Maine Exec Asks Regulators to Understand MH Issues

Tinamarie Smith, president of the Manufactured Housing Association of Maine shared a letter with she wrote in preparation for a meeting January 12th with Senator Olympia Snowe and Professor Elizabeth Warren, who is tasked with establishing the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and will have authority to regulate and enforce consumer finance laws, review financial institutions’ business practices, and promote openness and clarity for consumers in financial matters. At the meeting, Smith outlined the current plight of the industry and asked that regulators understand the unique product and its role in providing affordable housing. “We urge you to hire the staff at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection that will ultimately regulate us that are knowledgeable in our product and its inherent issues and assets,” Smith wrote. “We now face a dire lack of available credit within the manufactured housing market, with provisions from the Dodd-Frank Act that will actually increase the costs of low and moderate income families who rely on manufactured housing as an affordable housing option—sometimes the only homeownership option available will now not exist.” Smith says Senator Snowe was helpful in arranging the meeting and made it a point to provide time to voice manufactured housing issues. “She specifically addressed me and asked me questions about the paper that I had handed to her and I think it went very well,” Smith says. Some 40 representatives of the business community in Maine attended the meeting. The CFPB is slated to officially begin its enforcement and oversight role on July 21, 2011.
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