Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the filing of court actions against two Oregon manufactured homes dealers, resulting in one being permanently out of business in that industry and the other making changes in its business operations. Named in Assurances of Voluntary Compliance are James A. Young of Salem, who did business as Northstar Financial Corporation and AMC Acceptance, and Golden Pacific Homes, Inc. of Portland, that also does business as Pacific Home Mortgage. The agreements admit no violation of law and were filed in Marion County Circuit Court.
"For the last two years, the Oregon Department of Justice has worked with manufacturing housing representatives, lenders, consumer advocates and the Legislature to significantly reform this industry," Myers said. "Following legislative fixes, a key part of this reform package was Justice taking actions against those companies that don't comply with state and federal laws."
Justice investigators found that Young consistently baited consumers with phony advertisements in the Statesman/Journal newspaper for non-existent manufactured homes. The "lease to own," "home for sale," and "rent to own" ads appeared regularly for months.
When inquiring consumers called Young about the ads, they were asked for personal financial information and then switched to lists of repossessed manufactured homes obtained from banks and finance companies by Young.
In conjunction with this enterprise, Young operated an unregistered credit services organization through which he allegedly engaged in predatory lending practices to obtain additional funds from consumers. In one such case, investigators found that Young switched a 65-year old, retired missionary to a repossessed home for approximately $39,000 and then failed to credit her for her actual $500 down payment. Young then falsified a $5,000 down payment to a lender to obtain financing for her, charged the woman over $4,000 in fees to purchase the home and failed to pay property taxes that were due upon sale of the home.
Under the Assurance, Young is permanently restrained from conducting business as a manufactured home dealer or as a credit services organization. Young is required to pay $6,300 in restitution to a consumer and $3,700 to the Justice consumer protection and education fund.
Named in the second assurance filed today is Golden Pacific Homes, Inc. (GPH) with offices in Portland, Woodburn and McMinnville. The company sells manufactured housing and acts as a loan and mortgage broker.
While reviewing a consumer complaint against GPH concerning delays in paying a contractor out of loan proceeds, Justice investigators found violations of Regulation Z of the federal Truth in Lending Act. Justice determined that the retail installment contract used with Golden Pacific as the creditor did not reflect a correct down payment and amount financed in order to get a better interest rate.
GPH also violated Regulation Z by failing to include in its retail installment contract a list of disbursements to third parties by the creditor on the consumer's behalf or give the consumer the option of having the disclosures made.
Under the agreement, GPH paid Justice $5,800 for its consumer protection and education fund. GPH also agreed to comply with the Unlawful Trade Practices Act and Regulation Z.
Consumers wanting more information about purchasing manufactured housing may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org