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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Property Rights Denied!
Protecting HOA Members' Rights is NOT The #1 Priority
of Managed Communities
The High Price of Managed Living, Books and Records Hidden
gives appearances of impropriety
Editorial Feature: Part One - Are Homeowners' Rights a Myth? 

Part Two: HOA Bureaucrats Overstep Their Authority

LATEST NEWS
Bank dismisses mortgage for mold-affected Davis family
Thursday, 01 July 2004
Bank dismisses mortgage for mold-affected Davis family

""Washington Mutual Savings Bank [of Jacksonville , Fla. ] and Fannie Mae is charging off the mortgage,"" Nancy Davis said. ""It's just wonderful news… on May 28 the Department of Housing and Urban Development released a ""Radon Gas and Mold Notice and Release Agreement"" ( www.aerotechlabs.com) that is now a requirement for all HUD home sales contracts to make certain that purchasers know radon gas and mold may cause health problems.

 
DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE ASSESSES CIVILPENALTIES AGAINST KB HOME FOR REAL ESTATE VIOLATIONSPRESS
Tuesday, 29 June 2004
DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE ASSESSES CIVIL
PENALTIES AGAINST KB HOME FOR REAL ESTATE VIOLATIONS PRESS RELEASE: STATE OF ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE
CASA GRANDE– Real Estate Commissioner Elaine Richardson recently signed a
Consent Order finding developer and broker KB Home-Phoenix to be in violation of Real
Estate laws in the SK Ranch Subdivision located in Casa Grande. Combined civil
penalties and settlement payments totaled in excess of $43,000.
 
New Jersey continues to crackdown on development & builder political corruption
Tuesday, 29 June 2004
New Jersey continues to crackdown on development & builder political corruption
FBI raids the home of former mayor of Marlboro, while a former mayor of Ashury Prark Kenneth ""Butch"" Saunders is set to be sentenced in federal court in Newark July 8 for conspiring four years ago to bribe a city councilwoman, for her votes on redevelopment. Ocean Township Mayor Terrance D. Weldon, pleaded guilty in October 2002 to extorting bribes from land developers in that township.

FBI raid former Marlboro mayor's home
MARLBORO --- A raid by federal agents on the home of a former mayor is the latest move in an expanding probe into whether developers influenced local politicians to get projects approved, according to a published report. ""We're investigating allegations of bribery, extortion and public corruption in Marlboro and the former Marlboro political climate,"" Edward J. Kahrer, an FBI supervisory special agent, told the Asbury Park Sunday Press.

Ex-Asbury mayor to be sentenced July 8 for bribe plot, tax fraud
ASBURY PARK -- Former city Mayor Kenneth ""Butch"" Saunders is set to be sentenced in federal court in Newark July 8 for conspiring four years ago to bribe a city councilwoman for her votes on redevelopment so that he could get his own corrupt payments if a deal went through.

McCarren is the lead prosecutor of charges against several Monmouth County officials the past two years, including former Ocean Township Mayor Terrance D. Weldon, who pleaded guilty in October 2002 to extorting bribes from land developers in that township.

 
Contractor took money, but did no work, police say
Wednesday, 23 June 2004
Contractor took money, but did no work, police say

On Sunday, borough police charged the contractor, Roger Louis Hemhauser, 54, with nine counts of theft, saying he has bilked borough residents out of approximately $200,000 since November. He took at least $98,000 more from residents in Edison and Woodbridge , according to police in those townships.

 
Builder admits payoffs to ex-Hudson exec
Wednesday, 23 June 2004
Builder admits payoffs to ex-Hudson exec
For $115,000, political contributor won $10 million in government funds

Joseph Barry, a politically active builder whose luxury homes and shopping complexes have reshaped towns throughout New Jersey , admitted yesterday paying nearly $115,000 in bribes to win government financing for a project on the Hoboken waterfront… Barry told U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano, was a ""reward"" for Janiszewski's help in getting almost $10 million in government grants and loans for the Shipyard, a 45-acre riverfront housing and shopping complex in Hoboken. Unbeknownst to Barry, Janiszewski at the time was cooperating with the FBI after being caught taking bribes from another contractor.

 
VA Investigates Pulte Foundations
Monday, 23 February 2004

VA looks into Pulte Homes after complaint
The VA has also requested copies of other construction complaints received from homeowners in all Pulte subdivisions in the Houston area in which the foundation design has been used since 1999, according to HomeOwners for Better Building. HomeOwners is encouraging all Pulte homeowners with HUD/FHA and VA loans in the Houston area and throughout Texas with signs of foundation problems to send a certified letter to Pulte Homes and file a complaint with either the FHA or VA.

Read more...
 
No Binding Arbitration Allowed with Freddie Mac Loans
Thursday, 04 December 2003

FREDDIE MAC PROMOTES CONSUMER CHOICE WITH NEW SUBPRIME MORTGAGE ARBITRATION POLICY
Freddie Mac announced today that effective August 1, 2004, it would no longer invest in subprime mortgages originated on or after that date that contain mandatory arbitration clauses. Freddie Mac is the first among secondary mortgage investors to adopt such a stance on subprime mortgages with mandatory arbitration clauses. This policy is aligned with the corporation’s existing prohibition on the use of mandatory arbitration for prime market mortgage investments.

Read more...
 
Unskilled Labor Leads to Flaws
Friday, 03 October 2003
Homes often are rush jobs, critics assert
Fast work by subcontractors' unskilled labor leads to flaws
Sentinel/WESH inspections of 406 homes built during 2001 discovered hundreds of examples of poor-quality construction: concrete-block walls that had little or no mortar in the joints; stucco so thinly applied that the outline of the blocks underneath was visible; air-conditioning ducts bent at such sharp angles that almost no cool air could get through; metal-frame windows jammed into crooked openings in the wall. Such carelessness is the result of building too many houses too fast, with workers who have little training and not enough oversight, builders and hired hands say. Adding to the problem is the fact that many workers can't speak or read English, or decipher a blueprint...By some estimates, illegal migrants, mostly Mexicans, make up half of the 50,000 people in residential construction in the region. The 2000 census found only 10,000 Hispanic construction workers, a number considered ridiculously low by many in the trade. READ MORE...
Read more...
 
Creation of TRCC
Tuesday, 29 April 2003

Some complain new homeowner-rights bill not enough
News 8 has reported numerous stories of homeowners complaining of shoddy construction, and being left with expensive repairs. Lawmakers promised to find a way to hold homebuilders accountable, but some wonder if a bill passed Monday really does that...Unsafe and leaky construction has forced Dawn Richardson to move out of the new home she's still paying for. Richardson said the problem was mold, and the lack of a statewide code that would require homebuilders to meet specific standards. "The builders know they can't be held accountable, so I don't think that they are working to resolve issues," Richardson said.

Read more...
 
Texas Watch on Binding Arbitration
Thursday, 24 April 2003

THE CONSUMER PITFALLS OF BINDING ARBITRATION
A Report by the Texas Watch Foundation
Most people would think twice before they signed away their right to free speech. Many would hesitate before they agreed to waive the right to vote, and more than a few would pause before they passed on the right to freely worship the god of their choosing. The same can be said of the fundamental right to a jury trial. However, it is now simply commonplace for Texans to unknowingly sign away this cornerstone of democracy. Read more...

 
Arizona isn't doing enough to protect consumers
Saturday, 05 April 2003

Contractor watchdog faulted
The state agency charged with watching over construction in Arizona isn't doing enough to protect consumers, according to a report from the Auditor General's Office.The audit said the agency needs to fix a $5.5 million deficit in the recovery fund, which helps people who lose money to licensed contractors. A residential builder pays $300 initially to the fund and then $150 annually.

Read more...
 
Dawn Richardson Family Story of a Toxic Home
Friday, 13 December 2002

David Weekley Homes' Hypocritical Donations Incite Families Hurt by Homebuilder
David Weekley Homes has hurt many families making them homeless, hurting them financially, and sometimes even injuring them physically. In the meantime, they have just given $50,000 to a national charity that provides homes to the temporarily homeless. This is beyond hypocritical - it is cruel and egregious that they would take hardworking families' money and build them houses so full of construction defects and contamination that they are unsafe to live in and then turn the other way refusing to take FULL responsibility for the economic damages, injuries, and pain and suffering they have caused.

Read more...
 
Builder shortcuts hazardous to new homes
Sunday, 29 September 2002

Faulty construction, mold-attracting materials, builder shortcuts hazardous to new homes Willard and Cinda Thomas say their dream house almost killed them. Only four years after moving into the 3,000-square-foot model home in Keller, Cinda had joint pain to the point where she could barely walk. Willard became weak, depressed, asthmatic and arthritic...Mold may be the last thing home buyers think of on moving day. But home inspectors and some homeowners have found that new homes are not exempt from sometimes devastating mold infestation. Faulty building techniques, builder shortcuts during the construction boom and some materials that serve as food for mold are being blamed for mold moving into some new homes as fast as the new owners do.

Read more...
 
Richardson vs. Weekley, Mold and More
Friday, 13 September 2002

New Weapons In The War On Toxic Mold
In March, the Richardsons sued the builder, David Weekley Homes, claiming that their negligence during the construction process created the optimal environment for the growth of toxic molds and compounds, many of which produce poisonous chemicals that cause chronic and acute health problems, including cancer.

Read more...
 
Fine Print of Arbitration
Tuesday, 20 August 2002

Read the Fine Print
"We had no idea that by signing a contract we were giving up the right to ever have our story heard by a jury," says homeowner Dawn Richardson. "You never imagine that the people building your home are trying to hurt you." In March 2001, Dawn and her husband Scott filed suit against David Weekley Homes, claiming their new $300,000 Austin house was contaminated with toxic mold resulting from a water leak that began the previous year, just days after they moved in. Though the family spent only five weeks living in their new home, Dawn Richardson says both she and her young daughter suffered neurological damage that physicians diagnosed as environmental toxic exposure, which may be irreversible...Reggie James, director of Consumers Union's Southwest Regional Office, compared binding arbitration to a bullet: It does the same amount of harm to consumers whether they see it coming or not.

Read more...
 
Consumer Fairness Act of 2002 (Introduced in House) HR 5162 IH 107th CONGRESS
Monday, 19 August 2002

To treat arbitration clauses which are unilaterally imposed on consumers as an unfair and deceptive trade practice and prohibit their use in consumer transactions, and for other purposes.

Link: Consumer Fairness Act of 2002 (Introduced in House) HR 5162 IH 107th CONGRESS

 
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