Posts Tagged ‘SAFE Act’

Frank Rolfe–Manufactured Home Communities, Prospective HomeOwners Win with Trump

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off

There has been an evolution from trailer houses, to mobile homes, to today’s manufactured homes.  To see that article, click image above. Credit: MHLivingNews.

Manufactured home community sector maverick, Frank Rolfe, has sounded off in a recent commentary, breaking down the reasons that manufactured home community owners, and prospective home buyers, win with the Administration of President Donald Trump.

According to the NuWire release, Rolfe had plenty to say.

Whether you are Democrat or Republican, there is no question that mobile home park [sic] owners are likely to do very well under the Trump presidency. Here is an outline of the different issues that will help mobile home park [sic] owners, based on the agenda discussed so far,” said Rolfe.

Rolfe and his partners operate one of the largest portfolios of manufactured home communities in the nation.  His boot camps, books and talks draws potential investors. Rolfe’s been called a “media-magnet.”

The most notable place his news release used what many want in terms of correct industry terminology was in the bio, which stated he has over 25,000 home sites in 28 states and draws to a close by saying, “To learn more about Frank’s views on the manufactured home community industry...” 

He isn’t shy about his opinions.


Kurt Kelley. Credit: MHProNews.

As for Frank, he takes heat for stating facts and truth publicly when others don’t.  He’s the Donald Trump of our industry.” said Kurt Kelley, JD, a financial services provider, industry writer, and colleague of Rolfe’s.

Speaking on the 2008 SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank in 2010, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Rolfe sees their repeal being the key to the dream of homeownership.


Dave Reynolds (l), Frank Rolfe (r), of

Mobile Home University, Mobile Home Park Store and RV Horizons.

If SAFE and Dodd-Frank were repealed, it would allow park owners [sic] to go back to writing mortgages on their homes and letting people be homeowners instead of mere renters. And mobile home parks [sic] work better when the residents all [own] their own homes, and are stakeholders in the business model, said Rolfe.

Rolfe has been outspoken recently regarding MHI, when it comes to defending the industry he loves and works in.

The folks at MHI – the industry lobby group – are nice people, but what’s with the concept of silence is golden? Negative articles on the industry are met with ‘no comment.’ Positive news opportunities are met with ‘no comment.’ I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Rolfe in a feature linked here.


Images on MHProNews are routinely used under fair use guidelines, as is the case with the images in the collage above.

Speaking on other areas he deemed important, Rolfe pointed out infrastructure, and a focus on the heartland, as promising signs coming from the Trump Administration.

A large number of mobile home park [sic] residents are contractors and laborers, and this group will receive a huge bonus in the form of new employment to repair our nation’s infrastructure. As these bridges, roads, airport and other projects are fairly much equally spread throughout the country; this directive will have a huge impact on many major mobile home park [sic] markets. And greater employment trickles down to other employers that are basic staples of mobile home park [sic] jobs, such as fast food,” said Rolfe.


Bob Crawford, Frank Rolfe in panel discussion on industry issues, both took aim at what they see as MHI’s misses and failures. Credit, Inside MH Road Show, MHProNews.  Rolfe will be presenting in next week at the educational day for the Tunica Show, to learn more, click here.

If you assume that the ‘red’ states will gain more focus than the ‘blue’ states under the new administration, then that could have a very positive impact on the heartland of America, which holds the majority of mobile home parks [sic] in the U.S.,” he explained.

There are simply not many mobile home parks [sic] in the ‘blue’ states – except for Illinois.” While a popular writer and speaker, Rolfe at times makes a statement that requires a second look.  Deep blue California, for example, has thousands of manufactured home communities. 

The reason is that real estate values are very high on the coasts, and this has resulted in many mobile home parks [sic] being torn down and re-developed over time,” he added, which is a trend that the Daily Business News has often highlighted.

Additionally, most cities stopped allowing new parks [sic] to be built in the 1980s, yet many fast-growing metro areas – such as found in California and Florida – had explosive growth in more recent times and therefore precluded mobile home park [sic] construction.

In conclusion, Rolfe sees better opportunities for manufactured home owners over the next few years.

Every change in Presidential administration opens new avenues for business. The Trump presidency suggests many areas of change that our beneficial to mobile home park [sic] owners,” said Rolfe.

For more from Frank Rolfe, including his commentary on MHI, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

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.##

Washington Honors Six Affordable Housing Advocates

October 17th, 2014 Comments off

manufactured homes for washington fruit pickers   Dan Wheat capital press com  creditThe Housing Finance Commission (HFC) of Washington State has announced the winners of the 2014 Friend of Housing awards, including Ishbel Dickens, who was awarded the Margaret M. Sevy Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with manufactured housing, according to


MHProNews recalls a story posted Feb. 8, 2012 regarding a hearing called by the House Financial Services Committee to hear testimony about HUD’s implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act and the unintended consequences of the SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank on manufactured housing (MH). At the hearing, Ms. Dickens, who is executive director of the Manufactured Homeowners Association of America (MHOAA), used her testimony to criticize manufactured housing community owners.

Dickens is also a member of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC).

Other Friend of Housing Award winners were: Stephen Buxbaum, Mayor of Olympia; Chris Venne, senior housing developer at Community Frameworks in Bremerton; Jayne Auld, who recently retired from Spokane Housing Ventures; Adrienne Quinn, formerly of Seattle Office of Housing and now with King County Community and Human Services; Beacon Development Group, a Seattle-based affordable housing developer; and Harry Hoffman, former executive director of Housing Development Consortium.

MHProNews has been advised that the HFC is a state agency targeted to increasing housing access and affordability. Certainly, from a number of manufactured housing community owner’s perspective, whom Ms Dicken’s has referred to as ‘the enemy,’ this award will be seen as ironic. ##

Editor’s note: related story, National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) -linked here.

(Photo credit: Dan Wheat/–manufactured homes for Washington fruit pickers)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to the Daily Business News – MHProNews)

MH Industry Pros Respond to CFPB Report

October 8th, 2014 Comments off

richard_cordray_c-span2__creditWhile the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent report on financing the purchase of manufactured homes (MH) notes buyers of MH are often poor, elderly, rural and vulnerable to high-cost “chattel” (“home only,” personal property) loans, the bureau wants to ensure consumers have access to “responsible credit.” Their report, comments and the resulting controversies are the subject of a new Industry in Focus report, linked here.

Consumer Affairs reporter Truman Lewis says mortgage lenders generally disregard MH lending because the demand is not great, which leaves the door open to five national MH personal property lenders.

However, smaller regional and local MH lenders exist, but CFPB regulations restrict sales people from referring consumers to them for fear of violating CFPB rules.
Dan Rinzema, president of MHVillage and DataComp says the government regulation is misguided and does not help the market for the resale of manufactured homes, which would help make MH a competitive housing choice. Doug Ryan, Director of Affordable Housing Initiatives at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a non-profit that supports affordable MH, echoes CFPB’s claim that borrowers are vulnerable to expensive loan products.

Some Washington insiders say the report stems from the stiff grilling CFPB Director Richard Cordray received Jan. 28, 2014 at the hands of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee, and point to a video of that hearing.

The 55-page report alleges that 68 percent of all MH purchase loans in 2012 were chattel loans compared to three percent of site-built home loans, and included that two-thirds of MH loans were eligible for traditional mortgages but chose personal property loans instead. Chattel loans are quicker to obtain, says the report, but have lower origination costs. Industry finance expert Dick Ernst, a principal at FinMarkUSA, says while the report notes the absence of a secondary mortgage market for MH, the cost to originate personal property loans is the similar regardless of the amount of the loan.

Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, in response to a request from the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee for an analysis of HUD’s implementation of the MHIA of 2000, says HUD has fallen short of encouraging Ginnie Mae to securitize manufactured home loans, which in turn reduces the availability of affordable MH.

The law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLC said in a statement the CFPB report indicates the agency is showing interest in the MH industry which may lead to adjustments that could reduce burdens on the lenders and lower costs of credit to borrowers. Robert Williamson, of Hart King Law, says the paper may be a public recognition of the importance of MH to the consumer housing market, and may in turn stimulate a more robust MH market.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) notes the report may be establishing a jumping off point for future CFPB activity, while the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) remarks the CFPB acknowledges the negative impact the Dodd-Frank Act, implemented in Jan. 2014, is having on the manufactured housing market.

Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage Corporation says the statement that 60 percent of chattel customers own their land and are therefore eligible for a conventional mortgage is incorrect, noting it is irresponsible of the CFPB to make such false statement. He says 26 percent of 21st’s borrowers say they own their land, but he is pleased the CFPB admits their regulations restrict credit to manufactured home owners.

When consumers are considering buying a site-built or a manufactured home, the two pieces of crucial information are the down payment and the monthly payment. MH sales people are restricted in what they can offer in response to such a question, while some believe it’s not a violation if a Realtor ® gives such information.

A chart from Fannie Mae demonstrates that even when the interest rate is higher for an MH, monthly payments often make the purchase of a manufactured home the lower cost option. The restrictions on MH salespeople helping consumers find financing can turn people away from even being interested in a manufactured home, further damaging the industry’s chances of offering affordable options, as Jason Boehlert, Senior VP of Government Affairs at MHI notes.

Major MH lenders have told MHProNews they have added staff to deal with the increase of applications being “shot-gunned” to multiple lenders, since the CFPB regulations took effect in Jan. 2014. This is increasing costs, all because MH retailers do not want to be accused of steering customers, which could result in heavy fines.

In addition, the lack of a secondary market for MH loans also limits mortgage lenders from making MH loans, which higher costs of funds makes the loan cost more to the borrower. The CFPB regulations result in lenders not accepting loans for under $25,000 because the cost to originate and service that sized loan makes them unprofitable.

While CFPB Director Cordray says, “Manufactured housing is a critical source of affordable housing for some consumers,” the regulations of the agency work is in the opposite direction—preventing potentially millions of Americans from buying durable, affordable, energy efficient homes that could stimulate the housing market and the jobs that would accompany the stimulus. ##

For the complete commentary, please click here.

(Photo credit: C-SPAN 2)

Four MH Industry Members Honored at MHI Annual Meeting

September 19th, 2014 Comments off

mhi_logoFour members of the manufactured housing industry were honored at the recent Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) annual meeting Sept. 14-16 for their outstanding contributions to the industry.

Dick Ernst, president of Financial Marketing Associates, received the MHI Chairman’s Award from MHI Chairman Nathan Smith. A longtime member of the MHI Board of Directors, he has served as treasurer of the organization’s Executive Committee for two terms, is past chairman of MHI’s Government Relations Committee, and in 1998 served as interim president during the search for a new president. Serving on MHI’s Dodd-Frank Act task force, he has met with Congress and CFPB regulators on numerous occasions, and has helped retailers and communities interpret the complexities of the CFPB regulations as they impact MH sales.

Beginning his manufactured housing industry career in 1972, Terry Dullaghan, Director of National Sales at Senco Brands, Inc., received the Frank Walter Standards Award for his dedication to advancing the professionalism of the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, and for his long time contributions to the MH industry as a whole. An active member of MHI since 1990, Dullaghan’s company was the corporate sponsor of Miss America 2000, and he has been involved in research for energy efficient home designs.

Andy Gallagher, Executive Director of the West Virginia Housing Institute, Inc., received the State Association Executive of the Year honor, chosen by other MH state association executives for his networking, sharing information and active participation in industry events. He created a simple, four-page quick reference brochure for dealing with the Dodd-Frank Act that became a national template, helping sales centers deal with the complexities of the measure. Gallagher was instrumental in the passage of state legislation that provided an exemption from the SAFE Act for an individual who sold no more than three manufactured homes, so they would not be classified as a mortgage originator.

Mary Gaiski, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association (PMHA), received the Jim Moore Excellence in Communications Award. Presented by the Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MEHC), Gaiski worked with Jim Moore–for whom the honor is named–for many years, and identified him as a mentor. She has been a tireless promoter of the industry, knowledgeable of its history, and specifically savvy in dealing with transportation issues, especially since the state is a vital link to homes headed for the northeast. Appointed by the state’s governor, Gaiski served as Secretary/Treasurer of Pennsylvania’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.

MHProNews sends hearty congratulations to these four outstanding industry activists. ##

(Image credit: Manufactured Housing Institute)

William Matchneer leaves CFPB for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

September 18th, 2014 Comments off

william_matchneer__bradley_arant_boult_cummings__housingwire__creditWilliam Matchneer, formerly senior counsel with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) division of research, markets and regulations, has joined the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in their litigation and compliance practice group. In addition to serving as team lead for implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act at the CFPB, he also dealt with appraisals, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Secure and Fair Enforcement of Mortgage Licensing Act (the Safe Act) and the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA). At the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 2002-2011, Matchneer was senior administrator for the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Manufactured Housing regarding consumer financial protection programs, and the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

Most recently at HUD, according to, he was a senior attorney in the Program Compliance Division, providing counsel to attorneys and clients dealing with RESPA, the Safe Act and ILSA. Previously, Matchneer served as counsel on several House of Representatives Committees dealing with education, occupational safety and health, workforce and government reform. As the firm’s chairman, Beau Grenier, informs MHProNews, “Bill brings to our Financial Services Litigation and Compliance team extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of key U.S. financial and housing sector agencies. We look forward to Bill’s contributions to the services we deliver to our clients in the banking and other financial sectors.” ##

(Photo credit: Matchneer  joins Bradley Arant Boult Cummings legal firm)

Manufactured Housing Growing, Modular Home Production Slipping in Wisconsin

September 8th, 2014 Comments off

wisconsin--wikipediaThe Wisconsin Housing Alliance reports the production of off-site built homes is down this year, especially for modular homes, which suffered a drop of ten percent in 2013 over 2012. As tells MHProNews, production in 2004 was almost 700 percent higher. Pittsville Homes closed this summer after 40 years of modular home building, and Wickfield Building Systems idled 150 workers when it closed its modular plant in Marshfield, WI in 2009. Wisconsin-based Ferkey Builders, which usually produces 8-12 homes a year built only one in 2013, the worst year in the history of the company. But co-owner Colleen Ferkey says the pendulum is slowly swinging back.

The manufactured housing (MH) industry in Wisconsin saw the number of home shipments decline from 2,760 in 2003 to 306 in 2013, which is up from the 207 homes in 2009. As MHProNews has posted monthly, the national MH industry production has been growing, although slowly, since Aug. 2011. Amy Bliss of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA), noting the decline of the overall housing industry following the Great Recession, says, “The No. 1 reason for the building industry’s troubles is due to a lack of available financing,” citing the Dodd-Frank Act and the SAFE Act as over reacting to poor lending practices of the past. Ross Klinzler, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA), echoes her sentiment: “Once some rationale returns to the lending industry, we’ll be fine.” ##

(Image credit:

Support Grows for HR 1779; More Needed

November 27th, 2013 Comments off

The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2013—HR 1779—remedies the unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank Act that disproportionately affect affordable manufactured home lending. To date, 20 Democrats and 85 Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation, indicating momentum is growing, but more support is needed to insure the bill’s passage. One industry insider said Obama Care is to health what Dodd-Frank and the CFPB’s policies are to home lending–”disastrous.” Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), while noting state manufactured housing associations have done a good job in garnering support for 1779, says, “We still need help in securing co-sponsors in some of our key manufactured housing states in order to push us across the finish line! We are expecting the Senate bill to drop (be introduced) right after the Thanksgiving recess.” Under the CFPB’s pending rules, the cost for a lender to originate a $35,000 manufactured home (MH) loan would be similar to the cost to originate a $250,000 conventional housing loan. Without a sufficient spread on rates, points or fees, the low cost MH loans can’t be profitably made. Ohio’s Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and several colleagues sent a letter to CFPB’s Director Richard Cordray in support of a regulatory fix, while 118 members of the House of Representatives have asked Cordray to delay implementation of the new mortgage finance rules for one year, until January, 2015. Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN), author of HR 1779, said in an interview with MHProNews that “The government has an incredibly poor track record of picking winners and losers, and it needs to stop doing it. Instead, we need for Congress and the Administration to get out of the way and allow businesses and industries to make decisions that will allow them to thrive and create more jobs.” Fincher, himself a small businessman and a farmer stated, “I stepped up because this is a common sense issue. The government’s overreach and bad regulations here are hurting jobs and families. Something has to be done to stop that, and H.R. 1779 is just one way we can help maintain the quality of life for Americans across the country.” Sam Landy, CEO of land lease community owner UMH Properties, is encouraging residents and staff to contact their elected representatives in support of HR 1779. Landy says, “From my perspective if the government just removes the provisions of the SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank that stop us from selling homes to people who can afford them, I’d be happy enough.” He says a buyer can have a three-bedroom, two-bath manufactured home for $70,000, including the cost of a lot. For more information, please click here.

(Image credit: bloombergbusinessweek)

Tea Party Republicans challenging Incumbents over SAFE Act, Constitutional issues

August 26th, 2013 Comments off

rob-ariago-credit-poststar-posted-manufactured-housing-pro-news-daily-business-news-Two tea party Republicans serving on the Wilton Republican Committee are part of what may be an re-emerging pattern within the ranks of the party. Not unlike the 2010 Tea Party revolution that brought dozens of Republicans into the House of Representatives, local candidates Rob Arrigo and Elaine Gerber are challenging incumbent state Republican Committee members Todd Kusnierz and Shirley Needham on September 10th. The 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning PostStar tells MHProNews the candidates are vying for committee representation of northeastern Saratoga County municipalities in New York’s 113th Assembly District. Rob Arrigo said Saratoga County needs a stronger voice on constitutional issues, such as the SAFE Act and gun control legislation enacted in January. “Unfortunately the SAFE Act was passed not just with Democrats, but it was passed largely because (state Sen. Majority Leader) Dean Skelos, R-Long Island, allowed a vote on the SAFE Act in the New York State Senate,” he said. “That is unacceptable, and we want to go and hold those elected officials accountable. And the best place to do that is on the state committee.” Since MHProNews knows the SAFE Act is a big issue for manufactured housing professionals, we will track this re-emerging trend to see its potential impact on Congressional races in the upcoming 2014 election. ##

(Photo credit: PostStar)

MHARR Pans Field Hearing: HUD is the Bigger Hurdle

December 1st, 2011 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) participated in the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee’s field hearing on “The State of Manufactured Housing” held in Danville, VA Nov. 29, 2011, submitting written testimony on the need for congressional oversight of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s manufactured housing program. MHARR says the field hearing, with the exception of the elementary overview of the HUD program by its administrator, and a MH resident satisfied with her home, focused primarily on the lack of available financing and the anticipated negative impacts of the SAFE Act and the Dodd-Frank law, and included Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes, the nation’s largest producer of  MH. MHARR has consistently and repeatedly maintained HUD has failed to comply with key reform provisions of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. “The smaller businesses represented by MHARR have major and specific grievances based on HUD’s failure to fully and properly implement key reform provisions of this law designed to ensure that manufactured homes are treated as housing rather than ‘trailers’–distorting some, ignoring others and effectively reading yet others out of the law entirely by process of ‘interpretation.’ This failure negatively impacts all aspects of the industry and the use and availability of manufactured homes, including the availability of financing for mostly lower and moderate-income home buyers. Yet, neither they nor the independent expert witnesses they identified for the Committee are here today because of changes to the venue and focus of the hearing.” MHARR insists the industry will not improve until HUD fully complies with the reforms.

(Graphic credit: MHARR)