Posts Tagged ‘s 682’

House Reaffirms Support for MH by Defeating two Potentially Crippling Amendments

July 8th, 2016 Comments off

Manufactured Housing Institute loge-credit-Manufactured Housing Institute-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Indiana MH Association informs MHProNews that in the U. S. House of Representatives, two amendments to the Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services Appropriations bill were defeated that would have stripped language from the bill that make necessary changes to the Dodd-Frank Act in support of financing manufactured housing (MH).

The defeat of these two amendments means access to financing of MH, as laid out in the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing measure (HR 650/S 682), remains intact, supported by MHProNews and MHLivingNews  publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach, see the download here and as noted here.

MHI has been working with Congress to pass the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R.650/S.682), dealing with Appropriations Committee members, Committee leadership, co-sponsors of S.682 and state association directors to ensure the MH language is included in the appropriations bill that may be voted on before Congress adjourns.

The first amendment, defeated by a vote of 167-255, would have deleted section 637 from the measure which ensures that manufactured home retailers are not unfairly considered loan originators as long as they do not receive compensation for referrals.

The second amendment, defeated by a vote of 162-255, would have struck Section 638 of the bill that defines the thresholds for which mortgage loans are considered “high cost.” Since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) considers costs as a percentage of a loan, smaller MH loans are suddenly thrust into the “high cost” designation, which increases lender liability. The result is many lenders have ceased making MH loans altogether, while others have stopped originating loans under $20,000, leaving those who are trying to buy or sell MH under $20,000 without financing options.

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports the regulations have caused low balance loans for MH to have fallen by over ten percent, while site built home loans have risen five percent.

This is an important milestone for millions of working families and retirees who are currently being shut out of the market for quality, unsubsidized affordable housing,” said Lesli Gooch, MHI’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Chief Lobbyist.

H. R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, passed the House in April, 2015, with bipartisan sponsorship. The companion bill in the Senate, S. 682, which also has bipartisan sponsorship, was passed by the Senate Banking Committee in June, 2015, but has yet to pass the full Senate. ##

(Image credit:Manufactured Housing Institute logo)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

American Banking News – Key MHI Staff “Excoriated” for Failing Their Mission, Members

June 28th, 2016 Comments off

TradeAssocUnderFireManufacturedHousingInstitute-MHI-BankVaultDoorLocked-imagecreditsMHIFlickrCreativeCommons-MHProNews-editorialfairuseguidlines-600x442-With Dodd-Frank, financing and CFPB related issues routinely on the minds of manufactured housing industry professionals, The Daily Business News  has learned from American Banking News the following report on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is made available below.

The Manufactured Housing Institute has been leading the campaign to bring more lenders into the manufactured housing market for years.”

Lesli Gooch, Senior V.P. of Government Affairs, MHI

How does one explain the repeated failures by MHI staff to embrace options and opportunities, or new lenders … that could lead the industry into more competitive lending and more new manufactured home sales?”

L. A. “Tony” Kovach, elected MHI board member

Arlington, VA June 27, 2016 – The Manufactured Housing Institute, the industry’s largest trade group, has been excoriated in an unprecedented op-ed by a member of one of its boards and publisher of the industry’s leading professional trade publication.

The known facts suggest that, for whatever reasons or motives, MHI has missed numerous opportunities to expand manufactured housing home-only and land/home lending. The impact on the factory-built housing industry in terms of lost sales could be in the billions of dollars annually,” L.A. “Tony” Kovach writes in the latest edition of MHProNews.

MHI says it represents all segments of the factory-built housing industry; its stated mission is to provide research, promotion, education and government relations programs, and by building and facilitating consensus within the industry.

But M. Mark Weiss, president and CEO for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has repeatedly stated that MHI is tilting toward Berkshire Hathaway-owned MH lenders’ goals.

So consensus is lacking, according to the June 25 editorial, in which Kovach cites complaints from industry professionals – both members and non-members of MHI — who question the trade group’s failure to promote new lending in manufactured housing – which MHI staff asserts is a top priority for the organization.

Some, writes Kovach, “accuse MHI of de facto choking off lending with the goal of causing independent businesses to sell off to MHI member companies, or close shop.”

Others couch their criticism in terms of missed opportunities and questionable competence.

It is MHI members who are quietly telling (MHProNews) that MHI had the opportunity to get the MLO rule changed. Those same voices tell us that achieving that success could have led to others on points and fee thresholds, the twin goals of Preserving Access.”

If MHI’s leadership wants to move the ball down the field and score points that sell more homes, a serious series of changes must take place at MHI,” Kovach says.

Discontent with the status quo has reached the point where there are rumblings of some willing to put forth a million dollars in seed money to launch a new trade organization to promote the industry’s interests.

Kovach points out that questions and concerns about MHI’s performance center on certain staff members, not MHI itself.

These concerns are routinely brought to us by members and third parties. So MHProNews’ spotlighting staff related issues at the organization isn’t the same as condemning the organization, of which this writer is a member.”

It’s sad what’s happening in Arlington,” says Kovach, where MHI is headquartered.

At a time when the demand for affordable housing is growing, Kovach laments MHI’s staff are missing the opportunity to better tell the industry’s story and thus advance its appeal to the home buying public, public officials and to attract and expand lending opportunities.

Read more on the growing controversies surrounding MHI, are linked here. ##

Photo Caption/Credits:

How much does the locked door on more lending options cost manufactured housing industry members every year? Trade association under fire for failing their mission, members. Closed bank vault door image credit, FlickrCreativeCommons, MHI Logo credit – MHI – both images are used under fair use guidelines for editorial purposes. Text graphic and collage credit,

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comSelected by Matthew J Silver for the Daily Business News-MHProNews.

The Donald’s Duck Dynasty Reality LA Win

March 6th, 2016 Comments off

Donald Trump packs the house in less than 24 hours at the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida, touting “the movement” that Time Magazine and others in the mainstream media have taken note of in recent weeks. Photo credit, MyNews13.

The headline practically writes itself. Governor Bobby Jindal’s endorsement of Marco Rubio had little noticeable impact, as the junior U.S. Senator from Florida came in a distant third in his state, while the “Duck Dynasty” Robertson family support of Donald Trump was a true reality TV victory for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Louisiana in the March 5, 2016 primary contest.

Self-described Democratic socialist, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), took Nebraska and Kansas, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning in LA.

Trump and Senator Ted Cruz split victories on March 5th, with Cruz winning caucuses in Kansas and Maine, and Trump winning Louisiana and Kentucky, scoring an edge in the states with the larger delegate counts.


Image credit, AP.

The other headline for March 5th voting ought to be that none of the so-called establishment candidates have won a race on the Republican side. Rubio became the default go-to person once establishment favorite, Jeb Bush, bowed out after his resounding defeat in South Carolina.


Cartoon credit, Mike Lester, Washington Post.

The once-vaunted 100+ million dollar war chest of the Bush campaign and the pro-Bush super PACs failed to dent The Donald’s populist/nationalist and self-described “common sense conservatism” movement. Some argue that attacks on Trump have actually helped him with voters angry at the establishment and the political status quo. Anti-Trump super PACs have pledged to spend up to $40 million in negative TV ads, hoping to derail the candidate’s momentum with voters.


Image credit, AP.

Rubio – who came to Washington, DC as a Tea Party candidate –  has won in Minnesota and is expected to do well in Puerto Rico; but polling and the upcoming map for his campaign looks grim.

If it’s a tough road for Rubio, the path for under-funded Ohio Governor John Kasich is even more problematic. Each must win their home states on March 15, but each faces stiff challenges in their own turfs and beyond.

An emboldened Ted Cruz campaign narrative not only continues to declare that his is the only campaign that has been able to consistently upend Trump, Cruz is essentially forcing a showdown with the real estate titan by opening ten well placed campaign offices in FL. 

Anti-Trump talk radio show host, Erick Erickson, called Saturday morning for Rubio to join Ted Cruz’s campaign as his VP, as yet another attempt to derail Donald Trump’s otherwise apparent path to the Republican party nomination. 

Drudge Report headline says that Trump has called on Rubio to bow out. Trump has brushed off Rubio’s recent attacks – which were essentially repeated and underscored by 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney – as having the same impact as that of others, like former Governor Jeb Bush who tried it before. Trump called Romney a “failed candidate” who blew an election he should have won against the “failed presidency of Barack Obama.


Image credit, the Drudge Report, red arrow placed by MHProNews.

Voter turnout for Democratic candidates has been down so far in 2016 vs. the 2008 election cycle. By contrast, the energy created on the hotly contested Republican side has seen record voting, with increases of 50% and more in various states to date.  In Massachusetts, reports say that some 20,000 Democrats left their party to vote in the Republican primary.

Those facts have bolstered the Trump campaign claims that it has brought in Democrats and Independents, and could in a general election, win in states such as deep blue New York or New Jersey, as well as swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Virginia or Pennsylvania. Trump says that Hillary’s campaign fears running against him.  Indeed, Clinton has mentioned Trump directly or by inference, while generally ignoring other Republican candidates.

The Campaign and the MH Industry


CFPB regulations has made buying and selling manufactured homes under $75k more difficult, and the impact on manufactured homes with a value under $20,000 has been even more severe. This has trapped many would-be buyers in a de facto Renters Nation. Image credit, MHProNews.

Rubio has supported the manufactured housing industry’s reforms sought in the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, S 682. The Washington Post quotes Ted Cruz as saying, Five major agencies that I would eliminate: the IRS, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and HUD.” Cruz has suggested the functions of those agencies could be sent back to states or to other federal departments, which leaves manufactured housing industry members wondering – would the HUD Code manufactured home program functions be transferred to, say, the Department of the Interior?

Democratic candidates have favored no changes on Dodd-Frank that might help affordable housing.  HR 650 passed the House in the spring of 2015 with bi-partisan support, and the current state of the CFPB’s regulations harms the resale values of millions of lower cost manufactured home and conventional housing owners


CFPB regulations restricts free speech rights, one of the changes sought in HR 650/S 682 MLO rule.  The CFPB furthermore restricts lending – even by those who risk their own capital to make loans on manufactured homes. Learn more at the video linked here. Image credit, MHProNews.

Donald Trump was quoted by The Hill  as saying, We have DoddFrank and we’re in a bubble right now anyway,” Trump has called Dodd-Frank “Terrible,” and along with other Republican candidates, has said he’d repeal the legislation that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

While many questions remain on the specifics of what impact the policy positions of each of the campaigns might have on affordable housing in general, and manufactured housing in particular, there is little doubt that the Democratic front runner’s greatest primary challenge is the FBI and the DOJ, while the upcoming math and momentum strongly favors Donald Trump. ##

(Image credit sources are as noted by each image.)


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of and

Cutting through Media Fog for Manufactured Home Owners and Pros

February 17th, 2016 Comments off

1-SenBobCorkerSamLandyUMHRichardCordrayCFPB-HUDsecretaryJulianCastro-InsideMH-ManufacturedHomeRegulationsHR650S682PreservingAccessManufacturedHousingVideoMillions of manufactured home MH owners and thousands of MH professionals are being adversely impacted by the current state of CFPB regulations. Yet the fog created by interest groups that oppose changes to Dodd-Frank or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) current policies have slowed the progress in the Senate of S 682, dubbed Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

The House version of the same bill, HR 650, passed last spring with bi-partisan support.

Inside MH has produced a video that spotlights the issue, by presenting key players in Washington, DC speaking about manufactured housing and MH lending regulations in their own words. That video is found on the page linked here, which in under 2 days drew thousands of MH professionals and numerous positive reviews of the video.

A source at CFPB indicates they are considering a response to the video and the issues it raises.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), has not yet made a statement on the subject, which was produced independent of their input, but included insights from MHI members, including Sam Landy, President and CEO of UMH Properties, who is featured in the video speaking about the impact of the current regulations on home shoppers, MH owners and MH professionals.  

MH state associations and industry pros have provided positive feedback in the video, and have forwarded the link onto members, colleagues and others.  “It’s a useful tool in advocacy on the policy side with Congress and the CFPB,” one email to MHProNews said, with others commenting “Great video!” or “This is well done,” etc.

MHLivingNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has said this could be the first of other such videos that spotlight issues impacting manufactured housing home owners and professionals.

We have manufactured home owners and professionals who state on camera that they want to see the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank changed, either by the CFPB making the needed adjustments, or through enactment by the Congress of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act,” Kovach told the Daily Business News.

The United States faces an affordable housing crisis, and manufactured homes serve as a vital solution for folks of modest means,” Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Julian Castro states in this video.

That fix for the affordable housing crisis, Kovach says, doesn’t cost the taxpayers money.  By using manufactured homes and removing artificial barriers caused by mistaken regulatory policies, that can save taxpayers money because some renters will opt for ownership or possibly subsidized housing. “It will take one or more videos like this to cut through the noise and fog that special interest groups have created to get S 682 through the Senate and Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing passed into law.”  

Kovach suggested the best link to share the video with Congressional staff and others is the one here, on MHLivingNews, so that those who don’t yet understand all the benefits and modern realities of manufactured housing can go beyond the video and learn even more. ##

(Image collage credit – Inside MH video,

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Dec. 6-Dec. 13, 2015

December 13th, 2015 Comments off

mhpronews_sunday_morningWhat’s New in public focused Manufactured

Why Families, Singles and Couples are Attracted to Good Manufactured Home Communities

Police Chief’s Wife is on Town Council and Loves Manufactured Home Living

What’s New in Manufactured Housing Industry Professional News

Homeless Housing in Dublin in Dispute. FEMA CA Wildfire Housing to Seniors. Iowa county allows only multi-section homes. More insider trading at Drew, Patrick and Skyline. Ronnie Richards appointed to Texas board. MH organizations sponsor food drive. New officers at Patrick. MHPros ask industry to contact Congress re: S682. Clayton buying Texas plant. Michigan MHC settles suit. Modular homes mimic Hobbit Holes. And much, more in news and views for you to peruse.

Saturday, Dec.12

Patrick Announces New President, CFO

Friday, Dec.11

Temporary Spending Measure Passes to Keep Government Open

Dow Spirals Downward as Oil Falls, Pulling many Stocks Down

Skyline CEO Florea buys Company Stock

Clayton Manufacturing Closes on New Plant

Trump Gaining Steam, Cruz, Rubio appealing to MHPros

Kovach asks Community to Contact Congress in Support of S 682

Thursday, Dec. 10

One-time Fee would Raise the Cost of a Manufactured Home

Modular Home Offers Life on the Water

MH-related Stocks Relatively Quiet in Today’s Trading

Michigan, Arbor Americana MHC Settle Lawsuit

Manufacturing Housing Pros rallying Troops for More Financing Options in 2016

Modular Homeless Housing in Dublin Hits another Snag

Wednesday, Dec 9

Modular Container Homes in Costa Rica will be Off the Grid

Most MH-related Stocks Slip, as do Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500

First FEMA Manufactured Homes will be for Seniors Displaced by Valley Fires

Modular Homes Built to Mimic Hobbit Holes

MHC Management Sets Payment Plan for Miscalculated Charges

Tuesday, Dec. 8

Manufactured Home Organizations help Sponsor Annual Food Drive

Jeffrey L. Gendell Continues Unloading Patrick Stock

Sun Stock Rises Alone as Third Avenue Value Fund, UFPI Drop Sharply

Passages: Mary “Irene” Younkin

Sun Lights Up with Distributions

Passages: Darla Blanchard

Monday, Dec. 7

Rural Scott County Iowa only Allows Multi-Section Manufactured Homes

Manufactured Home finally Saved from Creek

More MH-related Stocks Slip than Rise

Texas Gov. Appoints Richards to MH Board

Drew Principals Sell over 40k Shares of Stock

Sunday Morning Recap-Manufactured Housing Industry News Nov. 29-Dec. 6, 2015 ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews

Marty Lavin, JD – Dodd-Frank, CFPB Manufactured Home Regulations Impact on Owners, Businesses

September 22nd, 2015 Comments off

MartyLavinCFPBManufacturedHomeLendingRegulationsVideoInsideMH-ManufacturedHousingProNews-com-5 years after its passage, Dodd-Frank remains one of the hotly contested legacies of the Obama Administration. Supporters of the law believe that it provides important consumer protections. Others point to facts suggesting CFPB over-reach with respect to manufactured housing chattel – or personal property, “home-only loans” – are creating a Renters Nation.”

Into the hotly contested debate over The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – HR 650 and S 682 – is a newly released Inside MH video interview with attorney Marty Lavin.

Lavin’s background includes taking consumer advocacy positions, while maintaining his status as an expert on manufactured home finance.

In this in depth interview, Lavin is asked about such hot-button topics as:

  • Is Manufactured Home Lending Predatory?
  • Is Fraud and Abuse of Customers Prevalent in MH Retail Today?
  • What is the impact of CFPB regulations on the values of an estimated 4 million manufactured home owners living in 1.7 million MHs in the U.S.?
  • What is the impact of the CFPB’s MLO rule on manufactured home shoppers and sellers?

The PBS Newshour is said to be ‘holding’ video interviews of its own, that informed sources suggest to MHProNews will be slanted against the MH industry’s positions.

Sources have advised the Daily Business News that the PBS interviews by Stephen Fee could be released 10 days before any Senate floor debate. While MH lending consultant Dick Ernst was asked to represent the views of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), sources suggest that the Gwen Ifill interview about OZY Media’s take on manufactured housing could be an important clue as to how those reports will be slanted.

Manufactured home personal property financing – which Fee and others in the media mislabel as ‘mobile home loans’ – will likely come to the forefront, as a Senate vote on a bill that includes the language of S 682 is expected to come up for a vote this fall. Fee has not yet responded to our contact for comments.

PBS’ MH lending focused videos, along with other media reports expected in the run-up to the fall Sentate debate and vote, could make this exclusive Inside MH video interview with Marty Lavin an important part of the discussion, as it takes an in-depth look at the MH loan issue.

A detailed list of other resources on the manufactured home lending topic are found at this link here. ##

(Image credits: Roberts Resorts and Communities, MHProNews, Inside MH.)

Former Head of Manufactured Housing at HUD Urges Passage of S. 682

August 7th, 2015 Comments off

william_matchneer__bradley_arant_boult_cummings__housingwire__creditWilliam Matchneer, who once served as head of the Manufactured Housing Program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and from 2011 to 2014 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), recounts how implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act directives for High-Cost Mortgages under the Home Ownership and Equity Protections Act (HOEPA) negatively impacts the sale of MH under $20,000.

Now with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Matchneer helped write the implementing regulations for the Dodd-Frank appraisal provisions, while other CFPB attorneys wrote the Dodd-Frank lending provisions to establish HOEPA thresholds.

Writing in jdsupra, he states, “Under current law, manufactured housing chattel loans are covered by HOEPA if the annual percentage rate (APR) exceeds the average prime offer rate (APOR) by more than 8.5% for loans of less than $50,000. However, given all the additional requirements for points and fees that come with the new HOEPA rules, chattel loans below $20,000 are simply not economical. As a result, most if not all lenders have simply stopped making these loans.

This hurts some of the most seriously disadvantaged, those with homes valued under $20,000, the very ones the CFPB says it is designed to protect, forcing them to accept cash offers in many case well below market value.

The Dodd-Frank statute does offer to the CFPB the authority to exempt certain loans from HOEPA coverage, but so far CFPB czar Richard Cordray has been unwilling to raise the thresholds.

H.R. 650, the bipartisan Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act did pass the House of Representatives in April, and it amends the thresholds in section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1602) to APOR plus 10% for transactions under $75,000. This would protect the estimated 1.7 million manufactured homes with a loan balance below $20,000. It still manages to maintain consumer protections from predatory lending practices in Dodd-Frank. The companion bill in the Senate, S. 682, is currently in the hands of the Senate Banking Committee.

These bills would also exclude a retailer of manufactured homes or its employees from being classified as a loan originator and therefore subject to SAFE Act licensing and NMLS registration. Under current Dodd Frank/CFPB regulations, retailers cannot offer one iota of information to prospective consumers about MH financing.

For the MHLivingNews interview with Matchneer, please click here.##

War of Words? DC’s The Hill Congressional Blog on Manufactured Housing Finance Reform

July 22nd, 2015 Comments off

Plus1 Properties – original image credit. Cartoon by

While the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s (CFED) Doug Ryan nominally supports manufactured homes (MH) as affordable housing for low income consumers, his response to The Hill  about Rep. Steve Fincher’s call to ease the regulatory burdens on prospective purchasers of MH demonstrably misses the mark. As MHProNews and MHLivingNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach points out in The Hill Congressional Blog today, Ryan said recently that longtime MH finance expert Dick Ernst knows more about MH financing. “Ryan said that weeks after Ernst and a non-Berkshire-Hathaway MH lender privately walked him through the realities of MH financing,” notes Kovach.

Congressman Fincher pointed out that payments on an MH personal property loan are typically less than rent on an apartment or house. Kovach says, “The reason for higher rates on MH is simple business math. The cost to originate a $35,000 loan is similar to the cost of originating a $350,000 loan. Since there are no federal guarantees for conventional MH lending, no real secondary market and thus no risk to tax payers – naturally the rates, points and fees for an MH lender need to be higher to have a chance to profit.” Unlike the traditional mortgage market, interest rates are not kept artificially low via federal supports of the GSEs, FHA or VA loans.

Current CFPB regulations have caused a number of smaller and low rate lenders, as well as huge U S. Bank, to leave the MH finance market because of regulatory burdens. Why aren’t lenders pouring into the market if it was so profitable (i.e. “predatory”)?


Click the image to go The Hill’s Congressional blog post to see and share this time sensitive article. The Senate will take this up again soon. Photo credit, WikiCommons.


While millions of MH loans have been made over the years, consumer complaints reported by the CFPB do not show MH lenders ranking high in originating or servicing. Even when MH consumers are forced by CFPB regulations to turn to 36 percent interest rate payday-style loans, we know of real world examples of their payments on an inexpensive home still being less than rent. So why shut the door on lenders making smaller loans and give a break to consumers on interest charges?

Rep. Fincher’s measure, The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650/S682) gives manufactured home owners the opportunity to sell their homes if it has a value that would be financed under $20,000. It also allows MH sales people the ability to help MH consumers in their purchase, much like a realtor does in a conventional mortgage scenario.

Kovach says, “That’s all good for homeowners, consumers and business. That’s good public policy. The Senate should promptly pass the bill, and/or CFPB should change their policies on MH lending ASAP.”   MH associations are encouraging industry members to read and share the article with their Senators and staffs, because it documents and refutes opposition arguments, point by point. The link to the full blog post on the Hill is here. ##

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Will Matt Drudge, Fox or CNN Spotlight Unfair Challenges Harming Millions of Manufactured Home Owners?

May 20th, 2015 2 comments



Correction on this photo, an earlier version did not have the proper image of Mike Baker, left.

The Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity has allegedly targeted Clayton Homes and Berkshire-Hathaway affiliated finance companies in an attempt to derail much needed reforms to Dodd-Frank which harm millions of manufactured home (MH) owners and thousands of MH businesses.

Mike Baker and Daniel Wagner – writers of the Seattle Times articles, done in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity – used shock tactics prior to the House of Representatives vote to attempt to derail the now-passed HR 650, which enjoyed bi-partisan support.

More recently, that writing duo turn on Warren Buffett’s firms again, in advance of a Thursday May 21st vote in the Senate Banking Committee that will include industry sought relief (S 682) from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations. Industry professionals say that The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, would mitigate the harm done to the value of millions of low-cost manufactured home owners by the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank.

It might take a link by billion-plus monthly page views Drudge Report, or media mavens like Fox or CNN, to right the imbalanced coverage spawned by Baker’s and Wagner’s questionable journalism.

Writing in the Seattle Times, Baker says that the default rate on manufactured homes is higher than conventional housing, and uses pejorative terms about the loans such as “predatory” and “risky.” But should 97 home buyers be barred home ownership via financing others won’t offer, so that the 3 who fail in a year be spared their loss?

As a comparison, should millions be stopped from working because a small minority might quit or lose their jobs? Should subscribers to the Seattle Times digital or print publications be barred from buying their brand of news, because some every year will stop paying them? Should their publication be barred from selling ads because some advertisers will stop using them every year?

Yet that is kind of reasoning being used by Baker and Wagner. Their self-evident goal is an attempt to stir up enough shock value that blurs their use of faulty or circle reasoning, aimed at undermining support for much needed Dodd-Frank reforms.

Real Harm to Millions of Real Home Owners and Thousands of Businesses

The Seattle Times and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) fail to balance their report by pointing out that the loss of lending that has taken place is harming the value of the lowest cost manufactured homes.

Some 20% of the homes that 20 million manufactured home owners live in would sell for under $20,000, the mark that 21st Mortgage Corporation set below which they could not safely make a loan and still hope to profit. With 8.8 million manufactured homes and pre-HUD Code mobile homes in the U.S., that 20% would represent about 1,760,000 manufactured/mobile homes (MH).

Since most MH owners live in their homes an average of about 10 years, millions may not yet realize they are harmed.

Comrades in Arms Against Reform?

Organizations like the Center for Enterprise Development (CFED) are ducking tough questions from MHProNews. Meanwhile, CFED’s Doug Ryan willingly comments to the Seattle Times or OZY Media, why? Are his comments made to other media a desperate effort to shock enough people with headlines and stories that don’t stand up well to close scrutiny? Aren’t CFED and Ishbel Dickens led National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) harming the very home owners they claim to be advocating for? Is their ideological stance more important to them than the realities on the ground caused by the polices they advocate?

Dickens sent MHProNews an emailed reply, saying she was on vacation, and thus could not answer questions. Her “vacation” ends after the Senate vote. She can email that she is on vacation, but can’t email a simple reply on the impact of current CFPB regulations on the values of millions of manufactured homes? Or how publishers such as OZY Media are arguably harming the value of MH owners, by using improper and derogatory terminology?

CFPB Regulations harms all current Manufactured Home Lenders

By spotlighting Berkshire-Hathaway affiliated companies, Baker and Wagner are allegedly attempting to derail needed reforms of Dodd-Frank, that impact manufactured home owners and every lender in the manufactured housing space.

don_glisson_2Triad Financial Corporation is a competing company to 21st Mortgage. Triad’s President and CEO, Don Glisson Jr., has told MHProNews that his firm’s costs have skyrocketed since CFPB regulations have gone into effect.

Glisson said, “Triad has been the leading lender in the “A” credit market for over 50 years and I have personally been with the company for over 30 years. Regulations have always been a fact of life for us, but our compliance costs have quadrupled in the past 3 years alone.”

Another industry lender, formerly with US Bank, told MHProNews off-the-record that their bank’s manufactured housing loan program was profitable. But the high costs of regulatory compliance, coupled with low loan volume, caused U.S. Bank to end their manufactured housing lending program. That mirrors the official statement made by the bank when they pulled out of manufactured home lending in November, 2014.

A third manufactured home lender said off-the-record that they are glad 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) make the loans they do. Why? Because in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, loans on manufactured homes originated by 21st and VMF were crucial to the survival of thousands of MH Industry companies, which included hundreds of independent operations not owned by Berkshire-Hathaway.

Doesn’t the dismal failure to report in a balanced fashion – as Jan Hollingsworth did in writing on the impact of Dodd-Frank on manufactured home buyers and professionals – undermine the credibility of a journalist?

Senior management with every major industry lender MHProNews spoke in favor of reforms on Dodd-Frank, even if they don’t make the same kinds of loans 21st and VMF do.

Triad’s CEO elaborated on the challenges faced by their firm and other manufactured housing professionals. “Since we specialize in A credits, we have never had an issue with higher cost loans and the rules that surround higher priced loans have zero impact on us.”

However,” Glisson stated, “the rule that prohibits a manufactured home retailer from advising the customer on finance options is one that we would like to see changed. Currently a buyer of a site built home can receive advice from their realtor or builder on financing options, while manufactured home buyers have no similar ability to seek a seller’s help. This would be like going to a car dealer to buy a new SUV and when you ask for help securing a loan they hand you the phone book and say they can’t help you so just pick one out yourself.”

Glisson explained what impact this CFPB regulation has made on their operation. “This has doubled the amount of applications we are now processing to do the same amount of lending. In the past, before the CFPB regulations, a retailer could pre-qualify a buyer by accessing their credit reports and analyzing their income, just like every Realtor ® in America can do. With that information, they could at least determine what lender NOT to send the application to. We have had to add several full time equivalent team members to handle the crush of applications, as we are now bombarded with applicants who have no chance of qualifying with us.”

This is a pattern of “shot-gunning” applications by retailers to all MH lenders, to avoid the appearance of steering, that other lenders have confirmed for MHProNews.

Glisson went on to say that, “Beginning in 2014, when the rules went into effect, our origination cost per loan has skyrocketed. Pre-2014 we would approve about 50% of the applications we received as they were pre-screened. Currently we approve about 30% of the applications we receive, so our efficiency went down the tubes and we are working harder and spending more to make the same amount of loans.”

These are the kinds of real world problems caused by federal regulations that cause a lender such as U.S. Bank to pull out.


As Sam Landy, President and CEO of UMH Properties pointed out in a video interview linked here, it has caused them and others in the community business to stop lending to potential manufactured home owners. They now rent homes to those who before would be qualified by their finance arm to make renters into home owners. How does that regulatory caused impact help those thousands seeking ownership and equity instead of rent receipts to advance in life?

Doing the Math

Finance experts tell us that a community operator like UMH, using a related or ‘captive finance’ company, can afford to make loans at a lower interest rate than a traditional lender because they are only loaning on manufactured homes in their community. In the event of a default, their costs and thus their loses are lower. Additionally, a manufactured home community operator can benefit even if their loan program is only marginally profitable, because they are getting additional revenue from a sold home and filled homesite.

There is no similar benefit to the third party loans made by 21st, VMF, Triad Financial, CU Factory Built Lending or Mountainside Financial. The same holds true for regional or local lenders who must profit on the loan itself, or they won’t make the loan in the first place.

Does Buffett win more than Millions of home owners would from the proposed reforms to Dodd-Frank?

While the Seattle Times’ Baker and his tag team writer Wagner make it sound that Warren Buffett and Berkshire-Hathaway related companies are the big winner from financial reform, they clearly overlook the real world impact on an estimated 20% of those home owners who live in a home that is worth under $20,000.

If those homes averaged $15,000 each, 1.76 million MHs represent an aggregated value of $26,400,000,000. That sum dwarfs the benefits to Berkshire-Hathaway, or indeed, to the entire manufactured housing industry.

Since financing is the key to most big ticket sales, a loss of financing causes the same drop in value that was seen in conventional housing in the wake of the 2008 mortgage collapse.  Just as conventional housing lost value absent lending, the same holds true for manufactured homes.

As the now-retired president of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), Danny Ghorbani, has said, the factory built home industry was not the cause of the 2008 housing/mortgage bubble. So why were manufactured home owners, housing businesses and professionals penalized? Why is manufactured housing owners and buisnesses taking such a direct hit from the impact of CFPB regulations?


 As Eric Powell told Jan Hollingsworth about the impact of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB regulations on their manufactured home purchase, What were they thinking when they did that?”  Or as Sam Landy told MHLivingNews, the consequences to millions of manufactured home owners and thousands of business may well have been untended, but someone has got to fix this. ##

(Image credits 3 and 4, MHLivingNews; Don Glisson Jr photo and composite photo and graphic of Baker and Wagner made by MHProNews).

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.