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Michigan
michigan contractors must be licensed
Wednesday, 09 July 2008

Local homebuilders must wait to build
New legislation went into effect on June 1st requiring all building contractors to personally be licensed by the state. Previously, only their company needed to be licensed. Thousands sent in applications for licenses. And now there's a huge backlog of builders waiting to get those licenses.

Read more...
 
The never ending story
Monday, 01 January 2007

Family, builder at odds over unfinished house
Bliss, his wife Mary and their three children are spending their second consecutive holiday season at his parents' home in Lenox Township because of ongoing construction woes at their house in Warren. Every corner of the house leaks," John Bliss said. "You can go in and on certain days the walls are bleeding water." The general contractor, Pinch Construction, of Richmond, acknowledges the prevailing problem is moisture that has led to mold throughout the single-story house.

Read more...
 
Inspectors Under Fire
Thursday, 30 November 2006

Michigan: Almont Township building inspector under fire
There are claims by Almont Township homeowners that their building inspector dropped the ball. The three homeowners are facing thousands of dollars in repairs to their homes...They all had different builders, but blame the same building inspector, who they claim allowed them to move into homes that are clearly not livable...over 5,000 gallons a day," Pat Smylie said. "We have nowhere to put this water -- no drains, no ditches." On top of that the Smylies learned the basement windows were put in wrong.The builder never installed flashing -- metal that blocks water from coming in, and the Smylies later learned the house is sitting on a stream and should have never been built.

Read more...
 
Checks Bounce in Title Insurance Settlement
Saturday, 16 September 2006

Home buyers' refunds bounce
The settlement, approved in February, applied to people who bought newly built homes between December 1998 and July 2005 and purchased title insurance from Chicago Title Insurance Co. of Missouri, Transnation Title Insurance Co. of Arizona, First American Title Insurance Co. of California or Lawyer's Title Insurance Corp. of Virginia.

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Michigan considers new law
Saturday, 09 September 2006

Thinking of buying a house? The home, and the inspector, may have shortcomings you can't see
The house seemed like a good deal. At least that's what Sandy Quintano thought when she bought her Port Huron home in 2000. However, things started going awry a few months later. The microwave oven kept blowing fuses, and then her new computer wouldn't work...Frank Accavitti Jr., D-Eastpointe, said he proposed the legislation as a consumer-protection measure. The current bill is his third attempt to get legislation passed. If necessary, he said, he'll bring it up a fourth time.



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Homeowners want an end to sinkhole battle
Tuesday, 01 August 2006

Sinkhole legal issues remain unresolved
At the same time the Collins family was celebrating the first year in their new home on Giannetti Drive in 2004, the earth literally opened up and appeared ready to swallow their house... When the repair and resurfacing work wrapped up last summer, the Collinses found themselves with a home they fear they have little chance of selling.

Read more...
 
Mortgage Fraud - Michigan one of ten hot spots
Monday, 24 July 2006

Homeowners get mortgage fraud alert
While it may seem an unlikely threat, mortgage fraud was a $26 million problem in Michigan last year, up from $9 million in 2003. Seven new OFIS field examiners have joined six others to investigate the crime. The FBI underlined the problem in Michigan last year when it identified the state as among 10 hot spots for mortgage and deed fraud.

Read more...
 
New Consumer Group
Saturday, 22 July 2006

Consumers for Quality Homes
Corporate builders are using subcontractors, often employing a labor force without the training required to build quality homes. This practice of using a shadow workforce leads to poor workmanship and record number of homeowner complaints...In the spring of 2006 CFQH surveyed Centex Homes consumers in several markets.
How would you rate your experience with Centex Homes?  POOR: 41%, FAIR: 24%, GOOD: 35%
How would you rate the quality of your new home built by Centex Homes?
POOR:
31%, AVERAGE: 28%,GOOD: 26%, EXCELLENT: 15%  Read More...

 
Michigan Proposes Mortgage Fraud Bills
Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Bills offer protection from shady home deals
A package of bills unveiled Monday would offer people refinancing their homes more protection from lenders who are defrauding the real estate industry by giving law enforcement officials more muscle to investigate and prosecute such cases.The state has one of the fastest-growing mortgage-fraud problems in the nation, according to the FBI. Michigan's mortgage-fraud losses jumped from nearly $9 million in 2003 to $26 million in 2005.

Read more...
 
Pulte & City Sued and Families Devastated
Saturday, 08 April 2006
Families feeling sunk by sinkhole file a lawsuit
Cleveland Stegall is eligible for a buyout from his job at General Motors Corp., but the Stegalls said they feel like they're trapped in a house they no longer want. "Who is going to buy our home now?" Nettie Stegall said. "There are a lot of things we can't plan for because we have a $500,000 house we can't sell. We can't plan for early retirement because of the stress it put on our heads."They are among nine families who sued the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and three corporations Friday. They are seeking millions of dollars for medical, financial and aesthetic woes caused by the sinkhole. It affected the Bartola Farms and Villa Fontana subdivisions off 15 Mile between Utica and Moravian.
Read more...
 
Pulte Homes Sued
Saturday, 08 April 2006
Detroit, builders sued for sinkhole's misery
Residents of Villa Fontana and Bartola Farms subdivisions filed the lawsuit Friday in Macomb Circuit Court against the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, Pulte Homes of Michigan Inc., Pulte Land Company LLC, both based in Bloomfield Hills, and C.R. Miller Homes in Shelby Township...The sinkhole caused back yards to sink 2 to 3 feet and damaged foundations, walls and ceilings of homes and basements, Morganroth said. The subsequent repairs caused residents to lose sleep and suffer health problems, and lose enjoyment of their homes, the lawsuit says. Morganroth said their homes are now "worthless." The city of Sterling Heights reduced the homes' value by about 70 percent.
Read more...
 
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Reckless Endangerment
BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
and JOSHUA ROSNER

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
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