The janitress where I work is a great lady who likes to fatten me up with her tamales, posole, and Mexican sweet bread. Her English is limited but is way better than my Spanish. And she’s taking ESL classes, which I think is really awesome.
Anyway, yesterday, she showed me a packet she got in the mail from 21st Mortgage Corporation, her mortgage company. She asked me about it. Oh man. After reading it? Head. Spinning. Anger.
From the 21st Mortgage Corporation:
Will you wish to sell or trade-in your home in the future?
The Dodd-Frank Act could take that freedom away from you.
The Dodd-Frank Act is a broad, complex federal statute that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010. It is the most comprehensive financial reform law that has been passed since the 1930’s. The purpose of the Dodd-Frank Act is to enhance the ability of the federal government to identify risks in the nation’s financial sector by increasing regulatory oversight.
As with any federal law this large and extensive, there will be unintended consequences
that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, manufactured home owners and prospective buyers will be especially harmed by this law as it is currently written.
How the Dodd-Frank Act could affect you:
- Severely limits financing for low to moderate credit score buyers and for homes
valued under $50,000. The buying or selling of new and used manufactured homes
will become very difficult.
- Lack of financing will limit new home sales, thus slashing American jobs that are currently dedicated to building high quality manufactured homes.
- New restrictions could be placed on manufactured home loans that will make them much more expensive for potential home owners.
The Dodd-Frank Act must be amended so that these consequences do not become a reality.
This cover letter was followed by three prewritten letters with her name and address on them to be sent to Senators Boxer and Feinstein and her Representative. They also added three prepaid envelopes addressed to them. Here’s the letter:
Dear Senator Boxer,
I am a manufactured home owner writing to respectfully request your support in making needed changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203). Without changes to this act, it will have a negative effect on me, other manufactured home owners; as well as people who may wish to purchase a manufactured home in the future. I feel that fellow manufactured housing owners and buyers will be unfairly punished for making the responsible decision of choosing a low-cost affordable housing option that fits our budget.
As the law is currently written, and the Federal Reserve Board is proposing implementation regulations, selling or trading in my home will be extremely difficult because lending alternatives that are not dependent upon government subsidies are being taken off the table and will not be available to prospective purchasers of low priced manufactured homes. I am one of approximately 19 million current owners of manufactured housing and we dont like the government taking away our financing alternatives.
I propose an amendment to the Act that will exclude manufactured housing, thus halting any undue hardship on myself that it will cause in its current form. Jason Boehlert, (Vice President of Government Affairs with the Manufactured Housing Institute 703.558.0660 jBoehlert@mfghome.org) is leading the effort to properly amend this legislation and can assist you with any information you need to investigate and address these issues.
Thank you for your time.
Unbelievable. They encouraged her to voice her opinion with prewritten letters? Um, more like their opinion. She asked me if she is supposed to send the letters. I told her no. I added that if she believed them, she could if she wanted to. I also said that sending these letters helps them.
Asking if sending the letters was mandatory is what I feared. How would other owners react? Would they send it because their mortgage company requested it and provided everything they needed to do so? They can be pretty intimidating, considering they hold the deed to your house.
This is the kind of crap that reinforces my belief in the importance of regulation. Why shouldn’t companies like 21st Mortgage Corporation be held accountable too? Are they worried that they can’t sell people houses they can’t afford? That they actually have to explain that the cheap monthly payment is just the interest? And after a few years, the principal will be added making the payment much, much more? Protecting the consumer against these predatory lenders should be a priority.
The Manufactured Home Owners Association of America agrees. They know that the Dodd-Frank Act is a good thing. Selling homes that people can actually afford so they don’t end up foreclosing. What a concept.
I shouldn’t be surprised that companies protecting their shady interests would try tricks like this. I asked her what happened to the letters. She dumped the packet in the shredder…exactly where they belong.