HomeLatest NewsFeatured HomebuildersHome Buyer ResourcesBinding ArbitrationResource LinksSubmit ComplaintsView ComplaintsTake Action 101!Report Mortgage FraudMortgage Fraud NewsForeclosure NewsConstruction DefectsHome DefectsPhoto GalleryFoundation ProblemsHomeowner Website LinksHOA Reform

Visit HOBB Forums

Main Menu
Home
Latest News
Featured Homebuilders
Home Buyer Resources
Binding Arbitration
Resource Links
Submit Complaints
View Complaints
Take Action 101!
Report Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage Fraud News
Foreclosure News
Construction Defects
Home Defects
Photo Gallery
Foundation Problems
Homeowner Website Links
HOA Reform
Featured Topics
Builder Death Spiral
Report Mortgage Fraud
Foreclosure Special Report
Mold & New Home Guide
Special News Reports
Centex & Habitability
How Fast Can They Build Them?
TRCC Editorial
Texas TRCC Scandal
Texas Watch - Tell Lawmakers
TRCC Recommendations
Sandra Bullock
People's Lawyer
Prevent Nightmare Homes
Choice Homes
Smart Money
Weekly Update Message
HOBB Archives
About HOBB
Contact Us
Fair Use Notice
Legislative Work
Your House

 HOBB News Alerts
and Updates

Click Here to Subscribe

Support HOBB - Become a Sustaining Member

Enter Amount:
$

Who's Online
We have 35 guests online
UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR A HOME LEMON LAW
ARCHIVED HOME LEMON LAW NEWS

May 6, 2001 Homebuyers push for protection from defective houses [New Jersey]  Published in the Courier News on Homebuyers push for protection from defective houses   By LARRY HIGGS Staff Writer The Crosbys and Kellys have forwarded a proposed lemon law to Assemblyman Christopher "Kip" Bateman, R-Branchburg, who said he is reviewing it."

May 9, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: Net-Based Consumers Fight Defective Homes
by Broderick Perkins   Grass roots consumer action aimed at new home defects is yielding unprecedented results -- including a landmark bill that could force builders to buy back or replace defective homes. 

What could be the nation's first lemon law for new homes -- as well as recent major media investigations of new home defects -- can all be linked to a ground swell of unresolved complaints from home owners who are joining forces on the Internet. 

May 9, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: Home-Related Issues Dominate Consumer Complaints by Broderick Perkins   Consumers gripe most about home improvements, which for the first time topped auto service problems as the greatest source of ire from the buying public, but problems with household goods, equity loans, utilities, landlord-tenant issues and mail order concerns also often generate consumers' wrath. 

May 5, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: MASSACHUSETT CONSIDERING A HOME LEMON LAW!  Lemon law sought for home buyers   By Walter V. Robinson and Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 5/5/2001. "In a proposal that could lead to a national precedent, the state's top consumer official said yesterday that new home buyers should have the same protections the Massachusetts ''lemon'' law provides for new car buyers, who can get their money back if serious flaws go unrepaired."

May 2, 2001 Boston Globe: Luxury by Design, Quality by Chance. Part 4 "Meanwhile, times may be changing. In Texas, home buyer advocates are pushing a ''home lemon law'' under consideration by the state Legislature. The proposal is fashioned after automotive lemon laws on the books in many states, including Massachusetts, which require manufacturers to either repair defective cars or buy them back."

May 2, 2001 Boston Globe: T A R E IÝÝOnLine Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors. Texas Homebuyer Protection Act Introduced in Texas Legislature. "Reflect on this for a moment. The Texas homebuilder is allowed by law to build an inferior home that adheres to few, if any of the standards set forth by the uniform or national building codes. The Texas homebuilder implements a contract and a deed that precludes the homeowner and all subsequent homeowners from suing the builder. The Texas homebuilder provides the homeowner with a ten (10) year structural warranty that has language in the warranty that states that the home must be unsafe for the warranty to cover repairs to the home. Where does this leave the real estate sales community?"

May 1, 2001 Fox TV Austin: HOME LEMON LAW   It's coming down to the wire for a bill that could give homebuyers in Texas more protection. The Shuey family says the New Home Lemon Law is exactly what is needed. The family saw their Kimball Hill Home turn into a nightmare after the foundation started moving.

April 22, 2001 Eroding trust. New home buyers vent frustrations at builder [KBHOMES] By Ian McCannThe Dallas Morning News. "One of the biggest problems, homeowners said, is poor customer service."

WFAA CH 8 News Dallas: KBHomes Homeowners take their complaints to the Frisco City council. The Proposed Texas Home Lemon Law is mentioned. You can view the news on April 16 and April 17at:

The Citizen Houston: Lemon law could put squeeze on faulty homes By: JAY GRAHAM, Citizen Staff April 18, 2001Homeowner John Cobarruvias could be involved in the PTA or acting as a soccer coach if it wasn't for a defect in his home. "The beauty of the thing," Cobarruvias said, "is that you don't need an attorney. You give them every opportunity to fix the property. If they can't fix the problem, then they will buy it back from you."

Dateline NBC: "Reading the fine print" Do home warranties offer protection for buyers?. Dateline NBC April 17, 2001. With warranties like this, a Lemon Law is needed!

WFAA Dallas: April 17, 2001 K&B in the news again in Dallas: Homeowners Speak Out Against Builder  FRISCO ó Dozens of angry homeowners in Frisco are calling for the city to take action against their builder, KB Home. ... Meanwhile, a homebuyerís lemon law is being considered by state lawmakers in Austin. 

KHOU TV. HOUSTON: April 04, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: KHOU TV 10:00 News on The New Home Lemon Law.  ìHomeowners have tremendous amounts of rights.î" --President of Houston's Builders' Association, Jim Frankel. (And the Easter Bunny is real.)

AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN. AUSTIN: Mar 25, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: When is a house also a lemon? by By Shonda Novak American-Statesman Staff Saturday, March 24, 2001. "The existing home warranties "are deception -- they're not protection," said John Cobarruvias, president of the Houston chapter of HomeOwners for Better Building, who said problems with defective windows in his home cost him $10,000."

INMAN NEWS FEATURES. NATIONAL: Mar 2, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: Got lemons? Proposed "home lemon law" would force  Texas builders to buy back defective houses. ByÝJulie Clairmont Inman News Features.  "Texas home builders are feeling pretty sour about a bill filed by state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio on Feb. 16."

FOX TV 7 ON YOUR SIDE. AUSTIN: Mar 2, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: 7 on Your Side FoxTV Austin news story on Kimball Homes and the Lemon Law. See the video at www.unhappyhomebuyers.com.

THE HOUSTON PRESS. HOUSTON: Feb 28, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: Letters to the Editor, The Houston Press Builders are bullies: Shame on Toy Wood ["When Life Gives You LemonsÖ,"  by Brad Tyer, January 25]. She makes no mention of the modifications to the Residential Construction Liability Act of 1989, under the guise of protecting the building industry from "frivolous lawsuits" and "disruption." The standard builder's  contract with the buyer states that the builder

THE HOUSTON PRESS. HOUSTON: Feb 10, 2001 The Home Lemon Law by KHOU TV Houston, TX aired Friday at 5:00. More to come from Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.

THE HOUSTON PRESS. HOUSTON: Jan 25, 2001: When Life Gives You Lemons... By Brad Tyer The Houston Press. (Concerning the proposed Texas Home Lemon Law)  "Whether you like it or not, when you start raising a builder's risk  to litigation, he has to increase the cost of his home"  --Toy Wood, vice president and director of governmental affairs for  the Greater Houston Builders Association

"What litigation expenses? In Texas you CAN'T sue the builder because  of binding arbitration! The lemon law will allow the builder to buy  back his "quality" home and sell it to another sap ....uh....   homebuyer without ever visiting the inside of a  jail ..uh.. court house."  --John Cobarruvias HomeOwners for Better Building.

April 04, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: KHOU TV 10:00 News on The New Home Lemon Law.  ìHomeowners have tremendous amounts of rights.î" --President of Houston's Builders' Association, Jim Frankel. (And the Easter Bunny is real.)

Mar 30, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: Posted an updated comparision of homebuilders in Texas in reference to binding arbitration clauses, BBB membership and status, and home warranty used.

Mar 25, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: When is a house also a lemon? by By Shonda Novak American-Statesman Staff Saturday, March 24, 2001. "The existing home warranties "are deception -- they're not protection," said John Cobarruvias, president of the Houston chapter of HomeOwners for Better Building, who said problems with defective windows in his home cost him $10,000."

Mar 22, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: HEARINGS SET FOR HB2931 TUESDAY MARCH 27. Relieving the homebuilder of the implied warranty of habitability. See Centex Homes for background.

Mar 22, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: The Jury's out on Binding Arbitration. "A leading credit card lender, First USA, has arbitrated 19,705 disputes. Arbitrators ruled for the bank in 99.6 percent of these disputes."

Mar 2, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: Got lemons? Proposed "home lemon law" would force  Texas builders to buy back defective houses. ByÝJulie Clairmont Inman News Features.  "Texas home builders are feeling pretty sour about a bill filed by state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio on Feb. 16."

Mar 2, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: A comparison of Texas homebuilders warranties and contracts.

Mar 2, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: 7 on Your Side FoxTV Austin news story on Kimball Homes and the Lemon Law. See the video at www.unhappyhomebuyers.com.

Feb 28, 2001 Posted to the Lemon Law Page: Letters to the Editor, The Houston Press Builders are bullies: Shame on Toy Wood ["When Life Gives You LemonsÖ,"  by Brad Tyer, January 25]. She makes no mention of the modifications to the Residential Construction Liability Act of 1989, under the guise of protecting the building industry from "frivolous lawsuits" and "disruption." The standard builder's  contract with the buyer states that the builder

Feb 10, 2001 The Home Lemon Law by KHOU TV Houston, TX aired Friday at 5:00. More to come from Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.

Jan 25, 2001: When Life Gives You Lemons... By Brad Tyer The Houston Press. (Concerning the proposed Texas Home Lemon Law)  "Whether you like it or not, when you start raising a builder's risk  to litigation, he has to increase the cost of his home"  --Toy Wood, vice president and director of governmental affairs for  the Greater Houston Builders Association

"What litigation expenses? In Texas you CAN'T sue the builder because  of binding arbitration! The lemon law will allow the builder to buy  back his "quality" home and sell it to another sap ....uh....   homebuyer without ever visiting the inside of a  jail ..uh.. court house."  --John Cobarruvias HomeOwners for Better Building.

 


Table Of Contents:
Current News and Events
Introduction
Why Texas Needs a Home Lemon Law
The Texas Supreme Court. Centex Homes v. Buecher. 
Home Warranties are Unenforceable and SEVERELY limited.
Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clauses.  No access to the Courts.
Lack of Consumer Protection Agencies.
administrator/#5
Lack of Building Inspections. 
Lack of enforcement of building codes.
Defective Construction Products. 
Limitations of the Residential Construction Liability Act. 
Health Hazards of our Homes.
The Texas Homebuyer Protection Act 
Find your State Senators and Representatives
Write your Senators and Representatives
Email your Senators and Representatives
Invite HOBB to Speak to Your Organization
Attend and speak at the hearings
Support Our Efforts
Join HomeOwners for Better Building
Acknowledgments

         UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR A HOME LEMON LAW
 Introduction:
On Feb. 16, 2001 Senator Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio filed the first ever "Home Lemon Law", titled the "Texas Homebuyer Protection Act" SB 754 in the 77th session of the Texas State Legislature.  The Bill will require   the builder to buyback the home if the he cannot correct a construction defect. As with the Car Lemon Law, it has the potential of increasing the quality of homes and providing an effective complaint process.  It will establish a public record and disclosure of defects in the home to potential future homebuyers. 

Since the State of Texas does not license or regulate homebuilders, the Home Lemon Law will give needed relief to the consumer. It will provide basic protection for the homebuyer's investment; decrease the litigation risk for both the builder and homeowner

HomeOwners for Better Building invite you to participate in this process.  Be a part of this endeavor. Help us pass this bill to protect future homebuyers. Please take a few minutes of your time and write to or email your State Senators and Representatives and join HomeOwners for Better Building. 
 

Janet Ahmad
President, HomeOwners for Better Building
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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. 

The Texas Homebuyer Protection Act
Current Bill Status. See the latest activity on the bill.
 Text of the bill
 Bill Highlights. 
  • Authored by Senator Leticia Van De Putte
  • Provides a "buy back" program for homebuyers
  • Establishes a public record of buy backs
  • Requires disclosure of the buy back to subsequent buyers of the home
Find your State Representatives. 
Find your
Senator and your State Representative. This will provide contact information such as address and email.
 
Write your Representatives. 
Take a few minutes to write to your elected officials requesting their support of the Texas Homebuyer Protection Act. Keep it short to the point, but include your personal experiences if possible.

Email your Representatives.
Send your email to us and we will forward these to your state Representatives. Please include your name, address, and phone number. If you know your representatives names, please provide this also. Send your email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Invite HOBB to Speak to Your Organization
HomeOwners for Better Building would welcome an invitation to speak at your next function. Please contact
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it 281-486-5203
Attend and speak at the hearings. 
You are invited to attend and speak the hearings on this bill. We can help you prepare for these. We will keep you informed on the details.
Please email Janet Ahmad, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Support Our Efforts.
HOBB is a volunteer organization. We would GREATLY appreciate any donations to help our cause. We would also appreciate volunteers to conduct surveys, petitions,  and demonstrations. Please contact us for more information. 

Join HomeOwners for Better Building
We are an organization funded by devoted volunteers who give of their time and money. Unlike the building industry, we are unable to match their power or rely upon high priced attorneys.  If you can help in any way during the next few months, please contact Janet Ahmad, President of HOBB at
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Acknowledgments
HomeOwners for Better Building would like to thank all of our volunteers across the United States and the other homeowner consumer advocacy groups; Homeowners for Mediation and Education, Sick of Bad Builders, Advocates for Quality Housing, and the National Alliance Against Construction Defects and other national consumer groups. Their support and encouragement is greatly appreciated as well as their commitment to consumer protection.

We are especially appreciative of Senator Van De Putte and her staff for authoring this bill. 

 

 Texas, First Home Lemon Law Debated in the Nation

Search HOBB.org

Reckless Endangerment
BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
and JOSHUA ROSNER

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
Economic Armageddon


Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 Feature
Rise and Fall of Predatory Lending and Housing

NY Times: Building Flawed American Dreams 
Read CATO Institute: 
HUD Scandals

Listen to NPR:
Reckless Endangerman
by
Gretchen Morgenson : How 'Reckless' Greed Contributed
to Financial Crisis - Fannie Mae

NPR Special Report
Part I Listen Now
Perry Home - No Warranty 
Part II Listen Now
Texas Favors Builders

Washington Post
The housing bubble, in four chapters
BusinessWeek Special Reports
Bonfire of the Builders
Homebuilders helped fuel the housing crisis
Housing: That Sinking Feeling

Texas Regulates Homebuyers
 
Texas Comptroller Condemns TRCC Builder Protection Agency
TRCC is the punishment phase of homeownership in Texas

Consumer Affairs Builder Complaints

IS YOUR STATE NEXT?
As Goes Texas So Goes the Nation
Knowledge and Financial Responsibility are still Optional for Texas Home Builders

OUTSTANDING FOX4 REPORT
TRCC from Bad to Worse
Case of the Crooked House

TRCC AN ARRESTING EXPERIENCE
The Pat and Bob Egert Building & TRCC Experience 

Build it right the first time
An interview with Janet Ahmad

 Give Me Back My Rights Campaign
Model State Arbitration Legislation
Fair Homebuyer Contract Model

Bad Binding Arbitration Experience?
conttribute@hobb.org
 or call 1-210-402-6800

 Texas Homebuilder
Bob Perry Political Contributions

  The Agency Bob Perry Built
 TRCC Connection News
Tort Reform

NPR Interview - Perry's
Political influence movement.
Click to listen 

Texas Homebuyers
Fight for Rights

TRCC Abolish or Fix
or Pass Home Lemon Law
or
Homebuyers Bill of Rights

Discovery Home Channel
Holmes on Homes

top of page

© 2014 HomeOwners for Better Building
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.