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IMHA-RVIC Executive Director’s Report from MHI’s Annual Meeting

October 10th, 2012 2 comments

mark-bowersox-imha-posted-industry-voices-guest-blog-mhpronews.com-75x75pxl-IMHA Executive Director Mark Bowersox attended the Manufactured Housing Institute's (MHI) Annual Meeting held earlier this week in San Antonio, TX.

More than 100 people attended the event, including representatives from 10 IMHA member companies. While MHI scheduled more than a dozen separate workshops, most discussed the ongoing regulation and legislation that challenges our industry at the national level. The Secure and Fair Mortgage Enforcement (SAFE) Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Anti-Money Laundering regulations continue to be the hot topics in nearly all meetings. In fact, MHI's Legislative and Regulatory Priorities remain the same going into 2013 as they were in 2012.

MHI is taking a two-tiered approach to SAFE and Dodd-Frank. First, they are promoting legislation (HR 3849 and S 3484) that would amend the existing Dodd-Frank legislation to increase the threshold on triggering a "high cost mortgage" as defined in the Dodd-Frank legislation. This same bill would also amend the SAFE Act to legislatively mandate some of the regulatory opinions currently contained in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Proposed Rule on the SAFE Act.

MHI's hope is that this legislation will be passed during the "lame duck" session following the November elections. While several members of Indiana's congressional delegation have agreed to support these initiatives, I encourage all IMHA members to contact your Representative and Senators and urge them to support this legislation.

Secondly, MHI is seeking favorable interpretations of the law from the CFPB, the newly created federal agency responsible for regulating these laws. MHI has retained the services of SNR Denton, a Washington DC law firm specifically to lobby the CFPB on behalf of the manufactured housing industry. The CFPB isn’t expected to release new information before the November election but must distribute final rules by January, 2013. Although the CFPB is expected to review state policies to ensure states are regulating the SAFE Act appropriately, the CFPB has not yet addressed lease-option type contracts. These contracts continue to be a gray area and it’s possible that the CFPB will view these contracts as non-compliant and a way to skirt the law.

MHI staff reported that the CFPB auditors have begun levying fines against lenders, with Capital One and Discover being fined over $200 million each. The CFPB has the authority to regulate non-bank lenders, which includes manufactured housing communities.

Earlier this year we shared information with IMHA members through a variety of sources about the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations that went into effect on August 13 of this year. Many attendees at this week’s meeting had taken advantage of the template MHI created to help retailers develop an anti money laundering policy as part of their overall compliance program. This template was developed by Marc Lifset of McGlinchey-Stafford (MHI's law firm) and can be used at no charge to state association members.

I strongly recommend to anyone selling homes to review the seven questions from the template (see page 9) to see if your business is required to have a written anti-money laundering program, and to take the necessary steps to comply. At this time there is no plan to roll-back, repeal, amend or otherwise exempt manufactured housing from this federal regulation.

Click here to view the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s final rule on the Anti-Money Laundering Program and Suspicious Activity Report Filing Requirements for Residential Mortgage Lenders and Originators. Click here to view or download MHI’s AML policy template.

Other notes from the meeting:

The 2013 National Congress and Expo in Las Vegas will be held at the Paris Hotel. The move was made in large part to a much better overnight room rate ($109) at the Paris Hotel.

MHI has retailer resources section on their web site. It includes valuable information on AML, Red Flags, Safe guards and more. I encourage all members to review these resources as a part of your ongoing compliance programs. As you can tell, MHI is working diligently in Washington on behalf of our industry. They have an extremely tough job trying to effect change for our niche industry in the enormous federal government. It is always a privilege to interact with and learn from their staff along with the other state association directors and industry leaders that were at the meeting. ##

mark-bowersox-imha-posted-industry-voices-guest-blog-mhpronews.com-75x75pxl-Mark Bowersox
Executive Director
Indiana Manufactured Housing Association – Recreational Vehicle Indiana Council
http://www.imharvic.org/

UN Agenda 21 and Why It Matters to the Manufactured Housing Industry

September 9th, 2012 7 comments

by Doug Gorman

Conspiracy theories are not hard to find or hard to generate. With that backdrop, the question can be posed, "What is the United Nation's Agenda 21 and how does it affect our industry?” Let it be said, if you liked Dodd-Frank, you'll love Agenda 21. We are learning that red flags need to come up when we hear certain terms such as "fair share" and "social justice" tossed about casually. The red flag phrase emanating from Agenda 21 is "sustainable development."

Unfortunately, Agenda 21 was embraced by George H.W. Bush at the U.N.'s Earth Summit in 1992. Fully embraced and implemented, Agenda 21 would oppose private ownership of land and funnel middle class Americans into high rise complexes in cities. The radical left wing discovered they can use the environment as their weapon of choice to wage war against the founding principles of our country which were embedded in our constitution by the brilliant founders of our country.

Andrew Phillips recently published the following concerning Agenda 21:

"Maurice Strong was the Secretary General at this conference. He stated that “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” Agenda 21 is all about environmental control. It seeks to ration natural resources in the same way that Obamacare will ration healthcare. Energy will be rationed based on the assumption that our government owns all resources including food, water and land. Local Agenda 21 initiatives will mandate certain appliances and outlaw others based on energy consumption, and your energy consumption will be monitored so that you don’t “go over your limit.” Homes and buildings will have to be built or rebuilt to meet new “green” building codes or else face hefty fines. It seeks to transition citizens away from rural areas and into cities. It wants to “wean” people off private vehicles (because of “dirty” fossil fuels) and have them start using public transportation like high-speed rail. Outdoor recreational activities will be restricted because those practices are not “sustainable.”

“Social justice” means the abolition of private property. Here’s an excerpt from a report published at the U.N.’s Habitat I Conference in 1976:

“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of  society as a whole.”

It’s not fair that individuals own land or property. What will make it fair is if it is collectively owned. The United Nations wants to mandate global communism. They just don’t call it that. They call it “social justice.” And they’re going to execute “social justice” through “sustainable development.”

These things are already happening in our own country. Over 600 cities and counties across the U.S. have become members of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), “an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations who have made a commitment to sustainable development.” Check here to see if your town, city or county is a member.

Participating in a UN advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society…This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.

In 1993, a year after Bush Sr. signed the Agenda 21 protocol, President Clinton issued an executive order that created the PCSD (President’s Council on Sustainable Development). This group made Agenda 21 public policy and sought to implement its goals at the local level through ICLEI. J. Gary Lawrence was an adviser to this council. He advised that people should not know about Agenda 21 because if they knew about it, they would be opposed to it:

And this is why we don’t ever hear about it. They control the language in media. Their agenda is shrouded in vague terms that could mean anything, and people are naive enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. Since the creation of Clinton’s PCSD, Obama has issued executive orders creating similar and more expansive “councils” that work to further the U.N.’s agenda.

Tom Madrecki is a spokesman for Smart Growth America, another one of those Agenda 21 type organizations. He doesn’t like the fact that Agenda 21 is in the new Republican platform. He said, “The fact that it’s in the platform gives credence to something that just shouldn’t get any.” He’s concerned that such a mainstream position opposing Agenda 21 will only serve to stir dissent and will “continue halting beneficial conversations about community planning.” There’s another one of those buzz phrases…”community planning.”

It’s great that the Republican Party has officially taken a stand against the United Nations and its global communist agenda. I hope it stays in their platform, and I hope Romney and other elected Republicans will work tirelessly to expose the U.N. for what they really are and to extricate the U.S. from the organization itself, thus restoring our national sovereignty."

To its credit, the Republican party has finally seen the errors of its ways and has formally opposed Agenda 21 in its party platform adopted at the party convention in Tampa. Let's hope they are unified in that opposition and maintain it as they go forward.  ##

Doug Gorman is president Home Mart, the industry's most award winning retail center, located n Tulsa OK. He is also a recent inductee into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

Liberty

July 17th, 2012 No comments

I read Tony Kovach's recent Masthead blog post with some fascination. Because the upcoming elections are on my mind too. Many of us feel that we are watching something slip away. Many of us want to make sure that we continue what was started in 2010, when the House or Representatives was retaken by 'tea party conservatives'.

Lady-Liberty-mhmsm

I did a post on LinkedIn recently, asking questions about the impact of the Nanny State on manufactured housing professionals. Here are a pair of the statements, quoted below verbatim, with the initials of the person who made the comment:

The industry is, I agree, significantly over-regulated. Often intentionally, exemplified with the number and types of superfluous disclosures to prospective residents our legislature seeks to add, and also as the unintended consequence of legislation targeting others (SAFE Act as to sale of park owned homes, Red Flags, Safeguard Rules, Patriot Act, etc.)” TD

The problem is that sometimes we get what we "wish for" – the HUD Code. Many manufacturers in the industry wanted HUD regulation to avoid regulation by each state. Tony is correct – the largest shipment year was 1974 – the year before the HUD Code, but, there were other factors at work as well.KR

Here are some quotes from historic leaders and masters on this subject of Liberty.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Ben Franklin

If we are together nothing is impossible, if we are divided all Will Fail.” Winston Churchill

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Thomas Jefferson

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person by person.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” George Washington

Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.” John F. Kennedy

To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

The history of freedom is never really written by chance but by choice.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Lincoln Union Forces MHProNews

We have so many things that can inspire us Americans. One of the countless examples is Abraham Lincoln, who suffered defeat after defeat in his personal career, only to keep coming back through dogged persistence to accomplish his goal.

Lincoln is famous for three reasons one his election in 1860, two his struggle to hold the Union together in the Civil War. But Lincoln is also famous that his life was riddled with failure and he overcame it time and time again. Here is just a small sampling of his failures;

1831 Failed in business

1832 Lost his job

1836 Had a nervous breakdown in bed for 6 months

1843 – Ran for Congress and lost

1848 Ran for re-election to Congress and lost

1858 Ran for US Senate and lost

1860 Ran for President and won.

The question – how many failures can you endure and carry on? The answer that Abraham Lincoln gave with us with his life example is to keep on keeping on until you accomplish that worthwhile goal.

Great things can be accomplished by team work. Pulling together can happen professionally as well as politically. That is why associations and parties exist. One thing is certain, "United, we Stand. Divided, we fall."

There is no need for perfect unity, nor is it possible. America became free of England not because everyone stood together! They became free because enough stood together to make it happen. Some say that perhaps 1/3 of the people were engaged in the effort and supported independence.

So don't think that just because there is opposition that we are thus 'doomed to fail.' YOU be a part of the solution. Gather others of like mind. Share the truth well, and some will accept it. That is how you get 'enough.'

The same can be true for us now as it was for the American Rebels at the time of the Revolution, as we work to reverse a long string of legal and regulatory setbacks to our liberties. We can do it. We are Americans. Amer-I-CAN.

The economic times give manufactured housing professionals an in unprecedented opportunity. Lower incomes means more people than ever before are looking for affordable quality homes in America. But we won't accomplish it unless we get some regulatory and legal hurdles out of the way.

This is the election that we had better work hard to win. If you haven't already seen and shared this political cartoon linked here, please check it out and send it to your mailing list.

http://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/2012-06-25-16-14-30/purely-political/37-the-5-facts-for-voters-to-consider

Doing so can do two amazing things. One, it can get more people thinking and engaged.

Two, it can get more people looking at the manufactured home lifestyle in a positive way.

Those are two things that can help you and your business. Together, Let's do this! Liberty – personal freedom – is worth working for, always. ##

Posted for
Tim Connor

Marketing & Sales,Website,AdvertisingandMHSpeakerTrainer– Manager

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