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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration
Mark Eberwine: New Home Warranties....Beware!
Latest News
Monday, 09 November 2009

New Home Warranties....Beware!
Your house develops cracks in the brick walls, the interior walls, ceilings, floor tiles, etc. yet, according to the warranty company representatives, their company is not responsible for repairing your new home. You can't believe your new home can develop so many cracks so quickly, yet your Homebuilder says "the cracks aren't big enough; we are not required to repair them".

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Mississippi to computerize public records about incompetent and dishonest builders
Latest News
Monday, 26 October 2009

Consumer info on builders improving
The Mississippi State Board of Contractors plans to launch a searchable computer database in early 2010 so consumers can check the track records of builders. The lack of computerized public records about incompetent and dishonest builders hampers Mississippi consumers who want to make informed decisions for one of life’s biggest investments: a new or remodeled home.

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Money Magazine: Builders Build New Cheap Houses
Latest News
Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Smart Money: THE FAT- FREE HOUSE
Builders are digging out of the housing mess with some courious shortcuts, from foam beams to picture windows that don't ever open.  Our look at the home of the future... the art of building a house on the cheap without making it look cheap... no gutter...warranty manager for builder...maybe future occupants won't care about their flowers being decapitated. "You mighg be wasting $1,000.00...“perceived value.” Translation: Keep the high-profile amenities, but skimp everywhere else. And apparently, the strategy works. KB Home says... But creative economizing can come back to haunt homeowners. Missing Water Valves - Builder Saves: $35 per valve. When builders forgo under-the sink shut-ff valves, the savings seldom lower the home price.  But when there's a leak, owners can face big plumbing and cleanup bills...
Read more...

 
Tort Reform proven more harm than good for Texas Consumers
Latest News
Sunday, 18 October 2009

Battle over legal ‘reforms’ has been costly to families
For 20-plus years, the insurance industry, aided by tobacco interests, polluters, developers and the medical industry, have been engaged in a pitched battle to take away the legal rights of families. Our state has been the front line in a battle for our Constitution. Sadly, the Constitution is losing, and Texas families have been the collateral damage. All of this has been done in the guise of “reform,” but real legal reform should be designed to protect everyday Texans, making Texas a safer and healthier place. What we've been handed in Texas certainly doesn't fall into that category. The only real beneficiaries of the decades-long fight in Texas have been a handful of powerful special interests that have boosted their bottom lines on the backs and broken hearts of countless Texas families.

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Hearing on the need for Consumer Protection
Latest News
Thursday, 01 October 2009

Why We Need Robust Consumer Financial Protection
This morning I testified before the House Financial Services Committee to support the creation of a robust new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.  Our current system of consumer protection fails to protect Americans of all races and backgrounds from the most basic exploitation and abuses that can cost individuals and families hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even their homes. Current laws and enforcement allow a range of institutions to escape supervision because responsibilityfor consumer protection is fragmented across too many regulators. Too many finance companies are not regulated at all at the Federal level.

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Consumer Protection Agency to Restrict Mandatory Arbitration
Latest News
Saturday, 26 September 2009

FIGHT BEGINS OVER NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY
It would be the most sweeping change to American consumer protection in decades, perhaps since 1930.  It would wrest power away from major banking regulators and the Federal Trade Commission and place it in the hands of five appointees charged with putting consumers first.  And apparently it scares the heck out of the banking industry and other business interests.

Read more...
 
Builder Warranty? What Warranty?
Latest News
Saturday, 26 September 2009

Warranty Week: New Home Warranties
One CEO recently said the worst of this cycle may be behind us. In terms of sales decreases and price declines, maybe so. But in terms of warranty costs, the worst is right now, as builders have less cash to pay for warranty work on units they sold at the end of the boom years. And then there's the question of how costly the defective Chinese drywall will turn out to be to replace. At least two homebuilders -- KB Home and Beazer Homes -- made houses in 2006 and 2007 that were apparently built so well that the companies found it appropriate to make absolutely no accruals at all during certain periods. In other words, their financial accountants must have predicted that some of their homes were so well-built that they would need no warranty work at all. The very next quarter, accruals sprang back to levels of $2,000 or more per home, but the companies were just as silent about these apparent quality reversals as they were about their flawless predecessors.

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Market Watch:Government Accountability Office to audit how the Federal Reserve implements policy
Latest News
Friday, 25 September 2009

Frank backs Rep. Ron Paul's Fed audit bill
MarketWatch By Ronald D. Orol - WASHINGTON  - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he backs legislation introduced by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, that would require the Government Accountability Office to audit how the Federal Reserve implements monetary policy and examines every aspect of the Fed, including how much it has lent and will lend to specific banks as part of its bank bailout program. "We are serious about some legislation in this regard," said Frank at a hearing on Paul's bill. "I have some concerns, some time needs to elapse before certain disclosures take place, we are working together; we want there to be publicity but we don't want there to be a market effect in the near term." The legislation introduced by Paul, which requires approval by the House Financial Service Committee before it comes to a vote by the full House, has 295 supporters in the House.  Related Public Citizen Consumer Information: Interesting Financial Services Committee Press Releases 

 
What a million buys…
Latest News
Sunday, 20 September 2009

Staggering $1.142 million
This 1926 home features hardwood floors, a large renovated kitchen, a bright two-bedroom basement suite, a white picket fence and a tree swing.

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Wall Street Journal: Shoddy Homebuilding
Latest News
Friday, 03 July 2009

Shoddy Construction Haunts Home Buyers
Like California, Texas and Florida, Nevada experienced a surge in construction-defect claims in recent years... Owners of defective properties say they’re finding it even harder to get repairs now because of rising builder bankruptcies. Some builders, especially smaller ones, also carried inadequate liability insurance, construction experts say. Other homeowners say they are hamstrung by mandatory binding arbitration clauses in purchase contracts and new-home warranties, as well as “ right to cure ” laws, which require homeowners to notify builders and give them a chance to remedy a defect before the homeowners can file a lawsuit. More than 30 states have some type of right-to-cure legislation, according to the home-builders group.

Read more...
 
Homeowners the ping-pong ball between Nevada's Legislature and Lobbyists Haven
Latest News
Wednesday, 01 July 2009

On home defect legislation, lobbyists went to the wire
Construction defect settlements are governed by Chapter 40 in Nevada statutes, and builders have grown to hate it. They seethe as each new defect notice, or “Chapter 40 notice,” arrives by mail or courier... And then there were the feds. In an ongoing investigation, the FBI appears to be looking into whether homeowner associations and their elections have been corrupted by businesses — including possibly construction defect law firms — so they could bring suits against builders and win those guaranteed legal fees...To scrap Chapter 40... The net result of eliminating Chapter 40, and Wadhams’ real goal, was to all but eliminate construction defect costs for builders....Builders would then force homebuyers to sign contracts that protect them from liability...A builder lobbyist was open about why they walked away with nothing...

Read more...
 
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