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Evidence of Epic Corruption-MHI & ‘Big Boy Members,’ HUD, FHFA – Insider News Tip Includes Document Drops

EvidenceEpicCorruptoinMHI-HUD-FHFA-NewsTipIncludesDocumentDropsManufacturedHomeProNews

ItIsEasierToFoolPeopleThanToConvinceThemThatTheyHaveBeenFooledMarkTwainSamuelClemensQuoteMastheadMHProNews

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If you skim this you’ll likely miss it.

 

Epic is a word that’s historic by implication.

On a deep dive article, make sure you have some time because Matthew Kelly and Warren Buffett have this in common. One must read for depth of understanding.

Corruption, as our Daily Business News reports on MHProNews recently reminded readers, includes decades of examples from both major parties.

 

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https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/new-documents-revealing-layers-of-manufactured-home-industry-organizational-and-public-officials-corruption-spotlight-on-wells-fargo/

 

When someone or some organization is caught in a serious lie or malfeasance publicly, they have a few options. Among those are the following.

  • Come clean, which takes courage and humility.
  • Double down on the lie, perhaps trying to point towards other’s purported or actual misdeeds as part of the liar’s cover for spinning the truth.
  • Some say that’s duck, dodge, detract, distract or defame.
  • Use the old ‘Razzle Dazzle.’
  • Possible combinations of the above.

In trying to posture and Razzle Dazzle their way beyond years of ever-more focused revelations by MHProNews and our Manufactured Home Living News sister-site, Berkshire Hathaway and ‘big boy’ brands backed Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has arguably developed a stratagem that includes the use of the last few bullets above. Specifically, they enjoy touting photo and video opportunities and Razzle Dazzle to counter the evidence of their purported failures, illegalities and misdeeds.

 

 

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https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/national-criminal-justice-reference-service-ncjrs-razzle-dazzle-manufactured-housing-institute-analyzing-the-latest/

 

 

Note that this razzle dazzle, photo and video op method doesn’t address credible allegations at all. They may enhance their ‘razzle dazzle’ by having others in the industry echo what they say. But that too fails the test of addressing the foundational allegations directly.

There is a widely acknowledge affordable housing crisis. Manufactured homes as an industry is underperforming during this period. Those are facts. Why is the most proven form of affordable housing in America underperforming? That’s the issue to be addressed or answered.

 

ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Inexplicable Oddities?

For Example. There are specific laws that have been on the federal books for years that exist specifically to benefit access of lower and moderate income Americans to be able to access affordable housing. In days gone by, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) once used to periodically work with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) to move legislation or to foster implementation of existing legislation.

Who says there used to be cooperation between those two trade bodies? MHI. Where’s the evidence?

Fort Worth, Texas this September 16-18 manufactured home sale

Thanks to a fresh document drop from an insider’s tip yesterday, one of several examples of a trove of fresh-to-us documents are shown further below. That will document the point above as well as others.

For the sake of newcomers, investigators, advocates, public officials and others, we’ll walk through this systematically, step-by-step, so the nature of the revelation is clear.

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For those interested in affordable housing in general and manufactured homes role in housing, the x2 weekly email is the easiest way to keep up with our headlines. Sign ups outpace unsubscribes by some 20 to 1 in recent weeks. New subscriptions are available in seconds at this link here.

Like any case or a Lego house, it has to be built one building block at a time.

As a planning/programing note, it is our intent to periodically feature elements of one or two documents in planned upcoming reports. As always, MHProNews’ parent firm encourages ‘white hats’ working in purported black hat organizations that want to provide news tips to use non-company or non-organizational emails and their own – not an organizational cell phones – when sending or communicating information.

 

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We recommend that anonymous news tips DO NOT use company, nonprofit or organizational emails or cell phones. To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP or COMMENTS in the subject line.

 

There’s an widely understood affordable housing crisis. Perhaps the most proven resource – federally regulated HUD Code manufactured homes are being underutilized. Why? Who benefits? Why aren’t Berkshire brands, Clayton Homes and MHI able to seriously move the needle? Is that by accident? Ineptitude? Design?

Let’s look.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews
Each photo is of a modern manufactured home, which can be 2400 sq ft or more in size, 1 or 2 levels, set over a basement, or can be as modest as 320 sq ft. These homes are all built to federal construction and safety standards that went into effect on June 15, 1976, administered by HUD, and are thus known as “HUD Code Manufactured Homes.”

 

Understanding the Epic Nature of this Corruption

If someone stole the Mona Lisa and another person saw stolen artwork in a private residence, office or image, it may or may not at first be an apparent crime.

  • First, the potential witness who see that painting would have to understand the value of the artwork.
  • Next, they’d have to know that it had been stolen.
  • Absent those two elements, the crime might be visible yet could go unnoticed for years.

By analogy, someone would have to understand that there are federal laws that have been enacted over a decade or nearly two decades ago that have gone under-enforced or have been twisted so badly as to be unrecognized.

How is that possible?

That question is one of the steady themes here. Arguably, MHI recently has been forced to semi-publicly agree that one of those laws were going underenforced.  But they only did so to their members in emails not found on their website. Publicly, they still waffle in a variety of ways that will be revealed in this report and analysis.

The fact that there is any vacillation about implementing good existing laws by MHI or others working with them begs a host of questions about their purported corruption by brands associated with Berkshire Hathaway and other ‘big boy’ companies.

One specific example is found detailed in the 5 page PowerPoint this writer delivered during the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) virtual listening session on 12.11.2019. See those 5 pages via the link here.

But then see the report linked via the text-image box below to grasp that PowerPoint in context. That report points to how key individuals at the FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac – along with specific individuals and companies involved with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – are arguably involved to various degrees in a collusion to twist, delay, and deflect the law in a manner that has cost millions of Americans billions and billions of dollars and their otherwise rightful part of the American Dream.

 

 

Berkshire Brand Manufactured Housing News Tip; Collusion-Coverup by FHFA-GSEs Revealed?!

” I too believe in the [manufactured home] industry and what it can be. But it’s being choked out by one business trying to have a monopoly on it.” That was from a source based in the Knoxville metro. Along with it came several pieces of information that confirmed prior concerns, but also opened new avenues for investigation.

 

Indeed, if you do the math from the 12.2.2019 Washington D.C. listening session speakers Antoine Thompson, Executive Director of NAREB and Maurice Jourdain Earl of ComplianceTech, you see that the economic impact on minorities is some $2.1 trillion dollars collectively. That would make Bernie Madoff’s multiple-billion dollar scheme crime seem like petty change by comparison.

 

FHFA-GSEsHighCostMinoritiesAllAmericansDueAssertedFailureFollowDutyToServeAffordableHousingExistingFederalLawsManufacturedHomeMast
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/fhfa-gses-high-cost-to-minorities-all-americans-due-to-asserted-failures-to-follow-duty-to-serve-affordable-housing-existing-federal-laws/

 

 

Bipartisan or Nonpartisan Courage Needed

When the nature, dollars involved and depth of the issues being discussed at the D.C. FHFA Listening Session was mentioned in conversation, I was asked Sunday if my life was in danger. It was an astute and sincere question from a friend who is quite familiar with manufactured housing.

We’ve indeed received several anonymous threats by mail, which federal officials were made aware of afterward. Because of what some of those anonymous letters contained, the senders may have thought we would never reveal the contents – they are embarrassing. Not illegal, just embarrassing. It was a subtle form of blackmail, said one official.

That federal official also said that the nature of the subtle threats, the variety of insights sent by mail made it clear that whomever sent it were researching my life in depth. The fact that illicit mail came from multiple parts of the U.S. also said something.

There was also a phone call from someone I personally know after the specific documents sent in the package below arrived. Perhaps it was a well intended note of concern. Perhaps it was a direct threat, as the individual has clear ties to MHI. Investigators need to question him either way. Why? Because that well placed person specifically said several times, ‘you need to consider that mailed package a death threat.’

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No return address. But there were clues as to who sent it.

There have been other various warnings from friends, foes and strangers. Our response has been to take basic precautions, including publicly acknowledging the various threats.

There have been several contacts by attorneys and others who have clear ties to MHI. There have been two so far this month. We look at what the attorneys have to say.  It is typically a threat of what will happen if we don’t remove this or that article or portion of an article. We believe we are well within the law and our constitutionally protected rights. We politely tell those lawyers with ties to MHI to go fly a kite and then explain why we think they are wrong. So far, that’s worked. No legal action yet. But in America, anyone can at least launch a suit for most any reason. Time will tell if they decide to take it to the next level. If they do, they’ve already been told what will come next.

If Google whistleblowers or former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani – among others – think taking safeguards are prudent moves, similar steps plus prayer are what we do too.

That’s not said for any reason other than to state reality and the gravity and scope of the matters being described. People do and say odd things when billions of dollars are involved. When millions of people could be upset if they grasp what is occurring at their expense, that too would cause some ‘black hats’ possible angst.

 

Limited Numbers of Leaders

The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies can be traced back to an arguably small group of specific leaders. Those ring-leaders issue instructions that others follow. It can all look innocent enough on the surface. Those carrying out the instructions may think nothing of it.

That’s part of the devious brilliance of their plan.

  • It is hiding in plain sight.
  • It is easier to do than one might think.
  • A few can pull the strings while others dance, without question.

For example. The president and CEO of MHI is/will be mere figure head(s), a water carrier for the instructions of the MHI Executive Committee. When the history of the MHI Executive Committee’s leaders are traced back, you have to return to the brief leadership of Don Glisson, Jr. from Triad Financial Services – now part of publicly traded ECN – in order to find a chairman without a personal cloud and/or some scandal(s) that involve the MHI chair’s company.

Two examples illustrate the allegation.

 

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee
Outsiders looking in may not fully grasp the bold and nuanced issues that impact the industry, and thus publicly traded firms too. Few if any MHI members are arguably giving the proper disclosures to their current or potential shareholders.

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If outgoing President and CEO Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison hadn’t jumped every time the MHI chair or a big boy called, and had he crossed them instead of obeyed them, MHI’s staff leader could have swiftly found himself at the curb with his own threatening letters reminding him to stay silent.

Ditto for Lesli Gooch, Ph.D., EVP and incoming MHI CEO, or Mark Bowersox, SVP and incoming president. MHI staff sign NDAs – nondisclosure agreements. They toe the line or they could face consequences; that’s the word heard.

Once the organizational realities at MHI begin to emerge, and any illusion that MHI is some saintly organization melts, then the mind opens to the possibilities that yes, more serious corruption could be involved.

This writer was on the inside of MHI for some 7 years. I was a regular at MHI meetings. I was elected by my peers to sit on the Suppliers Division board of directors. I was praised by elected and staff leaders. All of the held until the point certain questions I asked – initially politely and sincerely put to them from me during meeting – were being answered in an entirely unsatisfying manner. To evidence a sample of praise, one of many possibilities is below.

 

TimWilliamsToRephraseMHITonyBothCorrectThereisNoDaylight21stMortgageCorpMHIChairmmanufacturedHousingProNews

 

  • Repeating questions and concerns in our publications brought messages from the likes of Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer and Tim Williams.
  • Before, during and later – there were letters or messages from MHI staff or outside attorneys. All of that is a matter of record.
  • The Boys in the Band better hope my email doesn’t get hacked, because it’s a treasure trove of evidence for someone in law enforcement that understands the nuances of our industry.

Frankly, as I’ve admitted before, I was slow on the uptake. It was obvious that much was wrong.  But they had an excuse that seemed plausible – if intellectually errant – for every question I or others asked. Maybe it was too big or too subtle?

Even as I questioned them, I periodically defended MHI publicly, but would make suggestions and more to leadership privately, in articles or during meetings. It is not my way to begin with allegations. People are deemed innocent until proven guilty is the legal standard in America. I agree with that standard and other God-given Constitutional protected safeguards.

That said, one must grasp the nature of a crime(s) or illicit action(s) in order to even begin an allegation of possible wrongdoing. Frankly, I think the Boys in the Band understood me before I understood myself. They played me for a time, that I see and admit in hindsight.

 

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This presentation was repeated by Bob Stovall and Tony Kovach at other events.

 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Once the light bulb went off, there was more and more to see in a new light.

That video by Jennison above occurred a few months after the short video clip below. The manufactured home industry at that time was barely recovering from the worst downturn in the industry’s history. Jennison during a friendly interview made the incredible statement on camera that the industry should recover slowly. What? Thousands of businesses had been lost in the downturn. Others were still struggling. Jennison suggested on camera that they should want to recover slowly?

 

 

It was one of several things that made no sense. Another that made no sense to me that MHI weren’t pushing hard for ‘enhanced preemption.’ I’d also ask about possible avenues of financing options, or propose some myself. That merits a separate report.

That said, I took that video statement Jennison made immediately above up the food chain to the MHI president and CEO’s boss. That boss – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage Corp was the MHI chair at the time – said he’d take care of it.

Indeed, in one sense, Williams did.

At the very next big industry event, Jennison publicly pulled a 180 – also on camera – that the manufactured home industry could achieve 500,000 new manufactured home shipments. Okay, great. From under 100,000 units to half-a-million. We concur with the goal and potential. But where was the MHI plan to achieve that goal?

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Assurance made while addressing attendees of prior Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. Recorded on video by MHProNews. ” The key question, then, for the industry, its representatives and its consumers, is why is the HUD Code industry – both over the longer-term and currently – not doing better?

 

First Concerns, Later Documentary Evidence – A Big Shoe Drops

At first, before the true nature of the scheme was discovered, there are many possibilities why someone or some group could be doing or saying things in seemingly odd ways.

But once the documentary evidence of wrongdoing began to be placed in my hands, then we had more than questions.

The report linked below is viewed by some who’ve read it, including attorneys and public officials, as ‘smoking gun’ evidence of alleged antitrust and other possible legal violation(s). Documents from 21st Mortgage Corporation, statements by Warren Buffett to Berkshire shareholders, and a video interview by a Berkshire-friendly fellow name Robert Miles – if carefully read and viewed by a white collar crimes or business expert – are allegedly evidence of antitrust violations, that arguably includes, but is not limited to, evidence of RICO, deceptive trade practices and other violations of law and/or regulations.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews
Smoking Gun?!? In a series of direct quotes from Warren Buffett in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, a Berkshire brand in MH Financing, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

When asked to comment on, rebut, discuss or debate those concerns, we repeatedly get crickets from Knoxville and Arlington. We weren’t the only ones in media raising concerns about Clayton and their lending. Our concerns were similar but different – more precise.

But it was other actions and inactions that drew my concerns prior to those documents from 21st Mortgage Corporation being delivered to us as news tips. The powers that be no doubt know it. Based upon numerous ‘over the target’ reactions, over the last few years, their efforts to purportedly threaten, intimidation tactics, attacks on our business interests and more in hindsight will only compound their exposure.

Not only may some within their orbit talk. There are those within MHI who are already expressing themselves, in words, documents and deeds. The powers that be in MHVille know it, we do too.

 

The Madoff Analogy – No One is Above the Law

We began this unexpected chapter in our professional career of blowing the whistle as our understanding grew. So did related challenges.

  • One, we are accusing the third or fourth richest man in the world – one Warren Buffett, and his business and nonprofit interests – in possible crimes and violations of various state and federal laws. That’s not easy for investigators to swallow, even if they believe you and the evidence you present.
  • Two, even if you find women or men with the chutzpah to say, “no one is above the law,” those public officials proceed with caution. They take time. They have other cases they are working. Meanwhile, allegedly corrupt behavior continues. As another analogy, any number of celebrities in recent years that have fallen from grace at first ‘got away with’ purported misdeeds for years.
  • But three, there is the question. How do you paint the picture for busy people of what’s occurred and ongoing in affordable housing in a manner that an outsider looking in can grasp? After all, manufactured housing is misunderstood to begin with. The reputation of the industry is less than ideal. All of that makes telling this story more challenging.

 

It wasn’t until we were reminded of the clue that Harry Markapolis described in the docu-drama Chasing Madoff – that a similar analogy finally hit us recently.

 

 

Here is the two-part analogy.

In Chasing Madoff, Markapolis says when he saw the straight lines on Bernie Madoff’s claims of investment performance, he knew in minutes on an instinctive basis that something was wrong. The graphic we created below illustrates that point.

 

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What is the similar analogy with manufactured housing? What’s something so clear that it will make an intelligent person say, ‘hey, you’re right. That is odd.’

There are decades of research that proves that typically concerns about manufactured housing are mistaken. This pull quote from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Certified Business Economist (CBE) Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton sets the stage.

 

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuring-575x279
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/realtor-university-the-market-for-manufactured-homes-research-by-scholastica-cororaton-certified-business-economist-highlights/

 

Then this from the reported first doctoral dissertation involving manufactured housing in years. Bear in mind that dissertations are peer reviewed and must meet very strictly defined standards.

 

EvidenceDisprovedMisconceptionStereptypesContinuedInfluenceLocalGovernmentsRestrictionsQuoteLisaTylerPhDExamingCommunityAttitudesManufacturedHousingMHProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/ultimate-reporters-researchers-affordable-housing-advocates-or-shoppers-3rd-party-research-reports-on-mobile-homes-manufactured-homes-and-modular-housing/

 

First, when manufactured housing is struggling to recover, why are the authors of such useful comments not on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) website?

 

ScholasticaGayCororatonLisaTylerManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIwebsiteSearchMHProNews

 

Isn’t the norm in marketing to buttress your claims with third-party testimonials whenever you can? Aren’t those testimonials even more useful when you had little or nothing to do with those findings?

It’s therefore logically inexplicable that such evidence be missing from MHI’s website…

unless the powers that be – for some reason – wanted it to be so. Recall, MHI staff carries out the directions of the MHI Executive Committee.

Then there’s this second part of what should be an aha, light bulb moment.

When Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought into manufactured housing, the industry had reportedly already hit bottom. Who said? Consider the report summaries linked below.

JenniferReingoldQuestionedBerkshireClaytonDealMHIGSEsRockedByTipDocumentDropPlusManufacturedHomeInvestingStockUpdatesMHProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/jennifer-reingold-questioned-berkshire-clayton-deal-mhi-gses-rocked-by-tip-document-drop-plus-manufactured-home-investing-stock-updates/

 

So, per Fast Company or others, manufactured housing had bottomed out. It was poised to recover. That’s a Warren Buffett dream, based upon his own mantras.

WarrenBuffettAZQuoteCriticalFactorDetermineValuePayFairBargainPriceMHProNews
By keeping the market underperforming, it de facto causes all business in it to be undervalued. Just luck, or is it part of the Buffett ‘Castle and Moat’ strategic plan to create a slowly developing monopoly?

 

Here’s the graphic of new manufactured housing shipments from before Buffett-Berkshire’s buy-out of Clayton Homes, and since.

 

BloombergShipmentsgraphicBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesManufacturedHomesDownYearOverYear2019vs2018
Since Buffett bought Clayton and other pieces of the manufactured housing industry, the industry is actually selling fewer new homes today than in 2003. How is that possible during an affordable housing crisis? Given Buffett’s assets, the BH Media Group, and over $128 billion in the liquid assets, doesn’t it seem logical that manufactured housing is underperforming because that is what Buffett wants at this time?

 

Now stop and think.

  • The nation has an unquenchable thirst for affordable housing.
  • The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 had just become federal law.
  • That law includes so many useful consumer safeguards, it’s nothing short of impressive.
  • Among the provisions of the MHIA law beyond installation standards, code updates, third-party inspectors and the dispute resolution program that is vastly superior to what a conventional housing buyer can expect is a provision that are two simple words.
  • Those words are federal “enhanced preemption.”

Those two words are like legal gold for affordable housing for anyone who grasps their meaning in an affordable housing crisis.

MHI and the Manufactured Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) worked together with a coalition of states to pass the MHIA and federal enhanced preemption of manufactured housing into law.

Producers routinely understand the meaning of the law. Longer term state association directors do too.

 

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We recently got Bill Matchneer, J.D. to say the following on the record. Recall that Matchneer headed up HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP). It was his job to know.

 

TermEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingImprovementAct2000WilliamBillMatchneerPhotoFormerHUDOfficeManufacturedHousingProgramsMasthead

 

But to grasp the meaning and true value the following from Mark Weiss, J.D.

 

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Rephrased,

  • goodbye NIMBY.
  • Hello placement of manufactured homes in numbers of potential residential areas, not just rural ones.

NIMBYnotInMyBackYard

 

  • If you have a factory that builds to the HUD Code plus have retail distribution, you’d have a legal license to print money. Why? Because affordable housing is so necessary.
  • Unlike public housing programs, the manufactured housing program costs HUD comparative chicken feed. A recent inside the beltway type said it was something like $12 million in 2018’s budget out of a total budget of about $44 billion dollars.

 

The Rub?

Anytime you have something new emerging, there is pushback from the old. Before going deeper, consider this from Richard Genz, in third party research for the Fannie Mae Foundation.

 

RichardGenzAffordableHousingConsultantPullQuotesFannieMaeFoundationReportManufacturedHousingManufacturedHomeProNews422x768

 

Genz wasn’t alone. Eric Belsky, currently with the Federal Reserve, was with Harvard’s prestigious Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) when he said the following.

 

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Now, those two outside expert views are just the sort of thing that Buffett-the-reader might be interested in before he bought bankrupt Oakwood and then Clayton Homes in 2003. Kevin Clayton brags in that softball interview found near the end of the report linked here that “Warren” keeps up with most industries. Let’s take that at face value.

So,

  • America is perennially in need of affordable housing.
  • Congress just passed the MHIA of 2000.
  • Enhanced preemption is the law.
  • Buffett-led Berkshire already owns Oakwood.
  • Then he buys Clayton after what several sources including Kevin Clayton said in that video interview was an ugly legal battle.

Of course, Buffett wanted Clayton Homes.

With Buffett-led Berkshire buying Clayton, Berkshire already had Oakwood, and had the cash to do lending and carry loans in portfolio made by lenders like 21st Mortgage Corporation and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), it’s potentially a license to print money.

So then why did the industry continue its downward slide after a brief bump up from FEMA shipments post Hurricane Katrina?

 

ManufacturedHomeShipmentsProductionSkylineChampionManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHomeProNewsMast643x768

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Manufactured home shipments are DOWN year over year in 2019 vs. 2018. Is a clear thinker truly to believe that during an affordable housing crisis, that Berkshire and Clayton don’t have the ability to grow the market if they wanted to do so? That they couldn’t supply what MHI needed to do the same if that was their wish? The truth is hiding in plain sight.

For a savvy person like Buffett, that’s a $64 billion a year question possible from just Manufactured Housing. No exaggeration. For those who do the math, that’s about 8 times more than the industry is currently doing. How many industries can you think of that have an 800 percent upside potential that’s legal? Especially in an established field for a basic necessity, like housing?

It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, hiding in plain sight.

So, if you think long-term – like Buffett says he does – rather than short-term, which Legacy Housing’s Curt Hodgson says much of the industry does, what do you do?

 

CurtHodgsonPhotoLegacyHousingLEGHQuoteIndustryFullPeopleDontThinkVeryFarOutLegacyViewAddressConcernsLimitingManufacuturedHousingEffectiveAffordableHousingMHLivingNews

 

If you have an industry that is already misunderstood by much of the population, and has gone through a scandalous meltdown in the eyes of Wall Street, what do you do if you are Buffett-led Berkshire?

You could buy into and grow the industry, right? After all, Kevin Clayton brags about “Warren” telling him that there is ‘plenty of money’ to do whatever they want in the video near the end of the report on the page linked here.

But that’s not what happened. New manufactured home shipments declined after Katrina. With Kevin’s supposed savvy, and Buffett-led Berkshire’s billions, how is it possible that the industry overall witnessed a decline in new manufactured home shipments?

That’s where the savage brilliance of Buffett’s Castle and Moat come into play.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryAnalysisMHProNews-519x768
This is a key to understanding they dynamics of MHVille. Buffett’s ‘strategic moat’ or ‘Castle and Moat’ principle is arguably designed to create a slow motion monopoly that may escape the notice of regulators by appearing on the surface to be market forces at work. So there are efforts at promotion, but they are routinely overshadowed by more successful efforts to undermine the industry’s image.
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https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/zillow-home-buyer-trends-compared-conventional-townhouse-mobile-or-manufactured-homes-condos-and-duplexes/

Never forget that even though Buffett famously said ‘never lose money,’ Kevin Clayton very specifically said that it would be ‘okay with Warren if he ‘lost money for 5 years,’ as long as Clayton Homes would ‘deepen and widen their Moat.’ That, said Kevin in the video linked in the next paragraph, is part of the Buffett way.

You simply can’t understand what’s occurred in manufactured housing without grasping the arguably illegal scheme to rig the market in broad daylight that is described in detail with graphics, key documents and charts at this link here.

But there’s more.

To decode Kevin Clayton, you have to keep in mind that some of what he says – ala Buffett himself – is true. Some of what Kevin says – ala Buffett – is arguably a head fake. It may be a mix of truth mixed with pretty lies.

The art of spin or paltering is to say something that on the surface appears to be true. But if you dig deeper, you begin to grasp that what looked plausible in fact was a mixture of the true and the false. We allege that’s routinely the case with Buffett, Berkshire, Clayton and MHI.

 

Paltering, Manufactured Homes, CrossModTM Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute, Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Home Lenders, DTS, and You

There are many forms of manipulative and deceptive techniques being used in the world today. One of these is paltering. Paltering is ” an active form of deception that involves the use of truthful statements to convey a mistaken impression” (Rogers, Zeckhauser, Gino, Norton, & Schweitzer, 2016) said an article entitled ” To Deceive Using Truthful Statements” published on Dec 18, 2016 in Workplace Psychology.

 

Think for a moment. Buffett’s Berkshire could have bought ALL of the production in manufactured housing in 2003. Why didn’t he?

Two words. Antitrust laws.

So, what did Buffett do instead?

Berkshire bought two big chunks – bankrupt Oakwood and faltering Clayton Homes – both per sources at a bargain. Then, instead of doing what Harvard’s Eric Belsky predicted would occur – that manufactured housing would surpass conventional housing in new construction starts by 2010, what he and key allies arguably did instead was drive the industry down through seemingly plausible ‘market circumstances.’

Unless you knew the industry very well, and were paying attention to it full time, at a glance, what was occurring in MHVille looked believable. Let’s rephrase that last point. By allowing/driving the industry into decline through a variety of machinations, Berkshire and a few larger or favored firms can consolidate the industry at a discount. Doing this in a way that looks ‘natural’ – as opposed to these events occurring through market manipulation – could readily escape scrutiny. To illustrate the point, as a multi-decade expert in the industry, I missed this for years.  If I and others in the industry missed it, why wouldn’t federal officials?

So, here are the Harry Markopolos style twin reveals that something is terribly wrong in manufactured housing that signals possible illegalities of epic proportions.

 

  • You have an industry that is misunderstood by millions but is in fact far better than the vast majority of people realize. That’s not hot air, that’s based upon credible third party research. There is over twenty years of such studies found as downloads in the report linked below.

 

UltimateReportersResearchersAffordableHousingAdvocatesShoppers3’rdPartyResearchReportsMobileHomesManufacturedHomesModularHousingMHLivingNews
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/ultimate-reporters-researchers-affordable-housing-advocates-or-shoppers-3rd-party-research-reports-on-mobile-homes-manufactured-homes-and-modular-housing/

 

  • But add to that the following. Buffett might have taken the manufactured home industry up, but never – due to antitrust laws – be able to get as much of the pie as he’d like. Instead – thinking long term – you have your Clayton unit manager and associated lenders work to take the industry DOWN. Then, slowly over time, you pick up the pieces at a discount while you increase your market share.

Outrageous? That claim is demonstrably what occurred statistically.

 

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

 

That happens to fits the Buffett “Castle and Moat” mantra, would tend to avoid antitrust laws and other possible scrutiny.

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e
By choking off other lending in direct and indirect fashion, Clayton has been able to build a strategic moat that arguably strikes fear into thousands in the industry. See the details and evidence, which Clayton has not disputed, linked here.

 

But what’s truly evil genius, in this purported scheme, are the following.

Listen to what Clayton said in the annotated version of the video interview with care. We changed no words, while adding hints and notes as to the implicit meaning. Knowing that some is straight up true, others are pretty words arguably designed to deceive, here are two keys that must be grasped.

 

 

  1. You weaponize nonprofits for your benefit. That’s not how Kevin describes it but notice the enthusiasm of Clayton as he tells interviewer Robert P. Miles about what he learned from Buffett about nonprofits. Hold Kevin’s enthusiasm in mind. Then ponder the possibility of using nonprofits as a tool for creating an atmosphere useful for fueling your plans to conquer manufactured housing without having to pay full price or face the wrath of the FTC and DOJ for antitrust or other violations.
  2. You weaponize nonprofits on both sides of issues that matter to manufactured housing. For example, progressive and activist nonprofits are used oppose certain business practices, while you have another nonprofit promote the opposite. Let the clash of those forces create media storms that periodically fuel the black eye of the industry.

 

Is that pure fantasy? Some conspiracy theory? Hardly. There’s solid evidence for it. Look at the report linked below.

 

ProsperityNowBuffettBerkshireNonprofitsSustainJohnOliversMobileHomesVideoInTheirReportsManufacturedHomeProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/prosperity-now-nonprofits-sustain-john-olivers-mobile-homes-video-in-their-reports/

 

As with this entire report, keep in mind that if you skim it, you’ll miss important elements. Buffett is arguably counting on you or others skimming this. He is counting on you caring nothing about history too.

 

InBusinessWorldTheRearViewMirrorIsALwaysClearerThantheWindshieldWarrenBuffettVASpapinquoteManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

But Buffett himself is a big believer in history. He just may not call it history, rather, he may utilize a euphuism like the rear view mirror.

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteThereIsClassWarfareAllRightButItsMyClassTheRichClassThatsMakingWarWereWinningManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

What Buffett and his minions didn’t count on was stalwarts like MHARR, that wouldn’t sell out or be merged to MHI, though they tried.

So instead, they are trying to undermine MHARR by buying out, forcing into bankruptcy, or otherwise having an allied enterprise such as Cavco Industries acquire pieces of MHARR’s membership.

 

CavcoAcquisitionsManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHomeProNews1024x680
Not only has Clayton Homes grown steadily during this ‘choke off the lending’ and related ‘moat building’ campaign strategic deployments, but other ‘allied’ firms like Cavco Industries has grown significantly too. It should be noted that Cavco is under an SEC subpoena. There is not much word about the details, other than that Cavco was warned not to trade in another firm’s stock.

 

As last night’s report revealed, the Third Avenue ‘value fund’ is another key that unlocks the door of understanding manufactured housing’s dilemma today. So too is the fact that Joe Stegmayer is a former Clayton Homes division president.

 

JenniferReingoldQuestionedBerkshireClaytonDealMHIGSEsRockedByTipDocumentDropPlusManufacturedHomeInvestingStockUpdatesMHProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/jennifer-reingold-questioned-berkshire-clayton-deal-mhi-gses-rocked-by-tip-document-drop-plus-manufactured-home-investing-stock-updates/

 

 

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteMHProNews

 

Another thing that Buffett and company didn’t count on was encountering someone in manufactured housing that

  • loved business management,
  • loved the manufactured home industry,
  • believe in the industry,
  • and who also loved writing and history. Moi.
  • Someone who may not be a choir boy or boy scout, but who has on several occasions reported criminal activity to the appropriate authorities. Among the items in my collection of stuff virtual and digital is a letter from a three-letter federal agency thanking me for helping arrest and convict a corrupt state official, credit bureau staffer and a front man who was willing to ‘fix’ anyone’s credit illegally for a fee.
  • But there are other examples, past or more recent. At another three-letter federal agency, there is someone that used to have a significant role with respect to our industry that is no longer there. The Washington Post reported it one way. I’m not saying they are wrong, but they didn’t have the full story.

We do.

The point is that from a young age my parents taught us right and wrong. Credit them or faith in God. I don’t run around looking for corruption. But if something hits me across the head like a two-by-four, even I might see it and try to do something lawfully about it.

And as we strive day-by-day to expose the corruption that has allegedly undermined our industry from within, we look at the evidence and report it accordingly.

Some in high places jeer what we publish, I get that – it gives me no joy, but it is what it is. Others cheer what we publish, because we strive to back up claims with evidence, reason and the money trail. We apply logic and history. We cite sources, and if tips come in off the record, we protect those sources as others in media also strive to do.

Attorneys, investors – including Wall Street types – and some public officials are among those that have told us that ours is the narrative that makes the most sense for why the industry is performing as it has.

We’ve steadily changed our business and publishing model in order to fight this apparent corruption. We have published articles about wrongdoing in the industry’s news section of our website since the early years. To us, those were morality tales. Good news is to inspire what you should do – best practices. But bad news reflects a kind of ‘don’t do that behavior or you might end up with lawsuits or criminal charges,’ etc.

It took me time and the patient input of people in and out of MHI to understand that the industry’s leaders weren’t just missing self-evident opportunities. It was missing them on purpose and was in several cases fueling the bad news internally. That had to be proven to me. That’s why our LLC’s publications are willing to patiently prove it to others, because I too had to be convinced.

Let’s sum up again, before pressing ahead.

 

  • You have an industry that is misunderstood, manufactured housing.
  • You have laws on the federal law books that could make manufactured housing roar and could provide potentially millions of Americans who may never be able to buy a conventional house a federally regulated home of their own at about half-the-cost of conventional building.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltManufacturedHousingMHProNews
These facts would defy belief that the industry is doing so poorly. It can’t be an accident when the industry was doing so well for decades.

 

  • Picture you’re Warren Buffett and his allies or team members. You are patient. You think long term. As Kevin put it, you can afford to lose money so long as you deepen and widen your Moat. That means you can put your competitors out of business or slowly acquire them at discounted valuations.
  • As IBISWorld and the Atlantic both indirectly reported, following the ploy linked here, literally thousands of manufactured home retailers fail or sell out at a discounted price. The cause of that failure can be traced back to the facts reported here.
  • When those thousands of manufactured home retailers failed, numbers of which had been successful for years, several things occurred as a result. In no particular order of importance:
  1. Some independent factories supporting them either failed or sold out at a discounted valuation. There were producers that built good product that may have been in business for decades that failed as a result of the ploy detailed in the allegations linked here.
  2. When those independent retailers failed, tens of thousands of manufactured home land-lease communities had their historic business models upended. Many of those were independently owned. Those independently owned communities routinely had a fine reputation with their residents. But for years, they depended on independent retailers to fill their communities. With those so many of those retailers gone, those properties slowly started losing occupancy. Coupled with the liar loans that fueled the conventional housing mortgage/credit crisis, that occupancy loss continued.
  3. When those independently owned land-lease communities occasionally failed – or more often, sold out – those properties in recent years have been acquired by ‘consolidators’ or ‘portfolio operators.’ Some of them use tactics that are called predatory by lawmakers, media and residents.

 

HBOJohnOliverLastWeekTonightMobileHomesVideoManufacturedHomeCommunitiesFactCheckMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMastheadTonyKovach
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/hbos-john-oliver-on-last-week-tonight-mobile-homes-video-manufactured-home-communities-fact-check/

 

  • Even though MHI and their National Communities Council (NCC) postures a ‘code of ethical conduct,’ where is the evidence of that code being enforced in fact?
ImpactCommunitiesFrankRolfeDaveReynoldsPhotosTaugtMobileHomeULogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoNationalCommunitiesCouncilNCCmast
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/impact-communities-what-frank-rolfe-dave-reynolds-taught-beyond-mobile-home-u-manufactured-housing-institute-and-national-communities-council/

 

  • As affordable housing becomes more scarce, what happens? Why are we surprised that homelessness is rising? Be it Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco or some city nearer to you, the tales of tents and cardboard boxes popping up are growing.

 

Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com

In just over three weeks, this video below entitled “Seattle is Dying” by KOMO, a local ABC TV affiliate there, has broken 2.1 million views. It is an hour-long and compelling documentary that ends with hope based upon some promising solutions. But it first lays out one troubling fact and example after another.

 

The tales of vehicular homelessness are growing too.

 

Waking Up At Walmart, Homelessness in Canada and U.S., Car Living and Affordable Manufactured Housing Malaise

Public policies have consequences on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. MHProNews recently spoke with a reasonably well to do Canadian couple wintering in Florida. Among the points they shared was that the high cost of housing there was increasingly a problem, notably so in several cities. That problem has consequences.

 

  • The tragic irony is that laws meant to avoid such issues were passed a decade or more ago. The causes are known. The solutions were studied. They were passed into law by widely bipartisan margins. Those solutions included but are not limited to the Duty to Serve manufactured housing and other underserved markets by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs or Enterprises) of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Here’s what the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) website has to say about that issue.

 

DutyToServeImpactExaminationFHFAListeningSessionDec2WashDC2019ManufacturedHomeProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/fhfa-gses-high-cost-to-minorities-all-americans-due-to-asserted-failures-to-follow-duty-to-serve-affordable-housing-existing-federal-laws/

 

  • DTS was made law in 2008, as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA). Over a decade later, if you listened to those who addressed the recent FHFA-GSE “listening sessions” in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Washington D.C., or the final virtual one held on 12.11.2019, you’d know that there is some who speak well of the programs, while others say more need to be done, and still more who say that the process has been twisted beyond recognition, and is harming millions in the process.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/fhfa-gses-high-cost-to-minorities-all-americans-due-to-asserted-failures-to-follow-duty-to-serve-affordable-housing-existing-federal-laws/

 

  • This writer was invited to speak at the Washington and virtual listening sessions. My address to the virtual session is linked here as a 5 page PowerPoint download.
  • Don’t miss the related report linked below, because that outlines how corruption and coverups are purportedly being deployed.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/berkshire-brand-manufactured-housing-news-tip-collusion-coverup-by-fhfa-gses-revealed/

 

  • Among those we believe that there is solid evidence of purported corrupt, inept or otherwise ‘conflict of interest’ type behavior is Jim Gray at the FHFA. He’s in that photo with me at the top of this post. Let’s see why that claim is being asserted. To understand what could be malfeasance, let’s look at one of several possible examples of what the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at various federal agencies is supposed to do. From a federal OIG webpage, the following. BTW – the photo with Mr. Gray is an inside joke for our friends at MHI. They love photos with officials. What exactly does a photo prove, unless it is followed by some positive outcome?
  • But back to the OIG related concerns. Here’s what one federal website has to say.

 

Matters we [OIG] investigate include

  • employee misconduct
  • violations of federal laws or agency policy
  • ethics violations or conflicts of interest by agency officials
  • contract and procurement irregularities
  • theft and abuse of property
  • travel card or purchase card fraud
  • waste or mismanagement of funds or government resources
  • obstruction of agency operations, such as providing false information to regulators

 

Perhaps 5 (+/-) of those areas could purportedly apply to Mr. Gray. One or more federal officials have been notified. But that isn’t to imply that ONLY Mr. Gray at the FHFA is potentially guilty of such possible violations.

 

  • How is it possible that a decade after the DTS law is passed that it is still not being fully implemented? On its face, that’s absurd. The Trump Administration has often heard the words ‘enforce the law’ uttered by the 45th president personally or by Vice President Mike Pence. Law enforcement is an arena that they say on the campaign trail, “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” We’re waiting…

 

…will DTS be enforced during the Trump era? In fairness it wasn’t enforced properly during the Obama era. Our spotlight is nonpartisan. Our lens is that of facts and the evidence.

 

And the acid test is how that’s harmed tens of millions of Americans as the article linked here details and the PowerPoint linked here again outlines and links to other resources.

 

  • We’ve been meeting and contacting officials from both major parties, as the photos below reflects. To us this is not partisan. We hope that the Trump Administration does enforce the laws we’re describing on this page. But for those in the administration at whatever level that don’t follow the law, we believe that they should be held to account by the proper authorities. We don’t make allegations lightly, and while it may be coincidental that a prior complaint resulted in a key official’s removal, based on what those federal investigators said, it is as likely that it had an impact. Federal investigators can’t comment on employment related issues, but there are things said – or unsaid – that suggest what might have happened.

LATonyKovachDrMarkCalabriaFHFADirectorPhotoQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews642

 

A prima facie case could be made against Mr. Gray that he failed to do his duty as the law requires at FHFA. Before moving on from Jim Gray or others possible at the FHFA, let’s not forget that any misbehavior could have purportedly included official at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, MHI, and key MHI member companies. That said, next, let’s look next at HUD.

 

  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D., to his credit, has demonstrably done more to elevate the image of manufactured housing than anyone in that role in the 21st One need look no further than the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS2019) in early June of 2019 as an example. Before and since that event, he has periodically pointed to the importance and value of manufactured homes. The first video below tees up the scope of the problem of a lack of affordable housing and its root causes, in Dr. Carson’s own words.

 

 

 

 

The second video was produced by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). It features Secretary Carson as well as Commissioner Brian Montgomery, J.D. who is the Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Housing, also known as the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration. It also features several public officials, both elected and appointed.

 

Some of these officials may or may not know the ins and outs of the MHIA and its “enhanced preemption” provision. There is no known evidence at this time that Dr. Carson has any first hand knowledge, for example, of “enhanced preemption.” That said, he should be asked to testify about the matter.

By contrast, multiple sources with deep ties to HUD tell us that Brian Montgomery, by contrast, absolutely knows the MHIA 2000 and its enhanced preemption authority.

JimGrayFHFAPhotoWithLATonyKovachTamasTonyKovachCongAlGreenDeskManufacturedHOmeProNews

So too do other federal officials at HUD, such as Teresa Payne at HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP). The same kinds of prima facie case allegations of federal employee wrongdoing against Jim Gray apply to Mr. Montgomery, Ms. Payne and likely others at HUD. They know the law. It is there job to know the law and enforce it. Look again at the bullets from that OIG website:

 

  • employee misconduct
  • violations of federal laws or agency policy
  • ethics violations or conflicts of interest by agency officials
  • contract and procurement irregularities
  • theft and abuse of property
  • travel card or purchase card fraud
  • waste or mismanagement of funds or government resources
  • obstruction of agency operations, such as providing false information to regulators

 

Numerous public officials involved in manufactured housing are arguably failing to enforce federal law. That merits accountability that includes investigations.

Who makes such claims? Several people and organizations.

MHARR’s president and CEO, Mark Weiss, J.D. knows the law better than most, because he was involved in its passage. See the report and attached letter to HUD Secretary Carson at the link below.

 

MHARRCallsonFHFAJoinIncreasingDemandsforCongressionalOversightManufacturedHomeProNewsMast
https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-fhfa-to-join-increasing-demands-for-congressional-oversight/

 

That letter from MHARR asking Dr. Carson to enforce the law on enhanced preemption includes as an attachment a letter from House Democrats dated in 2003. Even then, those Congressional representatives were asking, why isn’t enhanced preemption being properly enforced? It is a useful if not critical piece of evidence in this context. Recall that the law was passed on widely bipartisan lines.

 

FormerPresidentBillClintonPivotalMomentManufacturedHousingIndustrySundayMorningRecapDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1
Former President Bill Clinton, right. Former Senator Chuck Cobb (VA-D), left-center. Danny Ghorbani, left, former President of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). There were several state and other association and business leaders involved in the historic report that we will spotlight, in the days ahead.

 

  • For whatever reason, MHI – which also knows the law – has for some time been publicly foot-dragging on the issue. Evidence includes, but is not limited to, the fact that even on their own website they don’t use the words “enhanced preemption.” By contrast, MHARR’s website has over a dozen such references. MHARR’s website has been online less than 3 years, MHI’s for some 2 plus decades. How is that disparity explained?

 

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoEnhancedPreemption2019-06-04_1248

 

After months of MHLivingNews, MHARR, and MHProNews hammering away at the federal enhanced preemption issue and calling MHI out publicly for failing to promote it, MHI apparently pivoted. They issued their own letter to Dr. Carson. It too calls for “enhanced preemption” to be fully enforced. While it was part of a longer letter, the key part is shown as the screen capture, below.

 

MonopolisticHousingInstituteMHIletterHUDSecretaryBenCarsonEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingInstituteMHomeProNews

 

That said, MHI still doesn’t have “enhanced preemption” on their website this morning. Why not? Is the MHI letter to Dr. Carson mere window dressing? After all, there is no guarantee that the top official at a federal agency would even see such a letter, much less read it and digest it — or not.

Recall that several state association executives as well as HUD Code home producers are aware of the law. Due to reading at this website, perhaps thousands of industry professionals do as well.

But failure to enforce preemption has real world consequences. What Secretary Carson said in that video interview above absolutely applies.

The federal government doesn’t have to beg a state or localities to abide by federal laws, any more than the federal government has to wait for a state or local government to abide by voting rights or integration of schools, or a range of issues that federal preemption has been asserted.

 

  • That said, there is ‘fear’ among some on Capitol Hill and D.C. that asserting preemption would result in backlash. If so, the answer is education.

 

ValuePenguinFearManufacturedHomesAffordableHousingCrisis.MastheadMHProNews
https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/fear-manufactured-homes-affordable-housing-crisis

 

Once the general public understands that manufactured housing specific research has demonstrated that:

  • Manufactured homes appreciate side-by-side with conventional housing in neighborhoods, per university level research commissioned by HUD.
  • Research by Trulia documents that affordable housing by conventional single-family housing has no appreciably negative impact on value, in 2018 research.
TruliaLowIncomeHousingImpactOnNearbyHousingValuesMastheadManufacturedHomeProNews600
The Trulia study reflects a similar finding of a report commissioned by HUD that studied the impact of manufactured homes installed side-by-side as infill in a variety of urban markets. Both conventional and manufactured homes appreciated, there was no harmful impact. That report is available as a download from the MHLivingNews article, linked above.

 

  • Failure to enforce this provision creates real economic harm to millions. The U.S. rate of home ownership is bleak compared to dozens of other countries around the world, many which have lower incomes than here in the U.S. Renting vs. owning spreads wealth inequality. There is a ripple effect for business, investing, taxing authorities, public officials, added social safety net costs and more.

 

AddressingAffordableHousingCrisisIncomeInequalityEnforcingGoodCurrentLawsIllustratedReportAnalysisManufacturedHomeLivingNews1
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/addressing-growing-affordable-housing-crisis-income-inequality-by-enforcing-good-current-laws-illustrated-report-analysis/

 

 

  • So, when MHProNews alleges a prima facie case that people like Jim Gray, Brian Montgomery, Teresa Payne and others are not enforcing existing provisions of federal law, that’s no light matter. That has real world impacts for millions of people. What may be of interest are motivations for doing so? Don’t forget that MHI called Brian Montgomery ‘their candidate’ for the Deputy Secretary role. What makes Montgomery ‘their’ candidate? Is he willing to thwart preemption to the benefit of the ploy being utilized by the Berkshire brands?

 

  • Equally important, when we allege that such is being done in collusion with others outside of the federal government, that raises parallel legal concerns.

 

  • This has SEC implications too. Publicly traded firms – or subsets of publicly traded firms – are supposed to accurately disclose risks, opportunities and more. When publicly traded firms fail to do what is necessary to see to it that shareholders are being properly rewarded for the opportunity protentional in manufactured housing, incomplete, false or misleading information is arguably being provided to investors. Then a case could be made that should involve the SEC. Is there evidence for that? We think there are multiple examples of ‘yes,’ there is.

 

New Documents Revealing Layers of Manufactured Home Industry Organizational and Public Officials Corruption – Spotlight on Wells Fargo

You don’t take flak unless you are over the target. That’s a piece of military folklore. Flak, diversionary strategies and tactical retreats by those involved in allegations of the corruption of the U.S. affordable manufactured home market has increased.

 

 

SEC, Cavco Industries, Duty to Serve Lending, Investing and Claimed Manufactured Housing Institute Corrupt Practices – Facts & Analysis

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) law and regulations are a specialized arena of legal practice. A simple Google search demonstrates that point. The SEC is tasked with regulating publicly traded companies. It was the SEC that issued a subpoena to former Cavco Industries (CVCO) Chairman and CEO Joe Stegmayer and his firm in 2018.

 

 

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, MHVillage, Manufactured Housing Institute Leaders Challenged

The message that follows was sent by our publisher yesterday morning to various elected, selected, self-named, or appointed leaders in their respective organizations. Various forms of feedback and responses confirm that they were received. Following the message there will be some commentary, related information and analysis.

 

 

Publicly Traded Manufactured Housing Firms – Which Source Do You Trust More? Why? MHI, MHARR, Others

has made the ‘stating the obvious’ argument before that the management of publicly traded firms have a fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders. For those who have not seen that report, grasped that legal point, or who simply want a refresher on that topic, you can access it by clicking the hot-linked text-image box below.

 

 

That’s a long run-up to reveal the following. It’s a multipart, step-by-step revelation.

 

 

The Epic Reveal? Part I

The harm done by these purported failures and possibly corrupt behavior by public officials, trade associations, publicly traded firms and others is enormous. Doing the math, it truly dwarfs the harm caused by Bernie Madoff’s scheme that landed him in federal prison.

 

  • While the ploys are different, they have this similarity. Both this moat-building scheme and Madoff’s were hiding in plain sight.

 

As we publish articles on such topics, manufactured home industry readers periodically see something that they think they can add some color to, provided additional insights, news tips, supportive documentation, etc.

One must keep in mind that 21st and Clayton holds tremendous sway over the independents in the industry and over associations too. The start of the explanation of that is found in the report below.

GoldRulesTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryAnalysisMHProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/how-gold-rules-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-mhi-vp-state-execs-conference-call/

 

The short version is simple. Thousands of professionals have seen 21st put thousands of their peers out of business by restricting credit. Clayton Homes, VMF, and 21st can all have a ‘case’ made against their patterns of behavior. Independents don’t want to be the next one eaten by the lion.

 

Case Against Clayton Homes

The all caps that follow are from the original quoted source. As a notice for new MHProNews readers, we often turn quotes bold and brown to make it ‘pop,’ but otherwise the quote is as in the original. “PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW WE CAN FILE A CLASS ACTION …

That said, some white hats inside the industry are at work at operations with a checkered or black hat history. As this is being written, new tips have come in, one is from an MHI-connected source. Be it at companies or associations, they periodically see something that catches their eye, and they send in a comment, observation, related facts or even documents.

In the case of documents, the following makes a keen point to those who don’t understand why MHI and MHARR don’t get along very well. Years ago, the relationship was more constructive. What happened to disrupt the MHI and MHARR working relationship?

 

 

The Epic Reveal, Part II

With that backdrop, these items below were provided as useful news tips yesterday among others that will be rolled out by MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews in the days ahead.

MHI once published and shared on their website, per our sources, the following.

FannieMaeFreddieMac5PercentDownManufacturedHousingInstituteMHARRWorkingTogether2003MHproNews

 

MHI once spoke about MHARR with respect.  They once agreed on topics that MHARR has been consistent on, but MHI has since changed in ways that are arguably harmful to the industry.

 

Bombshells! Former HUD Manufactured Housing Program Administrator Bill Matchneer, Cavco’s Manuel Santana Statements

Marty Lavin, J.D., manufactured home industry veteran of retail, community and finance, MHI award winner. – Frank Rolfe, Manufactured Housing Institute National Community Council (MHI/NCC) member, speaking about an MHI leader. – L.A ‘Tony’ Kovach, award-winning manufactured home industry professional, publisher of MHProNews, speaking about the latest revelations.

 

A HUD Attorney testified to Congress that HUD was enforcing enhanced preemption. Really? Others at the same hearing said otherwise. But it demonstrates that several at HUD know the law and have from the outset.

 

Long-Time HUD Attorney’s Formal Statement on Manufactured Housing Enhanced Preemption

This report will begin by laying out some facts from federal testimony before Congress, and will then provide some related background information. The relevance to the industry’s historically low levels of new HUD Code manufactured home shipments should be discerned by thoughtful professionals, investors, and curious federal and other public officials.

 

The article below documents that Edward Golding, now at the Urban Institute, while at HUD knew about federal enhanced preemption.

MHIEnhancedPreemptionfrom2003MarkCalbriaHUDOverBillMatchneerTonyKovachMastheadblogMHProNews
This is a powerful document when viewed through expert eyes. First, it makes the same case for ‘enhanced preemption’ that MHARR, JD Harper, MHProNews, MHLivingNews and others have. It was the position of MHI. Per our source, this used to be on the MHI website. Why did they stop showing such material on their own website, when they claim to still support enhanced federal preemption?

 

HUDurbanInstituteLogoEdwardGoldingPhotoKnewManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoLesliGoochPhotoToldHimManufacturedHomeProNews
These documents reveal an apparent coverup of MHI’s prior positions. They changed after Clayton became a Berkshire Hathaway powerhouse. Coincidence or part of a pattern? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/huds-urban-institutes-edward-golding-knew-because-manufactured-housing-institutes-lesli-gooch-told-him/

Warren Buffet, per Kevin Clayton in that video interview with Robert Miles, completely grasped the nuances of the industry.

Kevin used this statement by Buffett as an example.

Kevin, it seems to me that the problem of your industry is resale.”

Turing to factoids cited by Fast Times, Clayton Homes had some 86 land lease communities at the time of the buyout with Berkshire. Those were spun off, per our sources, because Buffett didn’t want to be seen as “raising the [site] rents on grandma.” So, he appeared to be sensitive to that issue.

But was Buffett okay with others doing the same to grandma and her neighbors in manufactured home land lease communities? Was or is Buffett okay with profiting or benefiting in various forms or fashions by the problematic behaviors of others?

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim, Blasting Again MHI Member Company in 2020 Campaign Stop

Skeptical industry pros take note. The issues raised by Senator Elizabeth Warren are real, which will be addressed further below. Is her approach correct? That is another question. ICYMI, or need a reminder, the 2020 hopeful has been going after several manufactured home community owner/operators.

 

One could make the case for ‘yes’ on those points. It was a Berkshire-owned commercial real estate brand that sold the community that went from a reported white hat ownership to MHI member Havenpark Capital. Havenpark’s behavior has been so notorious that they drew the attention of Senator Elizabeth Warren

OpenLetterKurtKelleyJoanneStevensFrankRolfeManufacturedHousingReviewSenatorWarrenRequestInformationManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnersMHLivingNewsTonyKovach
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/open-letter-kurt-kelley-joanne-stevens-frank-rolfe-manufactured-housing-review-about-senator-elizabeth-warrens-request-for-information-from-manufactured-home-community-owners/

 

It has also drawn attention from another 2020 presidential hopeful, former Obama Administration era HUD Secretary Julian Castro.

 

PresidentialHopefulCampaignsManufacturedHomeCommunityRepCindyAxneRaisingConcernsBBB-F-RatedHavenparkCapitalManagementMHProNews
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/presidential-hopeful-campaigns-in-manufactured-home-community-congressional-rep-cindy-axne-raising-concerns-over-bbb-f-rated-havenpark-capital-management/

 

Here we begin to see how MHAction activists – understandably – point the finger at the purported predatory behavior of Havenpark, ‘Frank and Dave’ led RV Horizons turned Impact Communities, or a raft of other communities operated by firms with direct ties to MHI. Could that all be mere coincidence? Why is it that statewide rent control finally passed in New York? MHAction was in the thick of it, as MHProNews previously documented.

 

Will New State Rent Control Laws Conflict With Presidential Affordable Housing Initiatives? Who Has What Agenda? | Manufactured and Modular Housing Industry News

Starting with specific examples from a large state, a trend spreading to other states will come into focus. ” As you know, the New York Housing Association has been battling the adoption of rent control in NYS for decades. Unfortunately, with all parts of the legislative body voting with one voice, we lost the battle just a couple of weeks ago.

 

The desire for rent control is obvious on the part of those who are suddenly faced by steep site fee hikes that caused John Oliver, the Washington Post and other in media to sit up and take note. But what was hidden in the background until MHProNews and MHLivingNews revealed it was the funding role that Warren Buffet played.

Indeed, upon closer inspection, Buffett’s bucks and influence as reported by various nonprofits such as Open Secrets, Influence Watch and others reached several organizations that in turn lashed out at manufactured housing in a manner that even made his own brands look questionable. Why do the opposite of one of those fabled pearls of wisdom that he has?

 

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteCantBePerfrectCanAffordLoseMoneyNotShredReputationMeasureActWhatIsLegalHappyToHaveUnfriendlyButIntelligentReporter

 

The answer is as clever as it is devious. A bigger brand can withstand negative media, certainly for a time. As a possible analogy, some say President Trump to some degree relishes the negative media he gets. Why? It hasn’t hurt the president much in polling, which while it fluctuates, is reasonably steady. It can be argued that bad media hurts his opponents as much or more than it does President Trump.

Is Buffett and his ilk doing something similar in MHVille? It could appear so, based on evidence like that shown and linked from reports herein.

Put differently, Buffett and his select buddies in MHVille has weaponized several aspects of the industry. MHI pivoted from seemingly sincerely pushing for GSE lending on manufactured homes, to in more recent years asking for lending on a select class of manufactured homes.

Starting sometime since the Buffet era in MHVille, MHI purged their website of the very specific words, “enhanced preemption.” They’ve mentioned it here and there, most commonly in emails that are not picked up in an internet search, because they aren’t posted on the MHI website. But when sitting face to face with Secretary Carson as the often have, there is no evidence to date that they raised the issue in person.

What they have done is get Secretary Carson to give them video cover in a de facto plug, with text supposedly provided to Dr. Carson by MHI. If they could get Carson to plug them by name on a video, then by extension they could get the HUD Secretary to say out loud that HUD in the Trump era would fully embrace enhanced preemption and enforce it on states and localities.

Before anyone thinks this is anti-Trump, or anti-Carson, it is simply reality. The same argument applies looking back at the Bush and Obama Administrations. The issue isn’t partisan. It’s factual and evidence based.

 

The Vexing Bottom Lines?

Before the ‘Buffett/Berkshire’ effect, MHI had documents and articles that referenced their desire to have the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) promote ALL manufactured homes for lending, not just some new and unproven ‘new class’ of homes they’ve recently dubbed “CrossModTM homes.” It is the same as above but relates to this ‘new class’ of homes issue.

 

FannieMaeFreddieMac5PercentDownManufacturedHousingInstituteMHARRWorkingTogether2003MHproNews

 

This is one of two items from the document drop mentioned above.

Before the Berkshire effect on MHI, MHI spoke in respectful terms of MHARR. That’s evident from the same document above. Today, they MHI acts as if MHARR doesn’t exist.

Before the Berkshire effect on MHI, they were openly pushing for enhanced preemption to be implemented. They knew how important it was. They gave their members updates as to how it was being implemented.

 

MHIEnhancedPreemptionfrom2003MarkCalbriaHUDOverBillMatchneerTonyKovachMastheadblogMHProNews
This is a powerful document when viewed through expert eyes. First, it makes the same case for ‘enhanced preemption’ that MHARR, JD Harper, MHProNews, MHLivingNews and others have. It was the position of MHI. Per our source, this used to be on the MHI website. Why did they stop showing such material on their own website, when they claim to still support enhanced federal preemption?

 

As former MHI President and CEO Chris Stinebert left MHI, his parting message could be read as a slap in the face of his former association. See that first-hand.

 

FormerManufacturedHousingInstitutePresidentChrisStinebertManufacturedHomeOwnersUrbanInstituteYouMHLivingNewsMast
https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/former-manufactured-housing-institute-president-manufactured-home-owners-urban-institute-and-you/

 

Now, after the Berkshire effect, the industry has been kept in low gear.

After the Berkshire effect, manufactured home lenders like U.S. Bank were effectively forced to withdraw from the industry.

After the Berkshire effect, the data reflects that Clayton Homes – while keeping the industry stunted through alleged ploys like those described and linked from herein – went from some 13 percent market share in 2003 to some 50 percent in 2018.

So, compare and contrast.

 

  • Experts like Eric Belsky that studied manufactured housing thought that the industry could surpass conventional housing by 2010. That implies shipments a potential of over 1 million new homes a year.
  • At the time of the industry’s last high in 1998, the industry stood at a ratio of 3 new manufactured homes sold to 2 new RVs. By 2018, that had flipped. RVs now outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1.
  • CNBC noted yesterday that conventional builder confidence is at a 20 year high. By contrast, manufactured housing is bumping along at only some 25 percent of their last high in 1998.

There are any number of objective measures that should cause public officials, investors, advocates and others to ask, what’s REALLY going on in manufactured housing?

MHARR has asked for federal investigations.

 

MHARR Calls on FHFA To Join Increasing Demands For Congressional Oversight | Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform

MHARR in public comments at a Washington, D.C. Duty to Serve Underserved Markets (DTS) “Listening Session” conducted by the FHFA has called on FHFA to…

 

Some resident leaders are asking for federal investigations

 

RobertBobVanCleefManufacturedHomeCommunityLeaderDiscussesManufacturedHousingInsanityManufacturedHomeLivingNews
https://www.manufacturedhomepronews.com/masthead/making-affordable-manufactured-housing-appealing-and-great-again

 

MHProNews and MHLivingNews parent operation and management have called for federal, state and other investigations.

The bottom line?

If something walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, behaves like a duck, odds are good it’s a duck.

If something seems improbable in the natural order, one must look for reasonable causes. Occam’s razor says the most likely explanation – the simplest answers – is likely to be true.

The powers that be in MHVille posture that they have connections. Indeed they do.

 

  • Okay, taken at fast value, then why aren’t good federal laws being properly enforced? The logical answer? The powers that be in MHVille don’t want those good laws enforced at this time.
  • The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is pushing for new laws, instead of insisting that existing laws be enforced. Where the logic of that, unless it is to keep the industry busy with what MHARR calls the “illusion of motion.” Meanwhile, consolidation continues at often discounted rates.
  • MHI’s website today has vanished the key words “enhanced preemption” into the memory hole. By contrast, per insider sources, those same words were part of routine reports at MHI in the pre-Berkshire buyout of Clayton. Coincidence? The exact date of the switchover should be identified through public hearings using sworn testimony and subpoena powers.
  • Publicly traded firms are arguably having their stock value harmed by this pattern. How can an investor properly evaluate the risk/reward potential when big MHI member companies are apparently colluding to keep the industry underperforming? The SEC, plus FTC and DOJ at a minimum should investigate those concerns.

 

The only hypothesis that fits the known facts is this. Buffett, Berkshire, in collusion with a few select MHI member firms has rigged the marketplace in a fashion that harms tens of millions of Americans. It has caused thousands of manufactured home independents to go out of business and/or sell out at a discount. Some have benefited, because they pick up assets at a discounted valuation. They may stay quiet. Others are publicly quiet out of fear.

That said, there are some that have spoken out.

 

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHI-NCCmemberMHProNews

 

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DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteMHProNews

 

There’s more but that’s plenty to get the mind working and researchers, reporters and public officials to do what they are sworn to do, which IMHO is the following.

 

  • Uphold the law, regardless of how powerful or rich the person credibly accused may be.
  • Enforce the law. Make the American dream possible for more people by breaking up Berkshire and others.
  • Those who fear enforcing enhanced preemption seem to forget that it has been enforced. Where was the public outcry? Where was the countersuits?
  • That’s not to say that it couldn’t occur. It might. But the issue is educational and legal. What do people want? Tents and cardboard boxes out front on the sidewalks? Cars that aren’t running on their streets? Or wouldn’t it make more sense to make proper enforcement of the MHIA, enhanced preemption and the lending that supports it a reality?
  • Enforcing the law, per Obama-era and researchers since, could bring trillions of new wealth to Americans over time.
  • True, some will be upset. But tens of millions will benefit.

 

That’s our bottom lines. Investigate. Enforce the laws. No one is above the law. Give people their shot at the American dream.

Epic corruption keeps that from occurring. To learn more see the related reports linked above and below the byline and notices.  “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. See more below the byline, notices and sign up for our free x2 weekly emailed headline updates.) ## See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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MHI loves their photo ops. The photo above reflects the point that photo ops can be arranged. What matters more than photo ops is actual positive outcomes for the majority of manufactured industry professionals, not just benefits for a select few. Want more photos? Stay tuned.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and was recognized with the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he also studied business management with a perfect 4.0 and made the Dean’s List. Tony has earned multiple awards in manufactured housing and in history. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Wow! Giving Credit, Interesting – What Rick Robinson, MHI’s General Counsel, Said About Zoning Battles | Manufactured and Modular Housing Industry News

At MHProNews, its part of our code to present an accurate presentation of a given topic. We also believe in giving credit where it is due. That’s putting the principle of the ‘separating the wheat from the chaff’ to work. With that in mind, the following is an article from …

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