Posts Tagged ‘fact check’

“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

December 7th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoTradeAssocChargedWeaponizedNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews“…the Senate Banking Committee passed legislation to clarify that a manufactured housing retailer or seller is not considered a “loan originator” simply because they provide a customer with some assistance in the mortgage loan process,” said a “Housing Alert” from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to their members, and through them, to others in the HUD Code manufactured home industry.

This is a key tenet of S. 1751, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, which excludes manufactured housing retailers and sellers from the definition of a loan originator so long as they are only receiving compensation for the sale of a home,” said the MHI alert.  That is a reference to the so-called MLO rule.

The language was passed as a part of S. 2155, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which is a package of reforms intended to improve the national financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth. S. 2155 was passed by the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan vote of 16 to 7,” per MHI.

For many hard-working Hoosiers and Americans, manufactured housing provides the most affordable option available when they look to buy a home. I’m pleased the bipartisan regulatory relief legislation that I helped craft and that passed the Senate Banking Committee includes a provision based on my Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. This measure would help prevent federal regulations from getting in the way of financing that families need as they step into homeownership,” said U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, per MHI’s statement.


Critical Fact Check, Analysis

LookAtTheFactsFactCheckMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAccepting all of the above at face value, what the MHI release completely fails to mention is that per sources within MHI – as well as from non-profits familiar with the matter – the MLO rule could have been changed by an agreement years ago.


  • without spending millions of dollars and years ‘fighting’ for their Preserving Access bill, which still isn’t and may never become law,
  • MHI could have had the final product that their now bragging about; and which is still not a done-deal.

While supporting the Preserving Access measure in principle, MHProNews and our parent company’s management believes that no deception or misleading statements are needed to pass that or any worthwhile bill, or to motivate the honest, hard-working members of the MH Industry to act.

The Daily Business News and MHLivingNews have historically held accountable the non-profit groups for their own errors – see the examples linked in the reports, below.


CFED and CFPB – Confused, Conflicted “Friends” of Manufactured Home Owners and Prospective Buyers?

Sophie Quinton – Why Some Cities Are Buying “Trailer Parks,” [SIC] and “Mobile Home Parks” [SIC] – HuffPo

The truth matters. Manufactured housing has enough unjustified black-eyes, without having to give itself avoidable ones, at the hand of one of its own associations.


One of a number of sources that have told MHProNews that MHI could have had the MLO rule rescinded by agreement years ago.

The Real Takeaway…?


Part of the evidence is the Ishbel Dickens email, shown above this graphic as a screen capture.

Accurate, but Misleading


L. A. Tony Kovach at the 2017 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 the association? What message does it send to the industry at large? Is MHI trying to create a de facto industry trade media monopoly? Are they weaponizing news?

It can be understood as technically accurate, but misleading MHI Housing Alert. It’s arguably a half-truth that is deceptive, and manipulative of their own members,” alleged award-winning industry veteran L. A. “Tony” Kovach in a comment about the most recent controversial contentions regarding the Arlington, VA based trade association.

For a number of years, MHI’s current leadership have engaged in debatably deceptive messages sent to their own members. These messages have at times been like their most recent one. A half-truth, with the unstated facts MHI ought to be aware of not being mentioned in their allegedly weaponized ‘housing alerts’ at all,” Kovach said in comments about the most recent MHI housing alert.

Its tips from other [MHI] members, and/or information obtained directly from MHI staff, that has led to a periodic series of revelations that are arguably harmful to the industry, and is damaging to the reputation of MHI.  That in turn can be construed as harmful to the industry they claim to be acting for in Washington, D.C. They are solely responsible for the harm they are causing to the industry their members, and their own reputation when they engage in allegedly deceptive practices, that they have yet to formally address,” said Kovach, who is a managing member of Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHProNews.

We’ve offered to publicly discuss or debate via video these concerns. We’ve given MHI numerous opportunities to respond in writing,” Kovach said. “They’ve routinely failed to take advantage of those opportunities. If they were correct in their methods, wouldn’t they want to defend their accuracy and reputation?”

Their Own VP Said It Preserving Access, Wasn’t Happening

MHI’s own vice-president said in writing in a prior on-the-record statement to MHProNews that the odds of passing Preserving Access where long ones under the Obama Administration.  See that Daily Business News report, linked below.

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


Partially as a result over concerns that MHI is not properly representing their independent retail, community and other members, there are numerous voices and third-party efforts underway which aim to create a new association that will represent them.

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

As MHProNews first-reported to the industry, Maxine Waters and other congressional Democrats have recently characterized MHI as being a puppet for the benefit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway manufactured housing brands.

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

In her official statement – found as a download, from the article linked above – to the House of Representatives, she named:

  • Warren Buffett,
  • Berkshire Hathaway,
  • Clayton Homes, and their sister production and retail operations,
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage, and
  • 21st Mortgage.

In a prior letter by Waters and some of her congressional colleagues to the Department of Justice (DoJ), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), she called Buffett’s manufactured housing interests as a ‘near monopoly.’

That ‘near monopoly’ and related letter by Waters and others is a download from the Daily Business News report linked below.


U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Mike Capuano (D-MA) – all four signed onto a letter damaging to MHI, and the Berkshire Hathaway led brands, calling for federal investigations. Image credit, Twitter, Wikipedia.

A Question of Time?

It may only be a question of time before members begin to cancel their MHI membership, realizing – as one MHI award winner told MHProNews – that the largest companies have learned how to get the small-to-mid-sized companies to pay for what the ‘big boys’ want.


The ‘fear’ over retaliation, or cutting members out of certain alleged ‘benefits’ of working with MHI and the industry’s largest companies, are reportedly keeping a number of companies on board with MHI.

Warren Buffett himself has reportedly said that

  • failing to learn the lessons of history, and
  • that chains of habit,

are hard to break. See that detailed report, linked below.

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

While failing for over 5 years to accomplish their own primary goal, the industry is continuing to consolidate.

Sam Zell, Frank Rolfe, and Kenny Lipschutz are among the MHI members who have publicly critiqued MHI, either pointedly, or politely.

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


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


Is the truth of an important element of what is holding hiding in plain sight?


Critiques, properly understood, are a way of improving performance. Every business, every sports team which aims to win does evaluations, which are a critique. “We Provide, You Decide.”

What is hard to argue is that MHI has repeatedly failed to do what their affable, popular prior chairman, Nathan Smith, said that the association needed to be.  Pro-active, vs. reactive.

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

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

Tax Reform, “Epic Blunder” in “Bizzaro World,” Fact Check$, Videos Across Partisan Divide

December 2nd, 2017 Comments off

GOP Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, smiles after the bill passed in the early hours Saturday. Dec. 2nd.

Higher wages.  More economic output. More opportunities.

All of these would be good things for manufactured housing, and it goes to the heart of what the White House Pressroom has told the Daily Business News is at the heart of what they say this bill that passed early this morning is about.

That it is time to “fix America’s self-destructive tax code.”

Democrats say it’s a “middle class con job,” per the right-of-center Wall Street Journal.

Fox and the Wall Street Journal said it was an “epic blunder” for Democrats to think that this won’t hurt them, rather than Republicans, in the 2018 midterms.

From left-of-center CNBC this report will outline changes to the bill that got 51 of 52 GOP Senators to sign on.

ICYMI – for those not familiar with the “Full Measure,” ‘left-right’ media tendency chart, please click here  

For left-of-center Bloomberg, Professor DeLong says the tax cuts/reforms package has a 70 percent chance of becoming law.  If so, that would give the President his first big legislative win, and coupled with his other promises kept to-date, and could bode well for the GOP in the 2018 mid-terms.

The lone Republican holdout from their 52 Senate members?

The retiring Bob Corker of TN, who was considered at one point last year for being President Trump’s running mate.


Ortiz on the Historic Bill

Alfredo Ortiz is President and CEO of the Job Creators Network, self-described as “a non-partisan organization founded by entrepreneurs.”

Ortiz, writing for right-of-center Fox News, said, Tax reform is on track and Democrats want to derail it. Don’t believe these myths about the Senate’s bill

Democrats are desperate to derail long-overdue tax relief that is heading to the Senate floor for a vote this week – even if by doing so they take money from the pockets of their own constituents,” Ortiz asserted.

There are no good arguments against allowing hardworking Americans to keep more of their money,” the Job Creator’s CEO said. “But that hasn’t stopped Democrats, who are intent on denying President Trump a victory at any cost – including lying about the Senate tax bill’s impact in an attempt to block its passage.”

This deceit was on full display at a CNN Town Hall debate this week, where career politicians Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Maria Cantwell of Washington state leaned on shopworn Democratic talking points as the basis for…their opposition to the tax bill.”

Ortiz then laid out 5 myth-busters, to debunking claims “making the rounds among Democrats and their media allies.”

MYTH 1: The tax bill is a tax increase on the middle class.

Cantwell: “Raising taxes on the middle class is wrong, and that’s what this bill does.”

Recognizing the popularity of a middle-class tax cut, Democrats are trying to use the Bizarro-world argument that the tax cut bill is actually a tax increase. They cite a Tax Policy Center report claiming the bill would raise taxes on 87 million middle-class families,” said the Job Creator CEO.

What the Democrats don’t mention is that the Tax Policy Center is a project of the left-wing Brookings Institution and Urban Institute, funded by donors like George Soros who want to disrupt President Trump’s agenda by any means necessary.”

Soros is the Hungarian born left-wing billionaire, who recently gave billions to fund left wing-causes, many of which oppose the Trump agenda.  For more on that, see the report below.

“You Made Me, Promises, Promises…” Historic Iranian, American Lessons in Freedom

The Tax Policy Center can only arrive at this eyebrow-raising conclusion by making the unrealistic assumption that the tax cuts would expire after 10 years,” said Ortiz.

In reality, the tax bill would provide significant relief for the middle class by doing the following: doubling the income threshold under which families pay no taxes at all to $24,000; doubling the child tax credit to $2,000; and eliminating the 15 percent tax rate in favor of an expanded 12 percent rate, among other provisions,” per Ortiz.

He said that the above changes would “save ordinary families thousands of dollars a year.”

MYTH 2: The majority of the tax bill’s benefits go to the top 1 percent of earners.

Sen. Sanders: “60 percent of the tax benefits in the Republican plan would go to the top 1 percent.”

Democrats are trying to distract from the bill’s middle-class tax relief by claiming most of the benefits go to the super-rich. But in reality, the bill is targeted at the middle class,” stated Ortiz.

Besides, who’s money is it anyway?  What years of repeated claims from those who love big government and socialistic policies often overlook, is that money is earned by citizens and guest workers. Yet, many in Washington and beyond want to treat that privately earned money as if it was up to technocrats to decide how much of your own money you get to keep.

Influencing the Socialists in Your Office, the Best Way Out of Poverty

Ortiz notes that “In addition to the middle-class provisions mentioned above, consider the bill’s relief for Main Street small businesses. The bill offers a 20 percent small business tax deduction for all small businesses earning less than $500,000 a year.”

This 20 percent tax deduction would allow small business owners to keep more of their earnings, helping them to compete with their big business and international competitors – as well as hire more employees, raise wages and expand,” the Job Creators president said.

He added, “According to the Tax Foundation, 97 percent of small businesses earn less than this $500,000 threshold, meaning the overwhelming majority of small businesses would see relief from this provision. But who would see little-to-no relief from it? The top 1 percent, with annual incomes of roughly $500,000 and higher.”

Ortiz asks, “Given this clear middle-class relief, how do Democrats back up their 1 percent claim? By pointing to the tax bill’s provision to bring the corporate tax rate in line with international standards.”

That’s a provision that even some Democrats have agreed that current tax policy drives corporations to move their headquarters, and jobs with it, overseas.  Estimates as to what ending that and bringing that cash back to the U.S. could mean to the American economy range from 2 to 4 trillion dollars.

However, survey and economic evidence demonstrates that corporate tax cuts benefit the middle class in the form of higher wages, better workplace benefits, new job opportunities and lower consumer prices,” said Ortiz.

The Job Creator’s CEO notes that, “Even higher dividend payouts benefit the middle class, because the majority of corporate stock is owned by retirement plans, including IRAs, 401ks and government pension plans that help ordinary Americans save.”


President Trump and VP Mike Pence have both said they will be in the promise keeping business.

MYTH 3: The tax bill will grow deficit by $1.4 trillion.

Sen. Sanders: “This legislation will grow the deficit by $1.4 trillion. Mark my words.”

Ortiz quips that, “Democrats are suddenly pretending to care about the nation’s fiscal state by pointing to the tax bill’s $1.4 trillion of lost revenues on a static basis over 10 years. What isn’t said is that this is only a 3 percent drop from the $43 trillion Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revenue projection over this timeframe.”

He might have mentioned that during the Obama Administration, the federal debt ballooned by some $10 trillion dollars, doubling the national debt to about $20 trillion in just 8 years. Yet, the economic recovery was slower than any in modern history, and the 44th president is the first in over a century to have less than 3 percent economic growth in any of his 8 years in office.

Ortiz says, “But in the real world – outside of simplistic Excel spreadsheets – people respond to incentives. With more money in their pockets and in their communities, consumers, businesses and investors will spend more, creating economic growth that will more than pay for the $1.4 trillion in lost revenues.”

According to the CBO, every 0.1 percent increase in the gross domestic product adds over $250 billion in revenue over 10 years. This means that even returning to 2.5 percent economic growth – still well below the U.S. historical average – would more than pay for the tax cut,” he stated.


MYTH 4: The tax bill won’t create economic growth.

Sen. Cantwell: “No, I don’t think (the tax bill) will grow (the economy).”

What too few are saying is that tax cuts/reform worked for Democratic President John Kennedy and for GOP President Ronald Reagan.  Just as we see Americans move from high tax states to lower tax ones when they can, so too lower tax rates will likely keep and attract more money as a result.  That additional revenue has historically more than balanced out tax cuts, but there routinely is an initial revenue dip.

Given the dynamic effects on tax revenue from even minor economic growth, Democrats are at pains to deny the growth created by tax cuts. They cite left-wing economists to make their case – but historical evidence and commonsense undermine it,” said Ortiz.

The tax cuts enacted under Presidents Coolidge, Kennedy and Reagan, among others, all generated several years of supercharged economic growth. The principle is simple: More money in the wealth-creating hands of the private economy – and less in the wealth-destroying hands of government – creates economic growth,” Ortiz said.

Some 100 economists wrote an open letter to Congress with the following message: “Economic growth will accelerate if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes, leading to more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for the American people,” the Job Creators Network president wrote.

MYTH 5: The tax bill will cause 13 million people to lose health insurance.

Sen. Sanders: “This bill… will result in 13 million people losing their health insurance.”

Given this scare tactic worked so well to kill health-care reform, Democrats are trotting it out in an attempt to do the same to tax reform. But the facts are very different this time around,” said Ortiz.

Far from kicking people off health insurance as Democrats imply, the tax bill would simply eliminate the health-care tax on those who choose not to purchase health insurance. This tax is borne mostly by working- and middle-class Americans: Nearly 80 percent earn $50,000 a year or less. In fact, this provision would reduce the middle-class tax burden even further,” he said.

The tax-cut bill currently before the Senate offers ordinary Americans the best opportunity for tax relief in a generation. But Democrats are putting their narrow political interests ahead of what’s good for the country and lying to try to sink it. Their agenda should be exposed.”


While not specifically addressing the tax cuts and jobs act, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has broadly supported the Trump Agenda as being good for the industry.



CNBC’s Notes on Changes That Helped Pass the Bill Early Saturday

Here are some of the last-minute changes in the Senate bill, which was released Friday night:

  • Pass-through deduction: To appease Daines and Johnson, the bill would now allow business owners to deduct 23 percent of pass-through income. The Senate initially proposed a deduction for 17.4 percent of income. Pass-through entities are taxed at individual tax rates.
  • State and local deductions: The Senate plan would make up to $10,000 in state and local property taxes deductible. Collins urged the change, which makes the Senate proposal match the legislation already passed by the House.
  • Alternative minimum tax: The alternative minimum tax would be partially retained. The initial Senate plan repealed the tax. The measure aims to guarantee that businesses and wealthy individuals pay a minimum tax.
  • Business expensing: The initial bill let businesses write off the full cost of expenses such as equipment for five years. After that, the benefit would now phase out instead of being eliminated immediately.
  • Medical cost deduction: Collins also pushed to expand the deduction for health-care costs that are not reimbursed. The bill would now lower the threshold for the deduction to 7.5 percent from 10 percent of income.
  • 401(k) contributions: The Senate plan would also scrap a previous proposal to eliminate so-called catch-up contributions to retirement accounts on a pretax basis, Collins said.

House-Senate Conference Committee

There are two possibilities for working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of tax cuts and reform bill.  One, the House could simply adopt the Senate version.  Or a House/Senate conference committee could work out their differences, and both chambers would then once more have to vote on that revised bill.

The president’s stated goal is to give Americans “a big beautiful tax cut by Christmas.”

This early morning Senate vote makes that a possibility. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

Programing Note: Watch for a special Monday report and analysis on a truly fine MHI produced document. Stay tuned.

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

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on


‘Gift Keeps Giving,’ Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Proves Member’s Point?

November 16th, 2017 Comments off

All third party images are shown under fair use guidelines. Credits, NextStep, MHI.

For some time, the Daily Business News has periodically spotlighted a specific claim by an Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member.

That member’s concern?

The big companies have figured out how to get the smaller companies to pay for what they [the big MHI member companies] want,” stated the source to the Daily Business News.

From time to time, MHI then “goes about proving that to be true,” states the source. “MHI is the gift that keeps on giving, kinda like FEMA,” that source quipped.

Per MHI’s News and Updates on the date shown at the top left, “We ask that you help us spread the word about this campaign and the individuals and families living in manufactured homes across the country.”

LookAtTheFactsFactCheckMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTo rephrase – as the MHI source stated weeks ago, and again more recently, – not only are MHI members helping to pay for the campaign, via their dues, but that association’s members are also being asked by MHI to promote the cause of the favored companies.

There are only 4 companies mentioned in that video series, plus MHI. “The videos will also be featured on MHI’s and Next Step Network’s websites,” the MHI news item stated.

What About Other Member Companies Videos?

Will there be a similar level of promotion and exposure given to all other MHI members?  If not, how is the MHI campaign fair to all others?

A marketer told the Daily Business News that while the videos “look pretty slick,” they are also “thinly veiled ads.”  Another source pointed out that there were lip synch issues, and that improper terminology was being used too.

While a lip synch glitch is only embarrassing for a production company, the improper terminology goes to the heart of some of the problems that the industry has, as several industry professionals have noted.

But the main problem is that it features only 4 members, and MHI itself,” said the first source.  NextStep is known to have deep ties to Clayton, which is to say that the Berkshire Hathaway brand will likely get the lion share of the benefits, thanks to the dues of others.

Proof of Problems? More Fact Checks…

Just weeks after MHProNews did a fact check comparing outgoing MHI Chairman Tim William’s farewell statement to a prior report by MHI CEO Dick Jennison, the same MHI News and Updates underscored how MHI’s claims of progress in marketing the industry are at best exaggerated.

Manufactured Housing Institute Outgoing Chair Tim William’s Remarks vs. MHI CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison Comments, Fact Checks

September 2017, new manufactured home shipments increased 2.9% to 7,590 homes as compared to the 7,375 homes shipped in September 2016.” While that is technically accurate, what their ‘news item’ fails to note is that MHI’s much touted social media campaign isn’t having the results they’ve been bragging about.

If their campaign was effective, logically the growth rate of the industry would be going up.

Instead, the growth rate slipped from the prior growth rate.  MH is lagging further behind the percentage of new single family, site built housing production rate.  See a recent NAR report, linked below, plus related graphics.

National Housing Statistics, New and Existing Home Sales, Manufactured Home Industry Related Insights



From Cavco report, see a recent report on that, at this link here.

A new report planned for Friday will spotlight a local controversy involving a prominent MHI member company.

Is it one more reason why the industry at large should be concerned that operations being promoted are also dogged by problematic news?

Do member companies want to be associated with the association and it’s ‘leaders’ that draw a regular dose of bad news from the mainstream media, public officials, and others?

Fraud, Class Action, CFPB-Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the Manufactured Homes Industry

Will MHI’s ‘campaign’ backfire against the industry and/or some member, as award-winning Marty Lavin, Titus Dare, and others have voice concerns about?

Are these reasons to move away from the problem plagued association?

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

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

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC the parent company to MHProNews and MHLivingNews.

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