(Extensions of Remarks - April 26, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E566]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                        HON. STEPHEN LEE FINCHER

                              of tennessee

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, April 26, 2013

  Mr. FINCHER. Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of the recent housing 
crisis, the manufactured housing industry is facing significant 
challenges: an 80 percent decline in new home production, the closure 
of more than 160 plants, and the loss of more than 200,000 jobs. That's 
why I am introducing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act 
with my colleague Congressman Bennie Thompson. This legislation would 
provide clarity and certainty to consumers and preserve the 
manufactured housing industry without deterioration of important 
consumer protections.
  Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) 
issued guidelines as required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform 
and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) that expand the range of loan 
products that can be considered high-cost mortgages under the Home 
Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) without recognizing the 
uniqueness of manufactured home loans compared to the rest of the 
housing industry. The new HOEPA guidelines are effective January 2014 
and would include many manufactured home mortgages.
  Simply put the cost of originating and servicing a $250,000 loan and 
a $25,000 loan are the same in terms of real dollars, but the cost as a 
percentage of each loan's size is significantly different. This 
difference causes the smaller-sized manufactured home loan to 
potentially exceed the new HOEPA thresholds set by Dodd-Frank and be 
categorized as a high-cost mortgage and stigmatized as predatory, even 
though there is nothing predatory about the features of the loan. The 
liabilities associated with making and obtaining a HOEPA high-cost 
mortgage will likely prevent lenders from offering loans to low and 
moderate-income homebuyers, denying families access to necessary credit 
for new and existing manufactured homes. In addition, millions of 
families could see the equity they have built up in their manufactured 
homes wiped out because lenders would not want to provide the financing 
needed for resale.
  The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act would adjust the 
new HOEPA thresholds so fewer small balance manufactured home loans are 
classified as high-cost, while maintaining the consumer protections 
from predatory lending practices in Dodd-Frank. This legislation not 
only protects consumers, but preserves a viable secondary market for 
manufactured home loans.
  This bipartisan legislation would also clarify that manufactured home 
retailers and salespersons would not be considered loan originators 
unless they receive compensation from a lender, mortgage broker, or 
loan originator. The new CFPB definition of a loan originator, also 
effective in January 2014, is based on traditional mortgage market 
roles that differ from than the business model of the manufactured 
housing industry. Without this clarification, housing finance options 
may be eliminated for families seeking to purchase affordable 
manufactured homes.
  We must make sure that we don't restrict housing options. The 
Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act protects the availability 
of financing for manufactured homes that many families across the 
country rely on for affordable housing.