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The Times Mercer County
Monday, 16 August 2004
The Times – Mercer County
Home builder probed

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP - Under fire from local officials for unfinished work in upscale neighborhoods he built here, developer Merrick Wilson's business practices have landed him in hot water with the state as well.

The state Department of Community Affairs launched an investigation this month into River Valley Heights Corp., a construction company believed to be headed by the embattled builder.

 
Pepperell Free Press
Saturday, 14 August 2004
Pepperell Free Press
Pepperell mold victim going national to back mold bill, Davis takes her story to Washington

By Don Eriksson
Friday, August 13, 2004

PEPPERELL -- Mold victim Nancy Davis will carry her story to Washington , D.C. , and tell it to legislators during Mold Awareness Week, Sept. 19-24, as part of a national consortium that is drumming up support for a bill filed by Michigan Congressman John Conyers Jr. that would establish federal mold regulations.

 
FRISCO ENTERPRISE
Saturday, 14 August 2004
FRISCO ENTERPRISE - Frisco Top Stories
Group aims to remodel city charter
The largest single investment most people make in their lifetimes is the purchase of a new home. It is part of the American dream.   For Dr. David and Carol Becka of Frisco, however, that dream turned into what they described as a nightmare as the new custom home they built in Starwood became a ""money pit"" of problems. They blame shoddy construction and plumbing problems for rendering their ""dream home"" uninhabitable, and appeared before the Frisco City Council last year to share their fears over what they said was black mold that grew in the damp environment caused by water leaks in the house that began shortly before they closed on the home in June 1998…
Read more...
 
Residential housing standards are in the works
Friday, 13 August 2004
Residential housing standards are in the works
Adolfo Pesquera
Express-News Business Writer

Skating between the public's skepticism and an industry increasingly sensitive about its image, the Texas Residential Construction Commission rolled into San Antonio late Wednesday to solicit comments on its draft for housing standards…

The existing draft is essentially a carbon copy of the limited warranties that homeowners have found so troublesome over the past decade, said Janet Ahmad, president of Homeowners for Better Building … Despite Thomas' assurances, Scott Emerson of Scott's Inspection Co. spoke for many in the audience when he noted that the commission had a perception hurdle to overcome — eight of its nine members earn their livelihood within the homebuilding industry.

 
Texas Commission - Perception of Impropriety
Friday, 13 August 2004

Residential housing standards are in the works
Skating between the public's skepticism and an industry increasingly sensitive about its image, the Texas Residential Construction Commission rolled into San Antonio late 
Wednesday to solicit comments on its draft for housing standards… The existing draft is essentially a carbon copy of the limited warranties that homeowners have found so troublesome over the past decade, said Janet Ahmad, president of Homeowners for Better Building… Despite Thomas' assurances, Scott Emerson of Scott's Inspection Co. spoke for many in the audience when he noted that the commission had a perception hurdle to overcomeeight of its nine members earn their livelihood within the homebuilding industry.

Read more...
 
Consumer groups skeptical of new law
Thursday, 12 August 2004
Consumer groups skeptical of new law Industry-created legislation creates dispute resolution By PURVA PATEL Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle Texas builders received a little-noticed victory during last year's legislative session: the industry-drafted Texas Residential Construction Commission Act. ""Although it was touted as legislation that extends more homeowner protections with the creation of a commission to govern the industry, consumer advocates say the new law works more to protect builders than homeowners. Homeowners really don't have any rights at all,"" said Cheryl Turner, a consumer attorney in Dallas.
 
Crooked contractors leave clients in shambles
Thursday, 12 August 2004
Crooked contractors leave clients in shambles
'I feel like I have zero rights,' says a homeowner whose work was left shoddy and unfinished
By PURVA PATEL

Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

•The state attorney general's office received about 750 complaints about contractors in the last two years.
•The Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Houston has received some 4,200 complaints in the past three years.
•The Harris County district attorney office's consumer fraud division reports receiving more complaints about contractors than any other profession since Tropical Storm Allison struck the city in 2001.

 
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.

 
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Reckless Endangerment
BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
and JOSHUA ROSNER

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
Economic Armageddon


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