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Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage’s Manufactured Housing “Spies”

September 7th, 2018 Comments off

ClaytonHomesLogo21stMortgageCorpLogoManufacturedHomesLoansLendingFinanceRepSpyingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It’s [a] standard operating procedure...”
–        Clayton representative, to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOMHProNews

Tim Williams, photo credit, MHProNews.com

At 21st Mortgage, we have access to a wide variety of resources that the independent business or professional in MH may lack.”
Tim Williams,
President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned
21st Mortgage Corp., to MHProNews

 

It’s another example of the truth that is often hiding in plain sight.

Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage Corp each have numerous field and other representatives. These men and women often see and hear things that are useful to Clayton, 21st, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), or other parts of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. They don’t carry the title of ‘spy.’

But the word “spying” is what an insider used to described part of their duties.  Another said, they wouldn’t be comfortable with the terms “spy” or spying,” but admitted that “reps” are in fact gathering information that’s reported and collected by management. As one Clayton rep put it, “It’s [a] standard operating procedure…”

A look at a dictionary definition of spy is revealing. The underscoring is added, but here is what the Oxford Dictionary says: “spy – a person employed by a government or other organization to secretly obtain information on an enemy or competitor.”

SpySpyingDefinitionGoogleClaytonHomes21stMortgageManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

This reporting work isn’t necessarily ‘top secret,’ as these representatives from 21st and Clayton periodically walk into sales centers or community offices as who they are.  That happens at locations across the country.

But there are also cases, per sources, where individuals are “rewarded” by the Berkshire manufactured housing brands to go and visit competitors under cover, pretending to be someone that they are not.

All of it has a similar goal. It’s to gain information on competitors, which Clayton, 21st and others they work with then use for their own corporate benefit.  That begs questions like these:

  • Do those who allow CMH or 21st reps onto their sales lots or into their offices realize that information they collect is allegedly being collected and reported up the chain of command, in ways that may be used against an independent’s business interests?
  • Do communities and retailers realize that files are reportedly being created, updated, and maintained, per sources within those Berkshire organizations?

Those are the case, per insider and informed sources to MHProNews.

 

The Motivation? “Competitive Advantages”

Corporate espionage is probably not what you think of when you hear the word spy. It’s not Sean Connery with his debonair manner, nor is it Tom Cruise hanging from suspension cable;” said Investopedia. Rather, its information being gathered – including online, though freedom of information requests, through reps and/or by other means – all of which can be legal.

Knowing a competitors next product line, bid price or any other sensitive data can give a rival company a competitive advantage,” said Investopedia.

 

MH Associations, CMH and 21st

Sources also tell MHProNews that associations are also “fertile ground” for collecting information on people, and businesses for Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing.

Here’s an example that was used, as to how innocently it can happen.  “What do you know about…” a certain person or business, comes an innocuous sounding question at a meeting or by phone.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) or state association executives and/or staff will routinely answer questions by the ‘big boys,’ say sources familiar with the practice.  They don’t think of themselves as “spies” for Clayton or 21st, but they will do and say things because of the how ‘gold rules.’

All of it is gathered and distilled into reports used for competitive insights, and thus advantages in the marketplace.  Some information is purchased from third parties, which can all be done legally.

It’s [a] standard operating procedure,” per a Clayton source, “and it’s been done for years.”

 

Summary

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Files on competitors are maintained.  It can be accessed by management as they wish. The people involved may never think of themselves as spying, or as a spy.  But they report their findings to superiors just the same.

Information is power, just as capital or financing are power in business too.

Until positive changes are made by the powers that be, these sorts of issues, plus those in related reports (found further before), are all worth pondering before:

–        More business is placed by independents with a corporate giant,

–        before an association renewal check is sent,

–        or relaxed answers are made to reps, or at a meeting to a smiling face that reports what you said to others.

That’s “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © by the MH industry’s most-read trade media leader, where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Third party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing Production Report – After Slow June 2018, July 2018 Increases

 

Warren Buffett Would be Okay With Clayton Homes Losing Money, Says Kevin Clayton – But Why?

NDAs, Warren Buffett, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and MHVille

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”

 

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data

 

Freddie Mac’s Manufactured Housing, Myths vs Facts – Your Professional Thoughts?

August 10th, 2018 Comments off


ManufacturedHousingMythVsFactFreddieMacDutyToServeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We’ll weigh in on this Freddie Mac handout promoting manufactured housing another time, but would value that of the readers of Daily Business News on MHProNews.

 

Here it is, below. We just have this suggestion, as you look at this handout from Freddie Mac, meant to promote manufactured housing.  Please consider it from all angles.

  • What do you like?
  • What do you think could have been different?
ManufacturedHousingMythVsFactFreddieMacDutyToServeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Download the full size document, at this link here.

  • What might have made this handout intended for home-shopping consumers better?
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Your Comments, Feedback, or Tips email at this link. Or Connect via LinkedIn and comment.

Please feel free to send email us your comments, at the link above.  Your thoughts can be on or off the record, just be clear which it is.  Thank you. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

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.

 

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

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoFactCheckAnalsisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1000x737The image to the left and those below are from a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) produced booklet.

It’s good.

With nuanced exceptions, it’s accurate.

This booklet – combined with other educational materials – are precisely the kind of document that could appeal to and inform:

  • home buyers/consumers,
  • public officials,
  • policy advocates,
  • researchers,
  • and the mainstream media.

Such educational material – properly promoted – could over time bring more better qualified buyers into the manufactured home market.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoConsumernInsideCoverManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews800

From an overall fine MHI booklet, produced circa 2002.

Is There a Catch?

Yes, and no.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoConsumerInfoPg1FactCheckAnalsisManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews697

First, we’ll make the disclosure that this truly fine Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) booklet is ‘outdated,’ but only in a narrow sense.

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There are doubtlessly newer manufactured home professionals in sales or leasing offices that are unaware of some of the appealing styles shown in the complete booklet that this was excerpted from. Those unique styles of HUD Code manufactured housing are, or could be, done as well or better today.

Second, while the booklet doesn’t have a date of publication, MHProNews has indications that it was produced circa 2002. That’s important, as we’ll note later.

Third, unlike documents and graphics produced in the Richard A. “Dick” Jennison era at MHI, which:

  • conflicts with other MHI data,
  • conflicts with data from other member companies,
  • has factual errors, per federal, lender, or other data,

this roughly 15-year-old ‘dated’ MHI document – after an initial read, and given some modest changes – could largely be used today.

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

It’s arguably better than what MHI now produces, because it is more accurate on the lending options.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoConsumerBookpg4FactCheckAnalsisManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews

For example, this MHI-produced – largely consumer-focused document – cited a useful Harvard study.  That university research predicted that manufactured housing would take off in the years ahead.

So, on the one hand, this document is better than some items being produced by MHI today.  There were voices such as Harvard saying the era of manufactured housing was upon America.

What happened?

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com-d

Graphic provided by Ross Kinzler when he was then the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

Bear in mind Warren Buffett’s notable quotes, cited at the link below.  Keep in mind that the booklet was produced prior to Buffett’s manufactured housing buying spree.  Buffett believes that history is to be studied and learned from, how about you?  Do you agree with Buffett on studying and learning from history?

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

Why Does This Fine MHI Booklet Matter Today?

For several reasons, this 15-year-old MHI booklet ought to raise curiosity, praise or the prior effort, and numerous concerns for:

  • MHI members,
  • manufactured home professionals,
  • and third-party-researchers.

Some bullets why this is worth evaluating and updating could include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • The booklet is generic, which means it did not plug specific manufactured home producing companies, as MHI’s new videos do.
  • While it names FHA, VA, USDA (Rural Housing Services, the old FmHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc. it doesn’t name any lenders that provide those programs. To rephrase, it’s generic on lending too.  It doesn’t name a Berkshire Hathaway (BH) lender, for example.
  • Because in those days, it couldn’t have named a BH lender, because it was only later that BH bought companies that included MH chattel loans.

To recap, this booklet had no favoritism.

2StoryWithCapeCodHUDCodeManufacturedHomesMHICirca2002ManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews982

Another photo from the educational, generic marketing MHI booklet, produced circa 2002.

Almost anyone in the industry could have used this to promote a better understanding of manufactured housing, and the kind of loans that most consumers who are comparing to conventional housing would be familiar with.

  • There was no picking ‘winner’ companies that got spotlighted at the cost of all members.
  • Because there were no featured ‘winners’ companies, there are therefore no by-default, ‘loser’ companies. This is an application of what Drew (now Lippert) Chairman Leigh Abrams told MHProNews in A Cup of Coffee with Leigh J. Abrams interview linked here that the industry should be promoting. “Generic” educational/marketing material.
  • What this booklet indirectly spotlights goes to the allegation by contemporary MHI members, and others in the industry, that the Arlington, VA based trade organization now favors a few select companies. What that would imply in practice is that all others who are dues-paying members are paying to promote those few “winner” companies.

Big companies are benefiting from the dollars of the little companies.  That clearly wasn’t so when this booklet was produced 15 years ago.


Are these facts, allegations and concerns still more good reason to support a new, post-production trade association?

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

November 20th, 2017 Comments off

PerverseWarrenBuffettDodd-FrankCFPBManufacturedHousingInstituteManufacturedHomeLoansClayton21stVanderbiltDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

– Warren Buffett,
Berkshire Hathaway (BH) Chairman, parent to Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) & 21st Mortgage Corp, other industry suppliers, et al, cited per BrainyQuote.

 

The essence of simplicity for business professionals is the would-have-been campaign platform teased by star performer and manufactured home owner, Kid Rock.

 

KidRockSenateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHLivingNews and MHProNews highlighted Kid Rock periodically for months. Among the reasons are the simple points he made. Whatever his intent, Kid Rock told the story of the MH Industry’s home owners and independent business people’s struggles in compelling ways.

“Born Free,” “Po-Dunk” Manufactured Homeowner Kid Rock Updates Senate Race Status

Perhaps in the era of President Barack Hussein Obama, the realistic fix for Dodd-Frank’s harm was the long sought Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

But is Preserving Access still the best option in this new era of Regulatory Rollback, under President Donald J. Trump?

IWillLowerTaxesEliminateUnnecesaryRegulationUnleashAmercianEnergyPlacingAMericanBusienssandWorkersFirst-DOnalTrumpNationViewsMHProNews

President Trump and VP Mike Pence have both said they will be in the promise keeping business.  As the Daily Business News has tracked for the MH Industry’s professionals and enthusiasts, the economy is advancing with those regulatory roll-backs, see link here. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/profitable-insight-potu-trump-effect-on-mh-stock-at-1-year-part-4/

When the president and much of the GOP are pursuing eliminating or severely curtailing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that Dodd-Frank spawned, why tweak a law, when you can kill it or take control over it?  And based on the regulatory rollbacks to date, isn’t it obvious that the president will replace Cordray with someone more business friendly?

Obtained Email Details Richard Cordray Resigning Soon, Cong. Hensarling Reacts

Kid Rock, Donald Trump and millions of others have advocated for something simple.  Cut regulations, cut taxes, let the genius of American business professionals create jobs, and through business growth, create more prosperity for millions of Americans.

Facts Are, Facts Matter

What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.”

– Warren Buffett,
Berkshire Hathaway (BH) Chairman, parent to Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt & 21st Mortgage, per GoodReads.

As GovTrack and the Daily Business News on MHProNews have reported for months, the odds of passing the Financial Choice Act are far better than is the passage of Preserving Access.  While the odds for both have risen since the report below, that link is but one of several examples of reported news that MHI could have pro-actively responded to by pivoting from their long-held Preserving Access position.

Financial Choice Act, with MHI Bill, Heading to Floor Vote, Outlook, Analysis

Given that Nathan Smith – former MHI Chair, prominent Democratic Party activist, and partner in SSK Communities – said that it was his goal to cause the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to stop being a reactive association, and to start being a pro-active one.  If so, why is MHI still so reactively focused on the Preserving Access issue in the Age of Trump?

 

 

Superficiality is the curse of the modern world.” – Matthew Kelly

Support for Preserving Access, For the Record

It is a matter of record that MHLivingNews and MHProNews actively supported Preserving Access in word and deed for years. Time, talent, and treasure were expended to create articles and videos that documented why the CFPB’s implementation of Dodd Frank were harming the industry’s consumers and businesses alike. To this moment, this publication is okay with the goal, but what we’ve spotlighted is that a far better goal for the MH Industry is now possible.

That original full-length Nathan Smith video and article were but one of dozens of examples of active support by this trade publisher of the MHI sponsored bill.  That video, or dozens of articles, lobbying, etc. cost MHI not one dime.

This trade media – in association with those industry companies that we work with – paid for that video, and so much more, in time, talent, and treasure.  MHI can’t legitimately claim otherwise.

MHI has allowed millions of dollars of the association’s member’s dues money to be gobbled up in this Preserving Access effort, plus the MHI PAC money in addition to the association costs.

Where are the MHI results?

PEPProtectEducatePromoteUnlockingMindsKeyToAdvancementMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/a-executive-summary-400-words-manufactured-housing-industry-obstacles-and-billions-in-opportunities

Barney_Frank wikipediaPostedDailyBgusinesNewsMHProNews

Barney Frank, official photo, credit Wikipedia.

Perhaps the better question is, who benefited by NOT passing Preserving Access?

Barney Frank Letter De-Bunked a Key Dodd-Frank Claim…

It should also be noted that it was an MHProNews reader who supplied this potent letter that was first published here, and was later used by MHI.  This letter – linked below – was read into the Congressional record, in support of Preserving Access.

Barney Frank Letter link.

It was also MHLivingNews and MHProNews that discovered and broke the story that CFED – since renamed, Prosperity Now – was receiving CFPB funding.

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

Of course, CFED backed the CFPB — they were being paid by them.

Follow the Money?

Among the articles that MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison asked MHProNews to publish was this one by Jason Boehlert.

Manufactured Housing Institute and Consumer Groups Urge CFPB to Change Loan Originator Guidelines; Support Builds for H.R. 1779

Shortly after it was published, Jennison contacted MHProNews in what could be described as a panic.

Jennison’s urgent request? That MHProNews unpublish the article that they had previously asked just days before that we publish for them.  Please note the footnote under the article, linked above.

Per Jennison’s call – and what other MHI sources later revealed to MHProNews – it seems that Jennison, Boehlert, and MHI had failed to check with the consumer groups before announcing their “victory.”  As MH industry history tells us, their was no victory to announce.

LATonyKovachMHProNewsMHLivingNewsMHINoJournalistPhotoNCCPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the recent 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 that change by Jennison and his allies toward a dues paying MHI 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? Other monopolies?

Here are some of the dozens (if not, hundreds) of articles that MHLivingNews and MHProNews published in support of Dodd-Frank, CFPB related news, and reform efforts.

Media Should Re-Visit Dodd-Frank Reporting in Light of Congressional Testimony

Noise and Smoke vs. Facts About Manufactured Homes and Lending

Renters’ Nation: The Dark Side of Dodd-Frank and Its Impact on Affordable Housing

She Black, He’s White, They’re in Different Parties. Why Congressional Representatives Terri Sewell and Andy Barr Support Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing

Dodd-Frank and Manufactured Home Financing: The Place Where Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences Collide

Can MHI – or any of their most ardent supporters – find any others in the industry’s trade media that provided more published support for their Preserving Access bill?

Thousands of others – including us – wrote in support of their bill. But in hindsight, in spite of all those efforts, wasn’t Preserving Access a flawed plan from the start?

ExperienceTeachesOnlyTheTeachableAldusHuxleyBrainyQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Those and numerous other pro-Preserving Access steps were taking place, even though Jennison was allegedly already undermining MHProNews/MHLivingNews, which will be the subject of a separate, upcoming report.

While word, deeds, and rumors were coming to MHProNews about Jennison’s and his allies effort to undermine this pro-industry trade media – which we where then an MHI member company – MHProNews continued to support Preserving Access. Why?  On principle, based upon what we knew at the time, it seemed like a sound plan.

Furthermore, the evidence shows that MHProNews continued to allow MHI to provide content to be shared with the industry to promote that effort. One of several possible examples is linked below.

Manufactured Housing Institute Responds to Doug Ryan-CFED commentary on CFPB report on Manufactured Housing Finance

Note that in a prior message to MHProNews, MHI’s then VP admitted that Barack Obama’s winning in 2012 was a significant setback for any roll-back of Dodd-Frank.

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

That being the case, as MHI’s own VP stated, why did MHI continue to pursue Preserving Access

Why did MHI continue to promise passage of Preserving Access – as Jennison publicly did in 2015 at Louisville – when their own Vice President of Government Affairs laid out the facts as to why it was not going to happen?

In hind-sight, where was the logic of the MHI stance?  Or as Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman has said,

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

– Warren Buffett,
Berkshire Hathaway (BH) Chairman, parent to Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt & 21st Mortgage, et al, per Investing.

As quoted in Medium, his partner at BH said, “Warren Buffett has become one hell of a lot better investor since the day I met him, and so have I. If we had been frozen at any given stage, with the knowledge we had, the record would have been much worse than it is. So the game is to keep learning, and I don’t think people are going to keep learning who don’t like the learning process.” – Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway – parent to Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt & 21st Mortgage, et al.

Isn’t it time for the industry’s business professionals to follow Buffett’s lead on three things: reading, planning long term, and learning from the lessons of history?

WarrenBuffettMostImportantHabitReadingReadMajorityofSuccessfulPeopleRead30MinutesDailyTimeMoneyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI and Warren Buffett provide the best reasons for the industry to follow and support the industry’s leading independent trade media. MHLivingNews.com, and MHProNews.com.  BH companies do… 

What MHI, Industry Insiders Have Told MHProNews

Several industry success stories, plus association, non-profit and other informed sources and insiders have told MHProNews that Dodd-Frank has proven to be a windfall for Buffett’s brands.

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

U.S. Bank clearly stated that that they exited manufactured home lending, due in part to low volume, and regulatory risk.

The volume, knowledgeable sources at U.S. Bank said was okay, as their loan portfolio was profitable.

But U.S. Bank could not overlook the risk of the loans.  That statement dovetails with what UMH President Sam Landy told MHLivingNews about their own loan program, and Landy pointed to others that exited for the same reason – regulatory risk – as was reported.

Sam Landy, UMH CEO, on Dodd-Frank and The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – S 682/HR 650

Some of that regulatory risk could have been eliminated, per our sources, by trading the MLO rule for the 21st/VMF sought points and fees rule.

The Bottom Lines?

Warren Buffett has said that his favorite hold time is forever. Unlike many in the industry, which is often short term in thinking, Buffett’s patient. In 2003, Buffett began his run on taking over the manufactured housing industry.

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

It has not been without controversy, as MHProNews has previously reported, and more veteran industry professionals know first-hand.

In hindsight, isn’t it true that Buffett and his brands win regardless if Preserving Access passes or not?  Sources have made precisely that claim, and those sources include voices within MHI’s circle of influence.

Beyond that circle that speak off-the-record, are comments like Alan Amy, Lance Inderman, Bob Crawford, or others who have spoken on the record on various aspects of the Preserving Access and related issues.

LanceIndermanQuoteDoddFrankObamCarePrivateSectorDespiseGovtwealthyDespiseTruePrivateSectorUseGovtDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This comment was previously sent, and MH Industry readers, as with any quote, should determine if it fits the context of this article. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

MHI/NCC member Frank Rolfe made it clear that MHI’s communications and pushing for Dodd-Frank made no sense to him.

 

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x132

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-blasts-mhi-for-poor-media-engagement-industry-reactions/

Solutions, Not Whining

Jim Ayotte’s statement, quoted below, was sent to MHProNews regarding a different topic, one that will be published soon.  But isn’t Ayotte’s observation a keen one for not only associations, but also businesses or pro-industry trade publishers too?

AsAssocExecutiveMyJobAssessSituationSeekBestPossibleOutcomeBasedOnFactsAsIKnowThem-ManufacturedHousingIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Don’t the facts reveal that MHI has supported one ineffective policy after another?  Where is their self-proclaimed clout?

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

While MHI has failed to advance its agenda, even before MHProNews began to more aggressively fact check the association, doesn’t the history above clearly reflect that MHLivingNews and MHProNews supported Preserving Access?

Even while supporting MHI’s bill, and prior to this publication more aggressive fact checks of MHI, the Daily Business News will further allege that Dick Jennison was working against this operation’s interests.

That’s not a light comment.  Others associated with MHI have said similarly, that their interests (not just ours…) are being undermined by the Monopolistic Housing Institute (oops, Manufactured Housing Institute…MHI) – too.

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

Perhaps more significant, as MHI presses on with its over half-decade failed agenda, for whatever reasons, the industry continues to consolidate.

That consolidation is taking place due to the heavy burdens of regulations.

Regulation Nation – Manufactured Housing Associations, Companies, and Professionals

The non-profits and MHI company members have informed the Daily Business News that MHI had in its power to ‘cut a deal’ to eliminate the so-called MLO, several years ago by agreement.  The trade?  Give up the points and fees in exchange for the MLO rule.  MHI’s leadership, per those sources, said no.

IshbelDickensPhotoNationalManufacturedHomeOwnersAssocNMHOALogoDailyBuisnessNewsMHproNews

MHProNews has fact-checked the often flawed positions of NMHOA for years; that said, on this issue, there are multiple sources that state that Dickens accurately reflected the meeting between MHI and other non-profits.

While other industry companies and so-called “Lonnie Dealers” could have benefited from the points and fees rule too, the primary beneficiary were the Berkshire Hathaway brands of 21st, and Vanderbilt.

Simple reason tells the objective observer that Warren Buffett’s companies have not only dominated MHI, they’ve used MHI to the detriment of thousands of others in the industry.

So where is the logic for independents to support MHI?

The Racket?

It is Democratic lawmakers who are calling leading light Democratic supporter Warren Buffett’s MH brands a “near monopoly.”

CongressAsksDOJInvestigateClaytonHomesCreditTwitterWikipediaMHProNews

U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Mike Capuano (D-MA). Image credit, Twitter, Wikipedia. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/post-charlottesville-cfas-hunts-evidence-of-racism-steering-predatory-lending-against-buffetts-clayton-homes-vanderbilt-mortgage-and-21st-mortgage/

It was Tim Williams who made the statement below, one that thousands in manufactured housing would agree with.

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One can agree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it can be that Williams is intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

But isn’t it ironic that his statement flies in the face of what Warren Buffett supported?

HillaryClintonWarrenBuffettCreditBostonGlobePostedManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-com-

Hillary Clinton, left, Warren Buffett, right. Credit – Boston Globe.  But Buffett’s stock has soared since the Trump victory, see the graphic and report, linked here. 

Namely, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both of whom supported Dodd-Frank.  Where’s the logic?

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffett.

What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.

– Warren Buffett,
Berkshire Hathaway (BH) Chairman, parent to Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt & 21st Mortgage, per GoodReads.

 

Is Buffett and MHI hoping small to mid-sized companies keep paying for MHI, so that Buffet’s brands benefit from MHI’s actions?

Are companies pressured into being MHI members, if they want to do business with Buffett’s brands?

 

The Solution?

The industry needs a post-production association, one that will replace the tongue-in-cheek “Monopolistic Housing Institute.” MHARR has long supported that call.

MHARR has long supported that position.

Isn’t it long overdue?  If not now, when the evidence is so clear, when?

BobCrawfordDickMooreHousingFrankRofleRVHorizonsMobileHomeUniversityTunicaShowManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Before another year of dues are sent by a company like your’s to MHI, isn’t it time for businesses to re-assess, and plan for a new national association platform?

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

Possible concepts are in the report linked above.

IfYoureWillingtoAbandonPrinciplesConveincesocialAcceptabilityNotPrinciplesCostumeJoeConchaTheHilInspirationlMHProNews874

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/INspiration/principles-social-acceptance-and-posturing/

Principles, Social Acceptance, and Posturing

As a trade publication, akin to Ayotte’s insight, the best that we or any professional can do is do the best with the facts when known. MHProNews’ understanding of Preserving Access and MHI have evolved through painful experience. It is thus proper to attempt to inform the industry of the facts, allegations and concerns as they are known and alleged.

Simplicity is supporting the kind of proven pro-business positions advocated by Kid Rock, and President Donald Trump.

KidRockSenateDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

We can and would support a new national post-production association effort, that is pro-business, pro-consumer, and based upon sound ethical principles.

IWillLowerTaxesEliminateUnnecesaryRegulationUnleashAmercianEnergyPlacingAMericanBusienssandWorkersFirst-DOnalTrumpNationViewsMHProNews

President Trump and VP Mike Pence have both said they will be in the promise keeping business. MHProNews publicly supported Trump – while MHI, just days before the election – put two pro-Clinton speakers on their Chicago event stage.

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

Note 1: For those who want to sign up to our industry leading headline news updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds. Thanks to for those who directly and/or through social media are sharing their appreciation for our pro-Industry, pro-growth, pro-bottom line solution oriented industry coverage.

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

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

Manufactured Housing Monday Morning Sales Meeting: Finance & Industry Facts, Figures, Sales Tip$ Improving Best Practice$

November 13th, 2017 Comments off

BarryNoffsiingerCreditHumanManufacturedHousingDataResearchUnderstandingCreditMarketDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMisunderstandings happen.

False impressions occur.

Few professions understand those statements better than a seasoned manufactured housing (MH) professional.

For whatever valid reasons one cares to cite, the false impressions about the MH Industry are legion.

All those false impressions are why the parent company to MHProNews.com created our sister site, MHLivingNews.  There the public and professionals alike have a resource of reliable, and ongoing series of fact-based reports, videos, and interviews exists that debunk myths and misconceptions.

Misunderstandings Exist Within the Industry, Not Just Outside of MH

The video that follows is a presentation by award-winning Barry Noffsinger of award-winning Credit Human (formerly San Antonio Credit Union, CU Factory Built Lending, and Mountainside Financial).  Federal HMDA data reveals that Credit Human is one of the industry’s largest lenders.

Just as Triad Financial focuses on better qualified buyers, Credit Human Federal Credit Union tends to do so too. The fact that multiple lenders can thrive when focused on more qualified buyers sends a message to those retailers and communities that send messages to MHProNews that say things like, ‘the only customers we get are around 600 FICO score or lower.’ 

Noffsinger’s and other’s experiences prove that with the proper business development and training practices, that could become the exception, rather than the rule.

BarryNoffsiingerCreditHumanManufacturedHousingDataResearchBestPracticesManufacturedHomeSalesLendingFinanceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When a location is struggling now with poor credit quality, that doesn’t have to stay that way.  That’s a key point of Noffsinger’s presentation.

The RV industry routinely attracts higher credit scores and large numbers of cash buyers too.  The RV industry does better routinely in the same markets that manufactured home professionals operate in too.

State of the Manufactured Home Industry, Comparing RV vs. MH Data

As Noffsinger mentions, site builders and real estate agents attract and sell about 99 times more better credit customers than manufactured home retailers and communities do.  You can read the latest national housing statistics, and compare them to MH, at the link below. All of these facts and more underscore the validity of Noffsinger’s points.

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

A Broad Range of Facts and Experience Go Into the Best Practices Noffsinger Presents

Noffsinger has been in the trenches of manufactured home lending for many years. He’s seen better times, as well as the worst times in the industry’s history.

As many lender’s reps do, Noffsinger and his associates visit sales centers, developments, and manufactured home communities from across the country.

So, the facts and ‘best practices’ he shares via this video captured in front of a live MH audience ought to be compelling consideration for owners, managers and those on the front lines that aspire to do more and perform better with their career.

BarryNoffsiingerCreditHumanManufacturedHousingDataResearch1

Credit Scores Rising…

Credit scores nationally have risen slightly since this video was first captured, but the broad-brush facts Noffsinger states are all the same.

Noffsinger stresses why the industry’s greatest opportunities for growth aren’t with the lower credit scores.

Not only are the facts on his side, but the points he makes are underscored by field-tested results, which Sunshine Homes, or New Durham Estates have been willing to share their own experiences in spotlighting how best practices pay off.

In the case of Sunshine Homes – which only sells more upscales, residential style manufactured homes – they’ve grown at more than double the pace of the industry at large, per their own video statements.

New Durham Estates, by using the kinds of best practices Noffsinger describes and others, has not only dramatically increased sales, but also attracted more good credit and cash buyers that spend more on the homes they buy.

As MHProNews continues its November 2017 State of the Manufactured Housing Industry series, it is as important to show what works as what doesn’t.  Noffsinger stressed many facts in this video, among them, that more companies need to do a better job in sales training. As he jokes, he wasn’t paid to say that in front of the live 2017 audience this video was recorded.


Update Will Follow This Week

This article will be updated and cross linked later to more related information.

But for those looking for their Monday or Tuesday morning sales meeting material, this 15-minute video is packed with proven information on how to fish in the pond where the best fishing and most growth for manufactured housing is to be found. ## (Research, business development, news, reports, data, analysis, commentary),

Note: to learn more about some of the training related opportunities Noffsinger is referring to, click here. It should be noted that while Noffsinger has sat in on some of Tony Kovach’s training, his kind comments to this live audience shouldn’t be construed as a specific endorsement. To see how other respond to that training and related business development strategies, see the video comments by Sunshine Homes and other third parties, on the second video on the page linked here.

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

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

‘CFPB Rectal Exam,’ Congressman Stresses Need for Credit & Financial Reform, Manufactured Home Pros React

June 21st, 2017 Comments off

CongStevePearceNM2R-DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryReportsResearchDataMHProNewsCredit is one of the most powerful devices of the financial system designed over time by modern societies. It gives people the freedom to spend money now – whether to cover a medical expense, an emergency repair, buy a home or send their child to school – and pay it off later,” wrote Rep. Steve Pearce, Congressman from New Mexico’s 2nd district.

Pearce stated in a column published in the Albuquerque Journal  that there are risks and rewards with credit, but underscores how important it is for businesses and consumers alike.

Pearce said, “Half of the homes in the 2nd Congressional District of New Mexico are manufactured housing. The [CFPB] bureau took several actions that resulted in all but one or two banks no longer lending for those.”

This bureau [CFPB] was tasked with protecting consumers – a laudable goal. Very quickly though, the bureau began to show it had no idea how or why many elements of the credit markets were established. As it began to regulate those elements out of existence, credit to the poor began to dry up. People in New Mexico soon began to see their opportunities disappear because their sources of credit were diminishing before their eyes,” wrote Pearce.

The congressman then walks, step-by-step through his case for making the Financial Choice Act the law that will reform the well intentioned – but in his view, fatally flawed – Dodd-Frank Act, and its offspring, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The congressman’s full comments, are linked here.

Manufactured Home Industry Reactions

JDHarperExecutiveDirectorArkansasManufacturedHousingAssociation-credit-LinkedIn-posted-DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

JD Harper, Executive Director, AMHA, credit, LinkedIn.

I’m thankful that many of our elected officials in Washington D.C. – like Rep. Steve Pearce from New Mexico and Rep. French Hill from Arkansas – have heard and understood the concerns that their constituents – including community bankers and the manufactured home industry – have with the real-world negative impact that some of the provisions of Dodd-Frank have had on working families seeking to purchase an affordable home,” said JD Harper, of the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA).

Harper says, “I can only hope that the United States Senate will agree to act upon at least some of the less-controversial provisions contained in ‘The CHOICE Act’ – specifically those reforms aimed at helping manufactured home buyers access financing – instead of allowing a few Senators [to] derail this much-needed legislation with ‘scare tactics’ and ‘Doomsday Scenario’ rhetoric.”

A long-time “Lonnie dealer” type operation said they’d love to comment on this issue to MHProNews, but they didn’t want a “CFPB Rectal Exam. For decades, Lonnie Scruggs financed used pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post-code manufactured homes as well on an ‘owner carry’ basis.  That created a path to ownership for thousands who could otherwise only rent.

Many of those Lonnie dealers often made a good return on their investment. Some would then reinvest in more inventory, which meant that more homes could be purchased, and more home ownership opportunities created.  It was a classic free enterprise solution for affordable housing at work.

How many of those who once bought from a Lonnie dealer are today left renting, or are pushed into subsidized housing?

CaliforniaDreaminAnotherManufacturedHomeCommunityUnderSiegecredtihomes-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

An older manufactured home in a land lease community. Credit: Homes.

MH Community Sector Response

DTSManufacturedHomeLendingViewtoFHFANAFCUanInnovativeMHCommunityOperatorandMHARRcreditLinkedIn2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Brian Gallagher. Credit: LinkedIn.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to properly discuss all of the issues raised in this column and their impact on the Manufactured Housing industry in general and on MH financing in particular in a brief response.  Our small firm is also significantly impacted by the new regulations,” said Brian Gallagher, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Santefort Real Estate Group.

No one should be in favor of oppressive, ineffective regulation,” said Gallagher, who stressed that sound, effective regulation would be good for consumers and the industry alike.  But Gallagher points out that the Choice Act has its own exceptions to the rule.  For example, he points to carving out protections for payday lenders, not offered to others in finance.

Gallagher laid out the burdens, risks and costs the current regulatory structure created for his operation, and wonders what good if any it does for potential home buyers?

Former Association Chair, and Retailer’s View

KarleRaddeSouthernComfortHomesBryanTX-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Karl Radde, Southern Comfort Homes, Chairman, National Retailers Council, MHI.

Let’s forgo affordable housing for a bit and think of rent to own furniture places or pawn shops,” said Karl Radde of Southern Comfort Homes. He pointed to the example of rent-to-own stores, which he said he wouldn’t personally use, but others clearly find them beneficial.

Radde rhetorically asks, “If we try to ‘protect’ someone by over-regulating that industry, are we not in fact saying ‘You can’t have a TV?’”

Radde, the former Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) chairman, then raised a point that’s often missed. Namely, when owner financing is eliminated – something that Pearce noted in his editorial – then resale, values, and other economic consequences result.

At that point [in the absence of owner financing], the value of those homes dramatically decrease because they became worth only what someone could afford to pay for them in cash transaction,” said Radde.

That’s not only true of manufactured housing, but was equally true of conventional housing values.  When lending dried up in 2008/2009, existing conventional house values crashed.

Radde detailed more experiences, such as the need for being able to guide a home buyer into the better lending option, without being accused of ‘steering’ under the so-called MLO rule. He then applauded the financial reforms that Congressman Pearce, along with several manufactured home industry associations, are promoting.

TownAmendsManufacturedHomeOrdinancecreditRealtor-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

When the resale values of older manufactured homes are diminished or cut off due to regulations imposed by the CFPB, then the sale of new homes also suffers. Profits, jobs and opportunities are lost. A  home in McCrory, Arkansas. Credit: Realtor. 

Off the Record…

“…I’m not interested in doing an on-the-record comment on this,” at this time, said a party informed and engaged on industry financing issues, but wishing to avoid the political limelight.  “A point that you might want to make, though, is that Dodd-Frank is not the only significant impediment to access to consumer credit for manufactured home purchases.  There is another major impediment that has helped to distort 80% of the mh consumer financing market and that is the GSEs failure to provide secondary market and securitization support for mh chattel loans.”

That statement on the need for not just Dodd-Frank reform or replacement, but the need to implement the now almost decade-old Duty to Serve (DTS) mandate created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) is one that several industry professionals made in their own words.

manufactured-home-living-news-sunset-village-manufacturedhomecommunityglenview-il--660x330

Many public officials are regulating homes they have little or no true understanding about. Photo, Sunset Village, Glenview, IL – credit, MHLivingNews.com. Caption comments by the editor.

Congressman Pearce’s Purpose

New Mexico’s Rep. Pearce said that cutting off access to credit harmed a range of things important to those in his state.  Home ownership, property values, business and jobs were all being harmed.

This [CFPB regulations] resulted in fewer jobs for New Mexicans and less support for our local economies. Along the way, the bureau established guidelines that resulted in banks in Deming being regulated the same way as banks in New York City.”

Pearce noted that he tried the direct approach with the CFPB, to no avail.

IDontThinkThereWasEverMuchHighCostLendingInTheManufacturedHousingMarket-stillcreditCSPAN2--RichardCordrayCFPBdirector-Posted-MHLivingNews-com-

Richard Cordray himself said that there was never much high cost lending in the manufactured housing industry market, still from in an MHLivingNews video, linked here.

I have personally sat down multiple times over the last six years with the head of the CFPB and the chairman of the Federal Reserve to express the damage the bureau’s actions have caused to New Mexico. They just don’t seem to care about the effect on the poor, rural areas and the weight of their regulations. For these reasons, I’ve joined Chairman (Rep. Jeb) Hensarling, R-Texas, of the House Financial Services Committee to pass the CHOICE Act, repealing many of the ways that the bureau flagrantly ruins the hopes and dreams of those who financially struggle,” the New Mexico congressman said.

Pearce concludes, “It is my aim to see that even the most economically fragile in New Mexico have the opportunity and resources to earn their way to success.” ##

(The congressman’s full comments, as published, are linked here, as a download. Note, this column drew extensive comments from those quoted above, which MHProNews plans to publish in full in the days ahead.)

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

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

MHARR to FHFA: Duty to Serve Requires Material and Expedited Support for MH Chattel Loans

February 10th, 2017 Comments off
creditWikipediaEbmassysuites-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credits: Embassy Suites, MHProNews, Wikipedia.

Washington, D.C., February 9, 2017 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) tells MHProNews that, at a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) “listening session” in Washington, D.C. on February 8, 2017, President and CEO Mark Weiss reiterated and underscored previous remarks by MHARR representatives.

Weiss asserted that the Agency’s December 29, 2016 “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” (DTS) rule and related “Evaluation Guidance” for DTS implementation plans do not and cannot comply with the essential legislative mandate of DTS and are, therefore, unacceptable.

MHARR says that the meeting opened with an appearance by FHFA Director Melvin Watt, who thanked DTS stakeholders for their participation and information provided regarding specific aspects of DTS’ implementation.

Watt also announced that the February 17, 2017 deadline for written responses to a detailed Request for Information (RFI) published by FHFA specifically concerning manufactured housing chattel loans, would be extended until March 21, 2017, which appeared to be a response to President Donald Trump’s regulatory “freeze” order, enacted on January 20, 2017.

fhfa-logo-house-cash-scott-lewis-flickrcreativecommons-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-

Credit: Scott Lewis, Creative Commons.

During the meeting, MHARR detailed the specific legal and policy bases for its position that any DTS implementation, in order to comply with the express directive of Congress as set forth in the Housing and economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), must provide for a program of material and expedited Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) securitization and secondary market support for manufactured housing chattel loans, which comprise 80% or more of the entire manufactured housing market.

DTS was not an invitation for the GSEs to maintain the status quo for years or decades more,” said Weiss.

m_mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__credit

M. Mark Weiss. Credit: MHProNews.

DTS does not stand for ‘Duty to Study.’

Weiss also commented on Director Watt’s actions.

As indicated by Director Watt’s action to extend the comment deadline for FHFA’s pending RFI, the January 20, 2017 regulatory ‘freeze’ order put in place by President Trump, by its express terms, also applies to the DTS final rule and subsequent Evaluation Guidance” said Weiss.

FHFA should use the additional time provided by this order to correct its approach to DTS and, with the additional information and input that it has received from stakeholders, revise both the final rule and its Evaluation Guidance to provide for an expedited path to material, mandatory GSE securitization and secondary market support for manufactured housing chattel loans.”

The full MHARR statement is available for Daily Business News readers here.

The full presentation from Weiss to the listening session is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Defendant Sentenced in Fraudulent HUD Code/Mod Mortgage Scheme

August 7th, 2014 Comments off

handcuffs  ladyars co  ukFollowing a story MHProNews posted June 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard Voorhees imposed a 50 month prison sentence on Marina A. McCuen for her role in a mortgage-fraud conspiracy that originated $158 million in fraudulent federally-secured loans on manufactured and modular homes in North and South Carolina. She worked with two other W. R. Starkey loan officers in helping secure FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans from Phoenix Housing Group based on knowingly inflated income and assets listed for borrowers, and then destroyed loan documents after a Federal investigation into the scheme began. When customers defaulted on loans, the FHA paid insurance claims. Mortgage insurance claims totaled over $24 million, costing the U. S. government more than $15 million. McCuen received $156,000 in commissions, according to citizen-times.com, and will have to pay restitution, the amount yet to be determined, upon completion of her sentence. The other six defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. ##

(Image credit: ladyars.com.uk)

MHARR, MHI and GSE Reform, Background to Danny Ghorbani’s release and George Allen’s Planned “Story”

March 18th, 2014 4 comments

mhpronews-mharr-mhi-associations-graphic-manufactured-home-marketing-sales-managementOn Sunday, March 16 at 4:47 PM ET, a news release was received from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on the topic of the highly-charged issue of a Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE, “Fannie and Freddie”) reform plan.

Some 3 Hours and 43 minutes later, at 8:30 PM on the same day, the first message came in from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) on the same topic. MHI’s full release on the topic of GSE reform is linked here, while the link to MHARR’s full release on the topic is found here.

In his message, MHARR’s President, Danny Ghorbani, claimed their “…calculated risk by MHARR that has now…” quoting their headline …achieves major victory.

While most industry professionals who follow these events would agree that this is certainly promising for consumers and the industry, the GSE reform legislation has a long way to go before it is becomes law. This is a one step along a longer path, as Ghorbani’s own statement from MHARR later acknowledges.

That fact begs the question, what makes this a bigger success than HR 1779 or S 1828, both of which are well underway?

It also raises the question, what was the “calculated risk” that Ghorbani’s message refers to in his release? Where is the “risk” in MHARR sending a position paper to the Senate Banking Committee?

Could it be that the “risk” Ghorbani refers to is that MHARR has not publicly supporting HR 1779 and S 1828? Isn’t it risky for their member-manufacturers and customers to not cover all possible legislative and lobbying bases, as MHI’s team has been doing on the finance and other issues?

MHARR claims MHI had a Single Focus

MHARR CEO Ghorbani’s message included this paragraph,

At a time when much of the industry was pursuing a singular focus on unsuccessful legislative modifications to the loan originator compensation and high-cost loan provisions of the Dodd-Frank finance reform law — and was unwilling to join MHARR in an  initiative on the much farther-reaching issue of GSE reform — the MHARR Board of Directors chose to advance the inclusion of all types of manufactured home loans and definitive action to end the discrimination that has dogged the industry’s consumer financing for decades, as part of the GSE reform process in Congress.”

As the numerous items that follow below demonstrate, the first part of this statement cited above is demonstrably in error. Namely:

At a time when much of the industry was pursuing a singular focus on unsuccessful legislative modifications to the loan originator compensation and high-cost loan provisions of the Dodd-Frank finance reform law –…”

Furthermore, as this Congressional legislative session is not yet over, none of these efforts – GSE Reform or Dodd-Frank reform – can be called a failure or a success.

So why is there a need for MHARR’s CEO to paint MHI’s efforts as a ‘failure,’ when the GSE effort is not as far along as HR 1779 or S. 1828?

Some MHARR officials and allied industry commentator in the dark?

Messages and calls from MHARR members, those aligned with MHARR and others outside of that camp to MHProNews seem to be unaware – or in some cases, won’t acknowledge – the fact that MHI has demonstrably been engaged on this topic of GSE reform for years, along with a variety of other issues in Washington. DC. Some examples will be shown in a down-loadable attachment, later below.

Agenda of Making MHI look bad, as a way of Making Ghorbani and Allen look more important?

broadside-darius-danny-ghorbani-president-mharr-george-allen-allen-letter-community-i ... actured-housing-institute-manufactured-housing-association-for-regulatory-reformOn Monday, after allegedly communicating with Danny Ghorbani, President and CEO at MHARR, George Allen sent an email to Rick Robinson, Vice President and General Counsel at MHI.

Robinson forwarded that email to Senior Vice President Jason Boehlert for response.

Allegedly, this email exchange has been shared with Ghorbani, Jim Visser, Ken Rishel and others linked to MHI and MHARR; and seems to accuse MHI of grabbing credit for work done by MHARR.

While sensational, the problem with this accusation by Allen against MHI, is that it flies in the face of the facts. But doesn’t this fit Allen’s self-description on his own blog of his activities? The word Allen used about himself, “agitate” includes the following definition from Google: “1) make (someone) troubled or nervous.”

The Google definition of agitator, is also insightful:

1. a person who urges others to protest or rebel.

synonyms: troublemaker, rabble-rouser, agent provocateur, demagogue, incendiary;

The Facts Say Differently

While some in the mix seem to take the position, ‘Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up,’ a simple Google search demonstrates to the truth seeker that MHI has issued numerous updates on their activities in the GSE Reform arena.

A search of the articles published in the MHI News module demonstrates the same, and for those who attended the 2014 MHI Winter Meeting and Legislative Session, a briefing was given to attendee/members that coveted all of MHI’s lobbying and legislative initiatives, including GSE reform.

Clearly, MHI’s engagement on the GSE issue is a matter of public record and is no secret.

As MHProNews has documented in a series of articles, linked at the end of this report, George Allen has in his own words:

  • describes himself as one who agitates,

  • has gone from opposing Danny Ghorbani and calling him a flawed writer and leader, to now lauding him as a leader others should follow. The difference between recent and prior statements by Allen on Ghorbani?   Is it the MHARR paid ad and factories who Allen himself says are now paying Allen?

  • Allen has blasted MHI off and on for some two years for not buying him out when Allen wanted to retire.

Don’t such flip flops, contradictions, slanted ‘coverage’ and motivations beg a reasonable person to question the motivations and accuracy of Allen’s commentaries?

The Emails Between Allen and MHI – “We Provide, You Decide” ©

The exchange below is in a first-to-last message time sequence. They are word-for-word as the respective parties sent them, save the removal of the ‘signature (contact/disclaimers/resource)’ info at the end of each email and what amounts to ads from each of the respective emails. The typos in George Allen’s emails are in the original. The first message, as shown below, is to Rick Robinson at MHI.

Start of George Allen to Jason Boehlert at MHI Email Exchange

From: <gfa7156@aol.com<mailto:gfa7156@aol.com>>

Date: March 16, 2014 at 5:43:35 PM EDT

To: <info@mfghome.org<mailto:info@mfghome.org>>

Cc: <rrobinson@mfghome.org<mailto:rrobinson@mfghome.org>>

Subject: Re: MHI Housing Alert –  Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE

Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and

Personal Property Loans

Rick

When did MHI switch its’ primary legislative focus from Dodd-Frank regulatory
reform to GSE Reform? Didn’t seem to be that much of a priority during the
annual Legislative Conference last month in Arlington, VA. Here quoting directly
from this afternoon’s HOUSING ALERT from MHI:


“MHI Successfully Stakes Out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal
Property Loans” and “As advocated for by MHI, the legislative draft released by
the Committee includes language that would provide manufaturd home loans secured
by personal property with key access to a newly envisioned secondary market
mechanism.”

As exciting and hopeful as this news is, I’m wondering whether we’re indeed
reading/learning of a pure MHI effort to this much desired result, OR is there
more to this now quickly unfolding story, i.e. Is there someone else more
intimatly involved ‘in the mix’ who is NOT getting credit, in this email alert,
for drafting the language and lobbying for this legislative draft?

Frankly, I sense a story here….

GFA

George Allen


—–Original Message—–

From: Jason Boehlert <jBoehlert@mfghome.org>

To: GFA7156 <GFA7156@aol.com>

Cc: Richard Jennison <rjennison@mfghome.org>; Rick Robinson <rrobinson@mfghome.org>

Sent: Mon, Mar 17, 2014 11:32 am

Subject: RE: MHI Housing Alert – Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE

Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and

Personal Property Loans

George,

Thank you very much for your email.  However, I am unclear what you mean by “Is
there someone else more intimatly(sic) involved ‘in the mix’ who is NOT getting
credit, in this email alert, for drafting the language and lobbying for this
legislative draft?” We do not comment on the activities or actions of other
national organizations—that is not our role. Nor do we believe it serves the
interests of the industry or our members to do so.


Since MHI represents every facet of the industry—including builders, community
owners, lenders, supplier, retailers—our policy priorities are reflective of the
totality of our membership.  Dodd-Frank is a priority.  As are housing
finance/GSE reform, energy efficiency, tax, HUD Code and environmental issues
and we would never focus on one issue so persistently that it would be to the
detriment of the others. I know you did not attend, but GSE reform was
reaffirmed as an association policy priority during our legislative conference
and winter meeting and was discussed at length during the meeting of our
newly-formed government relations committee. The new government relations
committee has multiple representatives from each MHI division.


Expanding secondary market access for manufactured home loans, including those
secured by personal property has been a long-standing priority of MHI—dating
back to at least the duty-to-serve requirements that were included in the
Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) in 2008.  We have, and continue to,
work with FHA, FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, HUD, and the House
Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees to improve the availability of
financing options in the manufactured housing market, both from a residential
and commercial standpoint.

MHI represents every significant manufactured home lender in the industry and we
work hard to see that the totality of their interests—which are not limited to
Dodd-Frank/CFPB rule makings—are served.  Our efforts on GSE reform extend well
beyond the Senate Banking Committee’s recent legislative draft. If you are
suggesting that we have not been an active player in this regard, you are
mistaken. GSE reform has been an issue that has received very close attention
from our internal and external lobbying teams on an ongoing basis for several
years.

A sampling of our most recent activities include (but certainly not limited to):

· working with drafters of the underlying Corker-Warner bill (S.
1217)—which serves as the blueprint for the Senate Banking Committee bill—to
garner their approval for modifications of their measure that would expand
access for personal property loans

· communicating—both our internal and external lobbying teams—on an
ongoing basis with Democratic and Republican senior staff to the Senate Banking
Committee to include specific manufactured home/personal property language

·         providing key industry lending data to Senate staff to underscore the
need for specific statutory language

· facilitating an industry lender roundtable for Senate Banking
Committee staff—this panel of lenders, which represented the vast majority of
personal property manufactured home lending—provided the key information and
feedback needed by  committee staff to include manufactured home lending
provisions (which took place at our recent legislative conference)

· working to develop a consensus coalition position with consumer group
that are also seeking to expand personal property lending options for
manufactured housing

·  outreach to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)—the
administration’s voice on GSE reform—to support legislative provisions expanding
manufactured home lending opportunities

· engaging an external lobbying firm whose principals include the most
recent Democratic Staff Director to the Senate Banking Committee (working
directly for Chairman Tim Johnson) and provided significant access to committee
staff drafting the legislation

As I hope you are aware, MHI’s involvement has not only been limited to the

Senate Bill. Our work also includes:

· facilitating the first-of-its-kind lending conference, sponsored by
then Rep. Joe Donnelly, in Elkhart, Indiana (which I believe you attended)

· improving the FHA Title I &II programs and opening Ginnie Mae to new
issuers (a work in progress)

· coordinating more than 1,000 comments in opposition to FHFA’s
duty-to-serve rule, which would ignore secondary market access for personal
property loans

· working to provide equal access for all mortgages in the House version
of GSE reform –the Path Act (which also includes specific MH relief from the
Dodd-Frank Act)

· testifying before Congress on three separate occasions over the past
three years on the need for secondary market access for manufactured home loans
secured by personal property—this does not include testimony provided prior to
2010 on the need to improve the FHA Title I & II programs for manufactured
housing

· more than 300 meetings conducted over the past three years with
Members of Congress specifically on the lack of credit access provided by the
GSEs for manufactured housing

· working directly with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop new
lending options for manufactured housing

I can only speak to the involvement of MHI, which has been continuous and
ongoing and substantial. Looking at the history, I think it is fair to say MHI
and its members have been leaders in working to expand manufactured housing
financing options for quite some time.

Best,
Jason


Jason Boehlert
Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs

________________________________________

From: gfa7156@aol.com [gfa7156@aol.com]

Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 1:20 PM

To: Jason Boehlert

Cc: news@journalmfdhousing.com; ken@rishel.net; Rick Robinson

Subject: Re: MHI Housing Alert –  Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE

Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and

Personal Property Loans

Jason

You, in behalf of MHI did NOT answer the lead question in my email
correspondence dated 3/16/2014, to wit; “When  did MHI switch its’ primary
legislative focus from Dodd-Frank regulatory reform to GSE Reform?” You can
blather all you want about ‘A sampling of our most recent activities include
(but certainly not  limited to)’ to  cloud the issue – which I’m getting to –
but the fact remains, throughout the Fall of 2014 MHI had tunnel vision relative
to effecting Dodd-Frank regulatory reform.


The tenor of your sentence,”We do not comment on the activities or actions of
other national organizations – that is not our role. Nor do we believe it serves
the interests of the industry or our members to do so.” tells me you well
understand what I was referring to in the above-referenced email  message, i.e.
Quoting MHARR’s Press Release dated 3/16/2014:  “…MHARR today lauded the
inclusion of specific  MHARR-proposed language in the bi-partisan GSE housing
finance reform bill (S.1217)…(containing) “langaguage submitted to the Senate
Banking Committee in Septermber and October 2013….” There lies the crux of
this whole issue of giving credit where credit is due!


Being as new as you are to MHI’s staff, you can be forgiven for not knowing how
often in the past, MHARR and MHI have ‘worked together’ to effect federal
legislation, e.g. Manufactured Housing Impovement Act of 2000 is but one
example. And how both national advocacy bodies have, in the past, ‘commented
(appropriately &/or positively) on the activities or actions of other national
organization’ YES, that should be one of the rolls taken on by MHI even if it’s
not as commonplace today as it has been at times in the past.


Furthermore; speaking as a 35 year entrepreneur businessman in the manufactured
housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class, and 20+ year
direct, dues-paying member of MHI, I disagree with you! Interadvocacy body
cooperation/praise (as should have been in this instance!) does serve the
greater interests of the industry, and certainly its’ members!


I think it entirely appropriate, that sometime this week, MHI take steps to
right the  misunderstanding couched in the subtitle & text:HOUSING ALERT, i.e.
“…MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal
Property Loans”, before someone else does it for you….


Need someone to do this  public relations magic for you? I can recommend
someone, if asked.

GFA
George Allen

—–Original Message—–

From: Jason Boehlert <jBoehlert@mfghome.org>

To: gfa7156 <gfa7156@aol.com>

Cc: news <news@journalmfdhousing.com>; ken <ken@rishel.net>; Rick Robinson <rrobinson@mfghome.org>; Richard Jennison <rjennison@mfghome.org>

Sent: Mon, Mar 17, 2014 3:05 pm

Subject: RE: MHI Housing Alert – Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal Property Loans

George,

I am sorry to hear you found my response to your original inquiry,
unsatisfactory. I believe I answered in an honest and thorough fashion. But, to
try and further clear things up:

1) MHI is a multifaceted trade association.  This requires us to multitask and
pursue multiple policy priorities at the same time. Our focus is not solely
limited to Dodd-Frank. It also includes GSE reform, HUD-MHCC issues, tax, energy
and environmental policies.  This does not require us to shift our focus, but to
add to it–and GSE reform has been a focus of MHI now for several years.

2) I do not work for MHARR. Therefore, I have no real knowledge of their
lobbying activities. As such, it would be wholly inappropriate for me to comment
on MHARR’s activities. Just as it would be wholly inappropriate for MHARR to
comment, with any real knowledge on MHI’s policy activities.

3) Had you been able to attend MHI’s legislative conference, you have
undoubtedly learned that MHI’s GSE reform activities have been substantial and
ongoing.  MHI’s GSE efforts have been significant and have unequivocally led to
this positive outcome.  I am sorry you are unable to see yesterday’s news as a
positive development for the entire industry.


However, if you feel additional clarification is needed please feel free to
contact MHI’s CEO Dick Jennison at 703.558.0678.

Jason

———-

From: <gfa7156@aol.com>

Date: March 17, 2014 at 3:47:48 PM EDT

To: <jBoehlert@mfghome.org>

Cc: <news@journalmfdhousing.com>, <ken@rishel.net>, <rrobinson@mfghome.org>

Subject: Re: MHI Housing Alert –  Senate Banking Committee Leaders Unveil GSE Reform Plan – MHI Successfully Stakes out Ground for Manufactured Housing and Personal Property Loans

Jason

You can dance around the issue all you want, but truth be told, GSE reform was not a primary focus for MHI during the last half of 2014. I am an MHI member read what little is sent my way these days.

Amazing. You & MHI claim no prior knowledge of the source of the language used in this bi-partisan GSE housing finance reform bill (S.1217), yet are bold to state: “MHI will continue in its’ role as the leading advocate for the manufactured housing industry to ensure that manufactured home finance opportunities are expended to the greatest extent possible in forthcoming housing finance reform measures.” By the way, in this sentence, did you intend for the word choice to be ‘expended’, rather than ‘expanded’ or some other appropriate non-dissipating word?

Of course I see yesterday’s developments to be of value to the entire HUD-Code manufactured housing industry. And I see MHI’s HOUSING ALERT, in the manner in which it was written, to be unequivocal grandstanding, when it’d have been highly appropriate, and much appreciated by ‘the entire HUD-Code manufactured housing industry’, if credit had been given where credit was truly do!

Thank You for fleshing out my story for this week, if nothing more newsworthy doesn’t come along.

GFA.

George Allen

—- end of emailed messages on this thread —-

An impartial reading of George Allen’s messages suggests is a either a lack of objective research into the ongoing efforts and engagement by MHI on the subject of GSE reform, or perhaps an effort to “agitate” (Allen’s word about himself) against MHI, and/or some other motivations.  Allen clearly implies his intent to write about this topic, which is certainly his right, but after reading this exchange, does an objective person believe that Allen will right about it in a fair and balanced fashion?  Or will Allen use this once more to “agitate” against MHI?

As noted previously,

  • a simple Google search revealed numerous links dating back several years regarding MHI engagement on the topic of GSE reform. Please see below.

  • A search on the MHProNews website proves the same point of MHI engagement on GSE reform that Jason’s replies state.  So does a review of MHI’s typically weekly reports, that go out to members like Allen, and as did the update briefings during their 2014 Winter Meeting and Legislative session that all referenced efforts by that national trade association on GSE reform.

Why Does Allen seek to Manufacture a new Controversy?

It should be noted that MHARR has indeed made GSE reform an issue they have pursued.

But what is lacking from MHARR’s President and CEO, Danny Ghorbani is the same credit to MHI’s efforts, that Allen allegedly seeks on Ghorbani’s behalf from MHI as a tip of the hat to MHARR.

Thus Allen and Ghorbani seem to want from MHI what they are unwilling to give themselves. On MHI’s part, Boehlert’s responses to Allen are polite and professional.

Prior to issuing this report, MHProNews reached out once more for comment to Messrs. Allen and Ghorbani. For those anxious to share their views to their select group of readers, they have opted not to state reasonable replies to our questions for the record to the largest professional audience in the industry.  Why are they ducking replies?

A copy of the questions sent to MHARR’s President and Vice-President are below, as are the questions sent to George Allen.

A download of the search results from Google on this date for “Manufactured Housing Institute” = “GSE Reform” produced the results shown in the attachment linked here, which also reflects search results found on MHProNews, both of which pre-date by months or years the MHARR initiative ballyhooed by Danny Ghorbani.

The initiatives in the Senate both MHARR and MHI reference provide reasons for hope for all in the industry.

By contrast, this apparent manufactured controversy detracts from what ought to be one of many joint steps forward by MHARR, MHI and state associations, who all should be working in concert on issues vital to the manufactured housing industry.

Inflammatory messages may help a pair of ‘leaders’ posture themselves as tough, but do such missives advance or harm the manufactured housing industry’s agenda, and the interests of their own followers?

Industry voices cited in the articles found in the links below question if Danny Ghorbani – with or without the aid of George Allen – can effectively deal with regulators and politicos, without major changes in his modus operandi…or will real leadership by MHARR’s CEO come from Ghorbani’s successor, should Ghorbani depart or retire? ##


Appendix

Questions provided to George Allen for response by MHProNews:

1) Will you publish the unedited reply from Jason this upcoming weekend on your blog, or will you continue on your allegedly pro-Danny Ghorbani/MHARR, anti-MHI public stance?

2) As a self-proclaimed MH Communities owner advocate, how do you defend Danny Ghorbani’s embrace of Ishbel Dickens and her anti-MHC owners organization, when Dickens has reportedly said in public that community owners are “the enemy…”?

3) You’ve described on your blog your activities in part as an “agitator. ”  You’ve described Danny Ghorbani as a “leader.” Yet in the past, you decried Ghorbani for very similar stands to his current one, and after your own analysis, described in the article and links from the post here,

http://MHProNews.com/blogs/tonykovach/mharr-after-danny-ghorbani-and-more-manufactured-housing-issues/

you concluded Danny was mistaken in his writing that you then cited.  Where you wrong then? How do you answer your own rejection of Danny’s views  then, what has he practically accomplished since then which has caused you to change your stance? How much has payments for ads or other money received from MHARR factories influenced  your new found admiration for Danny?

4) Why do you not show remarks opposing your views on your blog?

5) We’ve invited you and Danny to debate MH Industry related topics; why have you not done so?

6) As an industry commentator, did you know that GSE reform was on the MHI legislative agenda?

7) You are fine with asking questions, so why do you not provide the courtesy of replying to questions when you are asked?

Questions provided to Danny Ghorbani and M. Mark Weiss at MHARR

1) We’ve asked many times, and ask again, what are the achievements of your last last 5 years at MHARR?

2) Why is it necessary to undermine MHI to make yourself look better?

3) Specifically what did you do – apart from MHI – that makes this advancement in GSE Reform your sole victory?

4) And how is this bill – not yet a law – more of a victory than HR 1779 or S 1828?

Previous Reports, Posts and Articles on this or Related Topics

Some Related Story Links:

Downloads and Attachments:

Commentary on MHARR ad from a cross section of MHPros in the Industry are found here.

Affordable Modular Homes part of Canadian Plan

September 18th, 2013 Comments off

An affordable housing complex in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada is set to include modular homes as part of a project to finance 1,000 new entry-level homes over five years. Builders are eligible for loans of 90 percent of construction costs of the homes, including the land, at four percent interest. With a current 1.9 percent vacancy rate in the province (it had been under one percent), community leaders are trying to keep people from leaving. As leaderpost.com informs MHProNews, the target sale price for the homes is at or below the multiple listing service (MLS) average sale price in each of the communities.

(Photo credit: Troy Fleece/leaderpost.com–modular units being assembled in Regina, SA Canada)