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Action Needed -- Urge Representatives to Co-Sponsor the

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Finance Act (H.R. 3849)

This morning an MHI Action Alert was emailed to members urging each one to contact their U.S. Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 3849 (Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act).

BACKGROUND:

On January 31st, Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Gary Miller (R-CA) introduced the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R. 3849) to reduce regulatory burdens that impede access to affordable manufactured housing financing. The bipartisan bill addresses two significant issues impacting consumers’ ability to obtain mortgage financing for manufactured homes:

Reducing the threshold by which small balance manufactured home personal property loans are considered High-Cost Mortgage Loans under provisions within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203) which will thereby reduce the number of loans subject to punitive and onerous liabilities.

Clarifying that those selling manufactured homes—who are not fundamentally engaged in the business of originating mortgage loans—are not to be defined as mortgage originators under the federal SAFE Act which will thereby ensure they are better able to provide adequate technical assistance to consumers throughout the manufactured home buying process (similar to the SAFE Act treatment of real estate brokers).

The bill would amend these laws to minimize growing disincentives to serving the financing needs of low- and moderate-income manufactured home buyers. Often, it is these very consumers that are in greatest need of access to both affordable housing financing and technical assistance in the manufactured home buying process. Without revision, there would remain the very real unintended consequence of eliminating access to sustainable manufactured housing for millions of families. For more information, click here to view MHI’s issue brief.

ACTION NEEDED:

MHI is working to add as many co-sponsors to the bill as quickly as possible. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) must have regulations for housing finance in final form by January 2013. This is also the same time the CFPB expects to begin fully monitoring and enforcing state SAFE Act laws.

The more co-sponsors to the bill, the stronger argument MHI can make to leaders of the House Financial Services Committee to move the bill quickly. In addition, the greater the level of bipartisan support the less controversial the measure will be perceived, which will allow for swifter action.

Assistance is needed from the entire manufactured housing industry to contact Members of Congress, and specifically request the following actions:

Contact your U.S. Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 3849 (Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act). To co-sponsor, a company representative should contact Jim Hall in Rep. Stephen Fincher’s office at 202.225.4714 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Alissa Stamm in the office of Rep. Joe Donnelly at 202.225.3915 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information, click here to view MHI’s issue brief, which includes a sample letter, talking points and background information. To find your U.S. Representative using your zip code, visit www.house.gov/. Please relay any commitments you receive from Representatives to co-sponsor HR 3849 to MHI staff. MHI can then follow up on these commitments in Washington, DC.

If you have Representatives that serve on the House Financial Services Committee (http://financialservices.house.gov/About/Members.htm), please reach out to them and urge them to co-sponsor HR 3849. If you have a close connection or relationship with congressional staff or a Member of Congress, direct communication (phone or email) is the most effective means of communication.

If you are a manufactured home community owner, retailer, lender, etc., please consider urging your customers/residents to send their own letters requesting their U.S. Representative co-sponsor H.R. 3849. MHI staff can assist in drafting a personalized letter and alert to your customer base.

Manufactured Housing Scores with Media Coverage

Two recent media “hits” have given manufactured housing some much-deserved visibility. On Friday, March 16th, USA TODAY ran a letter to the editor from MHI responding to a particularly negative article attacking “mobile home safety” as a result of powerful tornadoes that struck Kentucky and Indiana earlier in the month. MHI President & CEO Dick Jennison took the opportunity to stress that tornadoes do not discriminate as to which form of housing they destroy and that the article gave people a false sense of security about tornadoes’ destructive force. Jennison also stressed that no form of housing provides an absolute guarantee of safety during a tornado and what every family needs to know is that the only safe place to be during a tornado is in a proper shelter, preferably below ground. A copy of USA TODAY’s letter is available by clicking here.

The second media coverage was a very positive article in the March 20th issue of The Wall Street Journal entitled “Manufactured Housing Under Renovation” which pointed out the tremendous strides being made by the manufactured housing industry, both in terms of the quality of the homes and the growing appeal of our homes to more and more Americans looking for housing value. The article, written by Dawn Wotapka and A.D. Pruitt, provides a realistic and positive portrayal of our homes, our buyers and our industry’s future. Click here to view the article. Take this article to your local newspaper and encourage them to follow up on the storyline of how manufactured homes are meeting the need for quality housing in your area that people can afford.

MHI and Skyline Corporation Hosts Plant Tour for Housing Economists and Analysts with the U.S. Commerce Department and HUD

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development were the guests of Skyline Corporation for a tour of a manufacturing facility and home display center in Pennsylvania this week.

During the hour long walk through Skyline's 170,000 square foot facility, the group observed several lines of manufactured homes and recreational park trailers in various stages of production. Although none were in production at the time, the facility also produces modular homes.

The group heard from Skyline’s Division General Manager, Mike Scheid and Division Sales Manager, Bryan Lehman about the production process, the history of Skyline, and several of Skyline’s production and sales initiatives that have enabled the company to stay competitive and meet the growing consumer demand for quality, value, and innovation. Mary Gaiski, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association, and MHI staff were on hand to answer questions and address several federal, state and local regulatory challenges facing the industry.

The tour was extremely helpful for staff at the Commerce Department’s Bureau of the Census who manage and produce several surveys, reports and data specifically about the manufactured housing industry. Links to these resources are below. The Census Bureau will be exhibiting at the Congress & Expo in Las Vegas for those who wish to learn more about the tools and resources it offers.

U.S. Census Bureau Manufactured Homes Survey

U.S. Census Bureau American Housing Survey

U.S. Census Bureau Residential Housing Survey

MHI/NCC Seeking Reform of EPA’s LRRP Rule

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, has introduced the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012 (S. 2148) making practical reforms to the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule. EPA’s final LRRP rule, which took effect on April 22, 2010, requires remodeling and renovation firms that perform work on pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities to be EPA certified and follow rigorous, costly work practices supervised by an EPA-certified renovator when painted surfaces will be disturbed. On July 6, 2010, EPA removed the "Opt-Out” provision from the rule which allowed homeowners without children under six or pregnant women residing in the home to allow their contractor to forego the use of lead-safe work practices. By removing the opt-out provision, EPA more than doubled the number of homes subject to the LRRP Rule to 78 million. EPA has also begun the process of extending the LRRP Rule to commercial and public buildings through an advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

There are several compliance issues associated with the EPA lead-based paint rule, the most problematic being EPA’s failure to recognize an accurate lead test kit. There is no current test kit available that meets EPA’s own requirements. Compliance with the EPA’s LRRP rule would be particularly impactful for a manufactured housing community owner of an older community (pre 1978) who is seeking to renovate buildings within the community.

MHI/NCC has joined with other associations representing builders, contractors, remodelers, manufacturers, retailers, building owners, and real estate professionals in seeking reform of the EPA’s LRRP rule to make compliance requirements more reasonable and less burdensome. The coalition strongly supports the “Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012” (S. 2148). S. 2148 would make the following changes to the LRRP rule:

• Restore the “Opt-Out” provision;

• Suspend the LRRP if EPA cannot approve one or more test kits that meet the regulation’s requirements;

• Prohibit EPA from expanding the LRRP to commercial and public buildings until EPA conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action;

• Provide a de minimis exemption for first-time paperwork non-compliance by certified contractors; and

• Provide an exemption for renovations after a natural disaster.

MHI/NCC will continue to monitor this issue and work closely with its coalition partners in building support for S. 2148.

ADA Pool Standards

On Thursday, March 15th the Department of Justice issued an extension of the date for compliance with the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design as it relates to the provision of accessible entry and exit to existing swimming pools, wading pools, and spas. The new effective date is May 21, 2012. On the same day, the Justice Department released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking public comment on whether a 180-day extension of the deadline (until September 17, 2012) would be more appropriate to allow pool owners and operators to meet their compliance obligations.

In general, and for purposes of compliance, the definition of “public accommodations” would apply to buildings and/or facilities that are open to the public and affect commerce. As such, swimming pools in manufactured housing communities that are for the exclusive use of the residents do not generally fit the category of “public accommodations.” If, however, a manufactured housing community pool is open to the public (non-residents), then compliance with the new ADA pool accessibility guidelines would be necessary.

Comments on the NPRM will be accepted for 15 days after publication in the Federal Register or April 4, 2012.

• Notice of 60 day extension & Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from ADA Web site - www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm

• Submit comments to DOJ electronically by April 4, 2012 - www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOJ-CRT-2012-0006-0001

• Guidance on revised ADA requirements: Accessible Pools from ADA

Web site - www.ada.gov/pools_2010.htm

A new technical assistance document, “Accessible Pools -- Means of Entry and Exit,” has been added to the ADA’s website and is now available to the public. People interested in finding out more about the ADA can access the ADA website at www.ADA.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).


Daily Business News Briefs

William Matchneer leaves CFPB for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

William Matchneer leaves CFPB for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

William Matchneer, formerly senior counsel with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) division of research, markets and regulations, has joined the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in their litigation and compliance practice group. In addition to serving as team lead for implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act at the CFPB,...

18 Sep 2014

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Promise Zones Set to Expand to other Struggling Communities

Promise Zones Set to Expand to other Struggling Communities

The next round of the Obama Administration’s Promise Zone applications will be discussed Friday, Sept. 19 at 11 AM eastern time by U. S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Rep. Gary...

18 Sep 2014

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Drew Advances Modestly; Dow and S&P reach new Historical Highs

Drew Advances Modestly; Dow and S&P reach new Historical Highs

The U. S. is reveling in one of the most lucrative stock market runs in it history, but the recipients of this largesse are primarily white, college-educated individuals who are already well off, leading to discussions of income inequality, especially by those who did not gain. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a […]...

18 Sep 2014

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August Housing Starts Decline 14.4 Percent

August Housing Starts Decline 14.4 Percent

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau inform MHProNews housing starts fell in all four regions of the country in August by 14.4 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 956,000 units. Multifamily production led the downward trend, falling 31.7 percent, while single-family dropped 2.4...

18 Sep 2014

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Scottish Modular Homes use Sheep Wool for Insulation

Scottish Modular Homes use Sheep Wool for Insulation

Scottish company ECHO makes modular pods of local lumber under one hundred square feet each that can be stitched together to make the home any size desired, according to fastcoexist.com. Insulated with sheep wool, the homes are built on stilts to allow placement in any terrain. Says founder Sam Booth, “You just add blocks until […]...

18 Sep 2014

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Mortgage Rate Increase highest in Ten Months

Mortgage Rate Increase highest in Ten Months

In the largest increase since November of 2013, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose 14 basis points from one week ago to 4.19 percent, although it peaked on Sunday at 4.30 percent and then fell, according to worldpropertychannel.com. Erin Lantz of Zillow says the rates hit a five-month high last week in anticipation of the […]...

18 Sep 2014

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Ruth Lake Lodge honored as Modular Building Institute Building of the Month

Ruth Lake Lodge honored as Modular Building Institute Building of the Month

The Modular Building Institute (MBI) has chosen the Ruth Lake Lodge north of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada as its Building of the Month for Sept. 2014, according to realestaterama.com. Providing housing for employees of the Athabasca Oil Sands industries and visitors to the area, the complex has over 600 rooms comprised of 235 modules […]...

18 Sep 2014

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Sun Communities to Sell Six Million Shares to Fund Acquisition

Sun Communities to Sell Six Million Shares to Fund Acquisition

In a filing with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated July 30, 2014, Sun Communities, Inc. (SUI) is selling six million shares to help fund its acquisition of 59 manufactured home communities from Green Courte Partners LLC for $1.32 billion. The first phase of 34 communities is expected to close by Oct. […]...

17 Sep 2014

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Skyline Revamping its Recreational Vehicle Models

Skyline Revamping its Recreational Vehicle Models

In an attempt to turn around its eighth consecutive year of multimillion dollar losses, manufactured housing producer Skyline Corp. is rolling out a new line of recreational vehicle (RV) models at this week’s Elkhart County RV Open House. Based in Elkhart, Indiana, the company has focused more on its MH line in the past few […]...

17 Sep 2014

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Volatile Skyline Drops again, MH Composite Rises, Dow Hits New High but fal…

Volatile Skyline Drops again, MH Composite Rises, Dow Hits New High but falls back

With news that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates before the summer of 2015, although the quantitative easing that provides stimulus to the economy will likely cease before year’s end, Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high above 17,200, gaining +24.88 points, +0.15 percent, but closing just below at 17,156.85. The...

17 Sep 2014

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Georgia Planning Commission Approves Expansion of MHC

Georgia Planning Commission Approves Expansion of MHC

The Upson County Planning Commission in west central Georgia conditionally approved rezoning of a manufactured housing community (MHC) to allow the community to expand. The 51-acre site has been zoned legal nonconforming for single-family residential, but did not allow any new manufactured homes to come in, nor be replaced if damage to a home...

17 Sep 2014

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Featured Articles and Reports - September 2014 Vol. 5 No. 12

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UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

UnBranding - a Key to Unlocking the Door to more MH Sales?

by L.A. "Tony" Kovach Years before Palm Harbor Homes went into bankruptcy and eventually ended up with Cavco Industries, Palm Harbor ran TV ads showing beautiful, “residential style” manufactured homes. Read more

MARKETING

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

“Should We Be a More Aggressive Breed?”

by Nadeen Green, JD Many if not most manufactured housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

Earthquakes & Other Disasters: Are you Prepared?

by C. William Dahlin, JD  As reported by major media outlets, a 6.0 earthquake hit Northern California  in late August on a Sunday. Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

Pool and Spa Safety

Pool and Spa Safety

by Kathleen Bianculli While the end of summer is drawing near and pools in some areas will be closed for the season, in many areas of the country the pool never... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Do…

“How Sweet the Rose” - Senior Housing Communities - Advertising Do's and Don'ts

by Nadeen Green, JD While a rose may smell sweet no matter what it may be called, names are in fact labels. Using the wrong label when you market your senior... Read more

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & FAIR HOUSING (LEGAL)

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step P…

A Breakthrough in Manufactured Home Loan Financing! Discover the One Step Program!

by Jerry Bretton In our previous report on SUN, we mentioned that Mountainside Financial has been making loans on manufactured and mobile homes for 14 years. Read more

FINANCING

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

Are HUD Practices Making Manufactured Homes Less Affordable?

by Ron D'Ambra Let's start by saying that, from a business perspective, MORE government involvement is not always viewed as a good thing. Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

3rd Annual Open Space Pace - September 20th, 2014 – Freehold New Jersey

by Sam Landy Dear Friends, UMH Properties and Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (MNR) sponsor The Open Space Pace at Freehold Raceway September 20, 2014. The event begins with a 10:00 am parade of... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

A Cup of Coffee with… Sheila Dey

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GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

5 Reasons for MHPros to Attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

by Dennis Hill We could name more than 5 reasons why manufacturers and exhibiting companies as well 5 reasons why attendees from the ranks of retailers, communities, builder developers, installers and... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories …

The High Cost of Low Volume MH Sales for Retailers, Communities, Factories and others

by L. A. “Tony' Kovach We will demonstrate that the cost of not selling more homes is always high.  Capital is tied up in your inventory, location, general overhead, personnel, marketing,... Read more

GENERAL MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY TOPICS

Lead, manage or get out of the way

Lead, manage or get out of the way

by Tim Connor, CSP The world is changing at the speed of light. Everything is being touched by this accelerated pace of change. No person, entity, industry, profession, and no part... Read more

MANAGEMENT

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words = Enhanced Manufacture…

Knowledge is Potential Power - 4 Steps and 91 words =  Enhanced Manufactured Housing  Professional Success Infographic

by L. A. “Tony” Kovach We'll share an infographic that explains in 4 easy steps how any MH Industry professional can learn more to earn more. Here is the infographic... Read more

MANAGEMENT

ZigOn Qualities of Success

ZigOn Qualities of Success

by Zig Ziglar Dr. William "Bill" Ross was truly one of a kind and was known for his sense of humor and his zest for life. He had exuberance for... Read more

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS, MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

Four Ingredients for MH Sales Success

by Tim Connor, CSP There are four significant areas when it comes to consistent high sales performance. They are: Self-image and self-esteem. Read more

SALES

Upcoming Events

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MHLIVINGNEWS.COM FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK

Classifieds

Press Releases

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Sho…

2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is filling up fast and early!

Attendees, mark your calanders now, pre-registration will open on October 1, 2014. Exhibitors, Reserve your space now.  See download linked here.

the MHMSM Team 02 Sep 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Cl…

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inducts the Class of 2014 into RV/MH Hall of Fame

(Back row l-r) Thomas "Tom" L. Kern, Style Crest Enterprises; Ed Evans, EPM; Gary McDaniel, YES! Communities ; Richard "Dick" King, King Insurance (second row row l-r) Barry Cole, Manufactured Housing Insurance Services; Bob Livingston, Good Sam; John D Roba, Roba and Associates (front row l-r) Mrs. James F Shields. accepting on behalf of her husband,James F Shields (deceased), Pan Pacific RV Centers; Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices and Peter B Orthwein, Thor Industries. ELKHART, Ind., August 5. 2014 -- The Class of 2014 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) last night in Elkhart, Indiana, in a gala ceremony before a record breaking crowd of more than 440 family members, friends, and colleagues from across the country. The Class of 2014 includes: Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices;...

the MHMSM Team 05 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Ne…

Steve Lefler - Modular Lifestyles and Newport Pacific – Successfully Gaining Acceptance for Super Energy Saving, Green Manufactured Homes

Learn more at the article linked here, or by calling Steve Lefler, Vice President of Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of Newport Pacific Family of Companies at Ph. (888) 437-4587. Email steve@modularlifestyles.com. Steve is a Dual DRE and HCD Salesperson. Advanced Green Building Professional. CEC Solar Wind Retailer/Installer. http://www.modularlifestyles.com ##

the MHMSM Team 01 Aug 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire America…

Sun Communities, Inc. to Acquire American Land Lease Manufactured Housing Portfolio from Green Courte Partners for $1.32 Billion

Increases Sun Communities' portfolio to 245 communities totaling nearly 90,000 sites in 29 states with a combined enterprise value of approximately $5.1 billion Southfield, MI, July 30, 2014 - Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE: SUI) (the "Company") today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio (the "ALL portfolio") from Green Courte Partners, LLC ("GCP") sponsored funds. The ALL portfolio consists of 59 manufactured home communities, including those acquired from American Land Lease, Inc. by GCP in 2009. The communities comprise over 19,000 sites in eleven states, including nearly 11,000 sites located in Florida. Over 14,000 sites, or 73%, of the ALL portfolio are age-restricted.  In connection with this transaction, the Company will assume GCP's right to acquire an additional manufactured home community pursuant to a binding purchase...

the MHMSM Team 31 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Fra…

Mountainside Financial launches Dodd-Frank compliant non-MLO, MLO SUN Manufactured/Mobile Home Direct Loans and Refinancing

Using online articles, banner ads and video, Mountainside Financial is announcing the launch of the evolution of their direct lending platform promotion. As a division of San Antonio Credit Union (SACU), Mountainside has a unique 14 year history of making direct to consumer loans on manufactured and mobile homes. Direct loans are often done in "partnership" with brokers, communities, Realtors ®, other housing professionals and manufactured home retailers who refer consumers to them. Anthony Ducharme, Direct Channel Manager for Mountainside, explained how they created their new SUN System with Manufactured Home Professionals in mind who needed a compliant process to navigate SAFE Act and Dodd-Frank regulations enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). "If you've been originating your own loans, talk to us. If you want to have a legally complaint...

the MHMSM Team 08 Jul 2014 Corporate Press Releases

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