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“Manufactured Housing Institute Attorney” Letter and MHProNews Response

December 24th, 2018 Comments off

 

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An attorney who claims to represent the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has sent a ‘demand’ letter to MHProNews.  No proof of his representation of the Arlington, VA based Monopolistic Housing Institute, otherwise known as MHI, has yet been offered, but has been requested.

 

The attorney’s letter has obvious errors in it.  So, rather than reproduce it at this time, the Daily Business News on MHProNews will provide the following public response to said attorney, his firm, and anyone who may be connected with an attempt to avoid debate of manufactured housing industry issues through purported ongoing intimidation tactics, this most recent one delivered on the Saturday before Christmas.

Here below the next graphic image is our publisher’s latest response.

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12.24.2018 A.D.

Counselor John C. Greiner at Graydon.Law,

Let me hereby restate my request that you document your claimed representation of the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), along with any other manufactured home (MH) industry professional relationships, such as Nathan and Mary Smith of Fort Mitchell, KY.  Nathan is a partner in SSK Communities, and has or does sit on at least two MHI connected boards, their Executive Committee, and their MHI PAC.

As noted in my initial reply, Nathan and Mary Smith live in Fort Mitchell, KY. Your firm’s website states you have offices across the river in Cincinnati, OH, as well as in Fort Mitchell, KY proper.

That and other prior points in my first message to you on 12.22.2018 hereby restated, if you indeed represent MHI, let me give you a Christmas gift of more billable hours from that Arlington, VA based trade group.

We once more reject the premise of your letter as errant, baseless in law.

In addition to my previous written requests, please provide the following:

  1. A copy of all Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) current and past bylaws, dating back 20 years.
  2. A copy of all past and present MHI staff members, dating back 20 years, including their titles, head photos, and last known contact information. Include the following: if they have separated from MHI, what was the cause of their departure? We’re monies expended by MHI to those departed members that included a non-disclosure agreement? Why was a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) needed for each of those departed MHI staff members?
  3. All current and past MHI members including their designated representative’s last known contact information, including title, phone numbers, and email addresses, dating back 20 years to the present.
  4. As you may or may not know, Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders – Berkshire Hathaway owned firms – have been accused of racism. It is said that nothing of consequence at MHI happens without the okay of Clayton and those Berkshire brand MH lenders. There are federal investigations reportedly underway into charges of racism and other allegations. MHProNews and MHLivingNews previously asked Clayton and MHI to issue a specific written condemnation of racism, which they both declined to do. Why is that, please? Can you explain why they declined to issue a condemnation of racism in writing to the manufactured home industry’s largest and most-read trade publisher?
  5. Can you explain on MHI’s behalf why they seem to have an all-white staff?  Why they have been disproportionately Anglo for some years?
  6. Are you aware that MHI and Clayton Homes has been allegedly connected with several violations of antitrust laws? Can you explain on their behalf how the evidence provided at this link isn’t a violation of antitrust laws?
  7. Are you aware that MHI and Clayton Homes has been tied to allegations of the misuse of the U.S. Mail? Are you and your firm aware that they have been accused of other civil and constitutional rights violations?
  8. Are you and your firm aware of the wide latitude that news media has in using an organization’s logo or other images under FTC fair use guidelines?
  9. Are you and your firm aware of the many apparent conflicts of interest between MHI, Clayton Homes, and other Berkshire Hathaway brands operating in manufactured housing – and the balance of the manufactured home industry that MHI claims to likewise represent?
  10. Please provide all incorporation documents, and itemized budgets, of MHI for the past 20 years.
  11. Please provide the minutes of all meetings between MHI staff, MHI members, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), or any other parties regarding manufactured home lending of any kind in the last 20 years?
  12. Please provide the minutes of the meetings in bullet 11 above, and all documents, videos and other electronic records – including their power point and Las Vegas presentation – about their so-called “new class of homes.”
  13. Please be aware that MHI has been accused by their own past and present members of pressure, ‘strong arm tactics,’ threats, bullying, intimidation, innuendo – aimed at members, prospective members, and non members – as well as other activities which may violate state and federal laws.

This is my initial request, which will be followed by others, once you document your relationship with MHI, Nathan and Mary Smith, et al.

As we believe that this so-called trade group operates in a fashion that may violate state and/or federal RICO laws, please preserve your own records and communications, that of your firm, and have MHI preserve all documents and records, including but not limited to, electronic and encoded communications.

Finally, my time and that of our firm has value. We are widely recognized manufactured home industry experts.  As this link and the videos below reminds all, we have been praised verbally and in writing by past and current MHI leadership, as well as others in manufactured housing firms of all sizes. So, all time lost to this bogus allegation of yours, and any other efforts will be the subject of any counterclaims that may arise.

Such counterclaims may or may not be limited to MHI, Berkshire Hathaway brands operating within – or influential in relationship to – manufactured housing, MHI Executive Committee members, et al, and if they are found to be operating in violation of RICO, postal, or other state/federal laws, to you and your firm.

Rephrased, we believe there is evidence that:

  • MHI operates as a purported racket on behalf of others,
  • that they deceive and manipulate their own members, which could be construed as deceptive trade practices or other actionable subjects.

So, if you and your firm understand these issues, and you or your firm cross any legal lines, then in addition to counterclaims for damages against MHI and any of their members supporting such a claim, we will also as needed potentially seek your/their disbarment and/or others sanctions as warranted.

 

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpert

Respectfully submitted,

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Managing Member
LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC

DBA MHProNews.com, MHLivingNews.com, etc.

 

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End of public letter to purported MHI retained attorney. MHI members, take note. A multi-year, often praised MHI member is being threatened by their own association? Is this how MHI members want their dues money spent? If we weren’t “over the target,” why doesn’t MHI and Clayton simply publicly disprove our concerns?

###

 

RememberThisQuoteIrPrettyPicturesMHIndustryWillOnlyAchieveItsGoalsByResovingItsCoreIssuesLATonyKovachMHProNews

Don’t those “core issues” that are arguably hobbling the industry include MHI, Clayton Homes, and other Berkshire Hathaway brands that operate in manufactured housing? 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Graphic by Skyline Champion, commentary by MHProNews.

It is becoming clearer to many that MHI, the Clayton brands, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt, and other Berkshire Hathaway brands operating in manufactured housing are unwilling to discuss/debate issues and concerns on their merits.  They would rather attempt purported distraction, intimidation, undermining, and smear tactics.

 

 

If they have the mettle to truly lead for the sake of the many and not their own interests alone, then:

  • let them step up to the plate and participate in a public discussion at with L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and others MH industry pros he selects to appear on stage at Louisville with an independent moderator and agreed upon format.

 


  • Let that discussion of their allegedly monopolistic actions of financing, capital and the marketplace – including – but not limited to recent concerns about their claimed manipulation of the GSEs and this new class of homes – be recorded on video so that the entire industry, state and federal officials, and all other interested parties can see for themselves the reality of the claims vs. MHI, Clayton et al’s responses.

 

If they haven’t figured it out yet, they may be Goliath, but David still has his slingshot.

Our aim here at the parent company for MHProNews is not just for 2019, or 2020, but for years beyond.

The system wasn’t rigged against independents operating in manufactured housing overnight. The GSE ‘Duty to Serve’ mandate wasn’t weaponized against home owners and professionals interests overnight either.  Legal, research, publishing, federal, state, and other actions take time to address and redress the wrongs purportedly done by MHI and their string-pullers against the interests of thousands of manufactured housing companies, and millions of manufactured home owners.

Facts are #NettlesomeThings.  We’re not attorneys, but we can read and research as well as some in media, and better than others.

The reality is that if MHI, Clayton, or anyone else wants litigation over news stories that have provided evidence, and uses all of the proper disclaimers, then such baseless legal action can cut both ways. We’d love to take a good look at MHI’s, Clayton’s and 21st’s books – among others in the Berkshire Hathaway orbit – how about you?

That could be as powerful as certain news tips.

 

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Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

 

That’s this afternoon’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “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.

 

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Attorney General Sues Manufactured Home, Modular Housing Company, and owner Stanley Hall

May 28th, 2018 Comments off

AttorneyGeneralSuesManufacturedHomeModularHousingComanyOwnerStanleyHallWatertownNYDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

New York “Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced an order directing Walker’s Manufactured Housing, Inc. (“Walker’s”) and its owner, Stanley Hall, to explain their failure to sit for testimony as required by the Attorney General’s subpoena,” said in a release to the Daily Business News.

 

My office will aggressively investigate retailers of manufactured home and land deals who shirk their legal obligations to provide homes that are safe, durable, and suitable for occupancy,” Attorney General Underwood said. “Transparency and fair dealing is necessary in every transaction involving New York State consumers.”

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Underwood is the acting AG in New York. She took over the role recently, after a scandal forced the resignation of her predecessor earlier this month. 4 different women alleged that prior AG Eric Schneiderman sexually assaulted and abused them, per the New York Times.

Following multiple consumer complaints, the Attorney General’s office opened an investigation into the company’s business practices and issued a subpoena for Stanley Hall to appear for questioning,” the state tells MHProNews.

Mr. Hall refused to answer questions, improperly asserting a blanket Fifth Amendment privilege, and terminated the hearing. The order issued by Supreme Court Judge James P. McClusky of Jefferson County compels Walker’s and Stanley Hall to explain why the Judge shouldn’t further order their compliance with the Attorney General’s investigation, per the NY AG’s office.

My office will aggressively investigate retailers of manufactured home and land deals who shirk their legal obligations to provide homes that are safe, durable, and suitable for occupancy,” Attorney General Underwood said. “Transparency and fair dealing is necessary in every transaction involving New York State consumers.”

Multiple consumers in Jefferson County filed complaints with the Attorney General’s office regarding the advertising, sales, and installation practices of Walker’s Manufactured Housing, Inc.,” stated the attorney general’s office.

The Attorney General issued a subpoena to Stanley Hall to appear for questioning.  But Hall refused to answer any questions and terminated the hearing, per the AG’s release. The order announced gives Walker’s and Mr. Hall until late June to explain their failure to properly provide testimony to aid the Attorney General’s investigation.

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Mr. Hall said he has never received any complaints of incomplete buildings, delays, not following design specifications or other similar accusations in 52 years of business. When asked why he asserted his Fifth Amendment rights during the conference, Mr. Hall said he was following his attorney’s advice,” per the Watertown Daily News.

There’s a lot of false information; a lot of false accusations” from the AG’s office, Mr. Hall told local media.

WalkersManufacturedHousingIncWatertownNYModularHomesManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsBBBRatingMHProNews

 

Mistake in Local Reporting?

Some mainstream media reports have apparently misunderstood the fact that Walker’s is a retailer, not a manufactured or modular home builder.

Satisfaction Guaranteed,” states part of the Walker Manufactured Housing website, which makes it clear that the firm sells housing built by Champion Homes, and/or other producers of factory-built housing.

We ensure complete satisfaction every step of the way. Whether you are a first time buyer or a returning customer, the process is always the same and we will take into consideration budget and availability for your Watertown sectional home. We guarantee our services and get you the best value for your money.”

MHProNews has reached out to Hall for a comment, and will update and monitor the case as it develops. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted 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.

 

“Mobile Home Park” Residents Legal Action Continues, drawing favorable rulings

December 11th, 2014 Comments off

syringa-mobile-home-park-credit=geoff-crimmins-daily-news-posted-mhpronews-com-In a year long legal action between the residents of Syringa Mobile Home Park Moscow, Idaho and its owner over clean water, a judge ruled in the residents favor. The Lewiston Tribune  tells MHProNews  that Latah County 2nd District Judge John R. Stegner ordered Moscow attorney Gregory Rauch to compensate the cost of one attorney representing park residents in a civil complaint filed against Magar E. Magar of Vancouver, Washington.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported that Magar was ordered to pay a $250 a day contempt fee in connection to the suit brought against him by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality as well as another $100 a day for contempt related to a class action suit brought by Syrina residents.

Since the judge’s order Magar has not been compliant with its ruling to make his intended payments. According to residents they say: “Magar has fallen behind on his court-ordered contempt payments, which amount to $350 a day, with his last payment made Nov. 20.”

As a veteran state association executive has told MHProNews off the record, “It is not the association’s job to protect the bad or questionable behavior of a member.” The flip side is that at times, the mainstream media fails to report all of the details to keep a story balanced, albeit less exciting for local readers.

Whatever the truth of the allegations in this case, MHProNews will continue to track this story; for a previous news brief and more details, click here. ##

(Photo Credit: Geoff Crimmins/Daily News)

joseine-josie-thompson-writer-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com50x50-Article submitted by Josie Thompson to – Daily Business News – MHProNews.