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Homebuyers Need a Home Lemon Law


Why Texas Needs a Home Lemon Law
Homebuilders have become confident  they can build homes that are substandard, disposable; and can not be held accountable because of unfair contractual advantages. Over the last 10 years homebuyers rights and protection has been severely eroded. And with the
Texas Supreme Court poised to relieve Texas Homebuilders from the "warranty of habitability", now is the time to restore homebuyers confidence in their new home and their builder.  The reasons for a Home Lemon Law are detailed below and we are fully prepared to debate each one with convincing supporting evidence.
 The Texas Supreme Court and Centex. Centex Homes v. Buecher. Centex Homes (on behalf of all Texas home builders) has asked the Texas Supreme Court to relieve the industry of the "warranty of habitability". The main argument submitted in an  Amicus by the National Association of Home Builders is that Texas home builders provide a home warranty that "offers significant tangible benefits".  These so called "significant tangible benefits" are in fact, an Extremely Limited Unenforceable Warranty. Any ruling in favor of the Home Building Industry will again severely erode the homebuyers confidence in Texas Home Builders.  What confidence can be fostered if a builder cannot warrant a home for habitability? 
Side note: "The justices [Texas Supreme Court] also took $363,338 from Centex's law firms, Baker & Botts and Bracewell & Patterson,..." --The Home Boy's Hold On the High Court.
 Home Warranties are Unenforceable and SEVERELY limited. Home Warranties such as the Residential Warranty Corporation Warranty (RWC) used by Centex Homes, provides protection for Major Structural Defects ONLY, after the 2nd year. And a MSD is strictly defined in the RWC "It materially affects the physical safety of the occupants of the home". See a review of the RWC for details. 

 Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clauses. No access to the Courts. Home buyers have lost their right to a civil trial provided to all consumers through the United States and Texas Constitution by signing these rights away as a condition of buying a new home. In short, a homebuyer cannot sue a Texas home builder. These clauses are found in the new home contract and warranty. 

 Lack of Consumer Protection Agencies. Home buyers with a construction defects have little if any recourse via the BBB or the Texas Attorney Generals Office. Protection for our Veterans by the Veterans Administration is illusionary. HUD is the same. We expect more from our  consumer agencies on the city, county, or state level to help with a construction defect. 

 Lack of Building Inspections. The builders are not required to have a building inspection by a State Licensed inspector, but when you sell your home, you will be required to do so.

 Lack of enforcement of building codes. One of the warranty exclusion from the RWC is "Violation of applicable building codes".  If the builder is in vilation of applicable building codes, the warranty will not cover this.

 Defective Construction Products. Over the last 10 years defective construction products have surfaced costing homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs. Of course the warranties do not cover these such as Masonite siding, Synthetic Stucco, Roofing Shingles, Polybutelene Plumbing. The builders have taken no responsibility for these problems.

 Limitations of the Residential Construction Liability Act. The RCLA  provides more protection for the builders than it does for the homebuyer. It requires an attorney to understand and implement. The Home Lemon law will shortcut and simplify the prcedure without legal representation.

 Health Hazards of our Homes. Many new homebuyers have found their homes and lives destroyed by "silent killers", mold. A homeowner in Dripping Springs Texas was the subject of a national story on 48 Hours. The homeowners learn the builders take no responsibility for this and the insurance companies will not cover the repairs. 

 
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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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