Posts Tagged ‘lawsuits’

Local Government May Disapprove of Community Conversion

September 6th, 2013 Comments off

California Assembly measure SB 510 would allow a local government to disprove of the conversion of a manufactured housing community to another use if a majority of the community residents do not support it. The uncertainty of the rights of both resident and community owner has led to dozens of lawsuits. The jurisdiction is not required to disprove of the conversion, nor does it have authority to stop the redevelopment, according to santamariatimes. Sponsored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, the measure passed off the Assembly floor in a 41-23 vote, and is now headed for the Senate, as MHProNews has learned.

(Image credit: CNNMoney)

MHC Owner Wins Right to Sell Sites

March 14th, 2013 Comments off

As follow-up to a story we last posted May 17, 2011 whereby the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed a lower court’s ruling that rent control at Rancho Mobile Home Estates in Goleta, Calif. is constitutional, the owner of Rancho, Daniel Guggenheim, recently won a state case that permits him to sell the homesites in Rancho. SantaBarbaraIndependent informs MHProNews residents fear rent control protection will disappear. The City of Goleta was a reluctant winner in this case, having spent over $500,000 dealing with Guggenheim’s lawsuits over the years, but it favored this decision, which will essentially end its legal wrangling with the MHC owner. Goleta Mayor Roger Aceves says, “While we are satisfied that the court recognized that the city’s decision is correct, the state legislature needs to fix this statute and make it clear that cities have the authority to protect their residents.” Because of Goleta’s proximity to the Pacific coast, the California Coastal commission must also approve the decision.

(Photo credit: California Progressive Housing)

NAHB President Responds Favorably to QM Rule

January 10th, 2013 Comments off

Responding to the qualified mortgage rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) president, Barry Rutenberg noted the balance struck between creditworthy borrowers seeking mortgages and lenders who are protected from potential lawsuits. MHProNews notes his words: “Our initial review of the QM rule indicates that this balanced approach can be achieved. NAHB is encouraged that regulators heeded concerns from the housing industry to craft a broad standard that includes many of today’s sound mortgage products, including fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, under the QM standard. To spur the revival of the home lending market, it is essential that regulators act prudently and thoughtfully in the coming year to implement this rule in a sensible manner to avoid disruptions to the housing finance system and ensure qualified borrowers can obtain affordable credit.”

(Image credit: National Association of Home Builders)

CFPB Issues New Mortgage Rules

January 10th, 2013 Comments off

The long-anticipated set of mortgage rules, including the qualified mortgage, promised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have finally been released, according to CNNMoney. Designed to correct the lax underwriting practices that led to the housing bubble fiasco, the new rules require documented financial feasibility of repaying the loan has to be fully determined by the lender before issuing the loan—income, debts, assets, credit scores, ability to take care of the home, etc. In exchange, lenders and originators will be protected from lawsuits brought by borrowers or mortgage-backed bond holders. If borrowers fall a little short in meeting all the guidelines, the mortgage may still be issued but only if the borrower can show mortgage payments do not exceed 43% of the borrower’s pretax income. MHProNews has been informed these rules take effect Jan. 21 with a 12-month trial period. Exceptions to the rules, which will be finalized this spring, include: Certain non-profits that issue mortgages to low-income homebuyers are to be exempt; some refis through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP); and for certain loans made by small community lenders.

(Photo credit: globeandmail–Canada homebuyers)

Home Builders Want to Evaluate Legislative Proposal

September 21st, 2012 Comments off

In a letter to the U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) expresses concerns with H.R. 4212, the Contaminated Drywall Safety Act of 2012, which is designed to prevent unsafe drywall being used in the U.S. While NAHB praises the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for seeking the source of the drywall problem, the 140,000 home builder member organization has not had the opportunity to evaluate the legislation. In addition, NAHB is concerned the legislation might set a precedent wherein the CPSC may develop standards on the use of any materials without going through the public comment phase. As MHProNews has learned, the shortage of drywall following Hurricane Katrina led to the importation of Chinese drywall that sickened many residents in homes where the drywall was used. Numerous lawsuits resulted in millions of dollars in settlements, especially in Florida and Louisiana.

(Image credit: National Association of Home Builders)

Housing Crisis Tab: Nearly a Year’s GDP

September 11th, 2012 Comments off

HousingWire reports Ann Fulmer, with fraud analytics firm Interthinx, said the nation’s housing meltdown, with all the mortgage-backed securities litigation, bailouts, lost home equity, and lawsuits cost $13 trillion, almost as much as the $15 trillion gross domestic product (GDP) for 2011. Speaking at a Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) gathering, she noted, “We did not pay attention to data integrity on the way up, and so we have wiped out almost an entire year of gross domestic product in the United States.” She said in the future, loan originators or borrowers may try to fudge on loan applications, supporting documents, or manipulate numbers for the down payment amount. “If that becomes the standard then that becomes the problem area.” As MHProNews has learned, she added, “If you don’t get it right up front then you have a defective loan.”

(Image credit: HousingWire)

City Council Rejects Site Rent Increase

August 24th, 2012 Comments off

As follow up to a story we posted Aug. 13, 2012 concerning Cameron’s Mobile Estates in Santee, California attempt to raise rents in their 303 site community by an average of $422. to $557, utsandiego says the Santee City Council unanimously upheld a decision by the Santee Manufactured Home Fair Practices Commission denying an adjustment to rent ceilings for Cameron’s. Representatives for the MHC gave statistical justification for the increase, noting Cameron’s has the lowest rent of all 12 of the MHCs in Santee, and suggested after the meeting that they will likely sue the city. Santee Mayor Andy Voepel, who has long defended the residents, many of whom are on fixed incomes, said, “you’re not out of the woods……if Cameron’s is sold, your rents would go up dramatically. If Cameron’s can’t make a profit, then money will flow somewhere else. This is only the beginning, not the end.” MHProNews has learned that other cities in CA have had to deal with repeated lawsuits from MHC owners trying to repeal rent control.

(Photo credit: John Gastaldo/utsandiego)

Augusta Dogged by Lawsuit

April 30th, 2012 Comments off

From Georgia learns ChronicleAugusta reports a pre-HUD Code mobile home that caught fire in the middle of the night in 2006 and took the lives of a young couple spawned several lawsuits brought by the families. The city of Augusta claims protection under the legal principle of sovereign immunity in defending itself, a claim rejected by the court. A city electrical inspector, who did not enter the 37 year-old rental, had approved reconnecting the electricity a month before the fire broke out at night. The city claims it was not necessary to enter the home and that the cause of the fire is unknown. Plaintiffs contend city code requires an inside inspection. The city has lost appeals to the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. Augusta may now appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, settle with the families, or face trial in neighboring Columbia County. Georgia Power and one of the landlords, both named in the lawsuit, settled out of court.

(Photo credit: The Augusta Chronicle)

Cordray Ticks off Achievements to Ticked-off Senators

February 21st, 2012 Comments off

NationalMortgageNews tells Richard Cordray, the recess-appointed head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), made his first appearance on Capitol Hill at a meeting with members of the Senate Banking Committee, some of whom want budget oversight and structural changes to the agency. Cordray says the CFPB is similar to other governmental and banking agencies, and then came out swinging with his list of accomplishments. The CFPB has received over 2,300 complaints regarding foreclosures and loan modifications since the first of the year. Accused companies responded to 88 percent of the complaints and in many cases provided relief. Cordray says in an effort to streamline financial regulations, the agency seeks opinions from both the consumer and the industry perspective. He says the CFPB is actively investigating several problematic mortgage servicing companies, and is filing lawsuits against companies that employ questionable lending and foreclosure practices.