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“Dark Money” “Conflicts” – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Urban Institute, Manufactured Housing Institute, Affordable Housing Report Revelations

February 3rd, 2018 No comments

 

DarkMoneyKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews550

 

Buying into the manufactured housing industry today is like buying a stock that is significantly undervalued.

That’s what many believe. Count the Masthead’s industry veteran’s author among them. Buying into manufactured housing now is like buying a stock that is significantly undervalued, and is potentially poised for serious growth.

 

The odds are good to great that everyone reading this has:

  • an interest in manufactured housing, and
  • believes manufactured homes could play an important part of the solution for America’s growing affordable housing crisis.

We believe that too.

Those in the industry, investors, media, public officials, advocates, and researchers all have viewpoints, and many have questions.

While it would take time to ramp up to 500,000 or 1 million new manufactured homes a year, it’s doable with the correct resources, plus the kind of long-term commitment that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway brands – along with other success stories in the industry – have achieved.

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

With savvy millionaire and billionaire believers in the HUD Code regulated manufactured home industry, why is the industry seriously underperforming?

That’s a question that the Urban Institute posed in a new report.  With four co-authors, the report makes some interesting, questionable and meh points.  It arguably failed to address several important points.

But what the Urban Institute (UI) obviously failed to do was hide apparent conflicts of interest, which went undisclosed in their reporting.

2018-02-02_1630UrbanInstituteManufacturedHousingIndustryAffordableHousingCrisisReportMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

One of those conflicts is ‘hiding in plain sight.’

 

Warren Buffett, “Lifetime Trustee” of the Urban Institute (UI)

InfographicSeeHowDarkMoneyFlowsBetwenNonProfitsOpenSecretsMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsThey could claim at UI that the disclosure exists on their website, because Warren Buffett is listed as a Lifetime Trustee of the Urban Institute.

Buffett’s given billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has paid millions to the Urban Institute. That’s how, says Open Secrets, so-called “Dark Money” flows.

While that dark money is often noted for political uses, it can clearly be used for research that in turn influences media, politics, business, advocacy, public officials, investments, and more.

So when four different co-authors at Urban Institute delve into a topic that so directly involves an interested party, one would think that one or more of those four would want to disclose that in their report itself, or as a footnote?  That’s what non-profit researchers are supposed to do.

 

ConflictsOfInterestGoogleMastheadManufacturedHouisngIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Conflicts of Interest = COI.

 

Instead of disclosure, instead of full transparency, the opposite occurred with UI and their report.

According to sources who claim knowledge about the research at the Urban Institute, the report writers’ promised anonymity to an association and corporate interests who ‘vetted’ their research report.

Pardon me?

A manufactured home, built by Clayton Homes, is the report’s featured image. What were they thinking at UI?

And doesn’t that make their research at least appear to be at COI, and not much more than a higher class of one of MHI’s controversial paid advertorials?

 

Conflicts of Interest – COI

According to the facts presented, and uncovered to date, it implies the report has Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and the Manufactured Housing Institute’s finger prints all over it.

See the flash Daily Business News initial report, linked below.

 

“Follow the Money” – Controversial Urban Institute Report on Manufactured Housing

 

One need not be an attorney, journalist, or researcher to realize that it all smells of conflicts of interest.  While this writer isn’t an attorney, one concurred with our assessment. As with all of our reports, fisking, fact-checks, commentary and analysis, we encourage readers to do their own homework, and see for themselves.

That said, why where those apparent conflicts of interest not disclosed?

 

Begging the Questions…

That clear lack of transparency begs several questions.

  • Why not disclose their respective interests and involvements?
  • Who benefits from the UI report on manufactured housing?
  • What does the report steer people to look at, as they ponder the manufactured housing industry?
  • What does the report steer people away from looking at, as they research manufactured housing as an important solution for the affordable housing crisis? (Note:  HUD is one of the sources for revenue to UI.  We believe editorially that the Trump Administration and HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, ought to suspend all such payments throughout the federal government, until the dark money ties and conflicts of interest that are working against the public’s and small businesses are all cleared up.)

 

Non-Profits, Foundations and Manufactured Housing

When the topic of philanthropy was raised in the Kevin Clayton interview video, Kevin himself points to foundations and non-profits that they believe will be important for them.

Clayton’s video interview also points specifically at using manufactured housing as urban infill.

Research is often done by nonprofit organizations.

Reports they create are in turn routinely picked up by media, educators, policy advocates, investors, and government.

When investors with a long-term horizon, as Buffett has, third party research is part of what they study.  Kevin says so, in his own words, in the video.  Kevin also speaks about Buffett’s connections and sources of information.

 

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

 

The Kevin Clayton Interview Video is a Road Map in Numerous Ways

The video laces together in Kevin’s own words the concerns and allegations over:

  • monopolistic practices,
  • how vital credit is to the industry,
  • how nonprofits and foundations are important and are part of their plan.

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

The Manufactured Housing Institute is a non-profit.

http://mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/tonykovach/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/MHIAntiTrustWarningsInstructionsMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews.jpg

Ignorance is no excuse. Forewarned is forearmed. MHI members would be wise to review the anti-trust warnings in the light of the reports linked from this page. A copy of those anti-trust warnings are found at this link, or by clicking on the MHI anti-trust warning, above.

NextStep, is at least in part, a non-profit.

So too the RV MH Hall of Fame, and the state associations which Clayton and 21st or other Berkshire Hathaway brands belong to as well.

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/how-gold-rules-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-mhi-vp-state-execs-conference-call/

 

The Clayton video interview explains why with sufficient capital, the affordable housing solution indeed ought to include a heavy dose of manufactured homes.

When a non-Berkshire Hathaway, non-MHARR company CEO told MHProNews in Louisville last month that MHI’s work for many years “has made no sense,” that’s true from the vantage point of a non-Berkshire Hathaway brand, or from someone who isn’t part of their insider circle.

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

MHI board members have during the Richard “Dick” Jennison era complained to MHProNews that that the Arlington, VA based trade group has become a “secret society,” or an “exclusive club” that only a handful actually have any say in governance.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-blasts-mhi-for-poor-media-engagement-industry-reactions/

If these points, concerns, and allegations prove true, that’s problematic for the industry, and MHI members, on several levels.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

We will boil it down to its essence.

Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

We already noted on the Daily Business News that there are two great laws that manufactured housing benefits from.

Understanding these 2 existing federal laws, and having them fully implemented, would be major advances for public officials, those needing affordable housing, housing professionals, and investors.

McCrory Lawsuit – “Significant Victory Against Zoning Discrimination” – Manufactured Homes

Note that preemption was ignored in the Urban Institute report.  Why?

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

We’ve noted that MHARR has raised concerns over the new class of manufactured housing that Clayton dominated MHI is pushing.

Sources at MHI and with Clayton homes told MHProNews that MHI’s public relations person has spent time at Clayton location(s). On MHI’s dime?  How is that fair to the association’s smaller members?

The videos that MHI produced benefit Next Step, a nonprofit that Clayton and MHI are both supporting.

Next Step is also part of the Duty to Serve (DTS) chattel (personal property, Home only lending) financing trials mandated by the 2008 Housing and Recovery Act (HERA).  Do you see the pattern of non-profits being used by Clayton, Berkshire, et al?

Manufactured housing already has enhanced preemption under the law. Why bother with a new class of home?

Harper – Thank You Rev Donald Tye, Fighting for Enhanced Preemption of Manufactured Homes

 

People still incorrectly call a manufactured home a mobile home, even though no mobile homes have been built for over 41 years.  Will a name change work, without education of the public on what manufactured homes are, versus the widespread image of them?  Isn’t it all just shadow boxing?  Making the industry think they are doing something, when they are buying time for more consolidation to take place?

 

Manipulated

The vast majority of the people I’ve met with a Berkshire Hathaway brand, or who are MHI members, are good folks.  We have connections with dozens of them.  Some are sources for MHProNews.

We have not at any time slammed the quality of Clayton’s products.  The vast majority of the folks I’ve met and know from Clayton, 21st, et all are fine people.

Our focus has been and will remain, what holds manufactured housing back? 

It’s the same question that the Urban Institute asked.

Berkshire Hathaway, directly and indirectly through political, regulatory, capital, nonprofits, et al has manipulated and allowed to be depressed the market for manufactured housing. They are doing so in ways that appear to be monopolistic.

Fraud, Class Action, CFPB-Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the Manufactured Homes Industry

Kevin Clayton has in his own words, dotted those i’s and crossed the t’s, about Buffett hating competition, and instructing the building of “the Moat.”

GoodBusinessStrongCastleMoatAroundItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So too has Warren Buffett.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

We believe that there is plenty of evidence that the report from an award-winning MHI member to MHProNews was true when he said (paraphrasing), that ‘the big boys have figured out how to get the smaller companies to pay for what the big companies want.’  See that, linked here.

We also believe the pattern is there to support the claims of those past and present MHI members – along with others – who have told MHProNews how they personally have suffered from the monopolistic and other business practices of Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, et al.

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

 

Recommendations?

The industry’s post-production sector should forge a new trade association, as several have already advocated and are exploring.

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

There needs to be civil, administrative, and criminal inquiries made into these allegations involving MHI and Berkshire Hathaway, et al.

When Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Jaime Dimon’s announcement earlier this week caused the markets to plunge, it is in the view of some analysts a warning shot across the bow of the Trump Administration.

Buffett, Bezos – Time Announcement to Drop Market Ahead of SOTU? Plus MH Market Update$

If so, that warning shot impacted investors.  No one should be above the law.

Arguably the most harmed are the mom-and-pop retailers and communities, along with any independently owned producer, supplier, or financial services company involved in manufactured housing.

Buffett became the biggest player in manufactured housing in 2003 with his first acquisitions.

Since the Kevin Clayton video interview was originally conducted, Clayton’s footprint in the industry doubled.  He did so using “the Moat,” financing, nonprofits, and other tools Kevin expresses in his own words.  Several of those are the topic of related reports, linked above and below as references.

TonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressRickRobinsonMHISVPGeneralCounselMastheadMHProNews

There are reasons why Dick Jennison and Rick Robinson both ducked out on questions from a publication that is demonstrated it is pro-industry for years and years.

The Top Twelve Questions for Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison

What are they hiding?

Expert’s NWS Statement Reveals Serious Problems in Tornado WARNINGS & Manufactured Housing Safety Data

Why are they even hiding from their members good news that they ought to be spotlighting?

RentVsBuyingHousingAnalysisWhatsBestKenHJohnsonPhDFloridaAtlanticUnivRealEstateEconomics-ManufacturedHomeLivingNews660

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have from the outset documented cases of good news for the manufactured housing industry. Why has MHI routinely failed to spotlight those good news stories for the industry to benefit from?   Learn more about the above at this link here.

 

Parting Takeaways for Today

Honorable, Non-Monopolistic Investors who take a long-term horizon view of manufactured and other forms of factory built housing ought to – and will – dive in.

Current Industry players who aren’t giants are the current best friends of a giant should demand action.

MHI needs to open its books, open its bylaws, and undergo a third-party forensic examination for conflicts of interest. We think there may be good reasons to disband the organization, as hopelessly corrupted (again, that’s not a slam on most members, but all must be aware of potential liability from maintaining their membership).

Fiduciary Responsibility to Corp Shareholders-MH Anti-Trust Concerns; Plus MH Market UPdate$

Berkshire Hathaway ought to face precisely what some have advocated, anti-trust action. That action should not be limited to Warren Buffett and his brands, because what happened last Tuesday was not the first or last time that billions of dollars in wealth could be wiped out by such market machinations.

The time for anti-trust civil, administrative and criminal investigations is long overdue.  Personalities across he political spectrum in and outside of manufactured housing say so.

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

We believe that among the best ways to advance the industry is to expose MHI, and break up Berkshire Hathaway.

Until that happens, millions are being harmed, small business as being forced to sell for less than their value, or have been forced to close.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-SoheylaKovachLATonyKovachTamasKovachDonaldTyeJr.575x238

Tony took the photo at the right.

Its an American tragedy.  It’s Dark Money Conflicts that are harming real business people, and everyday Americans.  These are our concerns.  We’ve laid out the facts, and just some of the evidence in the above. Given Kevin Clayton’s own words, plus the links, isn’t it more than enough?  We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, fact checks, commentary.)

(Third party images and information are provided under fair use guidelines.)

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is an award winning manufactured housing industry veteran, and is the managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHLivingNews.com, MHProNews.com and professional service provider to the factory-built housing industry.

Connect on LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Facts Matter – Mr. Obama’s “Alternative Universe,” Trump Admin, Investors & Politicized Manufactured Housing Data

January 26th, 2018 No comments

FactsmatterFormerPOTUSObamaHUDSecDrBenCarsonPOTUSDonaldJTrumpManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHProNews550

Former President Barack Obama recently said something relevant to the nation.  But it was particularly and profoundly insightful to manufactured housing professionals.

According to the Hill,Former President Obama said in an interview that Fox News viewers and NPR listeners are living on different planets in terms of what news they consume.

“If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you, you know, listen to NPR,” Obama told David Letterman…The former president was referring to how the Russians were able to “exploit” different kinds of U.S. voters, who were “operating in completely different universes.

No matter what you thought of his politics and policies, Mr.’s Obama’s point is salient and timely for Manufactured Housing professionals, Investors, and Advocates.

“Alternative Facts,” “Different Universes” in Manufactured Housing

There have always been those who’ve distorted reality.

But in the 1980s, perhaps one reason Democrats and Republicans could reach more compromises is because there was arguably less of a tendency to completely ignore facts, or one would get called out for it.

You are entitled to your opinion,” quipped Daniel Patrick Moynihan per Goodreads,But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

There are today professionals in and outside of our manufactured home industry that rail against reality.

Many think they know a fact. Or they trust a source, without realizing that the source has changed.

Depending on the source or context, they could be mistaken, because “facts” have been so politicized.

We will use the Manufactured Housing Institute to make our point.

In MHI’s 1.25.2018 “Housing Alert,” one finds the following phrase, quoting:

As the only trade association officially registered to lobby on behalf of the manufactured housing industry in Washington, MHI will continue to work with the Administration’s key housing leaders and Congress…”

For those in the know, the first part of that sentence are code-words aimed against the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). So, we asked MHARR to provide their take on MHI’s claim.  Here’s the meat of what they sent to MHProNews, quoting:

MHARR has been registered as an MH lobbying organization since 1985… The filing receipt for MHARR is attached.  This is all public record.”

A screen capture of MHARR’s filing receipt is below.

MHARRCongressionalLobbyingFilingDisclosureDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

Facts matter. MHI’s claim that they are the only registered lobbying group in Washington is simply not accurate.

Huh? MHI is making a bold claim. They’ve made that same allegation repeatedly. It’s wrong.

Not true.

Many work at MHI, did someone fail to check before they repeatedly wrote their flawed phrase?  It was most recently used above, but used the day before as shown in the graphic below.  Who gets credit for their glitch?

Or did MHI simply make an assertion, because no one would likely check it out, to see if it was accurate or not?

MHINewsUpdate1242018ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It that part of a pattern?  Let’s look…

Does MHI Politicize Facts?

We Provide, You Decide.” © The graphic below is from MHI. It’s about a piece of information that the industry’s members ought to care about. How many manufactured home communities (MHCs) are there?

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

The red box reads “37,624 land-lease communities.” But Frank Rolfe says they’ve done a hand count, at 44,000. George Allen claims there are even more than that. Why did MHI publish the lowest number? Is it because MHVillage is a favored company?

MHI has three members who are all publishing on this topic. The statistics being used by MHI are those of their member MHVillage/DataComp; let’s call them the MHI favored insiders on this topic.

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

MHI member Frank Rolfe is not without influence, and George Allen is another member who likewise has a following.

  • Why is MHVillage data being used by MHI, when it is the lowest of the three competing sources?
  • Why MHVillage’s data, when Rolfe asserts in writing that they did a hand count that took them 2 years to complete, that shows 44k communities – thousands more communities than MHVillage does?
  • Doesn’t the lower MHC count harm the MH industry’s relative importance?
  • Is it a case of MHI politicized facts, based upon favoritism and agendas?

As a source at RV Horizon’s – one of Frank Rolfe’s operations – told MHProNews, lenders and investors want hard accurate data. They want to know.

Of course, the facts matter to investors.  They should matter to policy makers and everyone else too.

MHI has for some time published inaccurate information about the kind of financing and terms that are available for manufactured housing loans.  MHLivingNews did a report on that, linked below.  Award-winning Bob Crawford was asked to share his insights, which he gracefully did.

I’ve not recheck recently, but late in 2017, when we last looked – weeks after we brought the errors to MHI’s attention, weeks after the report above – the same MHI “fact sheet” was not updated on their website.  MHI still had the same errors. Why?  Was it because the facts they published were more useful to Berkshire Hathaway companies, such as Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt and 21st Mortgage?

MHI has a demonstrable pattern of what could be termed politicizing MH Industry information.

It’s done in a way that apparently favors some companies over others.

If one heeds what Warren Buffett has said – see his quotes in the column below – the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway counts on the fact that people don’t change habits easily, and that history is often ignored.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

To rephrase, Mr. Buffett counts on others being superficial.  Meanwhile Mr. Buffett and his team are laser focused on facts, and how facts can be used to their advantage.

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

See first understanding. Don’t skim. Don’t jump to conclusions.

MHI also arguably have a pattern of telling most of their members and the industry-at-large one thing – via their emailed ‘updates’ and ‘alerts’ – but failing to mention key points, that are often highly important.

We know from various sources that MHI, Knoxville and others in their group closely follow what we publish.  We’ve seen emails that have been forwarded by MHI surrogates and allies.  We’ve contacted MHI and their executive committee directly numerous times.

They can’t legitimately claim not to know the above and what’s below.

They know.

Yet they fail to make changes, even after confronted with the facts.

Why?

Could it be that the longer the foot is on the MH industry’s break pedal, that more of the MH industry gets consolidated, at bargain basement prices?

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

Why does this Matter to the MH Industry, Investors, or Public Officials?

Because MHI often buries their oversights, one would have to know what to look for – in some cases – to see the problem.

The Daily Business News will have a new report planned for today that relates to a follow up on the HUD’s announced top-down review.  In our inital report yesterday we cited Lesli Gooch’s otherwise fine letter to HUD.  But we also underscored her key oversight.  Gooch didn’t call for Danner’s removal.  Why not?  Arguably, with the wrong person at the helm, every other change you could propose would be moot. Others – including MHI’s most award-winning retailer – that we cited in the report linked below came to that same conclusion.  Danner had to go.  Why didn’t MHI get that reality years ago?

They knew.

MHI seems to have a pattern of posturing something, but omitting one or more key facts or points.  Currently, with respect to Pam Danner and HUD, they are failing to mention that for months, MHI would not take a public position on her role at HUD.  Why not?

We believe the answer is that heavy regulations harms independent producers, retailers and communities – among others. That in turn is useful to larger MHI member companies. Those independents, often wearied and financially stressed after years of fighting regulations, may finally sell out for less, or just go out of business.

Another example of MHI publishing misleading or errant ‘facts’ are linked below.

Community Co-Owner/Manager View On Richard Jennison and the Manufactured Housing Institute StatePoint Advertorial

MHI and their executive committee masters are arguably using government regulations as an indirect tool to consolidate the manufactured home industry.

If MHI postures opposing heavy regulation, but in fact fail to move the needle, they can ‘look good’ to members who are so busy, they may not realize what’s missing.  That’s how MHI are accomplishing the mission that their big corporate masters have in mind.

Perhaps that’s why MHI’s executive committee was happy to reward MHI CEO Richard “Dick” Jennison and others with a bonus and/or raise?  Even after MHI staff have demonstrably failed to accomplish any of their own major stated policy goals in years?

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

Facts matter.

Reality matters.  Patterns of behavior matter.  We are pro-MH Industry, and have been so years before we began publishing.

This writer was praised by many of those same MHI connected people, right up to the point that we figured out what the devil was going on at MHI.

We figured it out over time, thanks in large part thanks to:

  • voices from within MHI,
  • from some within Berkshire Hathaway firms,
  • as well as other MHI member operations.
  • MHARR played a roll in that process too, because they’ve been consistent and clear on lobbying and policy positions that MHI flip-flopped on.

There are reasons why a pair of state associations quietly dropped out of MHI. Ditto some member companies. There are reasons why others would if they could, but MHI carrots and sticks exist. To see how those carrots-and-sticks work, behind the scenes to the majority of the industry, see the report linked below.

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpDailyB-usinessNewsMHProNews

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/how-gold-rules-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-mhi-vp-state-execs-conference-call/

There are reasons why MHI won’t debate in public, or won’t take our questions any more.

Keep in mind, MHI and their leadership used to respond rapidly and gladly to MHProNews.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOPresident-currentMHIChairman-onValueMHProNews-MHLivingNews-

But when we pressed them last February on the HUD regulatory overreach issue and Pam Danner’s role there, they rapidly ejected us from membership on a phony excuse.  That excuse?  Claiming they had discovered we are a news organization, and they had no such membership category. 

What? MHI did that via an unsigned letter, bearing nobody’s name. It’s bogus, because others in the industry also publish and have consulting, just as we do. Those others are still in, but we are not?  Pardon MHI’s obvious hypocrisy?

They didn’t want us in their meeting rooms.  Isn’t that the more obvious reason?  They didn’t want us to report – for example – on how Tim Williams/21st subverted the DTS process.

MHI then intensified their campaign against us, just as they have been campaigning against MHARR.  Is it a coincidence that MHARR members are getting bought out by larger MHI member companies?  Or that MHI’s messages – like the ones shown above – try to discredit MHARR.

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

For those who watch the details, even though MHARR is a manufacturers association, aren’t they routinely more reliable than MHI?

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Gives Written Responses – “Part of a Rigged, Corrupt System”

We’ll say it again.  The MHI system is apparently rigged and corrupt, as we said in our last Masthead post, linked above.

It may or may not be exactly what Marty Lavin or Frank Rolfe had in mind, but both have made points about MHI’s hypocrisy, and failures.

We are not alone, there are MHI board members among those who whisper and complain to us.

MHI members are among those who thank us for having the courage to stand up to the Berkshire Hathaway dominated MHI.

The Other Side of the Coin

That said, there are those who don’t like this kind of column or reporting.

A reader recently wrote saying we are trying to make Clayton Homes look bad.  I can’t think of a single comment we’ve made against their products. We don’t slam Clayton’s homes, or the thousands of good people who work for them.

A large portion of our readers work for a Berkshire Hathaway (BH) owned MH company. We have/do work with numerous client companies who use Clayton products, or lending from 21st,etc.

We stick with the facts – and once they are understood – where those facts take us.  That’s what media is supposed to do.  MHI, Clayton, or whomever is welcome to submit a rebuttal. We’ve invited it. Why don’t they?

Because one of the largest factors holding the industry back from robust growth has been a pattern of failure and misleading information that comes out of MHI.

We’ll draw to a close with former President Barack Obama’s quote, cited above.  He’s correct, but not quite how he meant it.

President Donald J. Trump routinely gets a raw deal from many in the mainstream media.  There are millions today who are de facto propagandized.  If the media had treated POTUS Obama as they are POTUS Trump, their would have been howls of racism, or some other slurs.

In one year of President Trump’s leadership, the economy has demonstrably improved, using policies that have been proven good by President John F. Kennedy (D) and President Ronald Reagan (R).  We supported the Trump campaign, based upon his platform and his track record of business savvy.  We opposed Secretary Hillary Clinton based upon her platform, and her track record.

The fact that people can become so habitualized and trusting – in this example, with MHI – explains in part how Warren Buffett can openly support Hillary Clinton, who vowed to protect Dodd-Frank as is.

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

The truth about MHI is in several ways hiding in plain sight. But the MHProNews exclusively obtained documents from Tim Williams speaks volumes. But only to those with an open mind to reality, vs. fantasy. 

Meanwhile Buffett’s MHI member and prior chair, Tim Williams can claim to be fighting to reform Dodd-Frank. In hindsight, its an obvious contradiction.

I understand why some have a hard time accepting this. Why?  Because frankly, it was hard for me to accept it too.  From early on, there were voices in and with MHI warning me about Jennison, BH, and later others.  I heard them, but wasn’t immediately convinced.

I want to apologize for the time it took us to realize just how corrupted MHI has become during the Jennison era. This isn’t personal, its professional.

Simple Summary

This can be simple. Is Jennison – and are MHI’s so-called leadership – good or bad for the industry? Do they benefit someone beyond the big companies, or favored firms like Clayton’s client, NextStep?

If they had nothing to hide, why are they so afraid of debating the issues in public via video, as we’ve been inviting them to do for about a year?

Facts matter.  Reality is what it is.

People are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

We had to be sure about MHI et al.  Thus, we’ve followed each case of misinformation from MHI as they arose, and we reported them accordingly. Collectively those cases, concerns and allegations add up.   The Kevin Clayton video interview laces it all together in his own words.  The video is nearly an hour long, and posted near the end of the report, linked below.

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

Then MHI Chairman, Nathan Smith laughed about consolidation on camera.

Dick Jennison somberly explained to the industry, why it should grow slowly. Duh?

It’s the truth hiding in plain sight.

Sure – from the vantage point of the big boys – let the MH Industry get consolidated.  No wonder Jennison and others got an apparent raise and bonus. No wonder they duck debate with one of the few voices that have a platform big enough to matter to them.

Busted! “Failure Bonus” Paid-Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO Manufactured Housing Institute-per MHI Document$

The future of the industry is potentially bright.

But it has been held back by either MHI incompetence, arrogance, or behavior whose outcome was big companies gobbling up little ones at a reduced price. To those who arguably got swindled, it was tragic!

GusRodriguezTejasHomesConroeTXIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-e1516120612690

As independent business people ourselves – who have felt the betrayals of MHI et all, and have listened to the stories we’ve heard from others in the industry who were likewise betrayed – we would not be silent, once the pattern became clear.

TruthLiesFirstGetYourFactsStraightThenDistortThemAsYouPleaseMarkTwainMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHproNews

If MHI is telling the truth, if their track record is so strong, then why do they duck debate or honest discussion in public, via video, so all of the industry can see?

MHI makes mistake after mistake.  Just dumb luck?  Or does it benefit a few at the cost of the many? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fisking, analysis, commentary, links to documents, allegations, comments from members, etc.)

Note 1: Thousands do it. For those industry pros, investors, and MH advocates who want to sign up to our industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds.

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We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes. We respectfully disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Gives Written Responses – “Part of a Rigged, Corrupt System”

January 11th, 2018 No comments

MHICorruptRiggedSystemDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

The Manufactured Housing Institute has finally provided a series of written responses to concerns raised by a number of industry members.

MHI did so to via an email to their members, as they ask them to renew their annual membership dues.

Let’s make this hyper-simple.

 

MHI is part of a Rigged, Corrupt System that has Enriched a few Big Companies at a High Cost to Thousands of Independent Retailers, Communities, Producers, and others in Manufactured Housing.

The rest amounts to details and commentary.

‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

America is in a well documented affordable housing crisis. Manufactured housing is misunderstood, but when approached by the open-minded, its revealed as an obvious solution that is hiding in plain sight.   So how is it possible that manufactured housing is doing so relatively poorly,

when the National Association of Realtors (NAR),

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

and the National Low Income Housing Coalition – citing HUD data – have both said that over 8 million housing units are needed?

NLIHC CEO Responds on HUD’s Worst Case Housing Needs Report, MH Leader Reacts

How could HUD – which is the primary federal regulator for manufactured housing – not make manufactured housing a center-piece of their solutions for the affordable housing crisis?

HUD’s Belated, Blustering “Promotion” of Manufactured Homes

If MHI is supposed to be the industry’s leader they arguably must be leading in a problematic, error prone and/or corrupt fashion.  That’s what’s been alleged by several of their own members, by others in the industry, from MHARR and by MHProNews editorially.  MHI has finally responded to those concerns in writing.

MHILogoManufacturedHousingInstitueLogoMHINewsUpdatesfMastheadIndustryCommentaryAnalysisManufacturedHomeINdustryResearchReportsMHProNews

MHI’s email to members yesterday has a number of written ‘responses’ to concerns from industry members (MHI didn’t name anyone specifically). Do yourself a favor. If you have any doubt that they are ducking, and dodging, read their reports, then read our reports linked below. See if they’re response actually addresses the issues raised by their own members, MHARR, others in the industry or MHProNews editorially. “We Provide, YOU Decide.” The other option – is MHI’s president and CEO, Dick Jennison, should agree to discuss/debate these issues in Louisville next week. He’ll be there, we will be there too. Why not? If they are right, why not discuss/debate in front of a live audience and video cameras?

So let’s spotlight the top lines of their document that is supposed to respond to the industry, and then underscore the obvious.

MHILogoManufacturedHousingInstitueLogoMHIHiresNewStaffMastheadIndustryCommentaryAnalysisManufacturedHomeINdustryResearchReportsMHProNews

MHI is part of a Rigged, Corrupt System that has Enriched a few Big Companies at a High Cost to Thousands of Independent Retailers, Communities, Producers, and others in Manufactured Housing.

There are several among their own current and past members who believe that allegation to be so.  In MHI’s emailed responses yesterday, they utterly failed to address the meat of their specific concerns.

ManufacturedHousingInstitute2017SnapshotFactchecksDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-1-768x711

MHI – for those who know debating tactics – arguably used the old debater’s trick of appearing to answer, casting dispersion on their opposition, while ducking the key questions.

MHI entered a written debate.

Will they now take up our challenge for a verbal debate next week in Louisville?

Will their president accept?  Or will Richard “Dick” Jennison publicly duck questions, as Rick Robinson publicly did in Deadwood, 4 months ago?

RickRobinsonTonyIWillNotBeTakingQuestionsFromThePressMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Duck, dodge, distract, detract, and defame. What are they hiding? Why not do an authentic, public discussion that is also video recorded? If they are correct, they have nothing to fear. If they are hiding things, then they have every reason to keep making excuses to the industry and their majority of their own members. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Let the light shine on MHI, open up their books, their records, their emails, their meeting minutes. All of it.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) SVP Rick Robinson Ducks Serious Industry Questions in Deadwood

Will MHI try to keep MHProNews from videoing their “presentation” in Louisville, to keep us from showing thousands of industry pros what they say, and what it really means?

More Are Waking Up to the MHI/Berkshire Hathaway Game

MHI apologists may never agree, but there has already been plenty of evidence, enough for objective, thinking professionals.

If MHI had serious, substantive answers, they would have given them, right?

Instead – MHI ducked, dodged, distracted, detracted, and defamed.

The rest amounts to details and commentary.

We’ve used the word allege because it’s the proper phrase.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

MHI cited Belsky, as was previously reported by the Daily Business News. Have they’ve since overlooked or forgotten him? Or is that Belksy’s research and statements lead to problematic issues for MHI and Berkshire Hathaway?

At the same time, MHProNews and others have provided the industry’s investors, business owners, and thinkers with

  • documents,
  • direct quotes in context, positions they had to do u-turns on, under pressure,
  • and a track record of MHI’s documented failures and missteps.

MHI’s responses can be fisked in more details in the days ahead. But let’s keep it simple today.  Here’s the executive summary of the claims against them. There’s much more, of course, but if they could answer these issues – they’d go a long way in regaining credibility.

If they can’t or won’t answer these, that should be a RED FLAG for the industry.  The graphic below – if used as is – may be shared with others.  Immediately afterwards, there is the searchable text of the same material.  That will then be followed by links to the issues the bullets below raise.

MHProNewsMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

So long as this graphic is used without alternation, authorization to share this is hereby granted. If MHI wants to fact check and reply substantively to the above and what’s linked below, by all means, let them have at it.

 

They ducked the specific and numerous allegations against them.

Instead, they call for ‘industry unity.’  They showed a flashy chart, hoping no one would fact check it.

We already did.  It didn’t take long. Because MHProNews already knows several of the facts that they’re trying to hide. See those graphics from MHI with our thumbnail analysis, above.

 

Executive Summary of how the Rigged, Corrupt Manufactured Housing Institute System Works, and How it Benefits Berkshire Hathaway Brands – Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage – in Manufactured Housing, Plus some other Favored Companies.

We can summarize how the rigged, corrupt Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) system works like this.

  • Warren Buffett – chairman of Berkshire Hathaway – supports heavy regulators, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
  • Berkshire Hathaway – with brands such as Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt and others – dominates the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), through dues and the executive committee.
  • MHI postures that they’re ‘fighting’ heavy regulations. But in fact, MHI has often supported new regulations (DOE), and supported heavy regulators – e.g: Pam Danner/HUD, etc.
  • On CFPB and the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, MHI postures wanting to pass the bill. But they declined an opportunity years ago to get the MLO rule lifted by agreement with the CFPB and non-profits. Who was harmed? Independents. Who benefited? Thousands of small companies struggled, faded, or sold out at a reduced value.  The big companies win. The big firms benefit by allowing the regulators to stay in place.  See Hoya Capital/Seeking Alpha data, report, and analysis. NAM, NAHB, and others have done similar research, with similar conclusions. ‘Sam Zell’s math’ previously reported, points to the same outcomes of heavy regulations that go unmitigated.

 

  • On Preserving Access, MHI counts emails or House passage, but ignores the lack of actual progress, which is the signing of a bill. By the time the bill passes (if it ever does), how many businesses have since sold out for less, or closed down?  Answer: Hundreds, if not thousands.
  • On the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the GSEs and chattel lending, 21st President/CEO Tim Williams (then MHI chairman) is on record saying it was a “waste of time.”
  • Williams admitted in front of a few dozen MHI members that they didn’t provide the GSEs the data they requested. In turn the GSEs used a ‘lack of data’ as their reasons for not doing a more robust DTS program. As MHARR reported, that’s a gift to Berkshire Hathaway’s brands, while harming consumers and independent communities, retailers, and producers of HUD Code manufactured housing.
  • MHI has failed for years to robustly and routinely defend the industry when it comes under unjust attack in media or research. Negative news about manufactured home communities, lending, storms, etc. are widely seen by industry members as one of several causes for the industry’s relatively low sales levels.
  • MHI was given several options other than Berkshire Hathaway brands to provide more lending to the industry. MHI leadership were introduced at the Introduction to Manufactured Housing Opportunities Day to those options.  They were introduced at trade shows.  How many of those alternative solutions did MHI embrace and promote?  Per our sources, zero.
  • MHI’s new videos promote exactly 4 favored, insider operations. What about the rest of the industry? What about the rest of MHI’s own members? In essence, MHI is promoting select members and all of the other members are paying for it.
  • All of this fits the Warren Buffett’s “the Moat” principle.
  • The monopolistic practices of MHI has been lamented across the political and economic spectrum. Examples are Democrats pushing CFPB and DOJ investigations of Berkshire Hathaway and their MHI mouthpiece.  Or pro-consumer, pro-business MHARR implying the monopolistic practices too.  CFED (rebranded Prosperity Now), NMHOA on the left – to past and current MHI members, such as Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, George Allen on the center/right have underscored several of these same points.
  • These bullets fit the facts from various MHProNews and MHARR reports over the course of several years.
  • None of these bullets were refuted by MHI’s recent, written response of 1.10.2018.
  • In fact, by calling for “industry unity,” they de facto point to how contraction leads to unity, but in the hands of the few.
  • Several of MHI’s pivots have only come after months or years of critiques by their own members, MHARR, others outside of their organization, and MHProNews/MHLivingNews. Once they pivot, they pretend as if that was their position all along.
  • This is in keeping with Warren Buffett’s stated belief that most don’t think long term and don’t learn the lessons of history. See links, quotes in “Perverse.”

Summary of the summary.

By routinely failing at protecting, educating and promotion of the industry,
by allowing a crunch of the historic credit (including owner financing/rent-to-own) options,
the industry shrank, benefiting the few.  Meanwhile MHI is touting their efforts.

Thousands do okay, fail, or are forced to sell. How is that possible in an era when over 8 million affordable housing units are needed, per NAR and the NLIHC?  How can some organization – given the industry’s legal benefits under enhanced preemption, and if Duty to Serve were both robustly enforced – how could some ‘professional’ organization do so poorly, so consistently?  Are they just poor at performance, or do their puppet masters benefit regardless if they get regulatory relief, or not?

LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC 2018.  All rights reserved, but sharing as is, without alterations, is hereby authorized. 2018 ©.  LifeStyle Factory Homes is the parent company to MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

Credit is the lifeblood of housing.” – Eric Belsky

There are multiple reasons to expect manufactured housing to do better than site built housing in the [current] decade.”

– Eric Belsky
Executive Director Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Second quote from May 2000 issue of Modern Homes Development, per MHI.

— 30 —

average-shipment-per-decade-manufactured-home-posted-on-mhpronews-com d

MHI failure to help the industry thrive might be summed up in this one chart. There are a number of negative impacts for low volumes of new MH sales. One is that there are fewer used homes on the market. Image credit: Ross Kinzler – Wisconsin Housing Alliance.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews600

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Newspaper Names Clayton Homes, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton In “Swamp After Storm” Post-Disaster “Corruption”

Bank Vault Door Closes on Manufactured Housing Lender

SamZellManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHomeCommunitiesMastheadIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Related report, linked below. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/els-sam-zell-compliance-costs-destroys-smaller-businesses-consolidation/

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

HUD’s Pam Danner Announces former MHI VP Lois Starkey Joining HUD

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

Shake Up at HUD Manufactured Housing Program May Stop Industry Overregulation, per MH State Association

 

Warren Buffett supported POTUS Barack Obama’s candidacy.  Obama’s administration gave us Dodd-Frank. Buffet also supported Sec. Hillary Clinton, saying he believed in her policies.  How could Tim Williams oppose his own boss?

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

There are several one-liners that MHI should try to answer. Warren Buffett, left, supported Hillary Clinton, who supported Dodd-Frank. Duh? Who does MHI think they are fooling? Credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews. http://www.mhpronews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

“What the Hell?” “The Audacity of Hope” – Obama, Trump, Presidential Promises Kept, & MH

Misusing the legal system, says the Star Tribune in a report linked below, can be a criminal as well as a civil offense.

ICE Raids Ramping Up Nationally, MHC Arrest, & Manufactured Housing Employers Alert

There have been several accusations of monopolistic practices by MHI in favoring Berkshire Hathaway, and possibly others. The article below explains is that too could result in triple damages civil suits, and/or criminal penalties.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

“Self-Evident Truths,” America, Investments, and Manufactured Housing

How can MHI’s president, or other senior staff, look at any industry member with a straight face, when Andy Gallagher apparently felt intimidated about possibly appearing to be taking a position different than MHI?

 

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

There’s more, sadly, but true.  Let MHI try to fact check the above, instead of gloss over and then put their hands out, asking for money, when they’ve been accused of being complicit in the destruction of the value of thousands of manufactured home industry businesses.

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

It’s past due time for a debate.  They’re feeling the heat from MHARR, MHI members, and a number of others.

‘We Want Your Money’ – 2018 MHI Membership, Infographic Fact Check

If they managed to kill me tomorrow (not saying they will, or that they want to – just for dramatic effect – to make the point) or otherwise try to silence MHProNews, the evidence is still here on MHProNews, on MHLivingNews, with MHARR, and others quoted on our pages.

There are already, per Democratic lawmakers, investigations underway.

Why pay dues to a failing, sinking ship? Want more of the same?  It’s your money, your time.  Go right ahead.  It’s America.  But mark my words.  MHI is part of a rigged, corrupt system.  Let them debate me in public and prove me wrong in Louisville. ## (News, fisking, analysis, commentary, links to documents, allegations, comments from members, etc.)

We Provide, You Decide.” ©  (News, fact checks, analysis, commentary.)

Note 1: Thousands do it. For those industry pros, investors, and MH advocates who want to sign up to our industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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We agree with Warren Buffett on the value of the lessons of history, reading and research. Without those deep insights, the wool can be pulled over other people’s eyes. We respectfully disagree with Mr. Buffett’s politics.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.

Freedom and Tensions, Millennials and Socialsm

December 6th, 2017 No comments

There is Value to Understanding News from Manufactured Housing Industry Perspectives.

There is also value to taking a long-term, principle-based educational perspective.

TheSpiritOfTruthSpitiofFreedomPillarssocietyIbsenFreedomTensionsMillenialsSocialism

There are Tensions today between the notions of Freedom and Boundaries 

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

We’ll return Goethe’s pithy pensée later.

Words, and laws have meaning and value to the precise degree that they are accurate, just, clearly understood, and equally applied, without favoritism.

Government, people, and power in all human forms requires boundaries.

You may wish to be a bird, but you aren’t one. It may not be hip among some, but boundaries of identity – as determined by reality – are what defines something. 

Troubling Trends

The study we reported below tells us that Millennials today are a more prone to support socialism than the free enterprise system.

Influencing the Socialists in Your Office, the Best Way Out of Poverty

If true, that means they don’t know history well, because socialism has always failed, while free enterprise has lifted millions out of poverty.

When one person seeks to take from another by force, threat, or deception what another has lawfully, honestly gained – then that wronged person, and that society, suffer.

Law alone can never limit bad behavior. It’s said that America has a million total laws on the books at the state, local, or the federal levels. Are we crime free as a result of all those regulations and laws? Clearly, not.

Words are the new weapons. Satellites the new artillery.” – is a line from a James Bond, 007 movie, Tomorrow Never Dies.   Elliot Carver is the archenemy of Bond in the tale. Carver is a media mogul who manipulates the news, and governments, through his considerable wealth to his advantage.  Consider that bit of social commentary, 2 decades ahead of our time.

Then consider the top ten American corporations, and how several of them are using their wealth and power to manipulate news, information (internet/education), and governments to their advantage. Are they a threat to your freedom? Your business?  Your fellow workers, home owners, and prospects?

The Top 10 American Corporations, Manufactured Homes, and PreFab Housing

Dodd-Frank

Dodd-Frank made by an unjust decree ‘illegal’ what previously was free speech.  It did so in the form of the so-called MLO rule. The MLO rule muzzled sales people from discussing credit and credit terms. What a realtor or car dealer could do, a manufactured home pro no longer could?  How was that fair or just?

Perhaps in hindsight, the MH industry’s lenders, retailers, and communities should have sued immediately. The MLO rule was a clear violation of free speech. I said as much in an MHI Financial Services Committee meeting, several years ago.  The reply from the then chairman to me and the room? You are right, but we will pursue this current course of action first.

Years later, Preserving Access is still being pursued. And it was later learned that the MLO rule, which harmed everyone, including consumers could have been ended by agreement between the so-called nonprofits in a deal with the CFPB, in the exchange for MHI not to chasing the points and fees rule modification.

That’s another story, for another time.  But the fact that lawsuits can change unjust laws, click the article linked below.

“Mobile Home Ban” Suit Win, “Equal Justice Under Law,” Manufactured Home Owners, Buyers, Industry

What’s Wrong is that We Don’t Ask What’s Right.” – G.K. Chesterton.

 

WhatsWrongIsThatWeDontAskWhatsRightGKChestertonQuoteMastheadBlogMHIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Image by MHProNews.com

However well intended, the foundational problems with Dodd-Frank or ObamaCare were that they violated constitutional principles. Neither massive program worked as promised. Isn’t that a lesson in itself?  A giant takeaway for our industry, and the nation too?

Socialism and secular humanism have repeatedly failed. What big government program can you point to that is a roaring success? Where can you find a program that doesn’t have waste, fraud, abuse, or corruption? 

“Fiscal Carnage,” “Calamitous Economic Hole”  Decried by Citizens Advocacy Group

We can’t make governments our gods. Those governments are made up of fallible people.  Let God be our God, because humans or AI/robotic intelligence would screw it up every time. 

GovernmentIsNotReasonItIsNotEloquenceItIsForceLikeFireItIsAFearfulServantDangerousMaster-GeorgeWashington-image-wikicommons-poster(c)MHProNews-com-

Credits WikiCommons and MHProNews.

Government isn’t necessarily evil, but it must be controlled.  That’s what history teaches us. That’s why the founders, imperfect as they were, limited the scope and power of government.

OfAllDispositionsHabitsPoloticalProspertityReligionMoralityIndispensable-GeorgeWashington-pic=WikiCommons-postedMHProNews-

The founders weren’t perfect either, but their genius was a clearer sense of history, morality, God and reason.

That’s why the limits the founders wanted for government are every bit as important now, as then.

NoneAreMoreHopelesslyEnslavedThanThoseWhoFalselyBelieveTheyAreFreeJohannWolfgangVonGeotheMastheadMHProNews

Our tax and regulatory systems today have become terribly corrupted. That corruption and waste have limited our opportunities, and freedom.

CostofRegulations12000PerPerson4Trillion-credit-GeorgeMasonUniversity-PostedMastheadBlogMHProNews-

That reads 4 Trillion dollars cost to our economy, and frankly it isn’t just a Democraticly caused problem, because the Bush Administration also created plenty of costly regulations too.

Democratic President John F. Kennedy supported tax cuts. So did Republican President Ronald Reagan. Both successfully worked to spur the economy, and create jobs. After an initial dip, more federal revenue came in.  Its common sense. People respond to rewards.  People and organizations also respond to punishments and penalties, often by dodging them.

America, over the course of more than a century, has slowly allowed the federal government to slip its constitutionally defined limits.  Its happened slowly, over time.  Like a pot of water, here the temperature is being slowly heated, it may not be noticeable at the moment.  It is only through hindsight that we see the trends. We must be people of principle, willing to learn, work, struggle, and fight for what’s right day-by-day. 

Much of that struggle is simply education. 

Monday Morning Sales Meeting, What Warren Buffett & President Donald Trump Profitably Agree On

Don’t wait for someone else to do it. You must be part of the change, or else you are part of the problem. 

Reach out to that misinformed person in your office, and step by step, help them see the light.  We have the articles and vidoes that help you do just that, but you must get that ball started. 

That’s the value of MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views That Pros Can Use.” © That’s the value of news told through the perspective of the manufactured home industry professional. 

From the giants to the mid-sized and the mom-and-pop shops, thousands do the following. To get others on our industry- leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – please click here to sign up in just seconds. ## (Commentary, analysis, events.)

 

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L. A. “Tony” Kovach presenting to a packed house.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach
MHLivingNews.com
 MHProNews.com |
Office 863-213-4090 |
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.
– Henry Ford


 

MH Lending, FEMA and False Profits (and False Prophets)

October 7th, 2017 No comments

Question. Where the manufactured home industry’s profits in the mid-to-late1990s, false or real?

When money is earned, it can be spent. So it may seem odd to discuss profits as “false.” 

ManufacturedHomeLendingFEMAFalseProfits-AndFalseProphets

As anyone who’s watched the movie Scarface knows, crime is a business. It may be illegal, but it’s business.  The risk/reward equation for a criminal enterprise is different than for a legal business.

Back to the opening question. Where the manufactured home industry’s profits in the mid-to-late 1990s, false or real?

They may have seemed real at the time, but it was a reality built on quicksand. 

A sinkhole developed under that mountain of bad MH loans.

The new home shipment graphic below tells the tale. The MH Industry has not yet fully recovered, almost 20 years later. 

ManufacturedHousingIndustry30YearAnnualShipmentsCavcoMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

False profits? In Wisconsin, they might answer, “youbetcha.”

The FEMA Trap

In 2006 and 2007, after all those FEMA orders from the 2005 hurricane season, some where praying for more bad weather.

Duh. Short-term thinking has harmed the MH industry and image numerous times.

FEMA orders were similar to those bad MH loans from the 1990s. Those bad MH loans hurt our industry’s reputation. Once seemingly ‘profitable’ companies collapsed in the wake of the 1990s MH credit crash.

Another, smaller wave of companies failed as a result of the post-2005 FEMA housing rebound/impacts.  But it was already a smaller industry.

GusRodriguezTejasHomesBobCrawfordDickMooreHousingRossKinzlerRetiredWHA

We’ve had numerous comments from industry professionals who say that too many in manufactured housing have not learned the lessons from FEMA/Katrina.  That the industry is walking into a pit, let’s call it ‘the FEMA trap.’

The industry professional who sent this linked commentary was right, the federal government could do FEMA much better, and could save taxpayers in the process. 

Doing FEMA right – instead of wrong – would be better for those being served, the public in general, and could protect the industry’s independent businesses more too.

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Some will profit from FEMA going in, and will also make money on the flip side — when those homes flood (pardon the pun) ‘back onto the market’ – and get auctioned off. That’s free enterprise.

But it is also wasteful and harmful to taxpayers and to much of the industry and the public interest.

ThousandsofFEMAmanufacturedhomesafterSuperStormSandySitIdleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The industry voices talking to MHProNews about FEMA and related challenges are often in unison on one point: there is a better way for taxpayers, the public, for the MH Image, and for many professionals in the industry at large.

It’s a fine line to speak of promoting the MH Industry and free enterprise, yet also to say that the industry ought to be wise enough to learn from the past.  We’re walking that line today.

WeEitherDefineOurSelvesOrOtherDefineUsToIndustrysHomeownersDetriment-MastheadBlogMHProNwes

This Masthead blogpost isn’t blasting those who profited off of FEMA. This Masthead is saying there are better ways for all involved.

 

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A “Masthead” can mean in publishing, the editorial page. A ship’s masthead is the highest perch on that vessel. “You can see farther from the vantage point of the Masthead.” – The Elk.

 

Then and Now

Today’s manufactured home lenders are arguably profitable and more financially responsible.  Lessons learned.

That doesn’t mean all is perfect.

The CFPB, however well intended, has created as much or more harm as good, and it has cost taxpayers tens of billions in the process. The cost of the CFPB has been much even more in terms of lost economic benefits, caused by that agency’s implementation of Dodd-Frank.

The industry hasn’t successfully addressed CFPB, nor has it fully learned and applied the lessons of FEMA and disaster relief. 

There’s no doubt, the federal and state governments are doing much better than it did with Katrina and Sandy.

But there is room to improve.

Those improvements would save taxpayers money.

Improving FEMA might cut the wild profits of a few – short term – but they would lead to more sustainable profits for the many that could endure for years to come. 

It’s the difference between false and real profits.

It’s the difference between sustainable, long-term thinking and short-term money.

We’ll talk about the false prophets another time. Let me close by sharing my personal thank to the hundreds who’ve sent kind 9th anniversary ‘kudos’ messages.  ## (Commentary, news, analysis.)

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryPublisherMarketingSalesTrainerConsultant-

Socialists, Communists, Capitalists, Clarity, Smear, Truth, and “Kissing Ass”

September 27th, 2017 No comments

Stating the Obvious for clarity. It’s complex world, where the agendas are often hidden or disguised. It isn’t always easy to know the truth on a subject. In manufactured housing, that’s also the reality.  Knowing the truth can be challenging.

We’ll get to the he headline later, but for now, please let me note the following.

We love:

  • this industry,
  • family, faith, flag, and free enterprise (if my wife is reading this, not necessarily in that order of importance).

We are pro-success, done ethically. Because we believe in a Supreme Authority, our values ideally are guided and enlightened by those ultimate truths. Having laid out our principles in often detailed statements before, let’s jump beyond that to the topic for today.

DonkeyKissingAssSomePeopleWillDoAnythingForAFewExtraDollarsMastheadBlogPixabayMHProNew

Hey, there are some who just don’t have a free will choice, due to some circumstance. But others play the game because they think they benefit from it. The reality in manufactured housing is, exposing the game and playing it straight is more profitable than playing the game, or kissing someone’s donkey.

The Smear

One popular example from the left of “the smear” is to call whoever opposes them “a racist.” It’s been used for so long, it ought to be worn out by now.  The right can use Smear tactics too.

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

The reason Smear Tactics can still be effective is because millions are too busy, to distracted by work, family, friends, sports, drink, drugs, sex, the tube, social media, or whatever else.

But today, there are other media options beyond the mainstream media.

This publication seeks to serves what is good and the truth as it is known and understood to be.

We have in the past given the benefit of the doubt to certain voices, until the doubt has been removed by a long preponderance of evidence carefully examined, and shared with you, the Industry’s:

  • Owners, executives, managers, and rising stars,
  • Investors,
  • Political operatives and elected officials,
  • Mainstream media,
  • Researchers, educators and political officials.

CartoonKissingAssSomePeopleWillDoAnythingForAFewExtraDollarsMastheadBlogPixabayMHProNew

Some in MHLand:

  • have egos the size of Texas,
  • blow with the wind,
  • will kiss any ugly -ss for a dollar,
  • just don’t know,
  • are into their habits so deeply, they don’t see reality, etc.

During the 2016 campaign, Warren Buffett said he supported what
Sec. Hillary Clinton
supported. That’s why he backed Clinton.
Sec. Clinton supported Dodd-Frank and the CFPB.
Do you see the disconnect
between MHI’s stated
position on CFPB and Preserving Access,
and what Warren Buffett said several times?

WarrenBuffettSupportedBarackObamaBuffettSupportedDoddFrankCFPBMastheadBlogMHProNews

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

The truth about MHI is in several ways hiding in plain sight. But the MHProNews exclusively obtained documents from Tim Williams speaks volumes. But only to those with an open mind to reality, vs. fantasy. Click here to see the brief, yet powerful, report.

TimWilliams-21stMortgage=graphiccredit-text=MastheadBlog-MHProNews-com-

The slide is from then MHI Chairman, Tim Williams, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corp. Isn’t it obvious that what Williams was saying was the polar opposite of what Warren Buffett supported?  Are we to believe that MHI’s chair that worked for Buffett opposed Buffett’s positions?  Arrows and commentary in red from the Masthead blog, MHProNews.com.

But a number of others have no choice for economic reasons have to play the MHI game, but they don’t like what is going on, and help inform us all they can.

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MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

Those later sources often provide priceless insights. Thank you, one and all.

IReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM-comMHProNews (1)

Got a tip?  Document of general interest?  Help us help the industry. iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

Then, there are straight up supporters or those who are allied through mostly common visions or interests.

TheyKillGoodTreesToPutOutBadNewspapersJamesGWattAZquotesMastheadBlogMHProNews

Quick History – Conspiracy Theories and Reality

James Watt was the Secretary of the Interior Department, under President Ronald Reagan.

He was known as a pithy comments and quote machine. He has several interesting insights you can find on those quotable quotes websites, or Wikipedia.

JamesGWattSecretaryInteriorWikipediaMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNews626

But the following quote of Watt’s I can’t find anywhere online, so I was not able to verify it precisely.  It goes something like this.

I don’t believe in what are commonly known as conspiracy theories. What I do believe in are people with common interests, acting in ways that benefit their common interests and that therefor look to be conspiratorial.’ – James Watt, former Secretary of the Interior.

That was so powerful, it has long stuck with me. Does it apply to manufactured housing? “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

LiberalsShiftedGovernmentpositionNuetralRightWrongConcentraitingPowerGovtChsleThreepillarssocietyFamilyWorkEthicFaithNotGoodForAmericaJamesGWattMHProNews

“Conspiracy” Hiding in Plain Sight?

Set against the James Watt point that people with common interest often behave in ways that align with those interests – thus appearing to be conspiratorial –  let’s note the following.

If you or I are accused or questioned about something that’s demonstrably not true,
the normal person simply disproves the allegation, and moves on.

Correct?

FollowTheMoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDoThanWhatTheySayMartyLavin6MillionYachtManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNew

So, if the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the powers-that-be behind MHI can readily disprove the array of questions and concerns about their favoritism and performance, why don’t they do so?

MHISrVPRickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoGenCounselMHProNews657

Isn’t it likely they are ducking out precisely because the accusations are true? Because they have no good come-back?

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Why didn’t MHI ask to use this image, or create one like it of their own? Could it be that that Berkshire Hathaway owned companies like Clayton, VMF or 21st would benefit, whether or not the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act bill passed or not?  Sources tell MHProNews that the non-profits would have made a deal on the MLO rule, which would have benefited every MH Lender and every retailer, communities, and consumers.  Why didn’t MHI take that deal?  Why spend millions and fail? Or was that pro noted above correct, that BH profits either way, so why compromise at all?  Didn’t they win if it failed, or win if they succeeded?

The Truth is Hiding in Plain Sight

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Whatever MHI wants to say about trying to cut back on HUD overreaches, it is obvious that the easiest possible step is to ask the Trump Administration to have Pam Danner reassigned.  Why do they duck the obvious conflict between their words and deeds? Photo – Pam Danner, JD, addressing MHI members. Photo credit, MHProNews.

  • Pam Danner
  • Lois Starkey
  • Duty to Serve (DTS) (FHFA/GSEs)
  • CFPB and Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – Opportunities Missed
  • Monopolistic Practices that use Heavy Regulations to Force more Consolidations
  • Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000) and enhanced preemption
  • Racism and Steering
  • Not Defending the Industry and its Image, etc., etc.

These are just some of the issues that have arisen or been spotlighted in roughly the last two two years.

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews

Some date back further, such as a column in 2014 that spotlighted the high cost – and risks to the industry – from low volumes of new home sales.  That risk to independents is hitting the industry again now, in the growing FEMA fiasco.

BerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesVanderbiltVMF21stMortgageManufacturedHomesLoansFEMA

Insider Sources

We have used a combination of inside voices off the record and visible professionals speaking on the record. While we often agree with MHARR, we are not joined at the hip.

SamZellManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHomeCommunitiesMastheadIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

Perhaps the most compelling for thoughtful readers are the quotes from people in MHI, in their own words. Videos and their own written statements, carefully analyzed in the light of known facts.


From within the Berkshire Hathaway owned family of Clayton, Vanderbilt, 21st and other units;

From within MHI,

From state, professional, and third-party groups studying the industry – often with no axe to grind – MHProNews has provided a series of reports and exposes unlike anything that the industry has ever seen.

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MHI, Clayton, 21st and VMF have not engaged directly in public on these issues. But they have done so indirectly and often behind the scenes.  They don’t try to refute/disprove us, rather, they try other alleged tactics to undermine our efforts – which benefit the bulk of the industry’s professionals and investors.

Long term, our call to reform MHI and their alleged monopolistic masters would benefit them too.  Because monopoly inevitably leads to a break up, and it harms the market place, public and society.  That’s why there are laws against monopolies.

Thinkers simply have to wonder: why do the mega-rich take a public position that seems to contradict their own interests?  Isn’t the obvious answer from years of evidence that they posture one thing, do another, because it has worked for them time and again?

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

We’ve taken our precautions.

We’ve called out the powers that be to debate, or discuss, or be interviewed on video, so all can see it.  They duck, dodge, detract, distract, delay, etc. If they were right, they’d simply publicly seek to prove me to be a fool. Why are they reluctant to stand up for their track record? Do they de facto admit that they lack success at their own stated goals?

MHIGotCloutWheresTheBeefMHProNews

The reason thousands come – including they and their allies daily – is because we say what’s real and support allegations with credible evidence.

HowardWalkerJDViceChairEquityLifestylePropELS-ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoViceChair-postedMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryResearcMHProNews

MHI Meetings, Networking and Events Can Be Replaced

The one thing that we hear that MHI ‘does okay with’ are their networking meetings.  That brings real value to some professionals.  But IMHO, they could be done better and for less.

We can’t say if MHARR will expand after their November 2017 meeting. But they have publicly supported the need for a third association that truly represents the “post-production” sector of MH – meaning others besides factory home builders.

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There was some movement by a few groups to do a true association, they’ve never come to pass.

It would be very profitable for the industry to do so.  Ironically, it could benefit the big players over time too. Because monopolies tend historically to fail over time, and harm many along the way to failure.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

Note, quoting someone on a topic should not be construed to imply we agree on all topics. That said, the above by George Allen on his own blog was interesting.

The industry is growing faster beyond Clayton and Cavco, their own statistics prove it.

IndustryMarketShareClaytonCavco63ManufacturedHousingIndustryDataResearchMarketStockReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews613

It’s time for the break up, since MHI has declined offers to reform itself.

Industry Pros Question the Effectiveness of National Association – Bob Crawford and Frank Rolfe from ManufacturedHome-ModularHomeNews on Vimeo.

 

NewManufacturedHousing1trillion9PercentNew1percentExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNewsFinally, we will continue to spotlight politics, because it routinely impacts our industry in clear or subtle ways. I know some question our support for the president and his agenda. We appreciate the candid feedback from those who see that topic differently.

While the GOP – as an independent, I’m not a member of that or any other political party – may be gripped by its identity crisis, the Trump wing is gaining ground.  As odd as it sounds, the victory of Roy Moore over Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate primary proves that to be true.

The RINOs – perhaps better known as the “Establishment” Republicans – will, if this pattern continues, fade from the scene over time.

Americans are seeking to take back their country.

Manufactured housing professionals want to take back their industry.

The two go hand in hand.  That’s why we supported Donald J. Trump when MHI put two pro-Clinton speakers on their stage just days before the election last November.

Manufactured Home Industry Leaders Praise MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

The hypocrisy and the game playing, the masks and deception are coming to an end.

When their allegedly manipulative music stops, watch a growing number of industry pros exit MHI.  They won’t want to be associated with that crew.

In the meantime, we’ll be spotlighting the issues that can help industry professionals and investors maximize their returns and success.

Read the news and commentary.  Consider what it means to you.  Then, think about how you and your location and organization can benefit by applying the insights you find here on MHProNews and/or on MHLivingNews.

You don’t have to spend a dime with us to do that, do you?

Of course, for those who see the value of what we do, it is common sense to support our efforts.  Because no other organization in the history of the industry has produced more pro-industry insights and defended the industry more than MHLivingNews and MHProNews.

We are only able to do so thanks to sponsors and client support.

Allegations, Reality and the Future

The powers that be have already lost, they may not realize it yet.  The momentum has shifted.

With the masks, and smoke screens falling and blowing away, the industry can grow at a pace it has only dreamed about for years.

We and select clients know how that is done.  Its profitable, and done at the local level.

Think about why MHI has turned us down time and again, and failed to respond time and again.  Think about why – on an issue as simple as Pam Danner being exited from her role in the manufactured housing program office at HUD – they won’t take a public stand for doing that, even when a growing number of their own members want that to take place.

Yes, we think the days of MHI and their masters as it has existed are about over.  Oh, they’ll continue on in some form or fashion, because Berkshire Hathaway and their allies need an organ like MHI.

But for the majority of members, aren’t you feeding the hand that bites yours?  ## (Commentary, analysis, news.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryPublisherMarketingSalesTrainerConsultant-

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

 

 

 

Cong Keith Ellison, Others Accuse Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lenders, MHI of Monopolistic, Racism, Steering, Predatory Lending, and More

September 11th, 2017 No comments

When testifying in front of the House Financial Services Committee, Kevin Clayton, CEO of Maryville, Tenn.-based Clayton Homes and head of the Manufactured Housing Institute…” – HousingWire.

Mobile home [sic] loans and borrowers are different. Clayton Homes dominates the industry. Clayton charges borrowers of color a lot more. Clayton targets borrowers of color and steers them into…” National Consumer Law Center.

OpenMindCiteSourcesFromAcrossTheSpectrumMHProNews

American Banker, Seattle Times, BuzzFeed News

RacialJusticeEqualEconomicOpportunityProjectNationalConsumerLawCenterKeithEllisonD-MN5DanielWagnerBuzzfeedMikeBakerSeattleTimesDiscrminationMHProNews

Notice: Independent Thinkers can consider points and evidence from across the economic and political spectrum. To see the report this screen capture was taken from, click here or the image above.

…These are just some of the operations that have identified the third rail in the manufactured housing industry’s economic and political landscape.

ThirdRailPoliticsDefinedMHProNewsBerkshire Hathaway (BH) Owned Clayton Homes dominates the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). Isn’t that evident by…?

  • Third party media analysis (examples, from both right and left wing media)
  • The fact that 2 out of 4 of the MHI Executive Committee seats are held by Clayton Homes’ Tom Hodges and 21st Mortgage, Tim Williams,
  • The third seat is held by a former Clayton Homes division president, Joe Stegmayer, now Chairman of Cavco Industries, and
  • Howard Walker, ELS which uses BH lending and other BH connected products and services?
MHIannouncestheirnewExecutiveCommitteeboardmembersAward-WinnerscreditMHIlegal500mhpronewslinkedin-postedtoDailybusinessnews-

Some of the photos above are by MHI, or 21st, BH companies, and are provided under fair use guidelines.

Clayton Homes and its sister operations have been charged by several third parties with racism, steering, and predatory lending.

  • It’s 9.11. 9/11/2001 was like a wake-up call, but it also brought the nation together.
  • Texas and Louisiana have just endured Hurricane Harvey.
  • Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas have, are or soon will be feeling the impact of Irma.
  • We have a builder/businessman in the White House.
  • President Donald J. Trump has prefab housing interests.
  • Vice President Mike Pence understands and respects manufactured housing, perhaps better than any VP in history.
CampaignForAccountabiltyClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayVanderbiltMortgageRacismSteeringPredatoryLendingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews720x403-575x322

Each of those lodging allegations discussion on this page are reported in the Daily Business News post, click image above.

The president’s agenda is pro-business, pro-growth, American Business and American Workers First.

IamGoingToLowerYourTaxesEliminateEveryUnnecessaryRegulationUNleashAmericanEnergyPlacingAmericanBusinessandWorkersFirstDonaldJTrumpNationalViewsMastheadMHProNews

The president has shown by his actions that he is implementing his campaign promises.  The DC Swamp is Fighting Back.

That Swamp is perhaps best defined as the intersection of Big Business, Big Lobby, and Big Government.

The Above Is Like an Executive Summary,

The Below are Some Details, Facts, Allegations, Concerns – What It Means to Manufactured Housing, and

Potential Next Steps

 

Superficiality is the curse of the modern world” – Matthew Kelly

Skim at your own risk.

Open your mind, and consider the following objectively, without passion, habit, or emotion.

While some of those claims by parties outside of manufactured housing could be nuanced, questioned or debunked, the persistence of the allegations above and below by third parties are significant. We’ll note right now that our raising this issue as a pro-industry trade publisher, and citing these topics from these sources, doesn’t mean we endorse everything these parties are stating or alleging.

Rather, we’re doing what every good trade media does in other industries. We report the good, the bad and the problematic.

There is no way to solve a problem if you don’t first identify it, analyze the options, and then begin to work to solve those identified issues.

TheSystemIsRiggedHUDRossKinzlerDonaldTyeJrFederalOfficialDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Thanks to our sponsors, team and supporters, we bring day-by-day the Manufactured Home Industry’s “News, Tips and Views that Pros Can Use.”  It’s all about team work.  While the commentary is that of our organization, we must in gratitude in turn thanks those:

  • Sources,
  • Supporters,
  • Sponsors,
  • Service users of our operation,
  • That make our work possible. We could not do this alone.  We don’t operate in a vacuum.

We salute those who support us, and our thousands of readers should use their products and services at every opportunity.

USRepMaxineWaterEmanuelCleaverKeithEllisonMikeCapuanoMastheadDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

These Democratic lawmakers have raised the issue of racism with respect to the companies that dominate MHI. MHProNews is the first in the Industry to notify industry readers that the Center for Accountability, about two weeks ago, put out a press release that they are pursuing this racism, steering and predatory lending issue. MHProNews asked MHI’s leadership about this, asking them to reject racism. After several days, they have not yet done so. Now, MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch admits that Rep. Ellison is opposing the MHI Preserving Access bill. Will any thinking person be surprised if Ellison, the CfA or others accuse MHI’s leadership of racism?

Congressman Ellison and others pushing DOJ and CFPB Investigations

MHProNews documented in the reports linked that third parties are pushing the Department of Justice (DOJ) and/or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to release findings about Berkshire Hathaway operations on the issues of racism, steering and predatory lending.

What is not entirely clear is the degree to which anti-trust allegations may be part of DOJ or other investigations.

While we have sources in and close to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Those sources state they are carefully monitoring all that we publish.

To our knowledge at this moment, MHI and the Berkshire Hathaway (BH) brands have not responded to these issues raised last month or previously.

Why not?

Allegations, Allegations – Facts, Figures and The Record

We’re told that MHI and the BH brands have attorneys that go over our articles and posts, looking for ways to shut MHProNews and MHLivingNews down.  Why? Are they trying to control the narrative? So that only their voice is left?

We have sources that have told us that they’ve directly and/or indirectly pressured our advertisers and sponsors.

We’ll layout those concerns and allegations above and below. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©

The Third Rail in Manufactured Housing

There is a reputed third rail in manufactured housing.

BH has so much influence – some believe – they industry professionals and companies are economically fearful of standing up to them.

But thanks to some courageous, wise, committed, sponsors and supporters – we’ve been able to carry on.

That should not be construed to mean that those sponsors agree with each and everything we do.  We don’t ask some’s permission to publish or produce. We have quiet advice from a variety of sources. But we make our own decisions, based upon the facts, input as we see them and experience.

We strive day-by-day to act in what we believe the facts and experience reveals are the root issues that hold manufactured housing back from doing 5 to 10 times more business annually than the industry currently does.

We’ve said for years.  If RVs are outselling Manufactured Housing by some 5 to 1, why can’t almost every honest retailer, every ethical community operator be selling about 5 or more times the number of homes that they do?  RVs are a luxury for most, while manufactured homes are one of the necessities of life.

 

TanstaflThereIsNoSuchThingAsAFreeLunchProtectLifeLibertyPropertyRevDonaldTyeJrLATonyKovach

Click the image above to read the post this joint statement of opportunity and hope that this graphic comes from.

MHI and Surrogates

Suzanne Felber and George Allen have and are said to be receiving promotional benefits from MHI, and/or certain forms of work from MHI and/or Berkshire Hathaway (BH) companies.

SuzanneFelberFrankRolfeRichardADickJennisonAmericanHousingAdvocatesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

Notice, we will be circling back this weekend to post missing links and additional information for this report.

Is it a coincidence that Felber’s site fawns over Jennison, HUD’s Pam Danner, Clayton Homes, and MHI?

Allen’s situation is perhaps more complex, as the emailed discussion linked here reflects.

GeorgeAllenDownBy100MHIFlyInDownby60ilyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice, we will be circling back this weekend to post missing links and additional information for this report.

What is clear is that Allen periodically lashes out via email and/via his blog, etc. against this writer and MHProNews with unsubstantiated claims, designed to dissuade his followers from putting stock in MHARR, this writer, or the MHProNews trade media.

Why?

Allen – by accident, design, hubris, envy or some combination – thus provides de facto ‘cover’ to MHI and the BH brands.

That cover comes from the one person – Allen – who made a serious claim at starting a post-production association. But after a number of years have gone by, his COBA7 is not a formal association at all. Emails between members of COBA7 provided to MHProNews by their own followers suggest they are unsure what to do about MHI or how to best advance the industry.

It wasn’t always so with Allen, as the screen captures and weekend email exchange attached reflects.

At a minimum, we’d allege that Allen’s not been consistent.

At a minimum, Allen’s failed to follow the logic of what the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and others have pointed out.  That doesn’t mean he should be condemned to perdition’s flames. I’ve said many times, if Allen’s followers didn’t see some value to his work, then he’d have no audience.

But is the main value Allen brings his networking meetings?  And given the steep decline in his meeting attendance since we were involved in cross-promotion with him, is Allen’s influence rising, or fading?

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

By citing Allen, Felber or whomever, that should not be construed as a blanket endorsement. We are pointing to specific facts, statements or claims made. Links will be added, likely this wekened. Please check back.

MHARR, MHI, and MHProNews

While MHARR and MHProNews have some overlapping interests, each organization is a distinct and independent operation.

Allen wrongfully conflates MHARR and MHI’s respective missions. We’ve covered that before, so won’t belabor that today.

For several years before MHARR used MHProNews for some modest ads, this writer was periodically taking MHARR positions at MHI meetings.  We as trade publishers did so when we felt MHARR was correct.  I personally did that privately and in public, both before and after my being elected by my peers as a board member of the MHI Suppliers Division.

MHI knew exactly who I was – a goal and solution oriented, pragmatic idealistic – because I don’t keep that secret. It’s part of every email MHProNews sends out.

obstacles-are-those-frightful-things-you-see-when-you-take-your-eyes-off-the-goal- henry-ford-inspiration-(c)lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-posted-mhpronews.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

A search of our articles going back in time will reflect the reality that we supported MHI on some topics, MHARR on others.

MHI's New CEO, Dick Jennison

This was one of the photos taken by MHProNews, a behind-the-camera, behind the scenes effort some years ago to get MHI and MHARR to work more closely together. Richard Dick Jennison, left, Mark Weiss, right. Weiss is now MHARR, President and CEO.

It should also be noted that at one point in time, perhaps naively believing that MHI and MHARR could be ‘reconciled,’ we attempted to do just that when Dick Jennison came on board as MHI’s president.  There are a number of industry pros, beyond

  • Dick Jennison,
  • Rick Robinson,
  • Mark Weiss,
  • Danny Ghorbani,
  • Joe Stegmayer,
  • Dennis Hill,

and numerous others who know this to be true.

It should be noted that MHProNews always took editorially the view our parent company’s management – Lifestyle Factory Homes, LLC – dba/MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com, et al – believed was in the best interest of the industry, based upon then available information.

 

They can’t have it both ways.

We Operate by the Same Principles Now as Then.

Some of those stands were controversial, as Financial Services Chairman Dick Ernst said in the video above.   But as he also said, it’s because of our desire to bring the industry together in a cohesive way.

Cohesion – peace and cooperation – are only possible among those of good will.

After years of efforts, often behind the scenes, we came to the painful conclusion that MHI staff did not want peace with MHARR.

We also came to the painful conclusion that MHI allegedly wanted to so dominate MHARR, and if possible,

  • buy out,
  • draw in as members of MHI, and/or
  • force out of business each MHARR member, and thus silence MHARR for good.

As new facts or insights emerged, we as trade publishers tried to adapt to those insights. We had inside and other sources at MHI that gave us some tips and insights as to what was coming. Some of those insights were about plans, months or years in advance of their being enacted.

Finance, Monopolistic Actions, and Duty to Serve (DTS)

It’s clear in hindsight that on a subject such as the Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing lending by the GSEs, that my view previous view on accepting MHI’s stated support for the same was naive.

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Still from the video on the page linked above.

Naïve.

We have since carefully laid out our concerns and allegations that while

  • MHI staff stated their desire to want DTS to become reality, in fact,
  • Tim Williams/21st Mortgage,
  • as well as Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance,

have practically foiled those efforts at a robust chattel DTS program or pilot.

How did they do it, one might ask?  A fair question.  Here’s how.

21st and VMF did so by not providing the data that the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs or Enterprises) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as their sources say, needed to responsibly enter into the chattel market in a spirited fashion.

ElephantAssGSEFannieFreddieFHFAPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage credit, MHProNews, logos are those of their respective organization, and are shown here under fair use guidelines.,/i>

There are other factors too, this document can’t be all encompassing.  But we previously documented with comments from experts such as Titus Dare, Marty Lavin and others.

Anyone can go to

  • Industry Voices,
  • the Daily Business News (DBN),
  • Industry in Focus Reports, prior
  • Masthead blog posts,
  • or previous featured articles and interviews,

and you’ll see that step-by-step, for years, we’ve laid the foundation for what we are stating today.

ThanksTonyDoWhatYouFeelIsRightBerkshireHathaway-F-ckEm-MHProNewsNMHOA and MHAction

We have often taken NMHOA or MHAction to task, and still do for supporting rent control or other efforts that are arguably harmful to their own claimed followers.

We think rent control may be well intentioned, but fails to accomplish the goal it desires.  We’ve cited

  • Paul Bradley of ROC USA,
  • Sam Landy, JD, of UMH Properties,
  • Sheila Dey, JD, of the WMA

and numerous others in pointing out the weakness of the concept of rent control. It harms business, affordable housing in general, and manufactured home communities and residents in particular.

But on the narrow subject of DTS and monopolistic practices by MHI and BH units, there may be common ground possible between industry professionals and those consumer-focused groups.

That said, we continue to call on NMHOA and MHAction to revisit and reject their own mistaken support for rent control, and other actions that harm the very people they claim to want to benefit.

We’ve invited public debates

  • with those ‘consumer groups,’
  • with MHI,
  • and MHI’s de facto surrogates to debate the issues by video.

While NMHOA has not yet accepted that invitation, to their credit, Isbhel Dickens at least acknowledged in writing their willingness to consider that kind of direct engagement.

By contrast, MHI and their surrogates have not accepted that offer on any level.

If they were right, why do they duck a public debate?

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews

Duck. Dodge. Distract. Detract. Delay. Deny. Demean. Defame. Destroy.

When you see an indirect, semi-public or no reply by MHI, BH and their surrogates, think about those 9 deadly Ds.

When you see or hear about efforts by MHI, BH, or their surrogates to

  • defame,
  • marginalize,
  • starve out,
  • or destroy MHProNews and MHLivingNews, you have to ask yourself, why?

Why has MHI not taken on the issues that we’ve raised, until the last few months, and then, only in an arguably weak or even counterproductive fashion?

When you see MHI, BH and their surrogates try to

  • buy out competitors,
  • harm competitors through heavy regulations,
  • feint an argument for X, when their powers that be are doing the opposite,

or try to pressure MHARR members into becoming MHI members, you have to ask yourself, why?

regulatory-compliance-costs-for-manufacturers-source-national-assoc-manufacturers-posted-masthead-mhpronews0-com-_001

MHI and MHARR Independent HUD Code Producers

In my enthusiasm to debunk the Atlantic and IBIS World, several years ago, I missed their powerful point that was hiding in plain sight.

AmericasFastestDyingBusinessMobileHomesManufacturedHomesAtlanticIBISWorldDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews

Their headline claimed that manufactured housing was a dying industry.  We strived to debunk that claim, and I’d stand by that to this day.

IBISWorldAtlanticManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsResearchReportsMHProNews

But I missed the nuance necessary for the point they made about Clayton dominating MH retail.

MHProNews has had independent MHI and MHARR members alike tell me that while they may not officially be up for sale, for the right price and terms, they’d sell.

AnotherClaytonAquisitionLoomsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsReportsResearchMHProNews

Clayton logo is their property, and is shown here with a collage by MHProNews, under fair use guidelines.

MHProNews has had independent MHI and MHARR members alike tell me that the biggest thing that holds them back having enough independent retailers to distribute and sell their products.

MHProNews has had state association executives tell me that several of their independents are undercapitalized.

MHProNews has had independent community owners and retailers tell us that there’s just too many issues to navigate.

They sell out or close down.

Wasn’t The Atlantic was right about that point?

What the Atlantic and others may or may not understand is just how the industry got to this point.  That will be laid out in future reports, stay tuned.

We will also circle back, perhaps this weekend, and hot link the various bullets and allegations noted in this document.  Stay tuned.

A “Brilliant” BH Strategy to Dominate Manufactured Housing, While Avoiding the ?

Look carefully and objectively at what Cong. Ellison and his colleagues PowerPoint on racism, lending and monopolistic practices.

Look carefully at what we’ve been publishing on MHProNews for months and years.

While we’ve worked independently of each other, there are several points in common.  Coincidence?


BH’s Clayton’s willingness to buy from independents, or to use Triad Financial, or Credit Human (formerly San Antonio Credit Union) or other lending sources and suppliers, those were arguably shrewd moves in a strategic and tactical sense.

  • First, it undermined the claim of monopoly. After all, how can you be a monopoly if you are buying from a competitor? That gives them some cover with DOJ or the FTC.
  • Next, by failing to succeed at passing Preserving Access, or
  • Third, by failing to succeed at getting HUD, or DOE or others that could be cited to relent in some regulatory overreach, they were indirectly allowing pressure on the independent producers and the independent retailers. That too is useful to give them cover with DOJ or the FTC.
  • But one reason why – primarily, but not solely via MHI and their surrogates – by trying to marginalize, silence, buyout, or crush MHProNews and MHLivingNews – weren’t they trying to control the industry’s narrative?
  • To the degree that they control the industry’s narrative, aren’t they trying to create an information monopoly?
  • By controlling the information – the inner industry dialogue – aren’t they trying to avoid the very kind of analysis and fact checks that MHARR and MHProNews produce?

Why won’t MHI release their own bylaws?  We’re told that isn’t even legal, but they’ve still done it.

Why does MHI have inaccurate consumer information?  The last we checked, they’ve not corrected it.

DougGormanHomeMartMHILogoAwardWinnerManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

Yes, the industry is growing, and we should be happy about it, but we should be unhappy with how low the total sales volume is at a retail center, a community and the industry at large. When you look at the bulk of the mainstream media accounts, isn’t Tom Fath correct? Isn’t the industry under attack? Where is MHI’s defense of the industry? 

Why did MHI try to keep us from doing certain interviews or attend certain public addresses by elected or appointed officials?  That – per attorneys we’ve spoken with – raise a variety of legal and constitutional issues.

Isn’t it arguable that these moves are designed to choke off competition, including competing news and commentary?

 

Isn’t the Truth Hiding in Plain Sight?

Isn’t Warren Buffett precisely what Tim Williams/21st/MHI Chair arguing against in this exclusive report?  Every slide was provided by Williams and/or a source at MHI.

TimWilliamsCreditLinkedIn21stMortCorpCEOManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanWarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairman

The truth about MHI is in several ways hiding in plain sight. But the MHProNews exclusively obtained documents from Tim Williams speaks volumes. But only to those with an open mind to reality, vs. fantasy. Click here to see the brief, yet powerful, report.

Mighty MHARR?

MHARR has a tiny fraction of the MHI budget, but they are consistently correct on the issues.  Frankly, the only things they’ve missed, IMHO, are fairly nuanced areas, more a matter of style than substance.

If MHARR can be correct on issue after issue, why is MHI wrong so often?

If MHARR can be logical on so many issues, why is MHI so often double minded?

doubleminded man, is unstable in all his ways,” – James 1:8

Odds are excellent that one or more of the 9 D’s describes the motive for MHI, BH and their surrogates from not replying straight up, or debating straight up.

If they were in the correct, why not take a stage in a video debate of the issues?

Could it be that they are concerned that they would lose?

DebateMastheadblodTonyKovachMHProNews

We’d debate MHI, BH, NMHOA, MHAction using video on the issues that face the industry. MHProNews.com/Pixabay.

That’s not hubris, because frankly MHI and BH has attorneys who are trained in such matters such as debate.  Ishbel Dickens is an attorney, and she too is trained in debate. They have a training this writer doesn’t have. That’s not my area of expertise.

They have time, money and resources we don’t have.  Yet, they are the ones playing the 9D game.  Why?

Duck, Dodge, Distract, Detract, Delay, Deny, Demean, Destroy, Game.

 

Why an Independent-Focused Post-Production MH Association is Needed

News, education and even promotion can only do so much. We’re not lobbyists, but we can, have, and do support lobbying activity.

The industry needs someone with the mindset of President Trump’s and VP Mike Pence’s stated agenda to lobby for that to be applied in Washington, D.C.

MHARR has said as much in writing for years.

There is a real need for either a third association to represent the post-production sector, or for MHARR and/or NFIB to step up and expand their offerings to fill that role.

Frankly, in a perfect world, what I think should happen is that MHARR expand, and team carefully with NFIB.

MHI-MHARR-MHEC-DC-MHProNews-collage-copyright2016WeProvideYouDecide

Image credit – collage of Industry Association logos by
MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective
organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

As an FYI to the detail minded, the last time MHProNews had an in-depth conversation with NFIB officials, they stated that their preference was to work with an existing association on specialized topics, while providing the added muscle on bigger issues such as tax reform, repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and the like.

That leaves it to MHARR to decide in their November conference call if they may want to expand to serve the broader manufactured housing industry, as opposed to just independent HUD Code manufactured housing producers and some state affiliated associations.

We have repeatedly offered MHI the opportunity to respond in writing to the issues and concerns we’ve raised. We also routinely cited MHI, or their surrogate’s own words in our reports. That’s how fact checks and balanced reporting works.

MHI Wants to “Stop the Leaks”

We are now being told that MHI is trying to ‘stop the leaks’ – which includes even their own publications to members!  Why?

Could it be, as we’ve alleged several times, that they want to control the industry’s narrative?

Could it be that they want to propagandize the industry, to the detriment of those being manipulated?

Where is MHI’s self-proclaimed clout?

Where’s Rick Robinson’s self-proclaimed MHI Zen?

Aren’t MHI, Allen, Felber and others guilty of the very things that they claim MHProNews does?

To rephrase, aren’t they projecting onto us, what they themselves are guilty of doing?

MHIGotCloutWheresTheBeefMHProNewsThat’s why, ICYMI, its necessary to engage with these parties, and to refute their spurious allegations, while challenging them to debate the issues or at least prove their claims.

They’ve always declined or bow outed, why?

If they were correct, and MHARR or MHProNews were so wrong, why would they not debate? Unless they lacked the confidence of the guts to stand up to closer public and industry scrutiny?

A Missed Opportunity to Deny, Decry and Denounce Racism

RevDonaldTyeJr.ManufacturedHousingNotT-railerNotNword_001We also offered MHI’s executive committee members, plus Clayton, VMF and 21st the softball opportunity to deny, decry and denounce racism and the monopolistic allegations against them.

Go back to the top.  See what Cong. Ellison said. If you happen to be right or centrist, don’t let Ellison’s positions keep you from looking at what has been presented.

Facts are facts, no matter who presents them.

The scriptures have said, separate the wheat from the chaff.  That applies to all, very much to me  and our work included.

President Trump Accepted that Opportunity from Media he Doesn’t Trust, Then Why Would MHI not do the Same?

In the MHI/BH wisdom, they did not accept that opportunity. Any excuse they use to their members will be convincing to those who blindly want to believe them.

We’ll begin to draw to a close this Masthead commentary and analysis with the following.

Smaller to mid-sized firms are de facto paying for what the larger ones want.

Smaller to mid-sized firms are arguably feeding the hand that bites them.

Those that sit on the sidelines are de facto supporting the powers that be.  Any excuse will do to sit on the sidelines.  You don’t like the color of my hair, I’m too tall, short, fat, skinny, the wrong gender, skin color, whatever excuse you want will do.  Ditto with respect to mighty MHARR.

The larger firms benefit from the lack of progress on a range of issues, which they claim to want to accomplish.  What team keeps hiring a coach and QB to keep failing to win?

There is no logic to saying – as MHI does – that HUD is overstepping their authority, while not at the same time asking for Pam Danner to step aside and be reassigned as director of the Manufactured Housing program.  Isn’t that only logical?

It is fishy at best that MHI’s VP Lois Starkey left MHI and now works at HUD. To my knowledge, MHI has yet to comment on that issue.  If they have nothing to hide, why does MHI hide on the Starkey and Danner and other issues?

LoisStarkeyRichardADickJennisonManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryTonyKovachMastheadBlogMHProNews

Why has MHI told some that replacing Pam Danner is a close subject?

Why has MHI allegedly prepared Lois Starkey to fill Danner’s spot, if Danner does step aside?

We’ve pointed to arguments made by Sam Zell, or Jenny Hodge, and drawn them to their logical conclusion.

We’ve pointed to the arguments made by MHI Chair, Tim Williams, and drawn them to the obvious open question.  How can Williams claim to be at odds with Warren Buffett?  Hasn’t Buffett openly supported Dodd-Frank, the CFPB, Secretary Clinton and Barack Obama?  Hasn’t Buffett and BH favored heavy taxes and regulations that they can better avoid?  That, by the way, is among the places where Cong. Ellison and I would part company.

Because we’ve been citing for years third-party research that has documented what common sense tells the objective thinker is true.  Heavier regulations harms independents more than big companies.

That’s why even U.S. Bank backed away from manufactured home chattel lending, even thought they had a success program.  That’s and low volume, which MHProNews raised that concern years ago, while I was elected by my peers to be on MHI’s Suppliers Division Board of Directors.

That’s why this quote from Dick Jennison, an unforced admission by him on video is so powerful.

 

MHProNews led the Independent’s Industry Charge for the Trump Admin

My wife and several industry pros were on the Trump train before this writer became convinced. I saw one decent Democratic candidate, Jim Webb, or dropped out early. Several of the GOPers were okay on paper.

  • But Donald Trump had deep pockets,
  • the street fighting, counterpunching skills,
  • and the name recognition that made him a viable candidate.

12ReasonsEducatedIranianAmericanWomanSupportsDonaldTrumpPostedMastheadBlogMHProNews954x846

Fault him for this or that tweet, but I think the man is a genius. POTUS Trump isn’t perfect, but neither are you or I.  Trump is a genius. I’ve followed him for years off and on.  He was right about trade when conservative icon Ronald Reagan might have done better, by listening to Trump.

Can You Spell, Phony?  Hypocrisy? Con Job?

We remind readers that while MHI took no public position on the last election, just days before the election, they had not one but two pro-Secretary Hillary Clinton speakers on their stage in Chicago.

They did not lift a finger to help pro-business, pro-worker Donald Trump become president.

buffett-obama-mhmsm

Warren Buffett, left. President Barack Obama, right. Credit, Wikipedia. Why didn’t Buffett and Obama work to fix Dodd-Frank, if Berkshire Hathaway controlled MHI is serious about it?  Has Preserving Access been a delusion?  A multi-million dollar head fake?  Hubris by MHI for not making a deal on the MLO rule, which alone might have kept U.S. Bank involved in MH lending?  Why does MHI not answer such questions?  Could it be that the answer is an embarrassment to them, no matter what they say?

No two people agree on everything.

My 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.

My80%FriendIsNotMy20%EnemyRonaldReagan-postedMHProNews-com

We’ve worked with those from every racial, ethnic, religious, economic or any other group you care to mention.  We are realistic idealists. We are optimistic pragmatists.  We know that only some will come together to advance the industry, not all.

For approaching 9 years since we began publishing, thanks to those that we work with and who sponsor us, we’ve created a site that reports best practices, covers news that often no one else in MH does, and identifies issues that hold the industry back.

Frank Rolfe and I would not agree on everything, as he’d be the first to say.  But he’s right when he said that it is the industry itself that has held manufactured housing back from achieving its full potential.

TitusDareEagleOneFinancialPostedManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Titus Dare and I would not agree on everything either, as he’d be the first to say.  But he’s right that MHI has used problematic messaging that opens the Arlington, VA based association – and by extension, those that mimic MHI.

GuaranteeingAppreciationQuickSureWayToGiantLawsuitTitusDareEagleOneFinancialIndustryVoicesDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews595

Dare’s comments were in reference to an MHI advertorial quoting Dick Jennison. Links will be added in the days ahead, but you can use Yahoo, Bing or Google to find this with a  good search query. MHI’s advertorials have been a mix of useful and problematic information. Some of their statements have drawn harsh criticism, like the example by Titus Dare, above.

We could go through that same litany over and again.  Some of our strongest supporters don’t agree with every specific thing we do.  There are some that think, for example, that it is a waste of time to reach out to MHI, Allen, etc.  There are reasons that we do so. For example, recently an industry pro we respect tried to privately get Allen and I to bridge the gap.

My take is that Allen is not willing to do so.  But that’s not the biggest thing on the radar.

That biggest thing is the threat from within the industry posed by MHI and BH.

That biggest threat can be overcome, through a wise use of facts, history, common sense, critical analysis and reason.

BH dominated MHI has not defended the industry when it could.

BH dominated MHI has not succeed at getting Preserving Access passed, when numerous sources told us that MHI could have had the MLO rule by agreement with the non-profits.

That would have benefited Triad and Credit Human, along with every other MH lender.

 


Why didn’t Tim Williams and VMF agree to that half-a-loaf is better than none deal?

Do you see how there is a consistent pattern of failure by MHI to succeed in areas that they could do much better at than they currently are?

Are they incompetent?

Ill-informed?

Too arrogant?

Or is clever, head fakes and cunning?

Whether they succeed or fail at Preserving Access, or other issues, several industry voices have told us that BH benefits.

 


The MH Alliance

Freedom isn’t free.

Easy doesn’t pay well.” – John Bostick

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Principles and integrity alone will produce long term success for manufactured housing.

IMHO, without a moral, ethical faith-based foundation, our industry and our nation will continue to struggle.

easydoesntpaywelljohnbosticksunshinehomesredbayalmanufacturedhomes-com-mhpronews-com

Everyone with a belief that they contradict in word or deed is a hypocrite. This writer claims no perfection, my wife can correct anyone who mistakenly thinks otherwise.  We have for years and years said that all that we do is a result of team work.  All success is team work.

But every team can use a coach, guide, and cheerleader.

We know what works.  MHI – even while I was an active, board member – would not help promote any of the solutions that we provided.

Even when those solutions advanced what they claimed they wanted done, they didn’t use it or provide it to others.  Why?

How else to explain it than?

  • Are they incompetent?
  • Ill-informed?
  • Too arrogant?
  • Or is clever, head fakes and cunning?
  • Do the powers that be win, whether or not MHI succeeds at what they claim to want do accomplish?

 

MHI Literally Picks Winners and Losers

After a few appearances on MHI’s stage, while still an MHI member, not long after Dick Jennison came in as president, and while he and I were supposedly still on good terms, they stopped allowing me or others we believe in any time on an MHI stage.  Why?

LisaTylerPhDBethelUnivEvidenceDisprovedMisconneptionNegativeStereotypesContinueLocalGovernments-postedMastheadBlogMHProNews-

To download Examining Community Attitudes by Dr. Tyler, click here or the graphic above.

For example, we promoted Lisa Tyler, Ph.D.  Dr. Tyler is a terrific believer in manufactured housing.  She’s reportedly the first person to get a Ph.D. in perhaps 20 years with a specific manufactured housing focus.

Why did they give Dr. Tyler no time on stage?  Dr. Tyler, to my knowledge, had no beef with BH.  Still, she was given no stage time.  Why not?

nadeen-green-mhpronews-com

For years, Nadeen Green, JD, did Fair Housing articles for MHProNews.  Some state associations would promote her writing, but not MHI.  Why not?

 

At no cost to MHI, about 4 years ago, this writer promoted a concept at the Suppliers Division that would have made us not a dime.  But it could have made the industry’s independents billions of dollars by getting to the root issues that keep tens of millions from taking manufactured housing seriously.

Lois Starkey was the point coordinator for MHI on that issue.  We were told that Dick Jennison opposed that effort, if so, why?  That was true even during the time that we were supposedly working to promote Preserving Access together.

Why did Jennison oppose what would have been a super low cost, easy win for MHI to promote the entire industry?

Why didn’t Starkey ever advance the concept to completion?

Dozens of Supplier Divisions members know exactly what I’m talking about, because the above was not a secret. Hundreds if not thousands of MHProNews readers would read a periodic notice about that, and may have wondered, what ever happened to that infotainment initiative?

Perhaps it would have been too useful to smaller and mid-sized companies, and not useful enough to larger firms?

Allen criticized me privately and publicly for taking quotes out of context or not dating quotes.  Sorry, George, but you and I both know that isn’t accurate. We provide more context than almost anyone in media.  Some think we provide TOO much detail, and this post will be an example of that claim.

The reality is that you just can’t please everyone, and you just can’t please some people, period.

But the videos on this page are all part of the picture of what has held our industry up, and how this industry advances.  By choking off growth, people like Nathan Smith and other larger, connected players benefited at the expense of the smaller independents, isn’t that a fair reading of what happened?

Isn’t that what Smith is laughing about in this video?

 


A New Source for Pro-Industry Events

A non-MHARR source has touched base with us more than once on the idea of doing events independent of MHI.  We commend the initiative, should it advance.  Frankly, we’ve considered doing the same thing.

One of the few things that MHI does that has value for many are networking and educational events.  Not only this writer, but many – including MHI members – have told us that MHI charges way too much for their events.

That can be all be changed for the better.

We’ve said for months, MHI needs to be reformed or supplanted.

We’ve said for years, that the state associations are routinely far more effective than MHI is at getting their stated agendas done.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews are proof that there is no third rail in the MH industry.

 

ThirdRailPoliticsDefinedMHProNews

 

No one has killed me.

No one has beat me up.

We have spoken with legal counsel about MHI – and by extension BH? – efforts to marginalize, and if possible starve us of advertisers and sponsors.

We will do whatever we think is best, honorable, honest, and should we do so, we’ll do that with the least cost to us, and the most impact on them.

ExtortionRICOAlelgedlyIllegalDirtySideofManufacturedHousingExposedDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews

Links will be added, or you can go to the Daily Business News and use the search tool. To see the article, click the image above or click here.

While MHI has had some success at scaring off some sponsors, we still have enough to sustain our needs, thanks be to God and those who support our work.

The point is,

  • these allegedly monopolistic forces can be beaten, even though they are far better funded.
  • They make mistakes. Look at BH/Clayton’s iHouse.  How did that work for them?  Did they ever figure out why that failed?
  • Those mistakes are revealed through fact checks, history and their own statements!

The irony is that I’m not opposed to big business, but we editorially are opposed to monopolistic practices.

There are good reasons why anti-trust – anti-monopoly – laws exist. It is harmful to the public and to small business, which creates the most jobs.

Could I be wrong on President Trump? About VP Mike Pence? Perhaps, but I don’t think so.

I think Mark Weiss and Danny Ghorbani are right.  If the industry fails to advance in Washington under the Trump Administration, shame on the majority for not acting while we have the chance!

 

Historic

In our industry and in America, there has historically been three types of groups and people.

1)    Those who take one side,

2)    those who take the other.

3)    Those who sit in the middle, trying to figure out who to support.

The American revolutionaries had the odds against them. The British had historically won war after war before the Revolution of 1776.  The American insurgents rallied enough of the people to beat the English. Yet the Brits at the time was the world’s only super power.

David beat Goliath.

leaders-grasp-nettles-david-ogilvy-credit-izquotes-posted-CuttingEdgeBlog-MHProNews-com575x271

Nettles, thorns…you get the idea, right? Of course…

If we take all of the independents in MH combined, they actually outnumber MHI’s giants.  Nor do we need them all, but we do need enough people and companies of integrity to step up and be goal and solution oriented.

I’m not going to say it is easy.  Easy doesn’t pay well.

But what we want to do is doable. It’s been successful.

We think BH’s monopolistic control over MHI and several state associations needs to end.

 

We think if MHI fails to reform itself, then those professionals of good will need to do a post-production association ourselves.

freedoms_-_lincolnCreditPoliticalVelCraftMHProNews

Image credit, Political Vel Craft.

Those who think that manufactured housing can’t be change are right, and wrong.  They forget that 20 years ago, it was Fleetwood and Champion who competed for being number one and two.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

While the industry is advancing, third generation professional – millennial Tom Fath – has said is manufactured housing is in decay and under assault.  He’s growing, and he’s right.

PEP-P.E.P.-Protect-Educate-Promote-mhassociationmantra-postedmastheadblog-MHProNews

The MH Alliance was started to advance the MHLivingNews, MHProNews and related efforts, It works for those who actively participate. It only needs to be scaled by more forward looking, goal and solution oriented industry professionals and companies.

The MH Alliance – P.E.P. The ADL and NAACP of Manufactured Housing

My father was a philosopher. He taught us kids that you can’t give what you don’t have. MHI can’t give what it doesn’t have.

For whatever reason MHI has not defended the industry nor itself.

That’s a hard to dispute fact, but we’ll call it an allegation, while we challenge them to debate in public and prove me wrong.

The industry must do what the ADL and NAACP did for their respective groups.

Tye quote

Now is the Time for All Good People to Come to the Aid of their Country.

Now is the Time for All Good People to Come to the Aid of their Business and Industry.

If not now, while the industry is somewhat recovering, when? If not now, when the nation is facing perhaps the greatest affordable housing crisis, when?

Summary

Doing and fighting for what’s right is profitable. But regardless, it is always the right thing to do what’s right.

MHLivingNews and MHProNews are prepared to support intelligent efforts to supplant what MHI does.

Why not let the big companies keep their big boys club?

Why not let there be an association that works on behalf of everyone else?

Feedback on this is welcome.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Fisking, Analysis, News, and MH Industry Commentary.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachMHProNewsMHLivingNews5StateConventionMastheadBlogMHProNews

Click on the graphic above to learn more about the rapidly approaching 5 State event.

L. A. “Tony” Kovach is the managing member of  LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC.  The Mastheadblog represents that editorial perspective, and may or may not represent the views of sponsors or others.

MHProNews is open to a diversity of professional viewpoints.  We routinely seek, get, and publish feedback from industry professionals that represents a range of diverse views and backgrounds.

MHI is once more invited to publicly debate via video, available both live and for later playback, their track record on protecting and promoting the manufactured home industry.

Because MHI directly and through surrogates has postured legal action and other similar threats, we are going to use the word alleged for the above, and encourage thoughtful readers to dig into the facts for themselves.  “We Provide, You Decide.” ©