Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending


U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led a group of eight other Democratic Senators in calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to improve transparency around manufactured home financing, according to a release from the office of Senator Cortez.

Senator Cortez was joined in the letter signed “by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.),” said the statement informing the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

The letter, found at the link here, was dated May 9, 2019. To date, there is no known response found in an online search on this topic made by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, or Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Specifically, the letter from Senate Democrats did not name a company, which is potentially more problematic for independents. However, it did link to the Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity report found at this link here. That report specifically names Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured home lenders, and Warren Buffett.

It begins with this paragraph, “Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a mobile-home empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable houses. But all too often, it traps those owners in high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating homes.” For new readers, note that MHProNews often turns quoted text brown and bold to make it ‘pop,’ but otherwise the words are as in the original.

The original letter from the Democratic Senators is linked as a download here, and said in part “We urge the CFPB to work with consumer advocates to design and implement an appropriate disclosure form that ensures manufactured home buyers understand their options and are not steered into high-cost loans.”

Their provided copy of the letter is not scannable, so MHProNews recreated a scannable (readable) version for online researchers, which is found as a download linked here. Thus far, no one in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have published a response to this Democratic initiative. Why not?

There are times that MHProNews waits to see what response, if any, Omaha based Berkshire, Knoxville metro based Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, or the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) makes. Recall Nathan Smith’s pledge that MHI should become more pro-active? Where is the evidence for that in this report? Are we to think that the manufactured housing’s powers that be don’t know about this Democratic call to action?

What to Expect?

Should Democrats retake the Senate and White House and hold the House of Representatives in 2020, expect this document to be a harbinger of what’s to come. Recall the deep dive on the Masthead, linked here.

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