Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would allow employees at manufactured home retailers—who sell houses often called “mobile homes” or “trailers”—to steer customers towards specific loan choices. The Senate Banking Committee will vote on a similar proposal on December 5.
It's a wonky bill, and it's flown under the radar so far. But—particularly given the political war being waged at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—it shouldn't get buried. More than 1 in 10 homes in rural or small-town America were built in a factory, and they are usually owned by older, poorer Americans. Even though the average sale price for a new manufactured home is $68,000, consumers who take out a loan to buy one typically pay high interest rates and fees that can add hundreds of dollars to their monthly housing payment.