Thursday, April 16, 2015

Warren Buffett-Linked Outfit A Predatory Racket Peddling Mobile Homes & High-Cost Loans That Trap The Poor In Unaffordable Deals Almost Impossible To Resell Or Refinance?

From the Public Citizen Consumer Law & Policy Blog:
  • A joint investigation by The Center for Public Integrity and the Seattle Times reveals troubling practices by Clayton Homes, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

    Clayton, which operates under various names, is the nation’s biggest homebuilder, according to the report, which describes Clayton's practices thus: “Clayton relies on predatory sales practices, exorbitant fees, and interest rates that can exceed 15 percent, trapping many buyers in loans they can’t afford and in homes that are almost impossible to sell or refinance.”

    Some other practices unearthed in the investigation: “loan terms that changed abruptly after [customers] paid deposits or prepared land for their new homes; surprise fees tacked on to loans; and pressure to take on excessive payments based on false promises that they could later refinance”; additionally, Clayton loans average 7% higher rates than typical loans.
Source: Expose on predatory mobile home company owned by Warren Buffett.

From the joint investigation by The Center for Public Integrity and The Seattle Times:
In a related story, see U.S. House rolls back safeguards for mobile-home buyers:
  • The bill passed with strong support from Republicans, helped by a handful of Democrats. Other House Democrats objected vigorously, with several citing the findings of a recent investigation by The Center for Public Integrity and The Seattle Times.

    The investigation, “The Mobile-Home Trap,” found high interest rates, excessive fees and predatory sales practices by industry leader Clayton Homes, part of Berkshire Hathaway, an investment conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett.

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