Tic Toc – July 4th, Tim Williams 21st Mortgage, John Greiner, JD, Graydon Law – Message Review



Part of the ‘secret’ for legal victories can be consistency, procedures, and documentation.

Tim Williams, photo credit, MHProNews.com

There is little doubt that Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation and his company has vastly more experience in legal matters than our far more modest operation does.

It should similarly stand to reason that the outside attorney for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), John “Jack” C. Greiner with Graydon Law would likewise have more experience in legal matters than little ole us. Per Graydon’s website, “Jack is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on communications and media law. He is one of the region’s leading advocates for governmental transparency.” Transparency, how interesting. That’s one we’ll all have to place in our memory file. Jack, should nonprofits, corporations, and their officers be transparent too?

That said, it would not be surprising if they would agree with the first sentence at the top. Juries and judges look for consistency, evidence, facts, and common sense. The court system – judges and juries – also keep an eye out in cases for inexplicable, odd, or behavior that is in conflict with their stated claims. It’s been many years since we’ve been involved in any litigation, over a decade in fact. Though it is rarely fun, we recall the lessons, and have routinely been successful on the rare occasions it was necessary.

The truth backed by evidence is an often powerful thing. My hunch is that the other side has carefully researched that claim, and knows it to be accurate.


In 2017, 2018, and 2019 were some of the years when messages and letters were sent to the management of MHProNews by attorneys for MHI, as well as by purported surrogates for the Arlington, VA based trade group. Those messages were threats, legal or not, and arguably attempts at intimidation.

Part of our consistent response has been to call out those actions publicly but also to invite them to reply to our many fact-checks, related analysis, and reports. In early 2017 and previously, responses from Berkshire Hathaway brands and/or MHI were swift, as numerous articles and letters published over the years reflects. Williams was among several MHI leaders who publicly praised this publication publicly and in writing.

To see the full on-the-record statement by Williams to MHProNews, click here.

It was apparently only as reasonable answers to reasonable questions posed by MHProNews became elusive for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis that they stopped replying directly. But they often used indirect means to communicate, including those noted above.

Those patterns of behavior could prove relevant in several ways the days ahead.


Shifting Sands in Washington and Beyond

The dynamics in Washington, D.C. are shifting rather significantly in recent months. There are some things, as Warren Buffett correctly observed, that just take time.

· Antitrust drums are heating up on both sides of the left-right political aisle.

· More in Congress are talking and writing about the Duty to Serve, and why it hasn’t been fully implemented with respect to manufactured housing.

· Affordable housing, homelessness, zoning, regulatory barriers, and even enhanced preemption are being discussed by more people in and out of the industry.

Slow, steady progress is apparently being made.

Those are all topics that are largely found in manufactured housing trade media only on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. Why? The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has been on several of those topics for years, to their credit.

But by contrast, MHI sycophants are mute or deflect from those topics. Why?

MHI themselves tout their latest photo op, their latest lightly viewed videos, or the newest bill that they support. Those are all apparent razzle dazzle, but where is the beef?

Where are the bottom line results as measured by new manufactured home shipments? Given the MHI claim that they are the umbrella trade group that should ‘lead’ the industry, what direction has that MHI leadership actually taken MHVille at large?

The facts speak loudly.





Tic Toc, Tic Toc…

Moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years go by. Some things only gain clarity from the passage of time and consistent observations. As Warren Buffett aptly said, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. This is a point of agreement between our publication and Mr. Buffett.




It was about 5 years ago that we brought to the industry’s attention the full length video version of this now better-known 18 second video clip.



That comment by MHI’s president made no sense at the time, but in hindsight it was arguably a piece of a puzzle.

Because it was an odd and embarrassing MHI comment, not long after, during a time when Tim Williams at 21st was still in rapid-reply mode with MHProNews, and while this writer was still an MHI member, MHProNews asked Williams/21st – then MHI’s chairman – to have MHI’s Jennison clean that comment up publicly.

Williams agreed.

Jennison, no doubt with Williams’ prompting, did so on video camera and in front of dozens of industry professionals. MHI’s president pledged both that the industry could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home shipments as well as promised the passage of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.


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


Neither one has come to pass. Both are part of the MHI Orwellian ‘memory hole.’

Words can be cheap at MHI, it seems?

JohnCGreinerAttorneyPhotoGraydonlawLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWith the industry now into its ninth month of year-over-year downturn, MHProNews sent the following to Tim Williams/21st, John Greiner, and one of Greiner’s colleagues at Graydon Law. Greiner is MHI’s outside attorney assigned, said Greiner, to monitor our website. MHI members, that’s where part of your dues are going to, why not rather to suing cities like Bryan, TX for failure to abide by enhanced preemption?

That logical but rhetorical question aside, the meat of that message’s contents is shown below, between the dashed lines.

Subject: Tim, a formal request for you/MHI


1) Let me hereby request copies of any and all audio or other recordings, notes, emails or any records in any format relative to our discussion in Las Vegas during the dinner we shared with your colleagues from Berkshire Hathaway brands in the context of that year’s Congress and Expo.

2) You and/or your colleagues are also hereby invited to respond to any of our recent or other reports. See the below. Please email those for our mutual accuracy in handling said comments.

Thank you.



Other articles are linked from the forward below. Thank you.


The screen capture that documents that email is found below.


We will report back on what response, if any, is obtained.

Until then, let this be kept in mind by investors, professionals, researchers, public officials, attorneys, investigators and others.

· There is an affordable housing crisis. Yet with numerous positive reports that debunk the myths and misconceptions often held by the public, somehow, magically, the industry is shirking in new home shipments? Why are MHI staff given bonuses instead of being terminated for lack of performance?

· HUD Secretary Ben Carson has valiantly laid out a thoughtful case for manufactured housing.

· On MHI’s own website, examples of those important topics are difficult or impossible to find, and Carson’s fine speeches are not to be found.

· Manufactured housing is now into 9 months of year-over-year declining shipments.

By contrast, on MHARR’s website, topics like “enhanced preemption” are easy to find several articles. An MHI state affiliate successfully obtained a letter from HUD invoking enhanced preemption, so why not MHI? Yet MHARR is a fraction of the size of MHI, and has been online only a fraction of the time that MHI has.

Which association is doing their stated job better?

To George F. Allen’s [past] credit, his blog does raise some of these same issues and concerns. But he has contradicted himself in arguing in recent months for MHI, the Berkshire brands, and larger community operators that behaved in problematic ways – per Allen. Rephrased, Allen – without public explanation, other than what sources say is a compensated flip-flop – has gone from criticizing Clayton, 21st, MHI and others, to now being their cheer leader.




Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, Both Finger Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Failures, in Writing, Again

Frank Rolfe swore off commenting about MHI further publicly, but he and Dave Reynolds recently took this swipe at MHI. They are MHI members, taking a shot at their own trade group.

More on this below.

Allen, more recently has called for a boycott of this publication, a possible antitrust violation, and has urged his readers to only read other trade media in manufactured housing that he has personally approved. Ironically, one of those publications – Kurt Kelley’s – has praised our work, and said that they are leaving our call for accountability to us. Interesting, isn’t it?

Indeed, Kelley has contributed to MHProNews numerous times over the years, and has commented on political topics too. He published an article by Berkshire Hathaway unit manager Joanne Stevens, which without mentioning MHI, was clearly slamming them for what her article in MHR saw as a failure of industry preparation for obvious attacks on the industry.

Open Letter – Kurt Kelley, Joanne Stevens, Frank Rolfe, Manufactured Housing Review About Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Request For Information from Manufactured Home Community Owners – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com

Kurt Kelley, JD, is the publisher of the Manufactured Housing Review ( MHR), as the below reflects in his quarterly’s ” Publisher’s Message.” For the 2019 Quarter 1 issue, his message read in part as follows. [in this issue] address Senator Elizabeth Warren’s attempt to gather private information from Manufactured Home Community owners.

Some things take time. With a shifting political climate in America, it may only be a question of time before topics and issues found only on MHProNews, MHLivingNews or on the MHARR websites may become more common headlines and topics elsewhere in Washington, and then the mainstream media.


This writer freely admits that some of what we have done in trade publishing has been unconventional by MHIndustry standards. It was also never my or our publications’ ambition to stumble into troubling facts via news tips about the underlying causes for so many of our industry’s woes. But once discovered, where we supposed to ignore them? Turn a blind eye as others do? Cower in fear over every threat?

If the industry is to regain its former glory and surpass it while independents still have an opportunity, it will only happen when enough honest professionals and other people of good will stand up and force the issues.

April data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

That said, what has harmfully impacted thousands of independents in manufactured housing has arguably been largely avoidable, and it has harmed the interests of millions of our fellow Americans. Unconventional situations can’t always be addressed in the normal ways.

There are several factors that should be understood to explain the rises and falls in the sales, production, and shipments of new factory-built homes during the varied mobile home and manufactured home eras. One should not be overly simplistic. That said, the historic trend was far higher before Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders. Political and other factors enter into the mix as well.

Keep in mind, we’ve spotlighted examples of these topics for years, beyond having the most extensive coverage of industry stocks, business and other news. A first look at our June 2019 traffic suggests a record month for readership. Our thanks to readers like your, our business development clients, and our sponsors who make this possible.

MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending, and ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation as an MHI member showed the way to grow business, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth allowed more consolidation and at a cheaper price? ,

Given the choice, thoughtful professionals can discern fluff and cheerleading from logic, fact-checks, and evidence. Perhaps that’s why we are the industry’s most read, and the others that cheer lead for MHI merely lag behind.

When MHProNews spotlighted that MHI had reputedly done nothing on reaching out to the CFPB in 2017, MHI – perhaps in there embarrassment – began to move to get something done. When MHARR pushed MHI long enough on the DOE energy rule, MHI finally pivoted. It seems that MHI acts for the interests they claim to stand for best when the spotlight hits their lack of action otherwise. Will this story cause them to routinely address local zoning discrimination?


We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (LifeStyle News, reports, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.

Related Reports:

Click on the hot-linked text-image boxes below to learn more.

“But I Was Born Free”



Manufactured Home Resident Leader Asks For Federal Investigations – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com

Californian Robert ‘Bob’ Van Cleef is involved in manufactured home resident advocacy. Bob and his wife sold their home and moved into a manufactured home. They enjoy their manufactured home, but were unpleasantly surprised by certain developments in their community. That’s when Bob stepped up to volunteer as community leader.



Senator Tina Smith Urges Republican, Democratic Senators to Provide Greater Financing Access to Affordable Manufactured Homes – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com

In a letter dated June 6, 2019 obtained by MHLivingNews, Senator Tina Smith (MN-D) wrote Senators Mike Crapo (ID-R) and Sherrod Brown (OH-D) to urge greater support for lending on affordable housing, particularly naming manufactured homes. Senator Crapo is the chairman and Senator Brown is the ranking member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019 – With manufactured housing producers, retailers and communities offering their best homes (and related consumer protection) ever, and in light of the failure of the ostensible representation of the industry’s post-production sector to fully and effectively advance the marketing, consumer financing and, most importantly, the full acceptance of federally-regulated manufactured housing as the nation’s premiere source of non-subsidized affordable housing and homeownership, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has launched a new project and initiative to fight selected, especially egregious instances of discriminatory and exclusionary zoning targeting manufactured housing and manufactured housing consumers.

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes | Manufactured Housing Association Regulatory Reform

Washington, D.C., April 30, 2019 – The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in an April 24, 2019 communication to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, Ben Carson (copy attached), has called on the Department to federally preempt local zoning ordinances which discriminatorily exclude manufactured homes regulated by HUD pursuant to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 and the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

Senator Tina Smith Urges Republican, Democratic Senators to Provide Greater Financing Access to Affordable Manufactured Homes – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com

In a letter dated June 6, 2019 obtained by MHLivingNews, Senator Tina Smith (MN-D) wrote Senators Mike Crapo (ID-R) and Sherrod Brown (OH-D) to urge greater support for lending on affordable housing, particularly naming manufactured homes. Senator Crapo is the chairman and Senator Brown is the ranking member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Goodbye Trailer Houses and Mobile Homes – Happy 43rd Anniversary, HUD Code Manufactured Homes – manufacturedhomelivingnews.com

We’ve done several serious reports in the last year or so that look deeper behind the often dark curtain to understand why manufactured homes – along with the mobile homes and trailer houses that preceded them – are so misunderstood. Today will be a bit different.

Nobility Homes Bucks National Trends, Reported Serious Growth, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

mas kovach mhpronews shopping with soheyla .jp

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