Post-Charlottesville, CfA’s Hunts Evidence of Racism, S
MHProNews was alone in Manufactured Housing independent professional’s trade media in reporting last year that four Democratic leaders – including Maxine Waters and current DNC Vice-Chairman Keith Ellison – had asked for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate discrimination charges against minorities.
Then in May 2018, the Seattle Times further reported that federal investigations were ongoing. MHProNews had independent confirmation of other federal investigations of Clayton Homes and their affiliates.
More recently, Tennessee-based news media spotlighted the ongoing charges, which Clayton Homes formally denied.
In their statement to WATE 6 On Your Side, Clayton said in a written statement:
“Over its 60 year history, Clayton Homes has built a culture of compliance and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind in its interactions with customers. We value working with federal and state agencies to improve processes and ensure all regulatory requirements are met and our customers are protected and treated fairly. Last year, our lenders were the subject of more than 40 routine agency examinations resulting in no fines.”
That last part may be true. But it logically begs the question, what about the cases that sparked the investigations against Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders to begin with? Isn’t Clayton’s answer at least a partial dodge?
Warren’s and Charlie’s Statements on Clayton
Warren Buffett is the well-known Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Clayton and their manufactured housing lending units. Buffet has defended Clayton’s lending practices, saying loan rates have more to do with credit scores, income, job history, and whether the customer owns land, not on their race.
“Does that mean that every single transaction gets handled perfectly? No,” Buffett said in an interview with CNBC in 2016. Nor did Buffett address internal documents from Clayton referenced by The Seattle Times report that pressured Clayton managers into pushing borrowers into higher cost loans than they may have otherwise qualified for, see the graphic below.
As MHProNews has also previously reported, CNN in an interview with Vice Chairman Charlie Munger reported Munger making a similar admission. Munger said that someone, somewhere had no doubt likely done something wrong.
Put differently, while denying the notion, aren’t both Buffett and Munger admitting that certain practices were wrong? Don’t Buffett and Munger thus belie Clayton’s denial?
A former Clayton sales employee has described certain “tactics” that he felt were inappropriate, high pressure, and deceptive. That should be part of a planned upcoming ‘Inside Clayton’ exclusive report on MHProNews.
Related to these reports is a new allegation that has surfaced from within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff and members, which will also be explored in a planned upcoming report.
Suffice it to say for now, that Jim Clayton’s support of a high-profile Democrat – in opposition to a historic supporter of MHI requested issues in Washington, D.C. – has troubled some in manufactured housing industry circles.
Jim is the founder of Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank. Where is that loyalty that the Clayton organization speaks about, with respect to Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN-R)? Why are they supporting a man when they could a loyal woman, in the #MeToo era? See that under related reports, further below the byline.
Why is Clayton joining Buffett, George Soros, and other deep pocket Democratic billionaires in opposing the Trump Administration agenda of more jobs, higher incomes, lower taxes, and fewer job-and-business killing regulations?
ICYMI or need a refresher, see the related reports, further below.
Then ask yourself too, why is no one else in manufactured housing trade media covering these controversial topics, that arguably impact the public image of the industry, save MHProNews? Then look at who is sponsoring those others, and ask yourself if Clayton and MHI ad money is buying the silence of certain MH bloggers, SECO, and MH trade publishers?
Note that Clayton and MHI were previously given an opportunity to respond to these issues, and each declined comment. If they do so later, we can update readers. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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