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

HUD FEATURE
1981 - 2015 HUD's
Legacy of Scandals

HOBB-Over 1M visits monthly
Daily Visitors Over 37,000
 Highest Daily 70,723

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
Who's Online
We have 48 guests online
ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Property Rights Denied!
Protecting HOA Members' Rights is NOT The #1 Priority
of Managed Communities
The High Price of Managed Living, Books and Records Hidden
gives appearances of impropriety
Editorial Feature: Part One - Are Homeowners' Rights a Myth? 

Part Two: HOA Bureaucrats Overstep Their Authority

Special Report Part 3 - No City Inspection - Taylor Morrison Hired its Own Inspector
Monday, 28 September 2015

New Home Nightmares: Part 3 - "We don't know who built this house"
In fact, city inspectors didn't even conduct the inspections that Goldsbury codified when he signed the home's certificate of occupancy. Taylor Morrison hired its own private inspectors for the roughly 400 homes it built in Bartram Springs, as state law allows.  Trying to figure out who is responsible for the home's many flaws is complicated by the fact that the building permit is signed by somebody who never set foot there – and didn't even work for Taylor Morrison at the time.

New Home Nightmares: Part 3 - "We don't know who built this house"
Anne Schindler, First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's clear from the outside that something is very wrong with Carol Ecos' house. Black lines outline cracked stucco, plastic sheeting encases window frames.

It's clear from the outside that something is very wrong with Carol Ecos' house. Black lines outline cracked stucco, plastic sheeting encases window frames.

Inside, it's not much better. The smell of mold is strong enough that Ecos' dog sitter wears a mask when he visits. The roof is so poorly attached, an engineering report found it could rip off in as little as a 67 mile per hour wind. Ecos' insurance company even refused to insure her house in a hurricane.

So how does a home like this pass inspection?

We asked Tom Goldsbury, chief of the city's Building Inspection Division. He signed the home's certificate of occupancy, which signifies a house has passed all inspections and is safe to occupy. But he says the seven inspections the house underwent are no guarantee of quality. "[Inspectors] are not performing quality control," he says.

"They are doing a snapshot in time: As of that day, on that 5 minutes, half hour, one hour time they're at that site, whatever they see and whatever they're there to inspect is up to code."

In fact, city inspectors didn't even conduct the inspections that Goldsbury codified when he signed the home's certificate of occupancy. Taylor Morrison hired its own private inspectors for the roughly 400 homes it built in Bartram Springs, as state law allows.

Trying to figure out who is responsible for the home's many flaws is complicated by the fact that the building permit is signed by somebody who never set foot there – and didn't even work for Taylor Morrison at the time. By law, permits are to be pulled by a licensed contractor or qualifying agent, and that contractor is to "direct supervise manage and control" construction. At the Ecos house, the permit was signed by Marie Lisa Steiner on April 30, 2004 -- four months after she quit her job at Taylor Morrison.

"We don't know who pulled the permit," says Kevin Schoeppel, who represents Ecos and 122 other Bartram Springs homeowners. "We don't know who built this house."

Schoeppel calls the signature a "fraud," an assertion he made in court. But a March hearing before the First District Court of Appeal, Taylor Morrison's lawyer Kristin Norse disputed that characterization.

"If look at the quote from trial court judgment, it was not that we 'fraudulently obtained' the permit, it was that we obtained it without Miss. Steiner's position [sic]. I'm not going to dispute that."

Judge James Wolfe pressed her, asking if they had obtained the permit "without her knowledge or permission?"

"Right," Norse conceded, "without her knowledge or permission."

Company attorneys argued that the fact that Steiner didn't actually supervise construction wasn't relevant. They cited a separate state statute that requires a homebuilder to have a licensed contractor or qualifying agent on the day a contract is signed. And on the day the Ecos' contract was inked, Taylor Morrison did have a qualifying agent – not Steiner, but a company executive named Doug Guy.

An expert representing the homebuilder also argued in court that it wasn't necessary for a licensed contractor to actually supervise construction, but could reasonably oversee a project while living in Jamaica, serving in Afghanistan -- even if they were blind.

Attorneys further argued what's known as a "developer's exception" – which essentially says that it is not necessary to be a licensed contractor to build a home. Typically, this exception is used by individual landowners building on a single lot. But the company has asserted this rule, essentially for all the land it owns in the state, arguing it does not need to be licensed to build.

Judge James Wolf at the 1st DCA seemed skeptical of the company's arguments, telling attorney Norse, "you don't have a very sympathetic client here." Judge Robert Benton labeled the circumstances surrounding Ecos home "a farce."

Farce or no, it may not be unique. Seiner's signature appeared on at least 12 other permits for homes in Bartram Springs – sometimes moths after she quit her job at Taylor Morrison.

"It's a crime to submit a document that's not authentic or to a city agency," says Schoeppel. He brought the fraud allegation to the state attorney, but says he was told the 4-year statute of limitations on fraud had expired. He also filed a complaint with the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates construction licensing. But the agency's Construction Industry Licensing Board can only act against a license holder – in this case Steiner– not the builder that used the permits. The agency chose, without explanation, not to discipline Steiner.

Taylor Morrison released a statement yesterday, acknowledging stucco problems at Bartram Springs, but did not answer questions First Coast News submitted more than a month ago about Steiner and the building permit issue.

What follows is a statement issued from Taylor Morrison regarding the investigation by First Coast News:

"Taylor Morrison is committed to quality work and customer satisfaction. As a standard practice, we ensure homeowners are contacted within 24-48 hours of a customer service request, followed by an appointment with a trade partner to examine the reported issue.

"Service repairs are then completed within a week to 45 days, based on the complexity of the issue. We proactively offered to remedy any stucco issues in the Bartram Springs community that fell below building standards immediately after they were brought to our attention.

"However, certain homeowners who were guided by their legal counsel decided to pursue monetary damages rather than accept the company's offer to repair their homes. Despite multiple attempts to repair these homes, Taylor Morrison was denied the ability to do so. Furthermore, Taylor Morrison continues to offer to undertake the necessary repairs of the homes currently in arbitration as we have done with other homeowners who chose not to pursue monetary damages.

"The stucco issues in some of the Bartram Springs homes are not a reflection of the normal standards and quality of Taylor Morrison's homes. The company has a solid history of going above and beyond industry standards to address homeowner concerns, and our outstanding customer satisfaction rate is one of the highest in the industry and a testament to our commitment to superior service.

"Our ongoing desire is to remedy these issues for our valued homeowners in the Bartram Springs community and we'll continue to take necessary steps to do so."

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/local/consumer/on-your-side/2015/05/12/new-home-nightmares/27204459/

 
< Prev   Next >

 Texas, First Home Lemon Law Debated in the Nation
Homebuyers Need a Home Lemon Law

Search HOBB.org

 Beware of HOA Payment Plan! 

HOA Foreclosures Big Business 
ON THE COMMONS with Shu Bartholomew
Dr. Evan McKenzie HOA Governments

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

ATTENTION TAXPAYERS:
 
Pulte-Centex $900 Million Grant
Bad Guys at Countrywide Profit on Mortgage Toxins

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

Arbitration Fairness Now!
Sen Feingold, Rep Johnson
Introduce Consumer Justice
 
Senate Passes Franken
Binding Arbitration Amendment
  
   
Public Citizen Report 
Home Court Advantage
 

 (See photos) & Latest News

Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
 Arbitration Hearing,
Video of Homeowners
Testimony Advance to 1:55

Arbitration Bill Passes Senate
Four years to fight to get in court is not a day in Court, Jamie Leigh Jones 

 


Legislative
Watch
TEXAS ABOLISHES BUILDERS
PROTECTION AGENCY TRCC
 


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

HOBB Update Messages

Consumer Affairs Builder Complaints

 TRCC Implosion
 TRCC Shut Down
 Sunset Report

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

Perry's Gifts Keep on Talking
Sun Never Sets On Politicians Taking Homebuilder Money

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

Homebuilder's Right-To-Repair Illusion

Builders Looking for Federal Handouts

How Texas Home Building Industry shaped the TRCC to regulate buyers 

SpotLight
LiveTalk Internet

Build it right the first time
An interview with Janet Ahmad

HUD's Broken System
From HUD's Deregulation to Disgrace
Did HUD Secretary Cisneros
 Mastermind Predatory Lending?

Take Action
Ban Binding Mandatory Arbitration

Send a message urging your Congressman to support all legislation banning this unfair practice

Voting Texas Style
What Lawmaker is Voting for you?

Most Read

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

Bad Binding Arbitration Experience?
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
or call 1-210-402-6800

NCPIRG
Homebuyers' Bill of Rights
Tips for a Better Built Home and to Protect Your Investment

Drum Major Institute
for Public Policy

Tort Deform
Report Your Arbitration Experience

Homebuilding Texas Style
And the walls came
tumblin' down

 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

POLICYHOLDERS OF AMERICA POLL
82% would not vote back in office any legislator, regardless of party, that is soft on bad homebuilders?

REWARD
MOST WANTED

ARIZONA REGISTRAR OF CONTRACTORS
Have you seen any of these individuals

Pulte Homeowner Survey
Warranty & Mortgage Experience
 Click to participate

Tort Reform Feature
Texas Monthly
 Hurt? Injured? Need a Lawyer? Too Bad!

Special Money Report
Big Money and Shoddy Construction:Texas Home Buyers Left Out in the Cold
Read More
Read Report: Big Money…
Home Builder Money Source of Influence

Letters to the Editor
Write your letters to the Editor

Homeowner Websites

top of page

© 2017 HomeOwners for Better Building
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.