MHI Disappointed in FHFA’s Proposed Rule on “Duty to Serve”

MHI was very disappointed to learn the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) proposed rule on the “duty to serve” underserved markets, including manufactured housing, which will be officially released next week, will not consider any type of personal property lending on manufactured housing.

The fundamental reason given is that due to the fragile position of the GSEs (that they are in conservatorship), FHFA only wants them to focus on their core business of mortgage lending. They do not feel they are in a position to take on a new line of business, and indeed claim that the placement of the GSEs in government conservatorship in September of 2008 does not allow them to enter new lines of business – which they consider personal property lending to be.

Click here for the pending rule.

The proposed rule does indicate that they will work to make improvements on the mortgage or real property side of business. However, given that personal property lending comprises at least 60 percent of the lending for manufactured housing, MHI strongly believes FHFA and the GSEs are not carrying out the spirit of the law. There will be a 45 day comment period on the proposed rule from the date of publication in the Federal Register. MHI will be submitting comments on behalf of the industry.

Additionally, and with the expectation that this proposal will not be reversed, this information raises a critical question about the industry’s position regarding the future of the GSEs which will be debated by Congress next year. This issue will be a critical topic of discussion at the upcoming MHI Summer Meeting and Legislative Conference to be held in Washington, DC on July 13-15, 2010.

MHI members can contact Thayer Long at

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