Posts Tagged ‘federal legislation’

A Texan’s MH Industry Call to Action

April 8th, 2015 No comments

As they say on television, “we now interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you late breaking news.” In this case we shift from our primary focus on the Texas Legislative Session to news coming out of our nation’s Capital.

The government affairs team and leadership of MHI has informed TMHA that H.R. 650 is expected to come to the House floor next Tuesday, April 14, for a vote. Following my comments is the call to action from MHI’s chairman on this critical piece of legislation.

Let me quickly update everyone on what has recently occurred in D.C. On March 25 H.R. 650 was voted out of the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 43-15. Notably of the 43 votes in favor of the bill, 10 were from Democrats further demonstrating this bill’s bi-partisan support.

We were thrilled to see Texas Congressman Williams, Marchant and Hinojosa all add their names as co-sponsors to the bill. Additionally, subcommittee chairman Rep. Naugerbuer and chairman Hensarling, both also from Texas, spoke during the committee hearing voicing strong support for H.R. 650.

So far so good, but then late last week an article was published that was clearly intended to cast harmful aspersions on specific companies in our industry. This effort was a joint project of The Seattle Times and the Center for Public Integrity. One could conclude by the timing of this article following the successful passage of H.R. 650 from committee, but before it is brought to the full House floor for a vote is, shall we say, less than coincidental.

Welcome to the NFL.

Like hand-to-hand combat…no one ever said passing federal legislation is easy, nor is it for the faint of heart.

This is why we are passing on Nathan Smith’s/MHI’s call to action between now and next Tuesday. We need to make sure we contact as many of our congressional leaders in the House to voice our support for H.R. 650.

For this legislation to become law it has to pass the House and Senate, and then not be vetoed by the President. Passing the House is a critical leg of this three legged stool we must construct.

What’s at stake in this legislation?

Would you like to once again be able to assist your customers through the buying process?

Do you think it will benefit MH home owners – and thus referrals from those home owners – for them to be able to get access more financing on homes under 20K or 25K?  Then ask for support for this bill.

Would you like to actually tell customers which lenders will even consider their credit application rather than pointing them to a lender list and when they ask for help have to shrug your shoulders and leave your customer adrift to figure it all out on their own?

Would you like to see lenders re-enter the lending space for homes under $25,000?

Would you like to be able to assist customers to navigate the lending application process, especially those customers who may need assistance from a bi-lingual salesperson or retailer?

Would you like to conduct your retail selling operations focused on best serving your customers and not be in constant worry that you or your salesperson might have slipped up ever so slightly and crossed over some unclear line during the course of a conversation that can leave you exposed to liability for years?

I’d ask you to think about these questions when you are deciding if you want to spend your valuable time contacting your congressman and encouraging others you know in the industry to contact theirs.

The clock is ticking.

We need to all come together as a unified and strong industry to voice our support for H.R. 650. Our opposition is fiercely attacking this bill and our industry by working against us in D.C., leveraging media plays, and we anticipate attempting to file damaging amendments on the floor intended to splinter support and neuter the needed changes in the bill.

This is a critical time. Thank you. ##

dj-pendleton-mhpronews-com-executive-director-texas-manufactured-housing-association-DJ Pendleton
Executive Director, TMHA


Published with Permission. The message referenced from Nathan Smith is linked here.



Leading the Charge: The Back Story on S. 3484

August 8th, 2012 No comments

tim-williams-ohio-manufactured-home-association-mhpronewsWhen you get a key piece of federal legislation sponsored in the U.S. Sentate, how does that happen? We asked Tim Williams to answer that question, and here is what he told us in his own words.

“First and foremost Nathan Smith is the game changer (with the credibility and relationship) who advocated and led the industry effort with the assistance of MHI. Nathan, myself, Tim Williams of 21st and MHI’s Jason Boehlert as well as several other MHI key finance members initially met with Senator Brown in January regarding the industry’s concerns with Dodd/Frank. Nathan did a great job debriefing the Senator and his staff on the issue and encouraging  legislative consideration. It was clear Senator Brown had a good understanding and sincere interest in the issue and our industry even before the meeting started.

I was able to discuss Ohio’s strong MH Commission’s role in consumer protection under the industry led independent Ohio MH Commission (6 of 9 commissioners must be appointed per a list nominated by OMHA per Ohio  law). Senator Brown was very interested in the industry, our consumer and their protections under the Ohio Commission including the fact that 100% of all homes are inspected during three critical phases of the  installation process in Ohio. He asked many questions regarding Ohio law, demographics and industry businesses as well as the jobs aspect of our economic impact in Ohio and nationally. He was clearly engaged with us on the issue.

Tim Williams of 21st was able to succinctly condense a rather complicated issue in to an understandable dynamic all could grasp and wrap our heads around. Tim’s ability to take the issue down to its basic components was very helpful in demonstrating the practical  challenges facing the ability to finance Ohioans in to affordable manufactured home ownership. I am very appreciative of Tim and 21st Mortgage's leadership on the Dood/Frank  concerns and believe his impact on the legislative aspect of all of this is probably underestimated but nonetheless critical to our success.

I personally appreciate the effort Senator Brown demonstrated in understanding our industry and concerns as well as to brief us on the legislative dynamics of the issue. I encourage all industry members to thank Senator Brown and express support to his office in any appropriate manner.  He stood up for our consumers and industry on a challenging issue regardless of the pressures he faces in an election year.

tim-williams-ohio-manufactured-home-association-mhpronewsTim Williams
 Executive Vice President
 Ohio Manufactured Homes Association

What is the latest on SAFE ACT, DODD-FRANK, CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) and as an MHC owner, should I care?

February 8th, 2012 No comments
It has been over three years now since the passage of the SAFE Act federally which mandated that states pass similar legislation meeting the minimum standards outlined by the federal legislation. States were given one year to draft and pass their legislation. All states did pass legislation but several were notified by HUD (Housing and Urban Development) that their legislation did not meet the minimum standards or provided more latitude or exemptions than were provided in the federal law and as a result the states had to amend or change their laws accordingly. It is extremely important to note that the federal law established the minimum standards and a few states incorporated more stringent standards such as requiring lenders to have a physical presence in their states. Lenders and state regulators are still sorting out these issues.
To further complicate the matter, HUD’s rule was a proposed rule….meaning that upon further review and comment it could change or provide states with an interpretation different than the proposed rule. This created a great deal of confusion at the state enforcement level and many states took the position that there would be no enforcement of the SAFE Act until the final rule was issued.
On June 20, 2011 approximately 30 days before all enforcement of SAFE was to be turned over to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, HUD issued the final rule!
The final rule did provide additional clarity on issues on what can and what cannot be done without triggering actions requiring licensing under the SAFE Act. Let’s look at what we found out.
It appears that retailers and community owners have a little bit more flexibility in their “interaction” with the borrower so long as:
  • They do not hold themselves out as a loan originator.
  • Limit their actions regarding the loan transaction itself and
  • do not receive any compensation or gain as a result of the credit transaction.
  • They can transmit a completed credit application (completed by the borrower) to prospective lenders.
  • They can provide payment examples for prospective borrowers.
  • They can share or show the borrower rate sheets from multiple lenders.
  • They can assist the lender in closing the loan transaction by showing the borrowers where to sign and then sending loan documents back to lender.
  • They cannot negotiate rates and terms of the loan.
  • They cannot receive compensation related to the loan transaction.
  • They cannot complete the loan application for the customer.
  • They cannot hold themselves out as a loan originator unless they have the requisite MLO license.
The final rule made clear that the federal law does not provide for any kind of de minimus exemption but strangely left it open for states to determine what was habitual or repetitive. This seems contradictory at best but Industry Associations such as the WMA and CMHA are working diligently to get a favorable interpretation with state regulators.
So let’s bring this forward to where we are today. We have the final rule; states regulators are meeting by conference call regularly so there is consistent and uniform interpretation and enforcement; and the CFPB is now technically operational since Richard Cordray has been appointed via a controversial 'recess appointment' by President Obama to be the Directory of CFPB. What this all means is that states will begin enforcing if they have not started already; the CFPB is the ultimate regulator at the national level and will also begin audit and enforcement of non-depository finance related entities such as mortgage servicers, payday lenders, and manufactured housing lenders!
What does this mean for community owners who have been providing the capital to make loans for prospective residents to live in their communities? It means you have to be licensed as a lender and your sales people have to stay within the “lines” outlined above to avoid having to be licensed as a Mortgage Loan Originator.
Or…you should investigate and consider using a TPSP (Third Party Service Provider) who can do all of the lending functions (receive the application from the customer; underwrite the loan in accordance with federal requirements, document the loan file; prepare loan documents; fund the loan and provide loan servicing on a direct basis with the borrower).
San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) has such a program in place. There are certainly other firms you may wish to contact to see if they offer anything comparable and under what conditions. SACU has a compliance department that daily reviews regulations coming from Washington and determines the impact of those regulations on their lending business.
So we have SAFE Act in place, now being enforced…don’t ignore it and think you can “fly under the radar”…it is not worth the risk. Fines can be $25,000 per incident, which means for those doing a volume of business, x number of 'incidents' from the federal regulators perspective may put a company in a world of hurt or out of business.
Dodd-Frank, the massive financial reform legislation for the most part has not kicked in yet but now that the CFPB is up and running you can expect a flurry of activity and new regulations that will have a profound effect on the way we do business. We already know the crucial areas to be concerned with. It can make sense to partner with some firm who knows and can provide the assistance and programs needed to continue doing what you do best…developing and managing great communities and affordable housing and attractive lifestyles for your residents. # #
By Dick Ernst,
President of Financial Marketing Associates, Inc., 972-503-3201, or cell 214-335-2708.