Posted on February 14, 2008

In its report on fourth quarter results, made on Feb. 12th, Pasadena-based thrift IndyMac canceled its dividend. IndyMac has a had a bad year. Its shares are at $8.20, off their 52 week high of $37.95. It reported a lost of $6.43 a share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007.

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Posted on February 13, 2008

Many mobile home parks in California are managed under rent control. Now, a new voter referendum may mark the beginning of the end for those laws in the Golden State.

Proposition 98 would "prohibit rent control and other similar measures." The proposition will be voted on June 3, 2008.

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Posted on February 11, 2008

Florida's insurance market for manufactured housing is facing some unusual problems.

The insurance problem comes in the wake of 2004's hurricanes. After the claims, there have been subsequent disruptions in the availability of insurance.

One report quotes a New Smyrna Beach, Florida RE/MAX realtor, Nina Schultz, as saying that owners of mobile homes may find themselves essentially left out when they seek insurance for their homes.

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Posted on February 7, 2008
If you are familiar with lending laws, you may have heard of the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act. This bill created a framework for additional regulation of certain loans with onerous terms. The bill is meant to dis-incentivize lenders from making these kind of loans.In many cases, lenders are hesitant to get involved with HOEPA loans. It dries up the flow of capital for some borrowers. That’s
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Posted on February 6, 2008

There is an article in todays WSJ about the lengths that stick-built homebuilders are going to assure nervous homebuyers. KB Home offers "price protection" in 35 markets. Ryland is doing the same when buyers bring it up.

This follows dramatic discounting schemes. Some offer free upgrades (granite countertops, bonus rooms, et al.) Hovnavian even offer discounts of more than $100,000.

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Posted on February 5, 2008

Today is Super Tuesday. The primaries today will allocate, at least for first ballots, the loyalty of many of the delegates for the upcoming Presidential nominating conventions. If the candidates were listening to residents and their advocates, what would we say?

Manufactured housing residents share a lot in common. They are systematically underserved by scores of institutions -- the financial markets, local zoning, and even in some cases by consumer protections.They represent about one in six households in North Carolina and about one in twelve nationwide. It is a huge voting bloc, if it was ever organized.

What issues would such a group seek? Keep in mind, I am talking about an agenda distinct from the manufacturers.  That's an important set of concerns, too, but it is different.  Oh, and it can be found here.

Going back to the resident agenda, it is not a simple question. For one, its unlikely that the group would unite under a common political party. Economically, many mobile home park residents would fall in moderate income groups. Others, particularly retirees, might have less income but higher than average levels of wealth. The Hispanic bias in the group might tilt them to Blue, but the rural and military demographics favors a shift to the Red.Regardless of the party, the notion of what their agenda would like remains. In the spirit of such a

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Posted on February 4, 2008

A week ago, I wrote about the likely policy change at Freddie Mac that could increase borrowing costs for purchasers of manufactured housing.

Freddie Mac explains in their November 15th, 2007 Single Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin that delivery fees will change for mortgages secured by manufactured housing beginning on March 1, 2008. Freddie Mac buys manufactured housing mortgages with "real property" designation.

The "real property" designation is a huge distinction. In most states, that means that the

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

At-risk students, for-profit college

"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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