MHI Week In Review — February 17, 2012

Mhi week in review postdommanufacturedhomepronews comMHI Welcomes New President/CEO Richard A. Jennison

On February 16th, an announcement was made that Richard “Dick” Jennison has been appointed as the new President and CEO of MHI. Jennison comes to MHI from Omni Solutions Group where he was partner and Senior Vice President for Marketing and Business Development overseeing and managing its substantial not-for-profit business practice. Omni Solutions Group is a professional services firm that offers technology solutions and support services to small and mid-size businesses and associations.

Prior to joining Omni Solutions, for nearly eight years Jennison was President and CEO of the Brick Industry Association (BIA), a $7 million national trade association representing the residential and commercial construction industry. In that capacity, he directed advocacy efforts for the brick industry in Washington, D.C. During his tenure at BIA, he led unification efforts to join four independent regional brick associations to create a national organization (BIA) encompassing 79% of the contiguous states. He managed the creation of a new governance structure to meet the organizational goals of BIA and fostered strategic alliances and partnerships to drive the success of the brick industry. He was responsible for overseeing activities to safeguard the industry from burdensome regulatory and governmental regulations and initiated research that influenced national and local legislation in the protection of the industry.

Prior to Dick’s leadership role at BIA, he served as Chief Operating Officer at the Point-of-Purchase Advertising International (POPAI), a $5.5 million international retail in-store marketing association; and Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, for Citizens Bancorp, a $5 billion regional financial services organization.

“It is a tremendous privilege to join MHI and I am honored to be selected for this great opportunity,” Jennison stated. “I am excited to work with the MHI leadership, members and staff to represent this important sector of the housing industry in Washington, D.C. Together I believe we can accomplish the mission and goals of MHI to advance the industry, improve the regulatory and finance environment, promote the high quality and great value inherent in our homes and build consensus among industry partners.”

In the position of President and CEO, Jennison is responsible for the management of the association in accordance with the bylaws, budget and policies established by the MHI Board of Directors. He will oversee staff in the areas of government affairs, codes and standards, communications, marketing, membership development, meetings, education and administration.

“We are pleased to welcome Dick Jennison as the new President and CEO,” said MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer. “He brings tremendous credentials and demonstrated leadership ability at multiple associations.

”Beginning February 21st, Jennison can be reached at (703) 558-0678 or

Lawmakers Reach Agreement on Payroll Tax Cut Extension

On February 15th, House leaders announced a bi-partisan agreement on legislation to extend the Social Security payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and Medicare payments to physicians beyond February 2012. The House is expected to approve the measure on Friday, February 17th. It is unclear when the Senate will consider the plan.

A host of important temporary tax incentives, frequently called “tax extenders” — including the New Energy Efficient Tax credit for manufactured and modular homes was not included in the payroll deal. The federal tax credit for manufacturers who build energy efficient homes (Section 45L) expired on December 31, 2011. Specifically, manufacturers who build ENERGY STAR homes were eligible to receive a $1,000 tax credit while modular home builders were eligible to receive a $2,000 tax credit by exceeding the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 50 percent.

Although the tax programs can be extended retroactively and have been in past years, the heated budget debate over the escalating deficit will make the prospects for extending the housing tax credit more uncertain.

Several Senators including Senator Bingaman (D-NM), Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), John Kerry (D-MA) and Tom Carper (D-DE) have vowed to continue working to find a path forward for tax policies to improve energy efficiency and clean energy incentives. On February 10th, the bi-partisan group of Senators sent a joint letter to the Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Tim Geithner and the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients urging them to support the extension of several energy efficiency incentives, including the New Energy Efficient Home Tax Credit (45L). To view the letter click here. If you are a constituent please thank your Senator for their support.

MHI is urging members to continue to personally contact their Representatives to act to extend the New Energy Efficiency Home Tax Credit beyond 2011. Contact information for congressional offices is available by clicking here.

MHI members can contact Rae Ann Bevington at 703-558-0675 or

CFPB Unveils First in Series of “Larger Participant” Rules, Issues Protoype Mortgage Statement and Announces Regulatory Streamlining Feedback Portal

CFPB Unveils First in Series of “Larger Participant” Rules

On February 16th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a proposed rule to define “larger participants” subject to its supervision and enforcement authority. Click here to view the proposed rule. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has the authority to supervise certain nonbank covered persons for compliance with federal consumer financial laws and for other purposes.

The Bureau was provided specific authority to supervise nonbank covered persons of all sizes in the residential mortgage, private education lending, and payday lending markets. In addition, it has the ability to supervise nonbank “larger participant[s]” in markets for other consumer financial products or services.

Initially, the CFPB is seeking to cover only “large” consumer reporting agencies and debt collectors, with revenue thresholds of $7 million and $10 million, respectively, to define the covered entities. In a news release, the CFPB indicated this proposed rule is only the “first in a series of rulemakings to define larger participants.” Industries not included in this initial rule –such as prepaid card issuers, finance companies and debt relief firms – will potentially be covered in subsequent rulemaking.

Last year, MHI filed comments with the CFPB urging the Bureau to exclude entities originating manufactured home loans from being considered for additional supervision under the “large” participants rule. MHI argued that manufactured home lenders were already subject to rule making authority and enforcement—similar to all other mortgage lenders—by the CFPB.

CFPB Issues Prototype Mortgage Statement

On February 13th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) revealed a model/prototype form for mortgage statements designed to improve information disclosures to consumers on their residential mortgage loan (which includes manufactured home personal property loans).

Section 1420 of the Dodd-Frank Act included a requirement for creditors, assignees or servicers of mortgage loans to provide periodic statements to borrowers containing specific information and directed the CFPB to develop a model form for statements that takes into account the possibility of either written or electronic delivery.

The law provided an exception for fixed-rate mortgage loans if the borrower is provided with a coupon book that contains substantially the same information required to be in the statements. The Act specifies several items that must be included in the statement:

• principal loan amount

• current interest rate

• date on which the interest rate may next reset

• description of any late payment fees and any prepayment fee to be charged

• information about housing counselors

• phone number and email address for borrower to obtain information about the mortgage

• and other information the CFPB may prescribe in regulation

Click here to view the CFPB’s prototype statement and provide comments.

CFPB Announces Regulatory Streamlining Feedback Portal

In November, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began soliciting feedback on ways to streamline regulations it inherited from several different federal agencies by “updating, modifying or eliminating outdated, unduly burdensome, or unnecessary provisions.

”While MHI is in the process of drafting a formal comment letter, the CFPB recently unveiled a web portal and tool that will allow stakeholders to provide feedback on this process. MHI members are encouraged to utilize the tool to provide their own individual comments on issues impacting the manufactured housing industry and its consumers. Click here for more information.

MHI members can contact Jason Boehlert at 703-558-0660 or

MHI Seeks to Build Support for Manufactured Housing Regulatory Relief Legislation

On January 31st, Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Gary Miller (R-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3849) to reduce regulatory burdens that impede access to affordable manufactured housing financing. The legislation would address two significant issues impacting the ability of consumers to obtain mortgage financing for manufactured homes:

• Reducing the threshold by which small balance manufactured home personal property loans are considered High-Cost Mortgage Loans under provisions within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203) which will thereby reduce the number of loans subject to punitive and onerous liabilities.

• Clarifying that those selling manufactured homes—who are not fundamentally engaged in the business of originating mortgage loans—are not to be defined as mortgage originators under the federal SAFE Act which will thereby ensure they are better able to provide adequate technical assistance to consumers throughout the manufactured home buying process (similar to the SAFE Act treatment of real estate brokers).

Assistance is needed from MHI members and industry stakeholders to contact U.S. Representatives and specifically request they co-sponsor H.R. 3849 (Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act). An issue brief with sample letter can be accessed by clicking here.

MHI members can contact Jason Boehlert at 703-558-0660 or

HUD’s FY 2013 Budget Outlines Priorities for Manufactured Program — Requests No Fee Increase

The Administration’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget, proposes to fund the HUD Manufactured Housing Standards program at a level of $8 million. It includes $4 million in direct appropriations and up to $4 million in label fees. HUD has withdrawn its previous proposals to increase the current label fee from $39 to $60. HUD says in its extensive budget justification, that the “depressed economic state of the industry at the current time, the historically low production of manufactured homes and the resulting projections for new production are all factors that support reconsideration of any fee changes in the fragile manufactured housing market.” Click here for a link to the HUD FY 2013 Manufactured Housing Standards Program, “2013 Summary Statement and Initiatives.

“The total budget, if approved by Congress, will authorize HUD to fund the manufactured housing program at a level of total of $11.9 million which included unobligated appropriations from previous years. The budget notes that its actual program activities will be determined by actual fees collected and may be below the level appropriated by Congress. Highlights of the FY 2013 HUD Manufactured Housing Program budget are as follows:

State Administrative Agencies (SAAs)

$3.8 million to fund the consumer complaint programs in 38 States with State Administrative Agencies.

According to HUD, it plans no increase for SAAs because most states are receiving funding equivalent to the funding levels of 2000 when shipment levels were significantly higher. Also, according to a number of SAAs, consumer complaints are down significantly since the implementation of statewide installation programs.

Monitoring Compliance

$5 million (up from $4 million) to re-procure its multi-year contract for Monitoring Primary Inspection Agencies and States. According to HUD’s budget justification, the contract will included services to:

– Review between one to three percent of the estimated 700,000 designs currently in active use.

– Review overall annual performance of the five Design Approval Primary Inspection (DAPIAs).

– Monitor the work of 17 in-plant Primary Inspection Agencies (IPIAs), including reviewing quality assurance plans, visiting each plant once a year and reporting to HUD.

– Handling consumer complaints in the 12 states where there are no state agencies to handle consumer complaints.

– Visits to SAAs to review the performance of SAA work on HUD’s behalf.

Installation Programs in 17 States

$1.5 million to regulate and enforce model installation standards in 17 states that do no have such programs.

Dispute Resolution Programs in 23 States

$500,000 to regulate and enforce Dispute Resolution Programs in states that do not have programs.

Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC)

$400,000 to contract for the administration of the MHCC.

MHI members can contact Lois Starkey at 703-558-0654 or

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