

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“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

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Chairman Hensarling, Fannie Mae’s Latest “Backdoor Schemes,” Illegalities? MH Connections, Implications

GSE Asked: Will Manufactured Housing Overtake Conventional Homebuilding?

 

Is Manufactured Housing Industry Backstab Coming Into Clearer Focus?

February 21st, 2019 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryBackstabComingIntoClearerFocusManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are several new and recent items that are purportedly making it ever more clear what is occurring that are artificially stymieing manufactured housing industry growth.

 

There is a new report from the Washington, D.C. based independent producers association – linked below – that raises several disturbing concerns.  They should each raise the question, where is the Manufactured Housing Institute on these issues?

 

 

The topics that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform covered are serious ones, and are outlined in their bullets, below.

  • HUD WHITEWASHES ALLEGED DOE ENERGY RULE COSTS
  • PROCEDURAL CHANGES SHOULD APPLY TO ANY DOE MH RULE
  • REVISED DTS PLANS RELEASED – CHATTEL STILL IN LIMBO
  • 2018 PRODUCTION UP – BUT SHORT OF 100,000 HOME BENCHMARK
  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS – HUD MONITORING CONTRACT REFORM
  • CONGRESS TAKES UP GSE REFORM
  • HUD ANNOUNCES MHCC/SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

Sources from outside of the MHARR office – with connections to MHI – are telling MHProNews that the reasons to sound the alarm are increasingly self-evident.  Rather than deny or clarify issues, MHI’s hired outside counsel to do sabre rattling instead.  Wouldn’t it be easier and less costly for MHI if they simply disproved – if they could – concerns like those raised above or below?

 

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On January 9th, 2019, MHProNews revealed that on the MHI website, several key topics – important for the industry’s growth potential – are no where to be found.

 

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

 

MHI’s outside counsel specifically stated – and several sources in MHI – routinely monitor what is published here.  So, they knew this was a concern.  What have they done since the screen capture is done about 6 weeks ago?

Nada.  See the screen capture from this evening, which is time-date-stamped in the file name.

There seems to be several developing patterns.  Consider these to-date uncontroverted facts:

  • The Duty to Serve mandated in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) that the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support underserved markets, that included rural and manufactured housing.
  • MHI – purportedly at the bidding of Clayton Homes, per MHI sources – focused their push on DTS toward the so-called new class of homes, instead of on all manufactured homes. Why?
  • Even if that works for Clayton, how does that help the millions of current or potential ‘standard’ manufactured home owners that might have benefited from lower cost chattel loans?
  • Now, in hindsight, the MHI’s odd stance on the energy standards for DOE would have significantly raised the costs of new manufactured homes. MHARR was essentially battling MHI, as much as they were the Obama era DOE and their allies.  MHARR worked to align third party research that proved just how flawed the MHI plan was, and only then, did MHI do an about face – during the Trump Administration.
  • At each stage, MHI’s actions – or failures to act – reveal an arguably stated or unstated tendency toward increased consolidation through artificially enhanced barriers or entry, maintenance, or exit.

See the related reports below.  There could be a special report soon on a related issue, that once more shows MHI’s failure to act in their self-proclaimed role of representing all segments of the factory built housing industry.

 

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Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, Kenny Lipschutz, and others within or tied to MHI have been proven right. The motivations for state associations to break from MHI are becoming more clear.

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It’s game on.

One side, there are those that posture or claim to be working on behalf of the industry, but the are either fumbling or failing repeatedly.  Why?

Then on the other side, are others who want to see the industry grow, but are running into headwinds that the post-production side of the industry is supposed to be fighting.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Back stabbing by MHI, anyone? Or is it a front stab? The featured photo lets you imagine it either way.

Meanwhile, pro-MHI sycophants are silent. Or amen-corner writers churn out their mealy-mouthed nonsense.  Is it the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis coming more visibly into focus?

It will be fascinating to see what Warren Buffett has to say. We’ll know soon enough.

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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Mel Watt Charged With Sexual Harassment – Manufactured Housing Industry Repercussions?

July 30th, 2018 Comments off
MelWattChargedWithSexualHarrasmentManufacturedHousingIndsutryRepercussionsDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Official photo, Mel Watt, FHFA. Graphic by MHProNews.

The mortgage industry and Washington were rocked Friday by news that Federal Housing Finance Agency Director [FHFA] Mel Watt has been accused by an agency employee of sexual harassment,” wrote Rob Blackwell for AmericanBanker.

 

As many manufactured home industry veterans know, the FHFA was established as the receiver for the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, after the mortgage/housing financial crisis.  It was part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008), signed into law by President George W. Bush.

The Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing and underserved markets also flows from HERA.  Since the FHFA is the regulator of the GSEs, who’s at the top at FHFA matters to the industry’s consumers and professionals.  Numerous non-profits – as well as various associations and industry businesses – have expressed their desire for a robust entry by the GSEs into manufactured home lending.

Much of the focus has been in the arena of chattel (personal property, home only) lending.

Watt was already slated to leave the FHFA in January 2019.  There have already been several names floated for his replacement.  Some, per informed sources, say that while the names are all “familiar faces,” some are “potentially problematic” for the interests of manufactured housing.

If allegations spelled out in Politico prove true, that time line for Watt’s departure could be accelerated.

 

Politico Pounces

Politico obtained transcripts of reported conversations between Watt and an employee, whose name was withheld. In those alleged conversations, Watt appears to be suggesting a relationship with the employee.

Well, you probably want to know what I wanted to talk to you about,” Watt said, according to Politico. I mentioned to you there is an attraction here that I think needs to be explored. In my experience there are four types of attraction: emotional, spiritual, sexual or of friendship. So, the exercise here is to find out which one exists here.”

Watt supposedly noticed a tattoo on the employee’s ankle and asks her, “If I kissed that one would it lead to more?”

The employee’s lawyer, Diane Seltzer Torre, confirmed to American Banker that an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint had been filed against Watt. The FHFA confirmed an investigation is underway,” but Watt’s response is that it was “intended to embarrass or to lead to an unfounded or political conclusion.”

However, I am confident that the investigation currently in progress will confirm that I have not done anything contrary to law,” Watt said. “I will have no further comment while the investigation is in progress.”

Watt’s statement did not specifically confirm or deny claims that he made those suggestive comments to an employee. Rather, he stressed that any actions he took were not illegal.  One question that needs to be asked, who will pay if there is a settlement? Will it be taxpayers, or Watt himself?

Legalities and the truth aside, if Watt made such comments, this may be enough to force him out before his term is up.

As the head of an independent agency, Watt can only be removed “for cause” by President Donald J. Trump.  These allegations could possibly qualify, if the Trump Administration wanted to accelerate his departure for whatever reason.

The president could either allow one of Watt’s deputies to temporarily run the agency if he stepped aside, or appoint an interim head under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which allows a Senate-confirmed official to temporarily serve as director,” according to Blackwell.

Mick Mulvaney is a similar case, who has been serving for months as the temporary head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Whether Watt chooses to leave or is forced out, it is obvious that his days at the agency were winding down.

The transition timeline is likely to be expedited,” said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research for Compass Point Research & Trading.

 

FHFA, DTS and Manufactured Housing Lending

MHProNews will monitor these developments, as they impact the various efforts to compel the GSEs to do more in the way of supporting manufactured housing chattel and other lending options.

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

While the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has signaled a level of satisfaction with DTS to date, the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has made it clear they believe the process has been largely stymied to date from doing what Congress mandated a decade ago.

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRMarkWeissDTSFHFA-GSEsGoingtoLargestBusinessesCorpAffiliatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews.

MHARR, per sources, has launched several initiatives to compel more lending.

Meanwhile, MHI has given lip service to similar efforts, but there has been signs of foot dragging and posturing, perhaps because of the interests of their dominant Berkshire Hathaway members, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance.

It should be noted that after numerous offers to publicly respond to or debate the evidence-based reports linked below, neither MHI nor a Berkshire Hathaway owned unit has accepted those offers to respond to these published concerns. Why not?  Is it because the documents and quotes provided are often from 21st, Tim Williams, Kevin Clayton, or Warren Buffett himself? Doesn’t that make it hard for them to refute? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports:

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

 

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) Pressing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Fully Engage on Duty To Serve (DTS)

MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

 

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

 

Fannie Mae Touts MH Advantage Program, But Manufactured Housing Association Slams Plan as “Illegitimate,” “Bait and Switch”

June 5th, 2018 Comments off

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In a letter to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform presidents, Jonathan Lawless, Vice President of Fannie Mae advised the two national trade associations of their news “MH Advantage” program for manufactured homes.

 

The opening from the letter from Lawless to the two national trade association CEOs opens as is shown below.

LawlessOpeningtoRichardJennisonMHIMarkWeissPresidentManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews550x505

Click here or below for the entire Fannie Mae letter to MHI and MHARR.

Rephrasing, manufactured homes that don’t fit the program won’t get financing.

The entire letter from Lawless, which was obtained by the Daily Business News, is linked above as a download.

Fannie Mae, as attentive MHProNews readers may recall, has drawn fire for being a member of MHI.

The GSEs have also been called out by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling for lobbying, a charge the federally regulated home finance giant denies.

Update on Fannie Mae Lobbying, and Manufactured Housing Controversy

A letter published by MHARR leaned into Lawless and Fannie Mae, saying the plan is not acceptable.

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews“…the MH Advantage Initiative, both in its underlying concept and premise, is in fundamental conflict with the DTS mandate – and suffers from other fatal defects – which render it wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

MHARR’s president – an attorney and multi-decade industry veteran – began to carve up the Lawless letter as follows.

In relevant part, your June 4, 2018 letter states: “MH Advantage homes [will] have design features – developed after consultation with a range of manufacturers – more often associated with site-built homes.” (Emphasis added). The purpose of DTS, however, is not to change the fundamental character of HUD-regulated manufactured housing to be more like site-built homes, or to funnel DTS-based financing to higher-cost homes that are not in the mainstream of affordable HUD Code manufactured housing production,” wrote Weiss.

The DTS mandate, rather, as MHARR has noted on multiple occasions, was enacted by Congress as:

(1)  a congressional finding that Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) have not — and still do not — properly serve the manufactured housing market and manufactured housing consumers, despite existing Charter obligations to support homeownership opportunities for very low, low and moderate-income Americans, as well as  

      (2) a remedy for that specific failure.”

Weiss said that the failure of the predecessor to this program, MH Select, completely missed the mark, saying: “As the abject failure of the earlier Fannie Mae “MH Select” program,” saying that no loans had been made under the prior program.  Weiss said, MH Select, “…resulting, according to available information, in exactly zero loans…”

Indeed, the fact that it has taken ten years to get even this far, after decades of failing to serve the manufactured housing market (as determined by Congress), shows that Fannie Mae has no real intent to comply with DTS as established and designed by Congress.”  HERA 2008 is the legislation that established the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing, and after a 10 years, and it is only now that a chattel lending program is being rolled out.

Instead, prejudice, discrimination and outright bias against those prospective homebuyers – who the GSEs were formed to serve and DTS was specifically enacted to serve and benefit – has been the hallmark of Fannie Mae (and Freddie Mac) policy for decades, leading to the DTS mandate in the first place,” said Weiss.

“…As such, this program does not constitute a legitimate implementation of DTS as much as a diversion, “bait and switch,” and illegitimate end-run around the consumers and policies that DTS was enacted in order to advance,” the Washington, D.C. based MHARR president said.

This circumvention of the purposes and objectives of DTS, moreover, does not even begin to address other significant competition-based concerns regarding the specifics of the MH Advantage Initiative, including compliance criteria that were developed behind closed doors, in closed proceedings accessible only to select participants (as determined by Fannie Mae); and — according to information available to MHARR, onerous energy requirements that have been advanced by the largest industry manufacturers from both a marketing and regulatory perspective, and specifically favor those manufacturers,” Weiss stated, adding, “Nor does any of this even begin to address the possible intersection between the MH Advantage Initiative and a secretive “new class” of manufactured homes being advanced by the same large manufacturers – and their trade organization, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – which supposedly was “well received by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Perhaps to Weiss point, the Fannie Mae website features two photos with their public announcement of the program, both from the company that MHI’s chairman represents.

The “MH Advantage” Initiative, therefore, is less about implementing DTS for its intended beneficiaries than avoiding the type of market-significant securitization and secondary market support for mainstream, affordable manufactured housing that DTS was designed and intended to produce.  As such, it violates DTS and is wholly unacceptable to MHARR.”

 

The View of the Finance Fray from MHProNews…

The Daily Business News warned the industry months ago that the so-called “new class of homes” being promoted by MHI was potentially the latest “trojan horse” from MHI. The articles linked below can be read later, and are provided as a reference and for more details.  But

 

Manufactured Housing’s “Trojan Horse”

 

The Fannie Mae letter should heighten that concern, as those retailers, communities, and producers that don’t participate in a plan tailored to the “big boys” at MHI.

 

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

 

As MHProNews has warned, there are potentially monopolistic implications from these actions.

 

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Several pending reports related to this topic are on the horizon.  But the bottom line for now is that this move by Fannie Mae may signal yet another attempted end-around by larger MHI member companies aimed at smaller independent ones — and it may be happening with one or both GSEs assistance.

MHProNews has reached out to Fannie and MHI for comment. While there are many possibilities, based upon years of prior disappointments on DTS, this does not look promising. Time will tell, more to come. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related Reports:

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

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

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited

President Trump Spotlights Factory Home Builder in Speech, Proven Promotion, Support of Industry Advancement

 

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Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

March 28th, 2018 Comments off

ResultsFromManufacturedHousingIndustryLeadership

The column below could carry a sub-title – proven results vs. hype and hot air. Every organization worth its salt takes a periodic victory lap.  The same occurs in manufactured housing.

 

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has periodically claimed or hinted that under their “leadership” on issues that they originally often had a different position on.  Perhaps as a response to MHI, or as a victory lap – or both – the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) laid out some facts in a new, detailed statement today.  They point to the time line and documents that prove their nettlesome points.

In a new MHARR Issues and Perspectives, Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. based trade organization does what he’s done several times before.

MHARRIssuesPerspectivesMHARRleadershipProducesResultsForIndustry

Weiss painstakingly lays out one fact after another.  Those facts could prove embarrassing for their rivals across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

While the Daily Business News will make a modest technical correction on part of MHARR’s statement, the thrust of their positions are not easy to contest, as an anticipated silence from MHI on MHARR’s claims will aptly demonstrate.

Will Trump Administration officials take note of what follows?

 

Leadership Strategy Backdrop

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHARR, as an organization, has always been tasked with being a leader on the issues it addresses. Established by industry pioneers in 1985, MHARR was not designed, and was never intended to be, a status quo organization given to complacency, pulling punches, or “going along” with regulators, industry detractors, or anyone else. It was formed, instead, to be an aggressive fighting force on behalf of manufactured housing industry businesses,” said MHARR in their latest Issues and Perspectives.

MHARR’s primary “objective,” from day-one, as its Charter attests, has been to “oppose abusive [regulatory] practices.” In pursuing this mission, MHARR’s principal focus has always been the federal manufactured housing regulatory program. But the HUD program is not, and never has been, MHARR’s sole focus, as government activity (or inactivity) in other areas, such as consumer financing, placement and development issues, and others, have had – and continue to have – a significant (negative) impact on the industry and especially its smaller businesses,” said the Washington, D.C. based trade association that represents the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

Leadership Results for Manufactured Housing Laid Out Step-by-Step

While the fight to protect, defend and advance the HUD Code industry took a major step forward with the enactment of the landmark Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, the years that followed, and particularly the eight years of the Obama Administration, were difficult, as HUD was able – sometimes with the tacit support of some in the industry – to evade, distort, or ignore major statutory reforms, including:

(1) the requirement for an appointed, non-career program administrator;

(2) mandatory Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review of all proposed standards, regulations, interpretations and other changes to HUD policies, procedures and practices;

(3) the requirement for “separate and independent” contractors;

(4) limitations on the scope and nature of “monitoring;”

(5) enhanced federal preemption; and

(6) the absence of full and fair competition for program contracts, as exemplified by the 40-year-plus program “monitoring” contractor, among other things,” said Weiss.

Very early in 2016, however, and well prior to the election of President Trump, MHARR began to recognize – based on painstaking evaluation and analysis of the President’s specific campaign positions – that there would be an unprecedented opportunity under a Trump Administration to change the focus, direction and leadership of the federal manufactured housing program based on the letter and intent of the 2000 reform law, to stop excessive or unreasonable regulations (and regulatory “interpretations”), and to roll-back other aspects of federal regulation that needlessly increase the cost of manufactured housing while doing little or nothing for consumers. Now, slightly more than a year later, with the 2016 election having made MHARR’s recognition of this opportunity and its corresponding plan of action a reality, the results of that plan of action can be assessed,” said Weiss.

 

MHARR, OBJECTIVE:  REASSIGN AND REPLACE HUD PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

MHARR, immediately upon the election of president Trump – and alone within the industry – publicly called for the re-assignment and replacement of HUD manufactured housing program administrator Pamela Danner. In a December 1, 2016 communication to Vice President-Elect Pence (heading the Administration’s transition team), MHARR formally sought the reassignment of Ms. Danner and the appointment of a new non-career program administrator. MHARR explained at the time, “[T]he appointment of a non-career manufactured housing program administrator – in accordance with the 2000 reform law and, just as importantly, the policy perspectives of the President-Elect — is essential to revitalize this program, ensure the full and proper implementation of the 2000 reform law, and re-energize an industry which has suffered unprecedented production declines over the past decade-plus,” MHARR told the Daily Business News.

 

Here, a nuanced distinction that corrects MHARR statement above ought to be pointed out. MHARR was ‘alone’ among industry trade associations, but MHProNews was out in front on supporting candidate Trump, as the Google search result below reflects.

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While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) paid for two pro-Clinton speakers in the closing days before the 2016 election, the Kovach family supported Donald J. Trump’s candidacy as the best for the industry, small business and hundreds of millions of Americans. One of those stories ended up on the president’s campaign website, and hundreds of conservative, and pro-Trump websites.

Dozens of articles were published by the Daily Business News during the 2016 cycle that demonstrated why the Berkshire Hathaway chairman favored Hillary Clinton was the wrong choice for the industry, while the policy positions of candidate Donald J. Trump appeared to be the correct choice.

While MHI didn’t formally take a pro-Clinton endorsement, they did the next closest thing just days before the election.

MHI put not one, but two paid speakers on their platform in Chicago who were pro-Clinton as part of their talks.

In MHI’s presentation to members at that same meeting, MHI’s staff ‘experts’ incorrectly explained why one or both sides of Congress would likely also be lost to Democratic control.  MHI has never contested these MHProNews allegations, perhaps because they know that the their were too many witnesses, and too much evidence to the contrary.

So while MHI claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank related issues, the chairman of their most influential member – Warren Buffett – loudly and proudly proclaimed support for Secretary Clinton.  Inconsistency, anyone?

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MHI has attempted to ignore or brush off the clearly contradictory facts that Buffett led Berkshire brands Clayton, 21st and Vanderbilt claimed to be working to mitigate Dodd-Frank, while Buffett himself supported President Obama and Secretary Clinton.  Both POTUS Obama and Clinton opposed any changes to the Dodd-Frank law and CFPB regulations of it. The reality is that Buffett’s brands benefited, directly and/or indirectly, whether or not Preserving Access passed, or not. Buffett has said he counts on people not studying history, while he does his own reading, and research, which includes history.

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

With those distinctions made, returning to Weiss’ points.

MHARR reiterated the urgent need – and necessity for – the appointment of a new, non-career program administrator once again on December 6, 2016, and subsequently raised this matter in every interaction it had with Trump Administration officials at HUD. Others in the industry, by contrast, were publicly silent on this desperately-needed change through most of 2017,” wrote Weiss.

As a result of MHARR’s public leadership on this matter from the outset, the prior manufactured housing program administrator, as announced by HUD in late 2017, was re-assigned within the HUD Office of Single-Family Housing, and replaced on an interim basis by the program’s Deputy Administrator, with further action pending on a permanent replacement,” said the MHARR op-ed.

While this initial result is consistent with MHARR’s goals, it could have been achieved much earlier if MHARR’s public call for a new administrator had been supported by the rest of the industry” i.e. a veiled reference to MHI. “Nevertheless, as this process plays-out, MHARR will continue to seek the appointment of a qualified and appropriate non-career program administrator.”

MHARR’s step-by-step narrative then laid out how their organization, which has a fraction of MHI’s budget or staff, took the following positions which were successfully accomplished, while MHI in each case took the wrong position and/or came “late to the dance.”

  • OBJECTIVE: FREEZE, REVIEW AND REFORM HUD REGULATIONS
  • OBJECTIVE:  WITHDRAWAL OF THE PROPOSED DOE “ENERGY” RULE
  • OBJECTIVE: FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE “DUTY TO SERVE”

The full write up by Weiss via the latest MHARR issues and Perspectives, which lays out the facts behind those three key bulletted advances for manufactured housing, is linked here.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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MHI Lender Shakes Up DTS and MLO Rule Discussions

March 23rd, 2018 Comments off

MHILenderShakesUpDTSMLORuleDiscussionManufacturedHousingIndustryFinancingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A veteran Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) lender’s controversial comments to the Daily Business News are bound to shake up discussions about two hot button industry topics.

 

Those two subjects are:

  • the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing, mandated by Congress a decade ago, and
  • the Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) Rule, established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) during the Obama Administration, and run under Richard Cordray’s leadership for several years.

A senior lender in manufactured housing, whose company is an MHI member, said that Triad Financial Services turned over their data to the GSEs “about 5 or 6 months ago.

The same informed source said that Credit Human, formerly known as CU Factory Built Lending, committed to turning over their data to the GSEs as well. That hand-off was reportedly more recent.

Therefore, the two Berkshire Hathaway owned lenders – 21st Mortgage Corp and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) – were the 2 major holdouts.

The industry’s larger chattel lenders split along ‘party lines,’ with Berkshire Hathaway not providing data to the GSEs, and non-BH lenders providing data to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

That loan performance data, said the GSEs, was needed to responsibly implement home-only “chattel” loans.

Despite assurance from MHI to members that they were doing ‘all that can be done’ to promote the Duty to Serve, the revelation that the Berkshire Hathaway owned lenders gave no data to the GSEs undermines that contention. MHI and the Berkshire Hathaway companies have previously been invited to clarify or confirm these concerns. Doesn’t their silence speaks volumes?

The comments confirmed once more the public statement in Tunica that Fannie Mae’s Paul Barretto made earlier this week, that Berkshire Hathaway failed to provide them with any relevant data.

According to Barretto, that meant that the bulk of the data they had was from the Conseco loan pool, which dated back to the late 1990s and early 2000, and were widely known for problematic origination and thus poor loan performance.

The combination of comments by the MHI lender and Fannie Mae’s Barretto underscored key revelations that help explain a decade of delays in implementation of the Congressionally mandated Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing.

That lack of data claim was in turn was used by the GSEs to do only a relatively modest pilot program by Fannie and Freddie. Those pilot projects are to be rolled out over 3 years, in support of the most affordable permanent housing in America.

 

Preserving Access…err…S. 2155

Once more, the potential for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to make a deal on the Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) Rule – which some in media are mischaracterizing as “steering” – directly with the non-profit consumer groups was asserted by an MHI member lender.

Why does it matter?

First, because while the odds of passage on S 2155 are up, it is no guarantee that the manufactured housing amendment to the bill will survive a House/Senate conference committee.

2018-03-23_0736S2155ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_001

As or more important, the recent reveal by the lender and Barretto both belie MHI’s official claim that they’ve been doing everything possible to advance the cause of more lending in manufactured housing.

If Barretto’s public comment in front of dozens of industry pros, plus the MHI lender and other sources are to be believed, then what MHI claims “just ain’t so.”

As MHProNews exclusively reported, the lender noted above confirmed what other sources have already said, which is that the non-profit “consumer groups” were ready to deal on the MLO rule, so long as the points and fees that mostly Berkshire Hathaway lenders wanted would be dropped from Preserving Access.

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Dickens and others reportedly offered a compromise, which MHI declined. Consumers and independent industry professionals alike have suffered as a result.

 

As the MHI member lender told MHProNews, the art of compromise is the essence of political advancement.

Yet, “MHI’s leadership” was unwilling to compromise at all.

To rephrase, and emphasize – per our sources — MHI allegedly misled their own members and the industry at large

Why?

The likely answer has been supplied by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which tacitly supported Preserving Access, but felt that bill had no chance for passage.

MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, said that every day that DTS isn’t fully and robustly implanted is “a gift” to the Berkshire Hathaway owned lenders.

MHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHARR tacitly supported Preserving Access, but also privately felt the bill had no chance. Years later, they’ve been proven correct.

The same logic can be applied to S 2155.  By creating a burden for competitors, the larger Berkshire Hathaway companies could endure the discomfort, knowing it would cause their industry competitors even more pain.

MHARR has called for a congressional investigation of the DTS matter, and has hinted at other possible steps that they may take.  MHI’s failures – whatever the cause or motivation – to get meaningful relief, has resulted in hundreds of once independent retailers and several HUD Code home producers vanishing in a few short years.  That fact is demonstrated by MHI’s own data.

 

State Association Voices Largely Silenced 

Even more state association executives have privately confirmed for the Daily Business News what then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, said after he took over a conference call.  Williams reportedly threatened and pushed reluctant state executives to promote the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act with their state members (see Gold Rules report, linked below along with other resources for more details).

Yet, former MHI Vice President Jason Boehlert said in a formal statement that Preserving Access was unlikely to pass while then President Barack Obama was in the Oval Office. And it was Warren Buffett who supported then POTUS Obama’s reelection effort.

JasonBoehlertManufacturedHousingInstituteSeniorVPLogoMHIlogoQuoteMHProNews

Those numerous and clear disconnects between what MHI claimed, and what Warren Buffett did are so blinding, some fail to see it.

But a growing number are grasping the apparent sham of MHI saying one thing, while Buffett was personally working for the opposite.

The only logical implication is that MHI’s elected and staff leadership were driving the MH Industry at large into years of wasted and costly efforts.

Why?

Publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has observed what other voices inside or outside of MHI have said. Berkshire Hathaway owned companies benefit if the Preserving Access bill passes, or not.

Furthermore, the longer more new HUD Code home shipments are diminished, the more retailers and communities sell out for less than their value, or are forced out of business.

That in turn would lead to more closures of the independent HUD Code producers, who once supplied the failed or consolidated independents retailers and communities.

IBISWorldAtlanticManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsResearchReportsMHProNews

If MHProNews were the only source with these concerns, then one might be more inclined to dismiss it. But several sources inside and outside the industry raise the same or similar concerns. Where there is smoke, there is fire, right?

So while the affordable housing crisis rages, manufactured housing had the brakes put on it.  Frank Rolfe, an MHI member, said last year that the industry is its own worst enemy.

It’s a process the fits perfectly with Warren Buffett’s “the Moat” principle, which the two posted videos below confirm.  But for someone to really understand the issues Kevin Clayton and Buffett himself raise, they must do what Buffett does.  Invest the time to research and read.

What Buffett says in brief about “the Moat” – increasingly seen as a monopolistic plan – Kevin Clayton confirms in detail.

This is parallel to the reasons why the Nation recently named Buffett as a monopolistic player in industries, including manufactured housing.

The Nation specifically pointed a finger at Clayton Homes, and their Berkshire Hathaway sister companies.

 

They Win, While a Growing Number of Independent Businesses Lose…

 …or is There Another Option?

MHProNews has received multiple contacts from veteran attorneys who believe that an antitrust case could be made, by federal authorities, but also by independent businesses suing under civil antitrust laws that carry triple damages.

Among those attorneys are those who would do the case on contingency.

Meaning, the law firm collects only if they win the case or come to an agreed upon settlement. With many contingency cases, the attorney doesn’t require the normal hourly fee.  The reason an attorney does a case on contingency is because they believe they can get more by taking a percentage of a case, then the hourly fee would be. That reduces the risk for the plaintiff, while increasing the drive by the suing law firm.

As the nation is caught in an economic vice that the affordable housing crisis has fueled, manufactured housing is – as MHLivingNews touted years ago – the solution that’s hiding in plain sight.

MHI’s shadow boxing on regulatory issues has stymied and delayed the industry’s recovery. The very professionals who are paid to promote the industry, in this view, have been rewarded for failure to achieve any meaningful regulatory relief.

Given several on-the-record statements by

  • Clayton Homes CEO, Kevin Clayton,
  • Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage,
  • Warren Buffett’s well publicized principles,
  • and documents obtained by MHProNews on 21st letterhead,

there is mounting evidence which seems to support the allegations that the thousands of industry retailers – and numerous producers – failed or sold out cheap, all while MHI postured ‘advocacy’ on their behalf.

Some believe that the push for S. 2155 compromise now, is precisely because of the ‘heat’ that MHI has been getting from MHProNews coverage of their problematic handling of Preserving Access.

As was reported yesterday, a growing number of the industry’s professionals have taken these MHProNews reports seriously.

While some continue to believe MHI et al, others were in Tunica this week taking practical steps to distance themselves from options linked to Berkshire Hathaway owned brands.

 

The Return of Common Sense?

Common sense says you don’t feed a dog that’s proven to bite your or others’ hands,” says Tony Kovach.

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon-250x167

L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY. Kovach is the publisher of the industry’s two largest and most popular trade media, MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com.

The pattern seems to be this.  MHI takes the wrong position on an issue, and only after extended pressure, do they finally relent and pivot to the more logical stance for industry independents.  So there is no glory for them in finally taking a correct step, after months or years of allegedly bad ones.

Meanwhile, the majority of the industry’s independent members have suffered. Some have sold out for less than the true value of their business, or lost their once successful businesses altogether. No wonder law firms are interested in working a legal action against this sort of behavior on contingency.” Tony Kovach said.

While MHProNews naturally values on-the-record comments, such off the record insights from the lender noted above can be invaluable for the industry’s independents.

The concept can be digested in minutes.

But to fully digest the nuances of what is taking place, one must do as Warren Buffett himself does: it may take a few hours of reading for all of the facts to be fully understood.

Buffett sees the value of studying the issues, but how many independent professionals do? Will more dig deeper in the days ahead? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

Keith Anderson, CEO Champion Homes, MHI ‘New Class’ Monopoly Concerns Memo, ‘Harms Owners, Independents’

Inside Scoop Mulvaney-CFPB and MHI, Berkshire Hathaway Company Meeting Detail$

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

Plot Twist – Duty to Serve – Freddie Mac CEO Layton Called to Accountability w/Congressional, Administration Leaders Over New Manufactured Home Lending Revelations

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

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

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Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

January 26th, 2018 Comments off

TwoGreatLawsOnBooksNowUnlockBillionsManufacturedHousingIndustryProfessionalsInvestors550

Stating the Obvious for Clarity. Manufactured housing professionals are busy doing what they do, day-by-day.

People go to work, invest in, or own a business in order to earn a good living.

 

With the affordable housing crisis, the manufactured home (MH) industry ought to be doing far better than it is. Almost everyone in the industry agrees on that point.  The housing crisis is a fact that Skyline-Champion – or others in the industry – point to in their investor presentations.

Skyline Corp, Champion Homebuilders Conference Call Presentation Facts, Figures, Forward-Looking Statements, Planned Merger Detail$

There are two great laws – not fair, or decent, but great laws – that are already on the books that properly used and implemented could propel manufactured housing to the top of the nation’s choices for affordable housing.

Fully implementing those two federal laws would be good for:

  • Federal, state, and local governments that are spending tens of billions annually on affordable housing measures that are unable to keep pace with the growing needs in the U.S.
  • Good for investors, and current manufactured housing business owners, who could profit far more than they currently do, by providing the needed housing in the markets that they serve.
  • Good for realtors, developers, and could prove useful for many small builders.
  • Most of the risk would be born by investors, because once understood, they will grasp the ‘no brainer’ nature of the opportunity.
  • To rephrase, the private sector could profitably solve the housing crisis, so long as the public sector – notably, the federal government – implements these two laws.

Those Two Laws Are?

The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) and the Duty to Serve (DTS) Manufactured Housing mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

What is keeping these laws from being properly understood and widely implemented?

Simply put, forces inside and outside of manufactured housing.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

The external issues are exacerbated by the fact that the industry’s post-production sector lacks a national association that is actively working for the interests of independent producers, retailers, and communities.

Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

The national ‘umbrella’ association – which is the de facto post-production association, is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

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

A recent and detailed example of how they are failing the industry at large – be that failure by accident, arrogance, or design – is linked above.

There are a few things that the HUD could be doing to promote the solution they are legally charged with regulating. They have failed to do so under the now terminated leadership of Pam Danner, J.D., who was the HUD’s manufactured housing program office administrator.

    • The true nature of how manufactured homes evolved from trailers houses in the 1930s to 1950s, to mobile homes in the 1950s to the early 1970s, to modern manufactured housing starting on June 15, 1976 is widely misunderstood within the federal government, as well as by state and local governments.
    • The MHIA 2000 features the so-called “enhanced preemption” which has never been properly implemented. If that one law was being enforced by HUD, it could be a revolution for cities and towns across the country. While the video that follows focuses on ‘upper end’ manufactured homes, the principle – and law – applies to entry level manufactured housing too.
    • The Duty To Serve (DTS) has been throttled by industry politics. See the Tim Williams/21st report linked, further below.

  • In additional to those two laws, FHA lending – part of HUD’s jurisdiction – is not being fully used. As reported last year, there are only two lenders under FHA’s current “10/10” rule that could be making home only (chattel) manufactured home loans.  Those two lenders are both owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Vanderbilt Mortgage and 21st Sources within 21st told MHProNews last year they suspended offering Title 1 loans. FHA needs to revisit that rule, and make Title 1 lending more broadly available to others who will put that law to work for consumers.
  • Finally, other kinds of lending that now exist are not properly understood. The GAO report, linked above, demonstrates that even with higher interest rate chattel loans, manufactured homes are still far more affordable than conventional housing or rentals.

MonthlyHousingCostsGAOConventionalHouseApartmentsRentalHousingManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

fanniemae-2011-chart1-affordable-manufactured-housing-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-

The Trump Administration has said that it will be in the business of keeping promises and enforcing the law. They’ve demonstrated a consistent trend of attempting to do exactly that in their first year in office.

With the just announced top-to-bottom review of HUD’s manufactured housing program, the timing is perfect for the industry to spotlight how the Berkshire Hathaway dominated Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has routinely failed the industry.  The timing is perfect to underscore how MHI’s failures to properly engage explains in part how the HUD Code manufactured housing program is disappointing in its mission under the MHIA 2000.

The reports linked from this Daily Business News post will outline how those failures have occurred.

A little math explains precisely why manufactured housing has been allowed to flounder.

In a trillion-dollar a year housing industry, Harvard University’s Eric Belksy and others noted some years ago that manufactured housing was poised to surge to the fore-front of housing. When Belsky wrote those words, he knew about the lending problems that already existed at that time.

Simply put, by throttling lending and allowing heavy regulatory burdens to remain in place, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owned companies quickly became the number one producers and retailers of manufactured housing.

Kevin Clayton in the video interview shown explains in his own words how Buffett hated both foreign and domestic competition.  He repeatedly references “the Moat,” and Clayton candidly says that Buffett preaches “the Moat” to his company CEOs.

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

Buffett supported big government candidates, such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who in turn supported regulations that – combined with his own choking off of lending to third parties – killed off over time, or forced to sell out for less – thousands of independent communities, retailers and independent home producers.

HUD’s new leadership must be made aware of this pattern.

While this may appear to be political, it is rather a question of crony capitalism at the highest levels.

It is worthy of congressional oversight, which some Democrats have called for too.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

President Trump has personally signaled in broad terms his willingness to use anti-trust (anti-monopoly laws). This is a bi-partisan issue.

President Raises the M-Word, “Monopoly,” Plus Manufactured Housing Industry Market Update$

The time to free manufactured housing to fully and properly use those two good laws, and implement others on the books such as FHA, could be a new economic boom for millions of Americans.

Implementing those 2 good laws can save taxpayers billions, while earning private enterprise billions.

MHProNews estimates that at current HUD Code manufactured home prices, building the 8 million needed affordable housing units is worth about $500 billion dollars at retail. After taxes and expenses, that’s billions of dollars to the bottom lines of business owners and investors.

That’s why award-winning Alan Amy said the industry’s billionaires are gobbling up manufactured housing.

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

By shadow boxing appearing to advocate, when they are in fact failing to be effective for any but a few big players – the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is apparently guilty of being a tool of Berkshire Hathaway and what Maxine Waters and others have called their “near monopoly.”

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

Many believe there is nothing ‘near’ about the monopolistic power of Berkshire Hathaway.

It exists. That’s not a slam on the thousands of good people working for those companies. Many of those Clayton, 21st Vanderbilt staffers are among our thousands of readers.

But the monopolistic pattern ought to be a potential indictment on those who’ve misused their influence and power to the harm of thousands of businesses, millions of consumers, and taxpayers.

The time is now to act to enforce those two good laws.

The time has come clean up the mess that crony capitalism working with MHI and the heavy hand of government has produced.

What say you? “We Provide, You Decide.” © © ## (News, fisking, analysis, commentary, links to documents, allegations, comments from members, etc.)

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We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes. We respectfully disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

 

 

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

December 19th, 2017 Comments off

TimWilliams21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDutyToServeFannieMaeFreddieMacLogosThe 45th President of the United States (POTUS), Donald J. Trump, and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett have very differing political views. But there is an area of agreement that yields a valuable takeaway for any manufactured home professional to grasp, and adopt.

Warren Buffett invests the time, and learns what to do – and avoid – by reading.

That investment by Buffett in the time to study, and then makes informed decisions, are one of his ‘secrets’ of success.

That studious reflection, says Buffett, reduces his risks, and increases his odds of success.

Similarly, President Trump has said that it pays to know as much as you can about something that impacts you, your life, and profession.

IfSomethingIsGoingToAffectYourLifeItsBestToKnowAsMuchasYouCanAboutItDonaldTrumpMHProNews800

Those bookend principles from POTUS Trump and Buffett were noted in the Daily Business News post, linked below.

Monday Morning Sales Meeting, What Warren Buffett & President Donald Trump Profitably Agree On

Buffett, who’s Berkshire Hathaway (BH) units include major players in manufactured housing, stresses the value of history too.

Historical knowledge and understanding, properly applied, are among the key elements – the fundamentals – which yesterday took the shares of Buffett-led BH to its record high of $300,000 each.

Buffett, Baseball, Berkshire 55 Years Ago Today, Plus MH Markets Update$

Trump & Buffett Principles Applied to Manufactured Housing News, Insight$

Those principles of reading, understanding, and then acting accordingly should be routinely applied to the words and deeds in the manufactured home (MH) industry.

WarrenBuffettMostImportantHabitReadingReadMajorityofSuccessfulPeopleRead30MinutesDailyTimeMoneyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

That obviously includes the influential, and potent prior Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Chairman, Tim Williams.

Williams – as many industry professionals and investors know – is the president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, a Berkshire Hathaway unit, and sister company to Clayton Homes, and Vanderbilt Mortgage.

In 2009, Berkshire Hathaway’s 21st Mortgage Corp President and CEO, Tim Williams urged the industry to contact their Congressional representatives to seek financing relief for manufactured housing.

So stated a document signed by Williams, that was obtained by MHProNews. That 21st document from Williams, provided to the Daily Business News as a tip from a reader, is found as part of a related report, linked from the graphic below.

In 2013, in an exclusive interview with MHProNews, Williams said that pursing the Duty to Serve was a “complete waste of time.”

TimWilliams21stMortgageCorpThenManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIChairmanMHProNewsWhat follows is the full text – and thus the context – for Williams’ reply on DTS, with the entire interview linked here.

I think it is a total waste of time to talk about DTS until Congress reaches a consensus on the GSEs. Will the GSEs exist as we know them? What will be their mission? I think it is a million to one shot that the FHFA and either of the GSEs agree to finance chattel manufactured homes while the larger issues remain unresolved,” Williams said.

Williams would especially be correct in his “a million to one shot” observation, if:

  • the Berkshire-Hathaway (BH) owned manufactured housing lending units fail to give the GSE’s the data that they said the Enterprises need,
  • in order to intelligently enter the MH personal property (chattel, home only) lending arena in a meaningful way.

In other words, if you stack the deck against the GSEs doing something substantive, the odds could indeed go to “a million to one,” observes our publisher.

DutyToServeManufacturedHousingMMarkWeissJDPresidentMHARR-MHProNews--575x191

Disconnects?  Contradictions?

In San Antonio, TX, in a 2017 meeting with a few dozen industry professionals that that are members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in the room, Williams stated that 21st had not turned over data requested by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

So, while a few dozen industry professionals in that room may have heard that statement by Williams – who was then MHI’s chairman – there are thousands of MH professionals who were obviously not present.

Depending on how many read-and-trust only MHI messages – they might have a completely different impression than what Williams said in that meeting room.  After all, MHI claims via their messages, such as those attributed to Leslie Gooch, Ph.D.,  to be working to promote DTS.

The GSEs – or Enterprises – of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, citing a lack of data as a reason, is only lightly putting its toes into the MH industry’s chattel lending markets, as part of a plan published by the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA), linked below.

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for Duty to Serve (DTS) Program

Contradicting BH, MHI Claims?

On the one hand, there are apparently contradictory positions between actions, and statements made freely by Williams, and by the Berkshire Hathaway dominated Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), as noted above.

There are also the previously quoted principles of BH Chairman, Warren Buffett.

WarrenBuffettQuotesPeverseEasyThingsDifficultChainsHabitLearnFromHistoryPeopleDontLearnFromHistoryManufacturedHousingMHI-MHProNews-768x342

To rephrase, Buffett – who is a long term player – has stated he believes most don’t pay attention to the lessons of history. The chains of habit (for others?!) are thus an opportunity for his business units, if – and only if – enough others fail to learn from history, and fail to break free of their chains of habit.

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

On the one hand, Mr. Buffett publicly supported Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama before her.  Obama, Clinton, and Buffett all voiced support and/or acted in favor of Dodd-Frank.

So on the other hand, Williams and company at MHI have been pushing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housingact, even though it seemingly put Williams at odds with Buffett on Dodd-Frank.

It also puts Richard “Dick” Jennison, Lesli Gooch (Ph.D.) at odds with the former MHI VP, who correctly predicted that with President Obama re-elected, it was unlikely that MHI could pass Preserving Access. 

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

Any industry member, investor, or researcher who invests the time – which POTUS Trump, or Buffett’s advice would require – will discover so many disconnects between what is said by Berkshire Hathaway led MHI, and what look to be clear contradictions made by senior staff and/or their executive committee member(s).

No Wonder MHI Ducks Media…

No wonder MHI SVP Rick Robison, refused to take questions from MHProNews, in an verbal admission made in front of dozens of industry members.  How could he intelligently defend the national trade association, when there are so many obvious contradictions and inexplicable behaviors?

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsBullet Points the Industry Must Consider

People often tend to give those that we know the benefit of the doubt, until proven otherwise,” said L. A. “Tony” Kovach, consultant and publisher of MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

Tim [Williams] is an intelligent, successful, driven professional. Jim Clayton sang Tim’s praises. Most would say, Tim’s a likeable gent. So, is it any wonder that it may be hard to imagine that Tim Williams – or Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt, or their affable billionaire, Warren Buffett – are all to various degrees initially trusted?” Kovach asked.

you-can-fool-all-the-people-some-of-the-time-and-some-of-the-people-all-the-time-but-you-cannot-abraham-lincoln-quoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But there comes a time when one must look at the patterns of verbal claims, the actions that follow, and the outcomes, and then ask the deeper questions,” Kovach said, adding, “That’s where Marty Lavin’s rules must be applied.”

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Lavin is an MHI award winner, and a success story in communities, retail and finance.

LATonyKovachMHProNewsMHLivingNewsMHINoJournalistPhotoNCCPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the San Antonio MHI meeting, Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch repeatedly made thinly veiled statements, aimed at MHProNews. But when these signs were first introduced, top MHI staff claimed it was aimed at ‘outside’ media, not ‘industry media.’ What caused this change toward a dues paying association member? What message does it send to others in their association? What message does it send to the industry at large? Is MHI trying to create a de facto industry trade media monopoly?

Let’s recap,” said Kovach, “with these bullets.  It could serve as an executive summary.

  • First, Williams says in 2009, ask your Congressmen to get the GSEs involved.
  • Later, Williams says in 2013, it’s a waste of time pursing chattel lending by the GSEs.
  • Then, when the pressure from MHARR and others – including MHI members – for getting the GSEs into the chattel lending space grows, MHI pivots and says it is promoting the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the Enterprises.
  • But how can MHI effectively promote the DTS if Williams and Vanderbilt won’t turn over the data that other manufactured home lenders freely provided?
  • The bottom line is akin to the old Zig Ziglar yarn about tell the fireplace to give you heat, and once it gives the heat, then you’ll give the fireplace wood.’ Williams, VMF, and Berkshire Hathaway surely all knew that not giving that [loan performance] data would slow down the DTS process with the GSEs. How could intelligent, analytical, independent-minded professional think differently?”

WhenYouHaveEliminatedTheImpossibleWhateverRemainsHoweverImprobableMustBeTheTruthSHerlockHolmesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There comes a time when it is necessary to admit the obvious; that one has been misled, taken in, or whatever allegation and terminology one feels comfortable saying,” Kovach opined.

On issue after issue, MHI routinely follows the Berkshire Hathaway lead, as voices from inside and outside the industry have observed.

  • From weaponized news:

Weaponized, Faked News Harms Manufactured Housing Homeowners, Professionals

  • to years of wasted efforts on Preserving Access, when their own VP said that it wouldn’t likely fail to pass,

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

  • to failure to engage the media properly, even though MHProNews provided a template that was praised by MHI’s education VP for laying out how that engagement can and should be done.

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews800

  • to the DOE Energy Rule

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

  • to the game-playing about the leadership at HUD’s manufactured housing program, the pivots and contradictory positions of the industry’s national association which is based in Arlington, VA are numerous.

Exclusive – HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program Administrator Pam Danner, Update

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

In addition to the concerns voiced from within the industry, are those that have come from outside of MH.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Is it possible to have so many items that are arguably against the best interests of most of the industry? While at the same time, promoting efforts that benefit BH – directly or indirectly – often being paid for by small-to-mid size MHI members?  It’s so bold, that it is easy to understand why some struggle to accept the obvious.

“How to Find Affordable Home in Today’s Market,” Manufactured Housing Industry-Statepoint Media Fact-Check

POTUS Trump to MHProNews

In a release to Daily Business News today, the White House Press room touted the president’s “return to principled realism.”

Realism – believing in what is, rather than some wish, dream or fantasy that someone may want to believe – is how a person, business, industry, or a nation can advance.

Author Aldous Huxley said that those can learn who are open to learning.

ExperienceTeachesOnlyTheTeachableAldusHuxleyBrainyQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are only two kinds of experience, your own and someone else’s experience. The fastest way to grow is to rely on successful experiences from others, and leverage their knowledge applied to your location.

Prior “rough rider” and President Teddy Roosevelt is credited with making the following quip.

ComplaingAboutProblemWithoutPosingSolutionIsCalledWhiningQuote-teddy-theodore-rooseveltDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Only those willing to break with the chains of the past will be able to advance into the future of a brighter potential for their own operation’s potential within the manufactured housing industry.

No less than 4 different sites are currently promoting a new post-production association for manufactured housing.

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

Why?  Why yet another national trade organization for manufactured housing?

Isn’t the movement there because independents paying dues to MHI are arguably feeding the hand that bites them?

For those MHI members who are tired of years of unkept promises, and who have watched other companies get gobbled up by the industry’s giants, isn’t the time to stop whining and start acting, now?

ELS’ Sam Zell – Compliance Costs Destroys Smaller Businesses = Consolidation

It is instructive to note that MHARR – annually outspent perhaps by some 6 to 1 (+/-) – was able to stop MHI and DOE combined.  MHARR is proof that intelligent, educational efforts can defend, and advance, the industry’s interests.

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

What’s Coming, Another 21st Document

MHProNews plans to publish a second 21st document- also signed by Tim Williams/21st, like the one linked above – later this week. Stay tuned.

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

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

If you have 21st Mortgage floorplan documents from circa 2008, 2009 to 2010, please consider sending those into MHProNews as a news tip for publication. Please white out your personal and company information, and thus your anonymity will thus be protected.

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com

Buffett’s Clayton Buys Yet Another Builder, Growing Dominance in U.S. Housing Market

July 10th, 2017 Comments off
BuffettBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesPropertyGroupHarrisDoyleHomesBerkshireHathawayHomeServicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Russ Doyle (left) and Brooks Harris, founder-principals in Harris Doyle Homes. Right hand photo, still from video on this page, below.

Last week, the Daily Business News on MHProNews was the first in manufactured housing to report that Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Property Group added Colorado based Oakwood Homes to their expanding site-built housing portfolio.

Now, Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton home building group, has another announcement.

We are proud to welcome Harris Doyle to our family of homebuilders,” Holdbrooks said in a press release.

Builder noted today that “In his 2017 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, ceo [sic] Warren Buffett gave a shout-out to Berkshire’s Maryville, Tenn.-based Clayton Homes group and the fact that it had closed on its first three “site-built” home building operators by the end of 2016.”

Adding that, “More will come,” Buffett promised. “Site-built houses are expected to amount to 3% or so of Clayton’s unit sales in 2017 and will likely deliver about 14% of its dollar volume.”

What Others Are Often Overlooking…

While those involved in the construction trades understandably focus on the site-built or factory home building, what is going largely unmentioned is that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has also gone into the real estate business in a substantial way. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

In a release, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services had this to say.

Irvine, CA-based HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.”

 

Combined with their substantial – and growing? – presence in the housing building and remodeling supply chain, Buffett’s Berkshire – is growing in several directions.  Known within the factory built home industry for being the parent for the largest HUD Code builder, Clayton Homes, plus 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage.

Among other brands, Buffett’s strong presence in Wells Fargo and other banking units that do manufactured home, as well as conventional house loans.  Bloomberg and Business Insider reported last April that Buffett had to cut his stake to under 10 percent of Wells Fargo, in order to get around concerns raised by the Federal Reserve.

Back to Clayton’s Newest Buy…

Clayton, a Berkshire Hathaway company and one of America’s largest homebuilders, today announced it has acquired Harris Doyle Homes, a leading residential developer and home builder for the greater Birmingham, Ala., area, effective July 7, 2017,” stated the Clayton release.

Harris Doyle Homes is the fifth homebuilding acquisition for Clayton since 2015 and the second homebuilder acquired this month,” Clayton said.

The release pointed out that Clayton built “In 2016, Clayton built more than 42,000 homes.”  While it didn’t say how many were HUD Code, the industry total for last year was some 81,100 new manufactured homes.

FHFAFannieMaeFreddieMacGSEDutyToServeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews7102017

To see the special Sunday evening report on this time sensitive topic, click the image above. Want more lending? Email your thoughts and comments on the GSEs plan to ‘serve’ manufactured housing. You can submit electronically to FHFA at the link shown below.

What impact will this trend have on manufactured housing, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)?

A growing number of professionals are emailing or calling MHProNews, whispering their concerns about possible “conflicts of interest.” Given that Buffett’s brands now hold two of the four executive committee positions at MHI, will Berkshire’s ever-growing presence in conventional housing influence the industry in ways that may not be for the good of most other HUD Code producers, or independent retailers, communities, and others?

What do these non-factory built housing units under the Buffett banner mean to industry efforts such as the Duty to Serve and if these are more evidence of conflicts of interest for MHI’s dominant player? ## (News, analysis.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Could MHI Have Helped Kill CFPB? Another Opportunity Missed? MH Lending, Legal Report

May 1st, 2017 Comments off
creditmemesuper-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Image Credits: MHI, Brands of the World, Meme Super.

As industry professionals are already aware, the CFPB has restricted high cost and other loans on manufactured homes.

In recent weeks, prior to the close of filings, MHProNews asked the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) if they would be filing an amicus brief in the closely followed PHH vs. CFPB case.

As previously reported by the Buckley Sandlers law firm, MHProNews learned that PHH Corp. v. CFPB is set to be heard on May 24, 2017.

Several operations and organizations have been among those who filed an amicus brief in the case. Was MHI among those organizations?

MHProNews sources say no, and MHI won’t comment.

Why?

Frank Rolfe.

The folks at MHI – the industry lobby group – are nice people, but what’s with the concept of silence is golden? Negative articles on the industry are met with ‘no comment.’ Positive news opportunities are met with ‘no comment.’ I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Frank Rolfe.

When you refuse to talk, it looks to the public like an admission of guilt, and when you refuse to promote your product it looks like you are embarrassed by it.”

Silence, according to Rolfe, isn’t golden.

The appearance, per Rolfe, is that someone – in this case, MHI – is hiding something.

 

Who Filed Briefs Supporting PHH’s anti-CFPB case?

Per Buckley-Sandlers law, while MHI failed to file an amicus brief that may have achieved what years of lobbying has failed to accomplish, the following entities did file briefs in support of PHH’s case against the CFPB.

BuckleySandlerLawLogo-PostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Buckley Sandler logo, shown here under fair use guidelines.

DOJ Brief. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the DOJ filed its own brief in the case on March 17, arguing in support of the D.C. Circuit panel’s initial ruling and proposed remedy. The DOJ brief stated, among other things, that, “[w]hile we do not agree with all of the reasoning in the panel’s opinion,” the DOJ agrees with the panel’s conclusion that “a removal restriction for the Director of the CFPB is an unwarranted limitation on the President’s executive power” and that “the panel correctly concluded … that the proposed remedy for the constitutional violation is to sever the provision limiting the President’s authority to remove the CFPB’s Director, not to declare the entire agency and its operations unconstitutional.”  As  covered recently on InfoBytes, the DOJ presented arguments that differed both from the CFPB and from the positions previously presented by the Obama Administration in briefing submitted on behalf of the United States back in December.

On April 3, the DOJ filed an unopposed motion seeking ten minutes of argument time for the United States at the May 24 en banc hearing.

Amicus Curiae in Support of PHH. The March 10 deadline in the en banc proceeding also brought about the filing of seven amicus curiae briefs in support of PHH’s claims and/or defenses. Six of these filings took the position that the Bureau’s current structure violates separation-of-powers principles:

  • Brief on Rehearing en banc of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners
  • Brief on Rehearing en banc of ACA International as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners
  • Brief on Rehearing en banc of the Cato Institute as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners
  • En Bank Brief of Amici Curiae RD Legal Partners, LP, RD Legal Funding, LLC, RD Legal Finance, LLC and Roni Dersovitz in Support of Petitioners
  • State National Bank of Big Spring, 60 Plus Association, Inc.; and Competitive Enterprise Institute as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners
  • Brief for the States of Missouri, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners

Does MHI really want to Advance MH Industry Lending? 

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The prognosis above is posted on GovTrack and was made by PredictGov – both third parties to manufactured housing, with no stake in the matter – reflects 99 to 1 odds against the MHI bill – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing 2017 – becoming law. Logo credit, PredictGov.

In a recent article on the Daily Business News, linked here, much of the manufactured housing industry is familiar with latest version of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2017 – a.k.a. H.R. 1699. MHI’s latest “alert” urged their readers to keep up the “momentum” for the 4th iteration of a bill, yet, upon further investigation, MHProNews found that the bill has a one percent chance of passing (see graphic above, from PredictGov).

Several informed sources tell MHProNews that during a recent MHI finance discussion – contrary to official claims that they support a vigorous Duty To Serve (DTS) manufactured housing with a robust chattel program – one or more key MHI leaders expressed in small group sessions steps that would deliberately slow or minimize Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) from getting involved in manufactured home personal property/home only (chattel) lending.

Beyond Preserving Access – HR 1699 – What’s Really Happening with the GSEs?

Rumblings from informed sources tell MHProNews that GSE’s may do a limited pilot chattel program, but that limited program may be “an eight to ten year process.”

If this is indeed the case, an MH industry lender told MHProNews that, …that length of time would be much longer than is necessary for them [the GSEs] to get their own data. The default curve is highest in the first 60 months,” the expert source said.

Industry Opinions on DTS Vary

While widely viewed as worth pursuing, throughout the industry, opinions on the Duty to Serve – and how it might become reality – vary.

jimayottecreditmhpronewsusersrcdesktoppaulbradleycredtimhpronewsstanthonycasehighlightsbattleovercommunityownersrightsvsresidentsrights-dailybusinessnewsThe final rule provides Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with Duty to Serve credit for purchasing chattel manufactured housing loans, but does not mandate them to do so.  Whether the final rule is positive or negative for the industry depends on which national industry trade group you listen to,” said Jim Ayotte in a response linked here.

MHI’s take on the final rule is that it is a step in the right direction,” said Ayotte. “MHARR believes that because the FHFA did not mandate the GSEs to make chattel loans that it is highly unlikely that any chattel loans will be made.”

Ayotte sees it differently. “The truth of the matter is that the industry is closer to getting a viable secondary market program for chattel manufactured home loans than it has been in nearly two decades.  While the industry would have preferred the FHFA to mandate the GSEs to make chattel loans, this was not going to happen.  However, over the past year the GSEs have demonstrated a genuine interest in understanding chattel manufactured housing financing as it exists today, not as it performed in the late 90’s.”

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Paul Bradley. photo credit: Fosters.

We have Fannie Mae financing homes in some of our communities already,” said ROC USA President Paul Bradley, but it’s too limited.  We want a chattel pilot and standard land lease so we can scale.  It should reassure skeptics that home-only loans by the GSEs have worked in Land Lease Communities.  We need DTS to get together as a larger market opportunity for the GSEs.”

I am surprised that the Community Bankers’ Association (ICBA) would come out against GSE chattel product – from the many community bankers I’ve talked to over the years,” Bradley told MHProNews that “the local bankers want a secondary market for chattel. One of the concerns that lenders often express about manufactured home loans in Land Lease Communities is that homes there lose value.  But that is not a given.  I can point to examples in Land Lease Communities where homes are appreciating.”

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) President and CEO M. Mark Weiss provided a different take.

M.Mark.WeissJDPresidentCEOMHARRManufacturedHousingAssociationforRegulatorReform-creditManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWe at MHARR have the greatest respect for Jim Ayotte, but his recent commentary on the final Duty to Serve (DTS) rule issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is far too charitable. It’s one thing to see the proverbial glass as half full versus half empty.  It’s another to accept a few droplets as half a glass,” said Weiss in his commentary, linked here.

And that is what consumers and the industry have gotten from FHFA – a few drops at the bottom of the glass, window dressing that is not likely to lead anywhere soon, despite the urgent need now for affordable and competitive chattel-based consumer financing for manufactured homes.”

MHARR has asked on multiple occasions for private meeting minutes between FHFA and others on the DTS issue to be disclosed.

If Congress had meant the “duty to serve” to be optional, it would not have called it a ‘duty’.  The dictionary definition of a ‘duty’ has – at its core – a mandatory responsibility,” said Weiss.

For more on DTS from Eagle One Financial VP Titus Dare, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.