Posted on March 24, 2008

Sometimes I will hear a person pan manufactured housing on the grounds of its cost. That usually surprises me. Prices on manufactured housing are generally far below that of site built homes. In fact, it is one of the virtues that makes the sector attractive as a tool in community development. So I want to hear what they mean when someone makes that claim.

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Posted on March 19, 2008

People may not realize it, but one of the emerging trends in factory-built housing is the use of new building technologies to produce more environmentally sustainable homes.

A leading builder in this effort is Palm Harbor. Last year, the US Environmental Protection Agency made Palm Harbor Homes (PHHM) its Energy Star Partner of the Year.

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Posted on March 18, 2008

The City of La Grange, Missouri has adopted a new ordinance to address the problems surrounding its many abandoned mobile homes.

Ordinance 514 stipulates that any mobile home left unoccupied for 60 consecutive days will be deemed abandoned and subject to seizure.

La Grange's Council approved the ordinance on Dec. 10th, 2007.

The preamble in the bill recognize three forces to justify their actions:

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Posted on March 17, 2008

The Federal Reserve has given advance notice of a proposed rulemaking on Regulation Z. As you may or may not know, Regulation Z concerns how consumers should be protected from deceptive and/or harmful lending. It often plays a role in litigation surrounding claims of predatory lending.

The Manufactured Housing Institute, aware that the change would govern almost three in four loans on manufactured housing, is seeking to energize its constituency to manufacturers, dealers, and park owners.

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Posted on March 14, 2008

Origen Financial, the Michigan-based REIT, announced losses of $39.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 today.

Origen is a large originator as well as a securitizer of manufactured housing loans.  It is one of the businesses with the most concentrated exposure to manufactured housing finance.  For that reason, it offers some good insight into what is happening to manufactured housing lending.

Origen acknowledged in its conference call today that it had a rough quarter.  Here were some of the 'high' lights:

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Posted on March 13, 2008

Supporters of California's Proposition 98 come from two discrete and somewhat separate factions. That alliance is holding, but it could crack.

Often known through its simple slogan, "Yes on Prop 98, Protect Property Rights," a supporters include farm owners, libertarians, a set of tax payer advocacy groups, small business people, and some representatives within the Republican Party. Also, Drew Carey and Daniel Guggenheim.

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Posted on March 11, 2008

Let me describe the state of an unnamed sector of the financial services market:

Stage One:

A healthy securitization market develops to buy loans. The new liquidity prompts lenders to make more loans. Borrowers, suddenly given the green light to buy homes, turn out in ever increasing numbers. Home sales go up. Builders prosper. Lenders get wealthy.

Stage Two:

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Connecting the Dots: How Wall Street Brings Fringe Lending to Main Street

"I Feel Like I was Set Up to Fail: Inside a For-Profit College Nightmare."

This story was published in Salon Magazine on January 27th, 2014. In March, Senator Richard Durbin cited this story when speaking on behalf of his bill, The Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights.

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