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Pennsylvania
Condominium Condemned for code violations and shoddy construction
Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Builder Fazio reportedly owes millions
The Norristown developer who built a 26-unit condominium building on Sandy Street that was condemned last month for numerous construction problems has had financial problems dating back to at least 2007.  R. Bruce Fazio owes $2,450,000 to the St. Edmond’s Federal Savings Bank for the unpaid balance of a revolving construction loan granted to finance construction of 770 Sandy St.  Norristown officials condemned the four-story building for numerous code violations, fire safety problems and alleged shoddy construction. Eight condominium owners and 15 renters were evicted by code enforcement after a contentious hearing in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

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AARP Reports: Pennsylvania to regulate Builder Arbitration
Thursday, 27 September 2007

Pennsylvania Moves to Regulate Home Building Arbitration Contracts
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is considering legislation that would set conditions for the enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in contracts between home builders and customers, and make a failure to comply grounds for a court to void the clause... The bill would make a home construction contract voidable by the consumer if it has any of the following types of clauses, a clause purporting to waive a customer's right to a jury trial, an agreement not to assert any customer claims or defenses arising out of the contract, a provision authorizing a homebuilder to recovery attorney's fees and costs from the customer...

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Scott Binsack's broken promises
Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Castle fades into fairy tale last in a series
About a year after losing her husband to a fatal car crash and selling her house to help pay the bills, Robin Pellegrino thought her life had finally turned around on Christmas Eve. Scott Binsack, of Mansions & Estates International LLC, told the widowed mother on his live radio program that he was going to build a house for her and her infant daughter, Gianna...Instead, the Dickson City woman feels as though Mr. Binsack used her name and personal tragedy to burnish his image.

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Pennsylvania Legislator calls for New Home Construction Consumer Protection Act
Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Rep. Frank A. Shimkus - New Home Construction Consumer Protection Act
A new home is the American Dream, but for far too many Pennsylvanians victimized by fraudulent new home builders that dream has become a nightmare. In my legislative district an individual who moved to the Keystone State from New Jersey posing as an honest new home builder lied to consumer groups, bilked consumers out of literally millions of dollars, and there was no state oversight that could have stopped him.

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Pennsylvania Does Not License Homebuilders
Wednesday, 25 July 2007

No state oversight of homebuilders Part 2
The state government devotes more scrutiny to a person who cuts hair for $15 than it does to a person who builds homes for $1.5 million. Because the state does not register or license builders, nothing stopped Scott Binsack from moving one step west to escape a trail of fraud in New York state and Monroe County. The bill’s exemption for homebuilders and modest attempt to regulate via registration doesn’t surprise Janet Ahmad, president of advocacy group Home Owners for Better Building. She said homebuilders have more political clout than smaller home-improvement contractors. Contractors of all kinds, she said, tend to resist testing and licensing. “If you want to drive in Pennsylvania, you need take a test,” Mrs. Ahmad said. “In Pennsylvania, knowledge and financial responsibility in homebuilding are optional.”

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The Times-Tribune Feature: Pennsylvania Homebuilder Scott Binsack
Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Detractors, growing debt dog local builder
Scott Binsack makes his trade as a home builder, but his best tools are his mastery of marketing and his magnetic charisma. Ken Jacoby, a local excavator who has dealt with Mr. Binsack, phrased it best in saying he could “talk a hound off a meat truck.” But a growing group of detractors now say the marketing and charisma that helped Mr. Binsack craft a high-end home-building company from scratch in four years serves as a thin veil concealing a pattern of deception and unpaid debt.

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Home Builders Association helps cover criminal history of Builder
Monday, 23 July 2007

Homebuilder’s clients say watchdogs asleep Part 1
 
As he tried to deflect attention from his criminal history and rumblings about his business practices, homebuilder Scott Binsack used two powerful shields: the Lackawanna Home Builders Association and the Better Business Bureau. Mr. Binsack’s membership in the two highly regarded local groups helped him reassure clients about his Mansions & Estates International LLC — even as his criminal past emerged, civil lawsuits mounted and unpaid bills piled up.

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Bad Contractor Leave a Trail Bad Checks
Thursday, 19 July 2007

Binsack in prison for bad checks
Mr. Binsack, 37, previously convicted of bad checks and fraud in New York state and in Monroe County, was charged Wednesday with two counts of bad checks, signaling what may be the end of the controversial, high-profile building company. A June 24 story in The Times-Tribune detailed a pattern of deception and unpaid debt by Mr. Binsack’s company. The investigation revealed suppliers, contractors and employees declaring unpaid bills or bad checks, as well as a company memo admitting inability to pay bills or finish projects on time.

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Pennsylvania warns Home Improvement Contractors Unlicensed - Bill fail in Commenttee
Monday, 12 March 2007

Check out builder before hiring one
Last year, state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, R-6, introduced a bill requiring all home-improvement contractors to register with the state and draw up written contracts for jobs that exceed $500. The Senate approved the bill, but it got stuck in the House Appropriations Committee...Even the Pennsylvania Builders Association's director of public relations wasn't immune when he remodeled his bathroom four months ago...

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Pennsylvania homeowner flooding problem
Sunday, 24 December 2006

Flood problems arise when it rains
Stormwater runoff, and the flooding and erosion it creates, is as serious a threat to homeowners and the county's environmental eco-system as one can imagine. One report called it "the most pervasive problem within Chester County's watersheds."...the folks who live near Inniscrone development in London Grove. Or the 750 residents of Glen Hardie condominiums in Tredyffrin. They are all people whose homes and lives have been - or could be - upended by the runoff that occurs after a storm. "Every time it rained, the water would come barrelling down from upstream," remembers Megan Gelb, an East Caln resident who lives near Ludwig's Run. "It scoured out the soil around the roots holding these huge trees. The trees would drop (into the stream) and take a huge quantity of ground with it."

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Small Claims helps homeowners
Thursday, 21 December 2006

Homeowner takes contractor to court
District Judge Sandra J. Zemgulis' courtroom on South Side Easton resembled "The People's Court" on Tuesday afternoon. Besides the judge, the scene included a plaintiff and homeowner, Bea Kemmerer, and a defendant and home-improvement contractor, Ronald A. Schmidt. Skip past the TV cameras and lights or studio audience -- unless you consider several people who attended on Kemmerer's behalf and one curious action line columnist.

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