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Legend - Latest News
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.

 
Judge dismisses DR Horton's SLAPP suit
Monday, 21 June 2004

Judge splits two issues in dismissing lawsuit
Judge David Wall granted a motion late Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by home builder D.R. Horton against Safe Homes Nevada, a coalition of homeowners, based upon protections of the fair reporting privilege.

Read more...
 
Homewrecked
Wednesday, 26 May 2004
Homewrecked
Fox29 Undercover Investigation
Jeff Cole, Reporter

Life-threatening construction defects in homes valued at a half-million dollars !!! These are the findings of a Fox 29 Undercover investigation into shoddy home construction. Fox 29 Undercover begins a series of reports over the next few months. We begin our ""Homewrecked"" series in New Jersey . For some it's not a “ Garden State .”

 
Panel Finds Mold in Buildings Is No Threat to Most People
Wednesday, 26 May 2004
Panel Finds Mold in Buildings Is No Threat to Most People

By ANAHAD O'CONNOR

Stepping into an issue that has alarmed homeowners and led to hundreds of lawsuits and billions of dollars in insurance payments, a government panel of experts reported yesterday that toxic mold in homes did not appear to pose a serious health threat to most people…

Yesterday's findings drew criticism from homeowners who say they have experienced the phenomenon.

""I get calls from people every day saying they've had water problems, windows that leak, or water plumbing events behind the walls,"" said Janet Ahmad, president of Homeowners for Better Building in San Antonio , an advocacy group for people affected by mold. ""Somebody in the house usually has nosebleeds. They go away for the weekend and the children stop coughing and having nosebleeds.""

 
Buying a house, building up the tension
Wednesday, 26 May 2004
-Buying a house, building up the tension
Outstanding!
The following article exposes the enormity of homeowners’ disputes over defective home construction.  The staff writer, Mitchell Kline of Tennessean.com has done a superb job of helping readers relate to the frustrations and problems of homeowners.

The Tennessean
Buying a house, building up the tension

Attorney Jean Harrison said she's swamped with phone calls from unhappy homeowners and a stack of cases that continues to rise…

 
Nevada State Contractors Board Homeowner Complaint
Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Builder to settle board complaint
In a rare disciplinary hearing against a national home builder, the Nevada State Contractors Board heard testimony Tuesday against D.R. Horton after a homeowner complained that her rock walls were falling down. Homeowner Alisa Brilman filed a complaint against D.R. Horton with the board in September after two of the walls surrounding her then year-old Anthem Heights home began to crack and separate.

Read more...
 
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...

 
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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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