Archive

Posts Tagged ‘SECO’

Manipulating Manufactured Housing Pros – Caterwauling Mudslinger, Just Write a Check, Pay Cash, Use Plastic, and Shut You Up

April 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

GeorgeFAllenEducateMHCCommunityInvestorImageManufacturedHousingInstituteClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayMHProNews

Jealousy. Lunacy. Hypocrisy. Once was, award-winning, former community-investor George F. Allen bemoans MHARR, begs them and NAMHCO for unity with MHI, all while assailing this platform. Will someone in his circle please show him how to use the GPS app on his phone?

 

Or is Allen still navigating by using an old app-less flip phone? Does he not see that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO), himself, we and others have all left the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) for good, stated, and ongoing reasons?

Let’s unpack wanna-be “EducateMHC” magician and trickster Allen’s Good Friday assaults and caterwauling complaints about several MH industry things, as he purportedly puffs to carry MHI’s water. Yes, that’s the same MHI Allen himself quit, that he said privately and publicly betrayed had him, and that he long complained about their purported oligarchic practices. In his trying to point a finger at others, has he successfully instead pointed three fingers back at himself and his buddies affiliated with the Arlington, VA oligarchic front group?

Let’s dig into the evidence and find out.  Because after 6 months of declining new manufactured home shipments during an affordable housing crisis, manufactured housing retailers, communities, producers, lenders, and all others merit serious answers, not another artful dodge.

What is it All About?

Professionals in our industry or any other are obviously in business to make money. For the majority who want to earn an honest living, that requires information, among other factors.

So as the ancient Romans put it, “scientia potentia est” or “knowledge is potential power.”

Knowledge is only potential power because accurate information must be properly acted upon in order for it to have practical value.

But what if the information being put forth isn’t accurate?  Doesn’t that make success more difficult to obtain?  Especially for the independent business person, who may be competing against a nearby industry giant?

That’s just one reasons why critical thinking skills are necessary.  Because Allen is right about this much, there are two entirely different narratives at play in manufactured housing industry trade circles.  That begs the question, which narrative is more accurate?

As a thoughtful strategist – the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it – the purpose of education is to build character and to learn to think critically. Keep in mind what King and his colleagues accomplished.  Flash back to 1950.  Who would have thought that black Americans could have so many social, economic, and political barriers for their progress removed by the efforts of King and others working with him?

Knowledge, critical thinking – reality-based understanding – these are important for any professional, especially for those in a seemingly uphill battle.

IfMHProNewsIswritingAboutItIWantToKnowAboutItQuoteIn a normal industry, some of the types of facts and insights needed to succeed would typically come from trade associations.

Sadly, in manufactured housing – as even their exiting president Chris Stinebert obliquely suggested – the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has purportedly been failing at their own mission.  Why else would Stinebert wait until his final column to list all the ways that MHI was – from his insiders vantagepoint – failing to get to the root issues? To learn more, see the linked final article by Stinebert, here or above.

So while some moan or rail that MHProNews dares to hold MHI or other ‘big boys’ to account, it must not be forgotten that others – including, but not limited to, MHI insiders – have blasted MHI before or contemporaneously with this publication.

Rephrased, there is ample evidence that Stinebert and others in and out of MHI have provided to demonstrate that the Arlington, VA based trade group was weaponized to do the bidding of their ‘big boy’ masters.  Let Allen or others in MHI try to defend against that claim as best they can.

 

White Hats, Black Hats

Those ‘big boys’ are often tied to Omaha based Berkshire Hathaway, or Knoxville metro based Clayton Homes and their lending affiliates.  To be accurate and objective, there are other companies in the mix too.  MHI can arguably be seen as a mix of black hats and black hats.  The question then is, which hat is a given firm or individual wearing?  And are white hat firms giving black hat conglomerates cover for black hat activities?

The contention that much of the industry’s ills are in many ways internal did not begin here at  MHProNews.  One might argue that we were a bit slow on the uptake.  But if so, it was to make sure that the evidence existed to back the various claims being made, often by MHI insiders.

More recently, thanks to numerous voices inside and out of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, MHProNews and our publicly-facing sister site can and have sincerely advanced the troubling case that the industry is underperforming due to the fallout from purported: antitrust violations, ongoing efforts at market manipulation and association failures.

One need look no further than the historic shipment data to recognize that the industry is underperforming.

Even publicly traded MHI member companies are making that argument that the industry is underperforming, as the Skyline Champion (SKY) graphic below reflects. The comments were added by MHProNews, but the green line reflects that the industry has a long-term average of some 224,000 new HUD Code home shipments annually.  It has achieved 372,000 plus new manufactured housing units produced in 1998.  In the mobile home era, over 55o,000 units were produced and sold for 2 years running.  What was done before can surely be done again.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

Another example of how MHI and their big boy brands are stirring the industry’s problems is the John Oliver’s satirical viral hit “Mobile Homes” video, accessible via the linked text-image box below.

 

 

That’s not caterwauling. That’s better known as following the facts, evidence, money trail, and logic.  That’s what researchers and reporters are supposed to do, George.

 

 

CaterwaulingDefinedManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

These examples are the very essence of the critical thinking skills that Dr. King, Jr. and so many other thinker-doers through the ages have said is necessary for human progress.

 

CriticalThinkingDefinedManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

George F. (F?) Allen’s ‘Defense’ of MHI and Certain State Association Executives

GeorgeAllenCommunityInvestorBlogMHMPostedMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryNewsMHProNews-133x150a

George Allen, photo credit, MHProNews.com.

George F. (F?) Allen is up-front in each blog post for some years about why he writes. “Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’”  Meaning, write him a check, take out your plastic, or cash and he’ll provided you with his sage views.

Of course.

Never mind that he’s now out of the land-lease business, so by his own prior definition, he no longer has “skin in the game.” Ooops.

Never mind that – per sources in his own circle – despite his new ‘EducateMHC’ moniker, his own daughter reportedly failed in the land-lease community business.  That reported failure almost took Allen himself under, per those same sources in Allen’s own orbit.  Ooops.

And never mind that Allen’s and his colleagues in SECO have an idea of education that has proven to be legally problematic, as the report and cross-linked information here outlines.  Ooops.

Keep in mind that Allen likes to entertain others, and is rather good at it. Among his delights are ‘magic tricks.’  The person who is adept at slight-of-hand actions has attempted a verbal slight-of-hand for some time, one could say.  In fact, why not point out that part of the ‘mystery shopping’ service that Allen provided for years was predicated on fooling people into thinking that he was an actual prospect.

So, what follows from Allen’s blog as his Good Friday topic is prudently considered through the lens of those assertions and related factoids. He’s been successful for years in writing and organizing events for a fee.  Done well, that’s a legitimate part of the American way.  Done badly or problematically, it is a good reason to apply “caveat emptor.”  Let the buyer beware.

 

Thanks, George 😉 Allen’s Over-the-Target Responses to Recent MHProNews Reports 

Naval and Air Force pilots have long had the expression that you don’t catch flak unless you are over the target.

Sources indicate to MHProNews that some of the same state executives that complained about leaks to this publication have at times shared information with Allen or others too. That’s obviously done when those same association executives doing the ‘leaks’ thought it useful to their interests.  Perhaps so, but it is mentioned here because Allen did in his missive quoted at length further below.

Part of the purpose of good media is to hold the powerful to account. Who says?  The Society of Professional Journalists and their code of ethics.

 

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMHProNews

 

It has been a while since Allen has taken public aim at this platform in an apparently failed attempt to get industry readers to boycott MHProNews.  That was allegedly done as ‘carrying water for’ association executives in the MHI orbit.  In response to the SPJ bullets 2 and 3, noted above, this fact-check and analysis are hereby offered.

Allen, himself a prior MHI critic, has apparently found a new way to profit from being a periodic voice to attempt to dissuade industry independents from following the reports and analysis on MHProNews. 

OligarchyDefinedGeorgeFAllenGFACommunityInvestorBlogCOBA7DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Allen has not bothered to explain in depth to his readers what changed his views about MHI, on the concerns he previously noted publicly below.  Does his lack of consistency bother him?

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

George Allen can’t have it both ways, but that doesn’t apparently keep him from trying. He has a modest following today, which once used to be a larger following. As a former client of his told MHProNews, with George “It’s AAA, All About Allen.” If someone is doing good, and Allen’s not somehow in the mix, it is not uncommon for Allen to attempt to undermine that source, per some of his own followers.

  

Facts, documents, and accurate quotes in context are #NettlesomeThings.

New readers should bear in mind the following points.

  • Allen and Spencer Roane have been offered the opportunity to publicly dispute the evidence presented here on MHProNews and/or on MHLivingNews regarding themselves and/or the concerns associated with MHI, that he himself previously voiced routinely. They’ve repeatedly declined to engage in a public discussion or debate.  That’s in keeping with their 5th Amendment right to remain silent, which we respect.  But that leaves others free to ponder, if they had the better case, why not make it in public?
  • MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, and/or their attorneys have been made a similar offer to publicly dispute the evidence presented here or on MHLivingNews via a moderated, on camera, and in front of a live audience of industry professionals. They’ve repeatedly declined the opportunity to do so.  Once more, that’s their right.  Perhaps they’ve duck out knowing their are federal investigations underway, and that whatever they say could be used against them in a court of law?  See the video, below the next bullet.  NOTE: views of that video have apparently more than doubled since we began sharing that mainstream media report about investigations of Clayton and their related lenders, from their own hometown news station.
  • George F. Allen, various figures associated with MHI, Jim and Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams and others may be loathe to admit it today, but they have each praised this publication for being pro-industry and for the good work being done here. Now that same analysis done here that they previously praised has turned dark in their eyes.

 

 

As believers in free enterprise and the value of honest competition, Allen – right or wrong – is serving an obliquely useful function. This publication and MHLivingNews are apparently ‘over the target,’ so we are ‘catching flak.’ This isn’t the only recent attack by opposing voices.  But the other assaults are less visible, and this one by Allen is visible.

As an observable attack, Allen is thus useful to manufactured home industry investors, advocates, and professional readers to understand the ongoing dynamic within MHVille. The visceral reaction being quoted below by Allen – in his role as a periodic tool for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis – will speak for itself.

Let’s see what Allen said, and then unpack it in a very few words.  As the reader can see from the screen capture below, provided under fair use guidelines, attacking this publication was his headline topic.  That’s a backhanded compliment. The text that follows the image shown is from his blog on that date and is unedited in any fashion.

GeorgeAllenEducateMHCBlogAnalysisFactCheckAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

 

Nobody Else Will Tell You This!

Enough of the Name Calling, Sensationalist Caterwauling, & Questionable Claims!

Since 2009, manufactured housing’s nadir (‘worst’) year ever, when only 48,789 new HUD-Code homes were shipped nationwide, we’ve collectively and simultaneously endured and experienced:

  • The loss of easy access to chattel capital for new home loans in communities
  • Two venerable trade magazines ceasing publication (i.e. Manufactured Home Merchandiser and The Journal)
  • Two new trade pubs birthed (i.e. MHInsider and Manufactured Housing Review)
  • A near continuous online diatribe (‘bitter & abusive denunciation’) of one – but not both, national advocates for manufactured housing (i.e. MHI but not MHARR), one or another state association executive (e.g. WI being latest target), and specific corporate executives (e.g. from Clayton Homes & 21st Mortgage) not aligned with a particular yellow journalist’s views of the manufactured housing industry.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Together, as an industry and realty asset class, we should be; no, we must be, ‘working together’ to eclipse 100,000 new HUD-Code housing shipments during year 2019. Also to offset negative press coming from social activist quarters regarding predatory site rent practices foisted on homeowners/site lessees! But such a coming together will continue to elude us as long as an industry outlier broadcasts speculative contrarian tripe, tearing down manufactured housing and land lease community business models at will!

SOLUTION? Make it a point, henceforth, to support your state manufactured housing association as an active member, as well as one or more of three national advocacy bodies (i.e. MHI, MHARR & now, NAMHCO). Also ensure you’re on the receiving end of MHInsider magazine, Manufactured Housing Review online ezine, the Allen Letter (if a land lease community owner/operator), and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter – if a top housing manufacturer or portfolio executive!

Frankly, that’s ALL YOU NEED TO READ & BELIEVE, to stay cogently, accurately, and timely informed about industry and asset class matters! Resist any temptation to succumb to reading anything by anyone engaged in name calling, sensationalist caterwauling, and questionable claims! JUST DO IT – resist the temptation to muck & muddle your thinking. You’ll be glad you did!

If you need contact information relative to trade entities and publications identified in the previous paragraphs, simply let me know via gfa7156@aol.com or (317) 346-7156. And to subscribe to the Allen Letter and or the Allen Confidential business newsletter, visit www.educatemhc.com

FiskFiskingDefinitionManufacturedHssuingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

 

Fisking – Unpacking Allen’s Missive

In no particular order of importance.

  • Allen tells his readers who to read, and who not to read. That’s his first amendment protected right, up to the point that he may be part of an organized boycott effort, because a boycott can become legally questionable in antitrust and other types of legal controversies.
  • Allen fails to admit that he and his inner circle are reportedly regular readers here on MHProNews. Thank you, to all of our readers.  Pardon the hypocrisy of some who tell others not to do, what they themselves do.  The fact that he and his circle read here is implied by his attempted critique.
  • It is Allen who fits the caterwauling definition, because what he gave are emotional appeals and red herrings, not an actual effort to debunk even a single factual claim made here or on MHLivingNews. There is no effort made by Allen to point out any failure in logic, any inaccuracy, or any of the evidence we’ve presented that sparked his public moaning.

Here is a pull quote that bears a nod of interest.

Together, as an industry and realty asset class, we should be; no, we must be, ‘working together’ to eclipse 100,000 new HUD-Code housing shipments during year 2019.”   The reality is that the industry will not be ‘working together’ – because some are arguably working to purportedly eliminate their industry competition, by direct and indirect means.  Allen’s related quote is equally lacking in logic. He wants people to support “one or more of three national advocacy bodies (i.e. MHI, MHARR & now, NAMHCO).” Excuse me, sir? MHARR and NAMHCO exist because MHI – in their view – have failed the industry.  It is an either or proposition. 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Once the rules of engagement and methods used are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Why Hasn’t Allen Explained to MH Community Readers How Clayton/21st Hurt Their Interests?

Note that neither Allen, nor anyone else in the orbit of industry publishing he has cited has attempted to debunk the documents, direct quotes and evidence linked from the text-image box below.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t George F. (F?) Allen told his readers how that cost them money? Why is Allen giving perps cover?

 

What Allen fails to tell his readers is how that attack on industry independents harmed independent owners of manufactured home communities.  Yet Allen claims to be their protector.  How so? Isn’t he giving other big time cons cover?

Allen cited in this and a prior posting about the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO).  Those associations are both breakaways from MHI. They exist because each trade group’s members believed that MHI wasn’t getting the job done properly.

Allen fails to mention that important fact. By contrast, MHProNews has not missed that obvious mark.

Calls for ‘unity’ by Allen or MHI sound good, warm and fuzzy — until they are carefully examined. Unity behind what? Unity with what goal?

If the big boys absorb the smaller firms at a discounted value due to market manipulation, that’s unity.  Is that the unity that Allen wants?  Why is Allen de facto working for the interests of the consolidators that he periodically takes pot-shots at? Isn’t it just another head-fake?

What Allen ignores in his missive – either through ignorance or perhaps from incentives offered by the ‘big boys’ – is that a key reason that the industry is underperforming is rooted in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies.  Allen makes no effort to debunk the evidence published here or on MHLivingNews for that claim.  Why would he?  The powers that be and their own attorneys won’t touch that topic in public, and perhaps with good reason. So, in goes GFAllen…

Allen ignores the fact that Clayton has been the source of embarrassment to the industry, starting not long after Warren Buffett bought them for Berkshire Hathaway.

 

 

Thus, it is unlikely that Clayton, 21st, or MHI will publicly respond to our published – documented, and evidence based – concerns.

Allen laments Frank Rolfe, predatory community operators, and the John Oliver video errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”  But what F (F?) Allen fails to mention is that MHI is connected to each operation in that Oliver video. Ooops.

Several Florida newspapers opted to run the same letter sent by our publisher.  The reportedly did so only after an editor checked the claims and sources, per the editor that did the fact checking. The letter was sent to only 1 publication, but at least 5 have run it.

 

 

Those claims lodged here, on our sister site MHLivingNews, and summarized in that 300 word letter published in the 5 links above all remain unchallenged.

MHARR’s new initiative, that Allen both praises and slams at the same time, exists precisely because MHARR states their belief that MHI has so dropped the ball on post-production issues that they have no other choice but to try to act where MHI is failing to do so.

 

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

It’s America.  People are free to write a huckster and incentivized mouthpiece a check if they want to do so. They are free to read Allen or attend his meetings.  Those that go say the networking is pleasant and useful, but some lament the ‘education’ part of it.

But what SECO and the Allen Roundtable arguably prove is that professionals in manufactured housing are so desperate for answers and professional opportunities, that they will listen even to someone with his track record of recent years. In years gone by, Allen helped found the National Community Council (NCC), which is part of MHI. But more recently, Allen himself has quit MHI and the NCC.  Allen himself won’t pay to go to their fundraisers, errr, ‘meetings.’

Allen has positioned himself to fill a vacuum.  As soon as someone else steps up and offers an alternative, don’t be surprised if his meetings and ‘education’ vanish like a fleeting morning fog in sunny Florida.

Once more, our publisher invites Allen – or the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis – to publicly dispute and disprove

  • in front of a live audience of industry professionals,
  • with moderator and
  • on camera any of the claims made here on pro-growth MHProNews or MHLivingNews.

You can’t solve a problem by ignoring the root causes.  That’s what Allen either doesn’t get or has arguably been incentivized to ignore and obscure.

Thus despite Allen’s caterwauling and attempted slight of hands, our published case against the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, their surrogates and allies stands.  If any of these concerns or allegations we’ve reported or that others have raised were easily disproven, why hasn’t anyone in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington orbit and/or their surrogates stepped up to the plate and made the public effort?

GeorgeFAllenPhotoEducateMHCMobileHomeLandLeaseCommunityAdvocateExpertLogoManufacturedHousingMHProNews

People can make mistakes, and people can be misled. But the mature person admits an error, and that is part of the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. Make corrections promptly and prominently. Where has Allen ever admitted an error? He was either right to condemn MHI before, or right to defend them now. He can’t have it both ways.

Conclusions? 

George F. (F?) Allen (GFA) is arguably either:

·        confused,

·        clueless,

·        corrupt,

·        or some combination of those.

As noted, Allen and his buddy Spencer Roane have been given the opportunity several times to debate the issues he laments publicly with our publisher in a moderated session, on camera, in front of a live industry professional audience. Allen and Roane both keep ducking that offer. Shall we add the word cowardly to the bulleted Cs above?

BTW, that same offer to discuss and debate the issues has been repeatedly extended to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis. Allen has apparently been carrying water for them in recent months, and perhaps this is missive by GFA their reply.  But given the history of Allen previously decrying their rigged system, as was shown above, what was the MH Axis thinking?  Can’t they come up with a better surrogate? If not, doesn’t that speak volumes too? 

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached. And ponder that GF Allen may just be another piranha, shark, or alligator in the Buffett moat.

 

That’s this morning’s first installment of manufactured housing Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Controversy Erupts! Tunica Manufactured Home Show ‘Educational Seminar’-Legally Questioned “Lease Option” “Chattel Lending” ‘Taught’ by Spencer Roane, Promoted By George F. Allen, SECO

March 9th, 2019 Comments off

 

TunicaManufacturedHomeShowLogoSpencerRoanePhotoPentagonPropertiesPromotedGeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCMHVillageLogo600

We can’t be perfect but we can try to be. As I’ve said in these memos for more than 25 years: ‘We can afford to lose money—even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation—even a shred of reputation.’ We must continue to measure every act against not only what is legal but also what we would be happy to have written about on the front page of a national newspaper in an article written by an unfriendly but intelligent reporter.”

  • Warren Buffett,
    Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway, parent of Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and other manufactured housing and other industry brands. Quote cited by Business Insider, Reputation Defender, previously on MHProNews and others.

 

The manufactured housing industry is arguably routinely risking and losing shreds of reputation.

The bookend to the Buffett quote above is the following one, that industry professionals ought to grasp.

 

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett, cited by CNBC and others.

 

One could debate how well certain industry brands have – or have not – lived up to that high standard.  But the principles stated are an apt backdrop for what follows.  Why?  Because some industry association leaders are de facto weighing the risk to reputation, and arguably could be opening the doors to legal concerns and future litigation in the #nettlesomethings that follow.

 

 

Risking the Industry’s Reputation and the Threat of Litigation

Last year, industry professionals experienced several weeks of largely dark mainstream news reports by reporter Tyler Jett and others in media.  These involved the troubling stories of over a dozen home owners in northern Georgia who alleged that they paid or where paying for homes ‘sold’ to them ‘contract for title’ by land-lease community owner, Tom Lackey.  But per those customers, no titles were ever provided. Some said they lost ‘everything.’ Spencer Roane and the Southeastern Community Owners (SECO) were in the background of that ‘education’ of Lackey, as was promoter and blogger George F. (F?) Allen.

Neither Roane nor Allen would in any way repudiate what Lackey did, per a report by on May 26, 2018 by mainstream writer Jett, linked here.

 

TimesFreePressIndustryMembersDeclineCommentTylerJettManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBuisnessNEwsMHProNEws

One of several stories about problems at Tom Lackey’s manufactured home community. In this report, Spencer Roane and George F. Allen both declined to criticize Lackey, and in some ways, defended him. See report at this link. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/may/26/industry-members-decline-take-sides-rossville/471775/

 

The manufactured housing industry in general and land-lease community owners alike – most entirely unconnected to the troubling matter – nevertheless had their reputations arguably tarnished by the string of mostly bleak media reports.  As often occurs, that reputational harm occurred even though it was a tiny minority of the industry’s professionals involved in the troubling stories of ‘lease option’ ‘sales’ gone wrong involving Lackey and his SECO ‘educators.’

 

Fast forward to March 2019

Tornadoes. Rent control. Fires & crimes. Zoning. There are plenty of problematic items about manufactured housing in the news already. Does the industry’s independents, associations, and other companies need more avoidable pitfalls?

But unless a course correction is made, it will be no logically be no surprise if one or more future mainstream and trade news reports will again follow in the wake of ‘lease option’ related ‘education’ and related business practices.

But this time, the potentially avoidable miscue is scheduled to occur in Tunica, MS, at the industry trade show scheduled there for later this month.

According to an industry attorney with ties to Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) rather than the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), that lawyer previously advised the Daily Business News on MHProNews that the practice described is “illegal.”

In a message to our publisher, specially commenting on practices being promoted by Roane, Lackey, and SECO, that attorney said the following.

 

Tony, not sure if I’m walking into a [manufactured home industry political] land mine, but as I think you know, it’s ALWAYS been my position that lease option and rent to own are illegal if they are a “workaround” for chattel financing, which is what most such schemes are,” per that legal expert.

 

The Alabama Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA) acknowledged they received our query about this controversial issue, which included a mention of the legal opinion above. They have not yet said what, if anything, that they and their colleagues plan to do about it. Along with the Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA), those states are part of the South Central Manufactured Housing Institute (SCMHI) and that nonprofit ‘owns’ the Tunica Show. Show Ways Unlimited and others in the mix have also been advised about these legal concerns too.

 

TunicaShowJenHallDorisHydrickDennisHillLanceLathamMicheleMiddletonSpencerRoaneGeorgeAllenMHProNews

WARNING. Don’t scan this article, or you’ll risk missing the point.

 

Additionally, all were advised that the New York State Attorney General’s office last year settled dozens of claims – including several larger manufactured home community operations – all of which reportedly involved variations of lease option transactions.  If larger communities couldn’t make lease option (LO) transactions work legally with officials at the state of NY, how is it that Roane and Allen believe that they can do better?

For the official statement from the NY AG’s office to MHProNews can be accessed via the linked text-image box below.

NYAGUAnnouncesMajorSettlementManufacturedHomeParkOwnersReformRentToWonPracticesFollowingIndustryWideInvestigationCommunityMHProNews

See the document as a download linked here. The question should be simple. If Spencer Roane and George Allen have prof that their system is legitimate, why don’t they simply provide that evidence?  If they can prove its legal, from a state or federal government agency letter saying as much, then by all means, let their ‘education’ go forward.  But if not, why should risk be created for others by problematic teaching of a practice that most say is illegal as the law currently stands?

 

 

 

Spencer Roane, George F. Allen Questioned – And Their Responses

As noted above, Spencer Roane and George F. Allen are no strangers to the legal and media controversies that can arise from ‘contract for title’ type sales that Roane and SECO ‘teaches.’  Neither Roane not Allen would condemn or correct on the record to the  Chattanooga Times Free Press the allegations about Tom Lackey selling homes where over a dozen households lost out, because no title was purportedly delivered to his “buyers.” The story made periodic news for weeks, across several news sources. The word heard that the legal fallout from that matter is far from over. So while the headlines are missing in the mainstream, per sources, the investigations continue.

So Lackey, Roane, Allen, and SECO could find themselves once more in the news over that industry black eye, which the majority of manufactured home professionals had nothing to do with.

Undeterred by the past pain, they press on.

MHProNews asked Roane and Allen (GFA) to show proof to the Tunica Show management and this media outlet that their education is legitimate and legal.

Allen, writing to Tunica Show officials, Spencer Roane, Ken Corbin, and MHProNews – among others – said this via email.

GeorgeAllenCommunityInvestorBlogMHMPostedMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryNewsMHProNews-133x150a

George Allen, photo credit, MHProNews.com.

In my opinion, there is nothing to be gained by responding to this request. All anyone, interested in this timely subject, has to do, is attend a presentation describing lease-option in detail. This is not a rent to own type housing finance program. Period. 

GFA

 

Note that at no time did Allen offer proof or any evidence beyond his word and Roane’s that this was a legally compliant program, one vetted by any attorney, much less authorized or vetted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), or any state authority. Yet that’s what Roane and Allen were asked to provide.

Furthermore, here’s what the Tunica Show website said on 3.9.2019.

 

2019-03-09_1152TunicaShowPromoSECOSpencerRoanePentagoPropertiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Further into Roane’s promo on the Tunica site, Roane claims: “Why the contract “passes muster” in some states…” – the italics has been added for emphasis. That phrase itself suggests that it doesn’t pass muster in other states.

Which ought to beg the question – why should the prospective attendees to an official trade association sanctioned event be made to hunt for proof of the legality of a practice that has been deemed non-compliant in NY, or elsewhere? Why did MHVillage – who handles this website – not question the matter?  Is it because they are chummy with Allen and company?

That said, here’s what Roane replied to the same circle of show-related officials, with the “Amen” by Roane presumably being a response to George F. (F?) Allen’s comment.

 

Amen.

Anyone truly interested in “the facts” might be well advised to do the following:

  • read the SAFE Act of 2008 & the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010
  • read each state’s modification of its mortgage law to comply with Federal law
  • read NY AG court case
  • attend MLO and MB/ML licensing course
  • pay for the special membership to IAMHA to obtain a copy of their attorneys’ L-O opinion & docs
  • pay $500+/hr. for consultation w/ attorney specializing in finance law
  • ignore sensation-driven, poorly researched, disreputable MH publications with poorly written articles based solely on unidentified “sources” and “no comment”.
  • attend my presentation at the Tunica Show (if allowed)

Regards, Spencer

 

RedHerringWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Artful dodge, razzle dazzle, or other trickster ways of emotionally or otherwise manipulating or moving the focus away from the actual issue.

 

Breaking Roane’s Response Down

Roane himself ducked the question with a blizzard of verbiage.  This is known as a red herring or a dodge.  Roane failed to at any time provide or offer proof of what he wants to teach that he claims is legally permissible. If its legal, why no proof?  Shouldn’t the Tunica Show, the associations, and sponsors care?  On the flip side of Roane and Allen’s claims are one of several thousands of search results about this very legal concern, which often references the CFPB calling the practice illicit.

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesSECOSoutheasternCommunityOwnersSymposiumCFPBTunicaManufacturedHousingShow2019-03-09_1134

 

So where the record stands is this.  Thousands on-line have commented on this issue, and the commentary largely runs contrary to what Roane and Allen have said.  Even this year, the NY AG’s office recently filed yet another case on this specific issue, see the linked text-image box below.

 

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

 

Once again, here is the official release by the NY State AG last year, involving dozens of communities.  Also recapping, that MHI connected attorney said the matter is NOT legal.

Tony, not sure if I’m walking into a [manufactured home industry political] land mine, but as I think you know, it’s ALWAYS been my position that lease option and rent to own are illegal if they are a “workaround” for chattel financing, which is what most such schemes are.”

The Law Professors website notes that “the CFPB has taken an interest in these types of predatory transactions as well. … This looks more like just a loan disguised as a lease…”

Given all the evidence to the contrary, why should Roane and Allen be believed?

Roane himself seemed uncertain that he would be allowed to proceed.

It is not yet clear if the SCMHI and related Tunica show leaders and sponsors will allow him to do so.

 

MHI Asked to Weigh in on Legal Questions, Concerns

The sponsor of the Tunica Show website is shown as MHVillage.  They are a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member, and the state associations involved are MHI affiliates.  Those firms in New York that the state attorney general forced into settlements included MHI member firms. If MHI cares about industry image, following the Buffett mantra above, why not weigh in on this, and head off possible problems?

MHI attorney Rick Robinson was among those contacted by MHProNews to see if he will defend Roane and Allen’s controversial stance, or not. Clayton Homes attorney Tom Hodges is a MHI Executive Committee board member.  Hodges and MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer likewise been asked to defend, clarify, or alert others about the legal worries involved.

The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) have also been contacted. Will the new NAMHCO trade group weigh-in on an issue that the New York Attorney General’s office and others believe is no longer legal?

MHProNews will monitor the matter and follow up as it may be necessary to alert possible victims (err, attendees) of Roane’s ‘seminar education’ that he claims is legitimate, but for which he will offer no proof from the CFPB, state officials, or other authoritative sources that will certify its legality.

 

Secondary Liability?

As a final note to event sponsors, there is a question of downstream liability connected with a legally disputed issue like this too. Should this Roane-SECO lease option ‘training’ not be addressed in advance of the event, and if the ‘seminar’ goes on without published proof of the legality of the disputed concept, attorneys have advised MHProNews on similar issues that this could lead to secondary liability, later legal woes.

Seminar and SECO attendees of “LO” ‘education,’ beware. Free education of a legally challenged concept could prove costly.

Stay tuned for more, as needed and deemed warranted.  That’s manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

 

 

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute’s Three Stooges? SECO ‘Leaders’ George F. Allen, Spencer Roane, Tom Lackey and ‘Rent to Own’ Scams?

 

 

 

 

 

Arrested! Attorney General Files Charges on Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer, Police Arrest Suspect

February 20th, 2019 Comments off

 

ArrestedNYAGFilesChargesManufacturedModularHomeRetailerValueHomesSherrieBurtonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In a press release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, is the following from the New York State Attorney General’s (NY AG) office.

 

The release contains the details of the suspect arrested and charged with swindling over a $1 million dollars from would-be buyers of factory-built homes.  The NY AG’s release will be followed by additional, related news, an ABC affiliate’s video, plus some commentary and links to related issues.

 

LettitiaJamesNYAttorneyGeneralLogoDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews

Shown under fair use guidelines for media.

Attorney General James And NYS Police Announce Arrest Of Upstate Resident For Scheme To Defraud Over 40 Homebuyers

Sherrie A. Burton, Owner of Valued Homes, Charged With Stealing Over $1 Million from Buyers of Modular and Manufactured Homes throughout Upstate New York  

UPSTATE NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James and State Police Acting Superintendent Keith Corlett announced today the arrest of Sherrie A. Burton for defrauding homebuyers throughout Upstate New York of over $1 million. The defendant was arraigned today on a 9-count felony complaint including charges of Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. A joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau and the New York State Police revealed that Burton allegedly used her businesses, Valued Manufactured Housing, Inc. (“VMH”) and Valued Homes (“VH”) to fraudulently solicit deposits, down payments, and even full cash payments from unsuspecting customers of modular and manufactured homes. She then allegedly used the money for personal expenses and to further her ongoing scheme.   

“We will never tolerate any fraudulent behavior that takes advantage of hardworking New Yorkers,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Instead of fulfilling the dream of homeownership, Ms. Burton allegedly defrauded homebuyers and used their savings for her personal expenses and gains. My office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who engages in activities that harm our residents.” 

“I applaud the work performed on this case by the New York State Attorney General’s office and our State Police Investigators,” said Acting New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett. “This individual perpetuated a devious scheme to defraud hardworking New Yorkers out of thousands of dollars for her own gain. Because of the strong collaboration among law enforcement, we were able to expose this fraud. The State Police will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to end these types of fraudulent practices and hold accountable those who prey on innocent people.” 

According to the felony complaint and statements by the prosecution in court, between at least March 2015 and July 2018, the defendant operated VMH and VH in South Glens Falls, Saratoga County, which offered to sell homebuyers newly built manufactured and modular homes. Manufactured homes are factory-built houses engineered and constructed to the specifications of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s federal building code, while modular homes are factory-built homes that are built to state building standards. Both manufactured and modular homes are transported on a carrier and permanently set on a foundation.   

Prosecutors allege that Burton falsely represented to customers that they needed to put a substantial deposit in order for the manufacturer to begin construction of their new home, while in reality the manufacturers did not require such a deposit.  Burton then allegedly diverted the deposits for her own use, instead of using them towards the purchase of the victims’ homes.  In other multiple instances, Burton allegedly used the deposits to pay her own personal expenses, including purchases at Zynga Games, Amazon.com and the Home Shopping Network, expenditures at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, payments for hotels, groceries, gas and alcohol, credit card payments, and cash withdrawals. In other instances, Burton allegedly used deposits from new victims to further her ongoing scheme by paying manufacturers for homes she had promised to prior customers months before. 

Also according to prosecutors, Burton obtained financing to purchase floor plan or display models, yet sold them as new models to many customers, leaving the victims without legal title to the home and the lenders believing the homes were still on display at her showroom.   

In one instance, a victim received a home from Burton but could not obtain title allowing her to insure or borrow against the home for over a year. In another instance, a victim provided a deposit of $8,000 to Burton, who never remitted the money to the manufacturer, and the victim therefore had to obtain a mortgage for the full price of the home — essentially paying the deposit twice. Many customers who paid Burton never received a home, and never got a refund of their money. 

Burton was charged in the Attorney General’s felony complaint, filed today in Saratoga County,  with three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, five counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony. 

The Attorney General’s investigation is ongoing. According to the prosecution, the investigation has thus far uncovered over 40 victims of Burton’s scheme in and around Upstate New York, who were allegedly defrauded out of over $1 million.   

Burton, 64, was arraigned today in Town of Moreau Justice Court before the Honorable Jeffrey B. McCabe. Bail was set in the amount of $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond. 

If convicted of all counts, Burton faces up to 10 to 20 years in state prison. The charges against the defendant are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.    

The criminal investigation commenced after multiple victims filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau. To protect yourself from becoming a victim of a home or property sale scam, Attorney General James offered the following tips: 

  • Before contracting for a large purchase, DO YOUR HOMEWORK:
  • Ask for references and call them.
  • Research online for complaints:
  • Check the better Business Bureau website and review the basis for their rating, including the complaint summaries, which are usually available online.  If you see anything that gives you pause, take your business elsewhere.
  • Be wary of providing a large deposit upfront.  Remember, if the business fails, you will likely not get your deposit back.
  • If you give a deposit that is supposed to be used for a specific purpose, demand proof that it has been applied to that purpose.
  • Review any contract carefully before signing it and keep a copy for your records. You will be bound by the contract terms — any oral representations made are unenforceable.
  • If you believe you have been scammed as part of a home or property sale, submit a complaint to the New York State Attorney General’s Office: https://ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Complaint

 

Attorney General James thanks the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Financial Crimes Unit for their valuable assistance on this investigation.  

Consumer complaints were handled by Assistant Attorneys General Amy Schallop and Emily Auletta of the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine and Bureau Chief Jane Azia. 

The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Philip V. Apruzzese and Special Counsel Benjamin S. Clark of the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Support Analysts Kira M. Russom, Rebecca Jacobson, and Supervising Analyst Paul Strocko. The Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph D’Arrigo. The Criminal Division is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado. 

The OAG investigation was conducted by Investigator Samuel Scotellaro, III, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief John Reidy.  

— end of NY AG’s Press Release —

 

 

Local Media

With but one factual error, that the news source themselves then clarified/corrected, the Daily Gazette made some useful additional points to the above.

Also, prosecutors allege, Burton would obtain financing to buy floor plan or display homes and sell them as new. This left victims without legal title to the home and left lenders believing the homes were still on display at her business.” Those display models, if they were purchased new, are new in the eyes of the law.  But the practice described is known in the industry as ‘Sold out of Trust’ or sometimes as SoT for short.

The following is also from the Daily Gazette, and lays out some insightful background.

The Better Business Bureau revoked its accreditation of Valued Manufactured Housing on Nov. 15, 2018, for not making a good-faith effort to resolve the disputes. 

The BBB website shows 10 of these complaints, some with responses. 

On Jan. 17, 2017, “Bruce and Sherrie” gave a lengthy explanation for the situation that led to a complaint and a promise to resolve the matter. 

On Aug. 30, 2018, in the same response to multiple complaints, the unidentified writer states that she is distraught at her own incompetence; that the family business is shut down after 26 years; that her son Jeremy and her husband were integral to the business and had both died; and that she’d made arrangements with a builder so that customers would get their homes and not lose their money.

An obituary published in his native Utica indicates Bruce Burton died Feb. 12, 2017, and that he was predeceased by his son Jeremy.”

 

There are several takeaways from this incident.  In no particular order of importance:

  • The New York State AG’s tips to home seekers are relevant, but it clearly should apply to all housing being sold or leased, not just factory-built homes. For example, scams on Craigslist or elsewhere involving conventional housing are legion.
  • The NY AG has previously brought to heel manufactured home community operators who were doing ‘contract for title’ or ‘rent to own’ a.k.a. ‘lease to own’ purchases, which are arguably errantly are still promoted and taught by George F. (F?) Allen, Spencer Roane, and their SECO colleagues. An MHI affiliated member attorney has told MHProNews that given the current state of federal law, he believes that the days of so-called Lonnie Deals are over, and that all such ‘rent or lease to own’ plans are illegal, because they are ‘disguised credit transactions.’ So industry professionals should approach with skepticism those who advocate such methods.
  • Once a given state begins to target an industry, it is not uncommon for other states to follow suit. Manufactured housing post-production associations are in some cases apparently failing to advise their members of the risks involving some practices. Indeed, the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF), and others have to some degree promoted Allen, Roane, and SECO, when they are advocating and engaging in practices that are risky to industry professionals, and purportedly are harmful to any number of consumers, like those reported here.

While it may not seem related at first blush, the second half of the article linked below very much relates to some of the issues bulleted above.  You can access the following, or other articles below the byline and disclosures, by clicking on the linked text/image box.

 

Do Looming Shareholders Suits Against Cavco Industries Foreshadow Problems for More Manufactured Home Industry Publicly Traded Firms?

 

Hungry! But Don’t Go The Wrong Way

The vast majority of the manufactured home industry’s independents and other professionals are looking to earn money honestly.  They are often hungry for knowledge. They want authentic education.  But in many cases, they clearly do not know which way to turn.  When an association or trade group gives tacit or active support to those who teach problematic behaviors, is the association opening themselves up to possible liability?  We have legal sources that say, yes.

Furthermore, a good trade group ought to condemn any bad behavior, while offering examples of the opposite.

In practical terms, this incident and the others like it are another wake up call to the industry’s ethical independents to organize on educational, lobbying, and communications. There is an affordable housing crisis.  There are many options for selling more homes in an authentic, sustainable and legitimate ways that could lead to record sales.

That can be done by individual businesses, or by some teaming up and working in concert. To learn more, click here and scroll through the options.

 

The Legal Process Grinds Slowly

There are reasons to believe that several large industry firms are under various federal investigations.  So when an individual retailer gets arrested and charged, one should not forget that this is a reminder that larger operations could face similar legal woes in the days ahead.  See more in the related reports, below the byline and disclosures.

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) holds their winter fund-raiser – err, the MHI Winter Meeting – in Austin, TX, welcome to the ongoing drama that is buffeting MHVille in 2019. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

 

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

 

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

21st Mortgage Suit’s CFPB Denial, Exclusive Document on Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Housing Brands Investigation

MHVille Exclusive – Democrats Senators Sign Anti-Competitive Practices Letter to DoJ, Plus MH Market Updates

Clayton Retail GM Earns Big Bucks, Insider Insights for Manufactured Housing

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishful Thinking vs Facts, Evidence, Reason, and Manufactured Housing

January 20th, 2019 Comments off

 

WishfulThinkingVsFactsEvidenceReasonManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Two nights ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office took the unusual step of publishing a denial of a mainstream media report by BuzzFeed News that had the talking heads on TV, radio, and in print astir for 24 hours.

 

Harvard law professor emeritus, Alan Dershowitz – a Democrat and civil libertarian – once more explained Friday night on Sean Hannity’s show why these fake news accounts are grounded in nothing of substance.  It goes back to the need for discernment.  That’s a point which independent, award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson has preached and is reported on at the link here.

 

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources.  See a recent report and Ted Talk video, linked here.

 

That Fox video embed code with Democratic-supporter Dershowitz is not yet available.  But another one from attorney Mark Levin – who was anti-Trump for quite some time – also discusses the same issues, references Dershowitz’s comments, and is posted below. This latest episode started by BuzzFeed raise issues that have and will continue to impact the manufactured home industry, all other professions, and society at large.

 

As important as that is, it is not the focus of this commentary that tees up our Sunday Morning weekly headline news report recaps.  Manufactured housing specific reporting is our emphasis again today.

As If…Wishful Thinking and Fake News vs,

Fact, Evidence, and Reason

 

As If?

As if George F. (F?) Allen would be the best tool in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) shed to defend the Arlington, VA based trade group – as well as some of their largest members – was laughable.  But give “F” Allen credit.  At least he tried, and did so publicly.  As weak as “F” Allen’s effort may be, it is provided in full among the reports linked below, so you can decide for yourself how effective it is at defending Clayton, Cavco, MHI, et al from the mounting evidence of scandals.

Both Allen and the BuzzFeed stoked dramas have a few thinks in common. An arguable lack of objectivity, standards, or even common sense. Both rely upon an audience that may wish or hope that what the source says is true. Both cases involve the vast difference between evidence and reason, and everything else a matter of wishful thinking or a denial of reality.

Neither Kevin Clayton, nor Tim Williams, or Warren Buffett have disputed their own words or documents that have recently been reported at this link here. No conspiracy theories, evidence, documents, and direct quotes taken in context.  The sources have been given repeated opportunities to debunk or explain away the evidence.  Silence. That’s their 5th Amendment right.

So, having “F” Allen, MHI, or certain state association surrogates attempt any red herrings or head-fakes just reveals that they have no valid explanation, which implies that the linked evidence above is compelling.

Evidence, concerns, and allegations of market manipulation aren’t just in the past. They are in the here and now, and more are planned and underway for the days ahead. MHI – and some state associations – are part of that purported collusion. They are doing so despite MHI’s own published antitrust guidelines, linked here.

It’s been about a year since Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, MHI President and CEO, cancelled at the Louisville Show “at the last minute” his presentation on the Trojan Horse of the so-called “new class of homes” and related. Jennison apparently didn’t want to be publicly questioned by MHProNews, or by anyone else in the audience that read MHProNews, and were provided a list of questions to ask during the Q&A.

They can hide, but only for so long. Because the trend lines, truth, and evidence keep drip, drip, dripping out.

You can trust George F. (F?) Allen, or not, when he says there are no conspiracies to find. But who beside aptly named “F” Allen spoke about conspiracy? We re-published evidence from the sources in question. Let people like Allen – who continues to ducks from his own controversial practices that created negative news in the mainstream media for the industry, see the linked report on the Masthead below – use head fakes. If Allen, MHI or their surrogates had a real, logical argument, why don’t they make it? Why don’t they do so in public, at Louisville?

What are they afraid of? What are they hiding from?  Do they fear the reaction of the crowd, if they realize that they’ve been duped by people they count on to represent their interests?

 

The Evolution of these Issues

In fairness to the current power structure behind MHI, this is not a new phenomenon.  Rather, sources suggest it has arguably taken on new twists and turns.

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

Danny Ghorbani, a structural and civil engineer, is a former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Vice President and the Founding President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  He is a 51-year veteran of the manufactured housing industry, who has represented all aspects of the industry in Washington, D.C., including, but not limited to, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, communities and developers, and has managed two national manufactured housing industry trade shows.  He is currently the Senior Advisor to MHARR.

Reached by MHProNews, Mr. Ghorbani stated on the record that:

From my personal experience, at any given time, the largest manufacturers tend to dominate that Association — i.e., the Manufactured Housing Institute. The same principal may well apply at the state association level.”

 

The Most Fireworks?

This upcoming event might be the most controversial Louisville Show in years.

Watch for upcoming reports and developments. Sign up for our industry leading headline news below, to make sure you don’t miss what thousands of others are keeping up with, day by day, only on MHProNews.

 

 

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

 

Why is the industry’s already meager recovery stalling? See that too discussed and analyzed in the various linked reports, accessed via the text/image boxes or hot links below. Remember as you scan the headlines, we don’t turn every link into a text/box.  So, check the titles all out.

Literally from the biggest to the mid-sized or ‘mom and pop’ operations flock here to get the news and analysis no one else in MHTrade media has the guts to cover. That’s why friends, foes, and all others are on our site by the thousands, daily.  Meanwhile the manifestly pro-MHI, pro-Berkshire propaganda and related fluff go unread.

 

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

George F (F?) Allen is one of the contributors to the MHInsider. Really? The photo above is from the last day of the Tunica Show, and the other racks looked the same.  Competition is healthy, because it allows people to compare. We might expect the MHVillage sponsored MHInsider – after the above and similar embarrassments at the Louisville Show last year – might learn their lesson, and pick up some of their own magazines, or perhaps pay some people to pick them up for them.

 

See why we are #1.  Share what you read here with others, because that is among the ways that this pro-growth platform – which is fighting for honest independents and professionals like you – is growing.

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

 

With no further adieu, here are the recent reports, plus the headlines for the week that was, January 13-20th, 2019.

 

New January 2019 Featured Reports and Commentary

New January 2019 Featured Articles, including a report from Sharyl Attkisson, is linked here.

 

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

Ed Speraw, Manufactured Home Owner “Hero”, dies at 81

 

Ed Speraw, Manufactured Home Owner “Hero”, dies at 81

 

 

 

What’s New on the Masthead

TheMastheadCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNews

 

 

The Latest from Washington, D.C. from MHARR

 

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

 

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News On MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

 

Saturday 1.18.2018

Pink Flamingoes, The Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, and Manufactured Home Community’s Mainstream Media Controversy

 

Friday 1.17.2019

 

Manufactured Home Industry Groups Fighting Hard, Meanwhile, a Man Died

Insider Trades, New Cavco Industries Investigation, Selling – Plus More Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

 

Current & Forecast Investing Habits of Millennials, $30 Trillion Dollar Transfer of Wealth Looms

 

Thursday 1.16.2019

 

 

Global War On Cash? Plus, Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

Sobering Federal Report on Manufactured Housing Lending – Retailers, Communities, Producers, and Finance Companies – Take Note

An “Ideological Echo Chamber” – and Manufactured Housing Progress

 

Wednesday 1.15.2019

 

White House Thanks CNN’s Acosta, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

New NAMHCO Association Challenges Manufactured Housing Institute on DTS, Financing, and More

No Kings in America? – John Sherman ‘Speaks’ to Manufactured Housing

 

Tuesday 1.14.2019

 

 

Clayton Homes’ Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Customer Experience Video, What It Says, What Does It Mean for Manufactured Housing Pros?

 

The Lighter Side of Manufactured Home Marketing?

Teen “Sex Slave” in “Mobile Home Park” – Kid Lured by Gaming App, per ABC, State Officials

 

Monday 1.13.2019

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp and their “Strategic Moat,” Plus Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

The Future of Retail, Disney, ‘Trailer Trauma,’ and Manufactured Housing

Why Is Manufactured Housing Struggling During an Affordable Housing Crisis? Former MHI President, VP, Other’s Quotable Insights

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

 

Sunday 1.12.2019

 

Exploring Corporate, Association, Individual, Investor, and Governmental Corruption Involving Manufactured Housing

 

Our publisher recently stated the obvious, which brings clarity. We are not mainstream media.  We do things differently.  We do what we do here, plus business development services for industry professionals and investors, so we stay BUSY.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of our sources – and quotes – are from MHI insiders.

Or as the old Arby’s commercial used to say, “different is good.”  We’re not seeking a Pulitzer prize. Our goal is to identify the root causes of the manufactured and modular home industry’s malaise, and foster honest, ethical growth once again.

UltimateManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoQuotes1DailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMachievelianInstiutte

That difference – the quality of the content – has kept us going, even after years of efforts by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to try to sideline or destroy us.  That speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

That’s more than enough from the best stocked serving line in all of MHVille of relevant Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

New Association Weighs In, Giving Credit Where It’s Due, Opportunitie$, But Winds of Change Challenge Manufactured Housing’s Future

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

January 14th, 2019 Comments off

 

NYStateAGFilesSuitFoxCroftVillageNYDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews

The Town of Fallsburg organized a forum in response to growing complaints about FoxCroft Village, where Paula Frumkin, president of the community’s homeowners association, was one of the residents who spoke on Jan. 23, 2018.

 

The situation deteriorated since then, she said, per the Record Online.

We have more empty homes than we’ve ever had,” Frumkin said earlier this month. “None of them are being fixed up. Nothing is being done.”

MapFoxCroftVillageManufacturedHomeCOmmunityDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

In mid-December 2018, then-New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the owners of FoxCroft Village.  The legal action aims “to compel them to fix the water system; properly dispose of garbage; fix septic systems; repair roads and public lights; abate outstanding Town of Fallsburg and state Health Department violations; and secure a valid permit to operate from the state Health Department,” said the Record Online.

FoxCroft Village reportedly has some 321 home sites.  About 200 are resident-owned homes, with the balance rented to the residents via rent-to-own contracts, according to the NY AG’s lawsuit.

 

NewFoxCroftVillageHomeSaleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The community’s operating permit expired in December 2017.  It has been unable to obtain a new one due to the conditions there, the AG’s lawsuit states.

The lawsuit sets a deadline of Feb. 15, 2019 to achieve compliance, plus seeks restitution for all the aggrieved residents.

George Levin and Gayla Sue Levin of the state of Florida are defendants, along with L & F Enterprises, Inc., and Foxcroft Village, LLC.

FoxCroft Property Manager Mike Mergendahl declined to comment on the pending legal matter.

It is evident that respondents are unwilling to perform the maintenance, repairs, and system replacements necessary to address Foxcroft’s failing water and septic systems and other dangerous conditions throughout the park,” the state’s legal complaint says.

George Levin reportedly denounced the lawsuit in an email, saying it relies on misinformation. Levin criticized Assistant Attorney General Stephen Barry, who has been representing the state in the case.

 

FoxCroftVillageManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

No one from the State’s AG Office has ever visited Foxcroft to verify what has been done or is being done on a daily basis,” Levin wrote in the message.

Levin said that Barry’s basis for the lawsuit is Fallsburg’s meeting from last year, which was “called for the sole purpose of disparaging Foxcroft” because of a “running vendetta” by Town Supervisor Steven Vegliante against park management.

There was no water service on Dec. 26, as of the report dated Jan 6th.  It is the second year in a row that the community lost water service around Christmas, according to Lisa Stephens-Hotalen, a 16-year resident. Hotalen lives across the street from Frumkin.

There’s so much water leaking near their homes that it reportedly pools up in one portion of her lawn when Hotalen presses her foot into the grass. It was the only part of her yard that wasn’t covered in snow.

The lawsuit claims that FoxCroft has experienced “park-wide intermittently functioning water distribution and failing septic systems” since the summer of 2017 and that residents reported brown water coming from their taps.

Residents have also been under a boil-water order since Dec. 23, 2017. The Town of Fallsburg cited FoxCroft for a code violation for the water system on Jan. 14, 2018. Since then, the community has faced a maximum fine of $1,500 per day it remains in violation, according to the NY AG’s lawsuit.

Levin said a new water system has been installed and Sullivan County’s health department approved of the installation.

Vegliante confirmed that FoxCroft’s owners have begun to replace the water system.

It’s been unbelievably frustrating,” he said of the past year. “People deserve a safe place to live, and finally they’re [the owners] starting to resolve some of the issues.”

Officials noted that noted that “We’re doing everything we can not to condemn it,” meaning the community, and hope that the state AG’s suit will spur completion of the pending work.

Code Enforcement Officer Mollie Messenger declined comment on alleged violations, citing active litigation, referring questions to the town of Fallsburg’s attorney, Bruce Perlmutter. Fallsburg is set to go to trial with FoxCroft in town court near the end of January.  The parties could not agree on the total amount that should be paid in fines for the code violations.

 

‘Rent To Own’ Woes…

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

The New York attorney general’s lawsuit also takes aim at the approximately 100 rent-to-own contracts FoxCroft has with some residents, calling the agreements “deceptive” and in violation of state law, which are subject to fines per contract.

FoxCroft’s documents reportedly tag rent-to-own payments as ‘loan payments’ pursuant to a mortgage.  But L & F Enterprises, Inc., is not a lender.  They hold the title to each home until it’s completely paid for by the resident. Those residents are subject to summary eviction for non-payment at any time before that time, the AG’s lawsuit states.

This is a noteworthy issue to every community in the nation that is doing, or is considering doing, rent to own, lease purchase options, or other contracts of this kind.

Some industry professionals, such as George F. (F?) Allen, Spencer Roane, and the so-called SECO conference have promoted this kind of ‘seller financing’ for years.  They claim it is legal, purportedly checked out by an attorney who advised Roane.

But if the New York AG believes they are problematic, and since it seems to violate the notion of a “disguised credit transaction” – which can be problematic under Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidance – do Allen, Roane and SECO leaders really think they can successfully defend a similar state or federal claim against their process?  Do their ‘students’ and followers want to take these types of risks?

CFPBFilesSuitDisguisedCreditTransactionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Back in New York, Levin denies that FoxCroft has such contracts. But he said that FoxCroft does internally finance the sale of its homes to residents.

 

DisguisedCreditTransactionCFPBLonnieDealsRentToOwnLeasePurchaseOptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will continue to monitor such cases.  While we are not attorneys, and don’t give legal advice, it is prudent to consider legal actions like this case in New York as the most recent in a string of warnings to those who literally buy the advice of those – like Allen, Roane, and SECO – who sell such apparently problematic, and potentially risky “education.”

 

CaveatEmptorLegalLatinNYBarBuyerBewareDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s this morning’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

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.

 

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

Exploring Corporate, Association, Individual, Investor, and Governmental Corruption Involving Manufactured Housing

Manufactured Housing Institute on Urban Institute, Bloomberg, National Association of Realtors Reports Praising Manufactured Homes

 

 

 

 

 

SECO Woes – Southeast Community Owners Symposium – Tom Lackey, Industry Pros, & MH Consumer Legal Clouds

August 3rd, 2018 Comments off
SECOWoesSoutheastCommunityOwnersSymposiumLogoTomLackeyIndustryProsSECOAttendeesMHConsumerWOESDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogo

To be forewarned can lead to being more prepared, more cautious, and prudent. The collage is made up of elements from SECO, with text graphics by MHProNews.

From time to time, a variation on the question is asked, ‘What happened to the reports about Tom Lackey, Stoney Pointe manufactured home (MH) community, missing titles, owner-carry, SECO and all those consumers who lost their homes?’

 

 

The short answer?

Based on the latest reports to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, this is not likely a dead or forgotten travail,

Rather, its more likely the quiet before the next storm.

Why? Because there are several ways that this tragic series of incidents are very much brewing. Let’s run through some of the elements.

 

First, for those not familiar with the matter or who need a refresher, click the link below, or other related reports through this, and at the end of this post.

 

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

 

Second, there have been multiple outreaches by media related to this case. They have reportedly contacted Lackey, and numerous others in the industry. Some of those outreaches by media have been referred to, or directly contacted the publisher of MHProNews. Rephrased, we don’t think there are possible problems, we’ve got strong reasons to believe this is ongoing. It could surface perhaps more forcefully in round two than the earlier round of troubling media reports.

 

Third, there has been legally-related outreaches to MHProNews on several industry issues – including Tom Lackey/SECO/Stoney Pionte – referred to our publisher.

 

Fourth. Based upon those third-party inputs and outreaches – plus tips from industry readers with ties to SECO – this provides a brief update on what appears to be underway about the allegations swirling around this troubling series of incidents at Stoney Pointe, and their related ‘finance’ operation in northern Georgia.

 

We’ll begin by reminding readers that allegations are just that; Lackey and those connected to SECO are deemed innocent in the eyes of the law, until proven guilty by a plea arrangement or conviction.

That said:

GeorgiaDeptofBankingFinanceLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are indications that multiple agencies are investigating, as well as “plaintiffs attorneys.” 

1) The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance is reportedly investigating. Such matters can take time, as interviews are done, and a case is built. It could be months before something official is heard.

Per industry sources, officials in GA are keenly interested in the contract for title/rent to own related problems. Rephrased, there are indications that not just Lackey will be caught up in this matter legally. Rather, others connected to SECO are = per sources – being scrutinized too.

 

2) Tom Lackey has reportedly told a small circle of SECO connected contacts that he is suspending his contract for title/rent to own business. Consider that in the context of the above and what follows. Coincidence?

 

2018-08-03_0443SECOSoutheastCommunityOwnersSymposiumLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Caution is urged to all of those who have been connected to SECO’s ‘education’ on seller financing. You may want to seek legal counsel.

 

3) SECO has yet to remove Lackey from their planning team. Amazing, but true. There are two well know Vietnam veterans involved in MHVille who are connected to SECO. Vets – which this publication respects and thanks for their service – exhibit at times an interesting type of loyalty. Industry sources close to the matter have mentioned that in this context, as loyalty to Lackey. As noted previously, linked reports can be read later for increased depth on this topic.

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

 

4) There are reportedly at least two levels of legal investigations underway. One is from public officials. The other is from reportedly multiple attorneys interested in filing suits over claims related to the consumers allegedly wronged in this matter.

 

5) SECO promoters, including MHVillage, continue to promote the next event without any warnings or notices to their past or prospective attendees. Is there possible liability for those involved?  Better ask the private attorneys, public officials, or get your own attorney to explain what the potential risks and ramifications are reportedly connected to this ‘vexing mess.’

 

There are those in MHVille who continue to be silent, or even defend Lackey and SECO’s ties to this multi-layered, problematic series of concerns.

While some have thoughtfully informed MHProNews, does the silence of others say to communities and other industry professionals that nothing is wrong? Are they being made aware of the possible ramifications? Are SECO board members, or even those who have previously registered to attend, aware that they could be witnesses? Or worse, possible targets?

SubmitNewsTipsManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNews

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

How would mainstream media view the industry’s promoters and attendees, in the wake of those who allegedly lost their ‘investments’ with Lackey’s operations?

What has been done to past SECO attendees – including those who have done/are doing ‘seller financing’ and/or ‘contract for title’ ala Lackey – to mitigate their risks?

There is no immediately evident clues from SECO or MHVillage promotions on any of those very real concerns and questions. Why haven’t other industry bloggers or publishers raised these issues, to give potentially hundreds of industry pros fair warning?

 

For Balance on SECO

LegacyHousingHurricanOverrunWholesaleEvent200x200ManufacturedHomeINdustryMHProNews

Click to learn more about this upcoming wholesale event, which is not related to the story posted.

Some long-time SECO believers have messaged and/or spoken with MHProNews.

Among those SECO believers are those who stress the ‘good things’ being taught and promoted at SECO.

Some provided photos and video of before and after pictures to reflect how communities could be improved.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has not at any time advocated tossing baby’s out with the proverbial bath water.

This publication has long said that most of the industry’s professionals strive to do what’s right, day by day.  MHLivingNews and MHProNews have made it clear that most of the industry’s consumers are happy.  That’s proven by both third party research, and our own interviews.

 

Happy MH Owners? Good Professional Actors? Overlooked, “Honorable People”

 

Affordable Housing Focus Group – Comparing Housing Options – Conventional Houses, Condo, Rentals, and Manufactured Homes – Up for Growth, National Association of Realtor, Studies

 

As the publisher of the MH Industry’s top two leading trade media, the record shows that we’ve very carefully noted – especially in recent months – the need for a “wheat and chaff” discernment approach about sources, groups, etc. No one is perfect. Mistakes that are corrected are arguably what honorable adults in business strive to do.

That said, let this stand as a reminder that ‘education’ at SECO may – per sources – have in some fashion contributed to what occurred.

 

Recaps and Lessons 

Certainly – per our sources in media, legal, SECO connected, and the broader MH industry – there is a likely of more ‘bad news’ to come from outside media and legal issues.

With media and with most legal matters, there are calms before and between the storms. The indications that MHProNews has at this time is that this may be such a period of calm. To be forewarned, is to be forearmed.  We publish these stories, one, because they are real, and two as morality tales in the hopes of keeping good people out of the kind of trouble that the report below reminds us can occur.

Criminal Charges Filed Against Manufactured Home Community Owner

 

We also publish the far more enjoyable to write about ‘good news’ stories that others miss or understate.

Ryan Kirk–Investor & Entrepreneur-Gets Positive Media via Airbase Estates Mobile/Manufactured Home Makeovers, Exclusives, Videos

Let anyone connected with SECO carefully consider what their contact might mean to a plaintiff’s attorney, or legal authorities in GA, to the media, consumers, and beyond.

What image of the industry and its members does this series of controversies project?

Finally, the related reports below are reminders why it is wise to be transparent. And why – as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, doing what’s right is always the right thing to do. Ponder that as the first of today’s “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.” © Where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) See Related Reports, linked further below.

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews
2) To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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.

Related Reports:

Howard Walker, Mensch – Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Manufactured Homes Retrospective

 

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

As with any industry, there are problems.  But done properly by honorable professionals, manufactured housing is the proven solution for the affordable housing crisis.

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

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

May 30th, 2018 Comments off

GeorgeAllenSpencerRoaneTomLackeyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHISECOCOBA7SeeSayHearNoEvilCashDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The absurdity of publishing only half-truths, ‘happy talk,’ endless self-promotion, and polite platitudes has been on full display in manufactured housing for years.

 

Google’s dictionary defines absurd this way:

  • wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate – “the allegations are patently absurd”
  • arousing amusement or derision; ridiculous – “gym shorts and knee socks looked absurd on such a tall girl

 

MHR and MHInsider have featured Spencer Roane and George Allen recently in glowing terms. At least one of those was published after the Tom Lackey controversy erupted. In a free society with First Amendment guarantees, it is their absolute right to praise whomever they want to. As the MH Industry’s leading trade media, MHProNews defends their right to praise and elevate on a pedestal Allen, Roane, or anyone else.

Rights recognized, the wisdom of giving only praise without an honest analysis ought to be contrasted with the allegedly unethical – and perhaps illegal – acts committed by a follower and colleague of Allen and Roane; Tom Lackey.

Lackey stands accused by several people of ‘selling’ homes he did not own.

TomLackeySECOSoutheasternCommunityOwnersSymposiumManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

SECO still shows Tom Lackey on their planning committee, as of 12:27 PM ET, on 5.30.2018. Why?

Lackey – per more than one mainstream media source – plus local officials, ‘sold’ often older manufactured homes, that were in poor condition to individuals via “contract for title.”

TomLackeyTimesFreePressDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

That method of so-called “seller financing” is promoted by Roane at SECO, who in turn is promoted by Allen and COBA7.

TylerJettChatanoogaTimesFreePressManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Fairness, Balance

MHProNews contacted Lackey directly and indirectly through his SECO/COBA7 allies, to give him an opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings or inaccuracies that may exist in the mainstream media reports, and/or the allegations by local officials and those customers of his.

Lackey was invited by MHProNews to comment himself, or via an attorney.

Days later, Lackey has done neither, which of course is his right to remain silent.

Meanwhile, Allen and Roane – as the Daily Business News has previously reported, have repeatedly given cover to – or even praised Lackey.

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

That cover by Roane and Allen has occurred several times after the allegations by public officials and customers of Lackey have come to light. The most recent public embarrassment is in a report on 5.27.2018, by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, linked here.

TonyaEvansAllegedVictimTomLackeyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNEwsMHPronews624

It is important to note, as the Daily Business News previously reported, that reporter Tyler Jett and their paper have made it clear that they are sticking with this story-line.  There will likely be more such reports.

There have already been several troubling news items done by that media outlet, and another.

So, there is clear evidence that this is not a one-and-done affair for that publication.

TimesFreePressStoneyPointeMobileHomeParkRossvilleGADailyBusinessNewsMHPronEws

This is the latest example of how head-in-the-sand is not an option for the majority of honorable professionals in manufactured housing.

MrMcGooSeeSaySpeakNoEvilManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

 

See No Evil…

Certain state associations, an industry museum, and others have promoted Allen and Roane – per state-based sources – for industry ‘political’ reasons.

Yet the pair have for years been openly promoting concepts that arguably led to the tawdry allegations about Lackey. Those accusations are being leveled from public officials, consumers, and which are found in the mainstream media.

For an industry with an ongoing image issue, it’s madness to be silent about such apparent outrages. Absurd.

Consumer protection is at the heart of the HUD Code for manufactured homes (MH).  Why doesn’t the MH Industry take that consumer protection to the next level, by protecting would-be buyers via warnings against predatory operations?

 

MHI?

MHProNews asked MHI to weigh in on this serious post-production issue, giving MHI an opportunity to defend their industry.

MHI’s reply? Silence. As of the time this is being written, there is no press release.  Nor any other apparent public response by MHI. It’s their right to not weigh in, of course.

But isn’t it absurd?

TimWilliamsMediaRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews-500x277

A far more prudent posture would be the Biblical analogy, using the example of the wheat and the chaff. Allen and Roane have done good things in their lives, such as serve America in the military. That deserves recognition and respect.

The pair of Allen and Roane – to an apparently authentic degree – care about their peers, notably those in the community sector. There have been times the duo have done good things. The RV MH Hall of Fame recognized Allen and Roane both as inductees. That’s reality.

Fair, balanced, and honest reality ought to be a central tenant of every news report, and commentary column.

It ought to be disclosed that this writer has on various occasions engaged Allen and Roane, privately and publicly. MHProNews gave Allen and Roane several opportunities to clarify or rebut the Chattanooga Times Free Press report.

Here below was Roane’s on-the-record reply.  The image is a composite, faithfully representing everything Roane said.

SpencerRoaneManufacturedHousingIndustryTomLackeyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Against that backdrop, where are the public voices of reason from MHVille?

One that bears mention is the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association’s, Jay Hamilton.

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com1-1

Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

In a polite, and hypothetical fashion, Hamilton told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in his own words the following, in an indirect way.

When there is something allegedly wrong with a member company, a good association with a code of conduct will review the evidence. Based upon that internal review, a good association may recommend expulsion, or even a referral to a regulatory agency.

Of course. Bravo.  Hamilton’s exact words are found in the Times Free Press article, which once more, is linked here.

MonkeysHearSaySpeakNoEvilWehaveAbrotherWhoLeftForCareerInPoliticsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Defending the Indefensible?  Why?

As reporter Tyler Jett spotlighted, Allen has given cover to Lackey and Roane. In Allen’s self-touted blog post on 5.29.2018, he mentioned nothing at all about the controversy surrounding Lackey, SECO, COBA7, or himself published by Jett.

Had Allen thought the report inaccurate, wouldn’t Allen stand on his own soap box, and decry Jett’s accuracy?

So, de facto, one may logically presume that Jett’s Times Free Press report accurately quoted Allen and Roane.

And yet, Roane denied the accuracy of the report.  He said to the Daily Business News: “Those familiar with this situation are unwilling to comment further because statements already reported by news media were inaccurate or out of context.

Roane stated that via an email, which a collage of the screen capture, is shown above.

Can’t these two gents even get their stories straight?

And why would Allen assert to the reporter, Tyler Jett, that Lackey gave title to an alleged victim? Why say something so absurd, when local officials, at least one other media outlet, and numerous consumers all say that the title was never given?

It’s absurd. The allegations are tragic, on so many levels.

While Allen and Roane struggle against saying anything negative about themselves, or their SECO board member and colleague – Tom Lackey – Allen yesterday published his latest broadside against the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Allen will be quoted at length below. A few things ought to be noted, to set the table.

Allen and Roane are human. This writer, and all other mere mortals, make mistakes. When a publicly impactful error in judgment occurs, it ought to be acknowledged. Amends ought to be made. Normal people accept mistakes that are admitted, and may even respect the humility of the confession.

DonSeeEveryonesFlawsDontListenToEverythingYourToldDontspeakIfItsNotKindYesButTimesMustSpeakOutAbusurdiayManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

But instead, Lackey said nothing in public. If there is an attempt to make amends to those alleged “contract for title” victims, there is no public evidence of that yet known.

Meanwhile, Allen and Roane are tripping over each other in offering apparently phony red herrings, or praising Lackey for his role in SECO.  What?

Absurd.

Scenarios like Lackey’s were predictable. As Roane himself told Jett – per the Chattanooga Times report, and his own on-the-record emailed statement to MHProNews – the ‘contract for title process’ is “complicated.

So, with limited training” in a once a year “class,” Roane is teaching a process he calls “seller financing.” That on its face uses terminology that the CFPB has previously called a “disguised credit transaction.”

It’s absurd. Tragic.

Why are Allen and Roane given stage time and/or cross-promotions for this type of activity by state associations? It’s absurd. In hindsight, isn’t it being too polite, for “political” reasons? Are associations – or a museum that does so – opening themselves up for liability?

Every state the trio are an association member of, and every museum or institution that has given them a platform or promotion, ought to ask for a public apology — by each of the three.

Absent an appropriate public apology with amends, to protect the reputations of other members, and to protect the public who might keep doing business with such people, shouldn’t each of the associations they are connected to do what Hamilton said hypocritically could be done?

 

Forewarned

This writer has at various times urged Allen and Roane to reconsider the problematic parts of their enterprises. Clearly, to no avail. But someone in the industry must at least try do it.  Why? Because the majority of the honest businesses in this industry will continue to suffer so long as inexplicable, ‘allegedly’ problematic behavior is tolerated.

What’s ironic, is that when Allen publicly slaps MHI – which the Arlington, VA based group has arguably committed their own mistakes – is the retired Marine officer looking in the mirror?  Isn’t he as reticent to admit wrongs, and failures, as MHI is?  What happened to Semper Fi?

Where has that hiding-from-the-truth led the manufactured housing industry?

Answer, it is a self-evident part of a pattern that during an affordable housing crisis has led to the industry’s lowest sales levels in its history.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsFEMAManufacturedHomesNotMobileHomesTrailersIndustryResearchReportsDataMHProNews

Manufactured housing is well below its historic highs. Credits, MHI, Cavco.

Tragic. Absurd.

ThreeStogesSaySpeakSeeNoEvilManufacturedHousingINdustryCodeofConductDailyBuisnessnewsCommntaryMHProNews

 

And such behavior is no doubt what has led members and staff of the Arizona and Nevada community owner’s association to stand up to MHI, and announce the launch of a new national association.

 

Before turning to an extended quote from Allen’s blog, a related point is in order.  Multiple sources within and tied to the land-lease community sector have advised MHProNews about a now-aborted effort to launch yet another new national trade association.

Per those source, Allen “derailed,” and “sabotaged” that other new post-production association effort.

As a long-time, now-former client of Allen once told this writer, with George, “…it is AAA. All about Allen.”  That source said that AAA explains much of Allen’s behavior.

Final point before Allen’s extend quote.

With the above noted, there are times that Allen makes useful observations and speaks the truth. Chaff and wheat.  So, one must be discerning.

It is interesting to note that Allen apparently tosses his own COBA7 and MHI under the bus, in the except below. The one mentioned accurately, is the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Allen is right in saying MHARR represents independent producers of HUD Code homes. He is also correct in saying that MHARR has advocated for an effective, robust post-production association.

Allen also correctly noted the frustration by state associations with MHI. The later points have of course been reported by MHProNews in more detail, and with specific evidence.

—- Start of Extended Quote from George Allen blog —-

GeorgeAllenBlog485MobileHomeLandLeaseCommunityAdvocateExpertDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

What happened to George Allen preaching against the use of the term “mobile home?”

National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’)

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new national advocacy presence ‘soon to be’ on the manufactured housing industry scene! Being formed to represent and advocate for business interests of land lease communities, from the smallest to largest in size, by rental homesite count.

Where do I stand on this potentially controversial matter? As administrator of COBA7, I am not one of NAMHCO’s organizers, though I certainly understand the pent-up frustration of state MH associations and property owners, feeling underserved by the three present day national MH advocates. Today’s status quo relative to the realty asset class? In my opinion,

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is 100% HUD-Code housing manufacturer focused. Land lease community owners/operators are not eligible to belong. Though MHARR does advocate for a new national presence to represent all non-manufacturing segments of the manufactured housing industry. (202) 783-4087

Manufactured Housing Institute is the ‘broad brush’ national advocate serving all segments of the manufactured housing industry. It is primarily financed and perennially led by the ‘Big Three C’ HUD-Code housing manufacturers: Clayton Homes, Champion Home Builders (soon to be, I believe, Skyline Champion), & Cavco Industries. MHI, through its’ National Communities Council division, since 1996, has, in this industry observer’s opinion, given little more than lip service to the land lease community real estate asset class it claims to serve…

Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance was launched in early 2014 to serve the product and service needs of land lease community owners/operators nationwide. COBA7…”

—- End of extended quote from George Allen. —-

The need for a new, post-production association ought to be self-evident.

The need for honorable professionals to police their own industry ought to be ever-more apparent.

AllTruthPassesThrough3stagesFirstRidiculed2ndViolentlyOpposed3rdAcceptedAsSelfEvidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuinessNewsMHProNews

That new national association that AZ and NV are promoting, along with current ones, ought to take steps to insure the following:

  • Organizations ought to be established or reorganized with a structure that keeps big companies from dominating the smaller ones.
  • An association’s professional code of conduct ought to be enforced, in a fair manner, that protects vulnerable consumers and the reputation of honest business people.

Once more, the story by Tyler Jett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press is linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary)

(Third-party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

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

Code of Conduct – Good or Bad News, and Home Selling – Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

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

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

2) To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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

LATonyKovach-QuestioningNYSAAteam-NewYorkHousingAssociation-MHProNews-com-PhotoCreditMarkSimon-250x167

L. A. “Tony” Kovach, photo by Mark Simon, shows Kovach engaging with SAAs in NY.

By L. A. Tony’ Kovach, publisher of MHProNews.com.
Tony is the award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.