Buffett defends Berkshire Hathaway's manufactured home unit

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett has offered a strong defense of Berkshire Hathaway's manufactured home unit at the start of Berkshire's annual meeting.

Buffett said Saturday that he won't make any apologies for Clayton Homes' lending standards because he believes the company's practices are sound.

Clayton's lending was questioned last month in a story by The Seattle Times and The Center for Public Integrity. The story said Clayton appeared to be using predatory lending practices at higher rates than traditional loans.

Buffett says Clayton retains most of its mortgages after it lends to buyers, so it loses money if buyers default. Buffett says only about 3 percent of Clayton's loans default each year.

Buffett said the article overstated Clayton's profit at 20 percent, instead of its actual net profit of 2 percent.