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Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Tx sunset panel urges sparing construction commission
A state agency scheduled for abolition because it has been ineffective in resolving consumers' complaints against homebuilders should continue, a review panel has decided...The Sunset Commission, a panel of 10 lawmakers and two public members, rejected a staff review that said the agency is ''fundamentally flawed'' and should be abolished. The staff report said the agency is doing more harm than good for homeowners, who must go through the agency's dispute resolution process before they can file lawsuits against builders.  The Sunset Commission rejected calls from consumer advocates to allow homeowners to bypass the TRCC and go directly to court

Tx sunset panel urges sparing construction commission
By JANET ELLIOTT Austin Bureau
Dec. 16, 2008
Read and Post comments

AUSTIN — A state agency scheduled for abolition because it has been ineffective in resolving consumers' complaints against homebuilders should continue, a review panel has decided.

The Sunset Advisory Commission agreed Tuesday night to recommend that the Texas Residential Construction Commission be reviewed again in four years, instead of the usual 12.

But it said the agency must resolve disputes more quickly and recommended that a recovery fund be established to help compensate homeowners when a builder goes out of business.

The Sunset Commission, a panel of 10 lawmakers and two public members, rejected a staff review that said the agency is ''fundamentally flawed'' and should be abolished. The staff report said the agency is doing more harm than good for homeowners, who must go through the agency's dispute resolution process before they can file lawsuits against builders.

The Legislature, in the session that begins in January, ultimately will decide the future of the agency it created in 2003 at the behest of homebuilders who wanted a process to resolve complaints against their members outside of the legal system.

Sen. Glenn Hegar, a Republican from Katy who is on the Sunset Commission, proposed the streamlined process as a way for homeowners to get to court more quickly.

The Sunset Commission rejected calls from consumer advocates to allow homeowners to bypass the TRCC and go directly to court.

Alex Winslow of the consumer group Texas Watch said compressing the time it takes for the agency to investigate claims is a ''step in the right direction.''

''However, it needs to be coupled with making the process voluntary, so consumers have choices," he said. "For us, that's the bottom line."

Scott Norman, executive director of the Texas Association of Builders, said the industry is pleased that the Sunset Commission recognized the agency's value.

''We, like others, realize the agency needs to improve,'' Norman said. ''Its core mission of regulating homebuilders and remodeling and trying to resolve construction defects quickly is a good one.''
http://www.chron.com/disp/discuss.mpl/chronicle/6169794.html

Read and Post comments

A21CAV (0)
A21CAV wrote:
How much were they paid and by whom to make a 180 degree change in their recommendation. The builder or remodeler you hire is NOT licensed and TRCC registration is not a substitute for licensing. There is NO requirement for proven experience, insurance coverage or financial stability. The TRCC is a detriment to homeowners getting what they paid for and is doing more harm than good. Read the Sunset Commission's original report and contact your lawmaker.

12/17/2008 3:06:52 PM

snorbert (0)
snorbert wrote:
"Scott Norman, executive director of the Texas Association of Builders, said the industry is pleased that the Sunset Commission recognized the agency's value."
Translation:
We are pleased that the Sunset Commission has decided to allow us to continue this farce, so that we are effectively unregulated and our customers cannot take us to court when we rip them off.

12/17/2008 3:18:41 PM

Livco08 (0)
Livco08 wrote:
The TRCC is for the builders only. It was just another political pay off by builders so the builders could stay out of court. The TRCC doesn't need restructuring. It needs elimination. Its a waste of TAXPAYERS money!!!!

12/17/2008 3:19:31 PM

bockofma (0)
bockofma wrote:
Yahooooooo! Bob Perry strikes again! (Looks like something requiring a well deserved Rick Casey follow-up...)

12/17/2008 3:27:22 PM

RockDoctor (13)
RockDoctor wrote:
Another example of how politicians don't represent the people rather they represent corporate interests.

12/17/2008 3:31:27 PM

HDad (0)
HDad wrote:
Ah, yes, the homebuilders enjoy the results all those campaign contributions they made to get this builder protection agency set up in the first place and since to keep it working for them. Once again our Texas legislators show that they are loyal to the highest bidder for business interests seeking protection against the common people of the state. This commission already has proved itself over and over to be the homebuyers worst nightmare -- even worse than the slipshod builders it protects. No one not bought and paid for by the homebuilders would want to see this agency continue in existence for even one more day, let alone four more years.

12/17/2008 3:37:19 PM

truetexanfan (0)
truetexanfan wrote:
"Scott Norman, executive director of the Texas Association of Builders, said the industry is pleased that the Sunset Commission recognized the agency's value."
Translation:
We are pleased that the Sunset Commission has decided to allow us to continue this farce, so that we are effectively unregulated and our customers cannot take us to court when we rip them off."
Agree 100%. This agency is nothing but a scam for home builders. Perry, Weekley, etc... have made a fortune building substandard products and offering worthless warranties.

12/17/2008 3:39:53 PM

InjunEarTallGrass (10)
Boooo... Once again the Sunset Advisory Commission ignores a well-thought-out staff review and succumbs to the political pre$$ure$ of Bob Perry.
.
Homeowners will continue to face construction flaws with no legal recourse to rectify the deficiencies.
.
Texas Builders = 1
Homeowners = 0
.
It's the end of the game and Texas homeowners are directed back to the showers -- soaked to the bone, defeated, and without the team ball. This is exactly where Perry and his cronies want us.

12/17/2008 3:41:12 PM

b1rd_nes (22)
b1rd_nes wrote:
WALOC

12/17/2008 3:44:52 PM

texanite (2)
texanite wrote:
How about changing staffing requirements to add more people who know what makes sense to the consumer instead of a staff full of builders lookng out for their own interests? Whatever happened to just doing the right thing? Profit margins, that's what.

12/17/2008 3:54:06 PM

defman (0)
defman wrote:
Gee, isn't it nice to feel like we're living in Illinois?

12/17/2008 3:57:02 PM

healthyLife (15)
healthyLife wrote:
The TRCC exists solely protect shoddy builders and only functions as an obstacle for consumers who would, otherwise, be able to exercise their rights to court action when necessary.
From their website:
"In 1977, the Texas Legislature created the Sunset Advisory Commission to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. "
Considering that we already have a court system which provides legal recourse (home-owners, for example), that makes the TRCC a "duplicate" or redundant agency.

12/17/2008 4:03:52 PM

jettexasnative (3)
It sounds to me the Sunset Avisory Committee needs to be abolished.
The TRCC is a lawsuit prevention device for unscrupulous residential builders, courtesy of the State of Texas. Governor Goodhair, I hope you're happy!

12/17/2008 4:16:46 PM

JSKY (158)
JSKY wrote:
I have a question. Does anyone know a builder that actually had a "frivolous" lawsuit filed against them? Understand I don't mean a builder that was sued but I mean wrongfully sued. Where was the urgent need to make sure it was difficult for consumers to get into a courtroom? Personally, I've never known a person to have to sue their builder. If there was a problem, they talked about it and it was addressed to everyone's satisfaction. Had it not been though, I don't see a reason they should have been forced to go through some dog and pony show before their concerns could be addressed by a court of law. If anything, it seems this commission was set up not to regulate builders but to wear people down so that at some point they'd just accept whatever bone was thrown their way.

12/17/2008 4:19:14 PM

chiefdecoy (233)
chiefdecoy wrote:
How many of the leading state politicians, are tied into new home construction? It's no surprise that a stat agency full of politcians with ties to home construction, drags it's feet when it comes to the consumer. This is like having a pit bull head a commission to abolish dangerous breeds of dog. Duh....

12/17/2008 4:24:50 PM

eagle1515 (0)
eagle1515 wrote:
What this issue really speaks to is the simple fact that "our" legislators are solely influenced by lobbyists money and not at all by what voters really want. Voters I think would say to pull the plug on this builders liability immunity commission; As another example, voters I think would, by a large majority, approve casino gambling in Texas. However, lobbyists representing out-of-state casino owners contribute millions of dollars to "our" legislators to keep the issue off the battle. That is the way the system works. The most amazing part of this equation is that we voters just keep on re-electing the same old money chasers time and again. That is why I strongly favor term limits. If you know you can't run for office again, maybe, just maybe you will actually cast a vote that represents your constituents' position on the issues and not a vote that is solely intended to fatten your campaign account.

12/17/2008 4:42:22 PM

chiefdecoy (233)
chiefdecoy wrote:
eagle1515,,,,Interesting observation. That would make sense, seeing as how the majority of casino's in Lake Charles has mainly Texas liscense plates throughout their parking lots. Makes as much sense as anything else.

12/17/2008 5:10:28 PM

eoj (0)
eoj wrote:
Whatever happened to free market regulation. The courts have always been deciders of keeping unethical builders from cheating consumers ( with the present Supreme Court being the exception). This Texas Association of Builders with its high paying lobbyists (Bob Perry & co.) is nothing but an obstructionist tool
used against honest hardworking comsumers.

12/17/2008 5:12:21 PM

drglass (7)
drglass wrote:
Wow now we know the state is in on this. They rejected the Sunset review and decided essentially status quo. What a bunch of looting crooks both the builders and our state representatives.

12/17/2008 5:25:55 PM

chiefdecoy (233)
chiefdecoy wrote:
Not necessarily a fact, but,,,,dont' many new build contracts have you sign an agreement to arbitration? That would be enough to help settle disputes without need to seek the courts help. However, if no agreement can be reached, there should be no need to go through a biased panel of politicians before you can go to court. Unless that arbitration panel IS the SAC. I have never been through it, so I have no real knowledge of the issue. (hope that I never have to either)

12/17/2008 5:30:25 PM

willrogerstx (15)
willrogerstx wrote:
Yep, Complain all you like, but next election you will line up and pull the R lever once again. That is exactly why the politicans don't bother to listen to you.

12/17/2008 6:09:34 PM

twobe (9)
twobe wrote:
As I have stated previously, the recipients of the Bob Perry Endowment have struck again. These elected officals , who by the way cut across party lines are shameless. Where does an elected offical who was scammed by a contractor herself come off recommending keeping TRCC. Go to HOBB.ORG and HADD.COM. Read how good hard working citizens are victimized by this industry
..and yet the people who are supposed to be representing us think this is OK.
Absolutely dispicable. Millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on a useless commission that builders laugh at.
John Stossel should do a 'Give Me a Break: piece on this.

12/17/2008 6:33:51 PM

twobe (9)
twobe wrote:
willrogerstx wrote:
"Yep, Complain all you like, but next election you will line up and pull the R lever once again. That is exactly why the politicans don't bother to listen to you.
12/17/2008 6:09:34 PM "
Unfortuantely when it comes to the builders it is not all Republicans who support this scam. We have A. Ritter who files the bills for the homebuilders and even won an award from the industry. Then a few doors down at the Capitol we have Patrick Rose who voted in line with the Republicans in this matter and of course Ruth McClendon Jones from SA, You get the picture. Let's call it like it is.
I want my fair share from the builders so I will vote to victimize the citizens of Texas if their new homes are falling apart. Just fill my war chest.
Shocking and I defy anyone to say they are true Democrats.

12/17/2008 7:00:39 PM

pinywoodsrooter (21)
Folks in SD-17 have no fear, you newly elected state senator will do nothing about the TRCC. You get what you vote for.
The good news is that it won't be a four-year reprieve because the Dims are in in 2010.

12/17/2008 7:10:21 PM

1penny2wind (32)
1penny2wind wrote:
The Legislature, in the session that begins in January, ultimately will decide the future of the agency it created in 2003 at the behest of homebuilders who wanted a process to resolve complaints against their members outside of the legal system.
_________________________________________________
Homebuilders talked legislatures into doing something that would benefit them instead of protecting the homeowners. Are the Homebuildres buttering the legislatures breat? Wait until the next election and see if those homeowners appreciate who you protected then.
If it hasen't worked in the past 3 years, it probably won't in the next 4.

12/17/2008 7:21:00 PM

1penny2wind (32)
1penny2wind wrote:
oops buttering their bread - not breat.

12/17/2008 7:27:08 PM

A21CAV (0)
A21CAV wrote:
I asked the question earlier, "How much were they paid and by whom to make a 180 degree change in their recommendation?". Here may be part of the answer:
"Ten of the 12 members of the Sunset Advisory Commission are legislators, and, as I reported a few months ago, Perry has given those 10 more than $400,000 during their legislative careers. Hegar has received $64,500 from Perry, most of it during his first Senate race in 2006. Hegar said Perry's money won't affect his decision." This is from :
http://www.hobb.org/content/view/2857/1/
Contact your legislators by phone, email or snail mail. Make your voice heard and make it loud. Those of you in Katy need to make sure YOUR representative, Senator Glenn Hegar, knows that the TRCC is not representing your best interests, that it is only representing the interests of the good ole boys club. Either that or enjoy your crappy built house, the one you have no recourse to correct except with your checkbook, when it begins failing in 10years or less.

12/17/2008 8:03:47 PM


 
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