Are Federal Regulations Hurting American Home Buyers? (Hint: Yes, They Are.)

According to this insightful article, it does appear that in an effort to enact regulations and “do something,” the federal government has once again created a regulatory scheme that works against the very Americans it is intended to help.

Witness this scenario:

The man spent two hours browsing through models and weighing the many options. This was an important decision — and likely the biggest purchase he would ever make.

Finally, he was ready to get down to business. The salesman handed him an application. The old man barely glanced at it and asked for help filling it out.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that,” the salesman told him, then explained that new federal regulations prohibited manufactured home retailers from helping customers apply for financing.

The old man might have been illiterate; he may have forgotten his reading glasses. Maybe he just hated filling out forms.

For whatever reason, he seemed deeply offended — and perhaps embarrassed.

“If you’re not going to help me, I’m not buying from you,” he told the salesman as he stormed out the door.

And this one:

One of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank has all but shut down financing for homes priced below $20,000. That left Powell with a Hobson’s choice: Continue to rent an apartment indefinitely, as he had for the past 10 years, or take out an unsecured personal loan from a non-MH lender at 36 percent interest to purchase a home he could call his own in less than five years.

“Our desire to buy the home outweighed our desire to not pay 36 percent interest,” Powell says.  Even at that rate, Powell’s payment was less than half what apartment rent would have cost him.

Now, you would think that federal regulators who claim to want to protect Americans like these would quickly fixed these broken, ill-conceived regulations.

And there, you would be wrong because while the House and two Senate committees have passed legislation to fix this problem, the President has threatened to veto any relief for these Americans, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the very agency created to help home buyers, has absolutely refused to act:

Presented with a list of questions asking for the reasoning behind the CFPB-imposed rules — why they have been applied to manufactured housing and whether the agency is aware of their impact on consumers — CFPB spokesman Sam Gilford cited excerpts from the Dodd-Frank Act, itself, but did not directly address the issues raised.

You should check out the entire article for yourself. But be warned, the picture that emerges of the CFPB is not pretty. It is actually quite shameful to see how this group of federal bureaucrats has turned its back on the very families it is supposed to serve.

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