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Manufactured HUD tags or the data plate missing-what next?

The manufactured home loan process is more complex than financing a traditional site-built home.

Manufactured homes are built to a national building code established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1976 and these codes are regularly upgraded. Per HUD's specifications, the home will have a HUD Data Plate affixed somewhere inside, usually on the wall of the master bedroom closet or inside the cabinet door under the kitchen sink. It lists the manufacturer info, date of manufacture, label and serial numbers of the units and all the construction performance specs of the home.

HUD also requires a factory/plant installed 2x4 inch metal HUD Tag listing the label number (often called the “HUD or Red tag”) to be placed about a foot up from the bottom and a foot from the edge on the back rear end section of each unit. These tags start out as bright red (faded over time) or occasionally with older tags a lighter color. In addition, the unit's serial number is stamped into the metal frame-- typically on the undercarriage I-beam/frame or front frame of a unit. Time and wear can often obscure these identifying items.

Here are some examples.

What happens when a label or data plate is missing from one or more units?

When one or more labels are missing it can cause a loan problem with lenders requiring alternative verification of the label number. These labels are firmly affixed to the back rear of each unit and hardly ever fall off on their own.

No matter the reason, there is a potential solution to a missing label problem. Many experienced manufactured home lenders have access to a company called IBTS. IBTS maintains a database of nearly every manufactured home unit built after 1976 and when provided with a correct serial/label number, IBTS can provide verification of the unit which includes manufacturer, date of manufacture, model name/number, location of factory and first shipment location. They can even provide the initial installation location of the unit(s) for an additional fee. IBTS provides this info in a lender approved verification letter and charges a fee for this service which can range from about $100 to as much as $300 depending on the type of verification and how fast it's needed.

The verification letter provides the following information:

  • HUD tag/label number

  • Serial/VIN number

  • Date of manufacture

  • Name of manufacturer and plant location

  • Location of first destination typically the dealer or retail center lot

  • Data only available for homes manufactured after June 15, 1976

  • For an additional fee you can order the HUD Data Plate/Performance Certificate that will provide wind zone, roof load zone and thermal zone

The image here is an example of an IBTS verification letter.

Typically a lender can use the info contained in a data plate or a County recorded HCD433 document to help obtain IBTS verification. If none of these are available--or the data listed on them is incorrect (it happens!) -- and no other data exists to help identify a unit(s) the manufactured home would be classified as ineligible for traditional financing.

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