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Can Texas Homeowners afford to Complain? Texans to pay $350 to file complaint against builder
Sunday, 21 November 2004

Texas Homeowners ask Senators for help.

What other state agency charges consumers a fee to file a complaint?

HB730 Texas Residential Construction Commission Act (TRCCA) disproportionately changed the way homeowners must deal with builders who ignore both major and basic home warranty concerns.  Since the passage of TRCCA, homeowners with construction defect issues must pay the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) a $350.00 fee for standard warranty issues or $450.00 for major warranty issues. . .  What other state agency charges the consumer a fee to file a complaint?

November 18, 2004
Dear Senator:

New homebuyers across the state are in need of your assistance.

HB730 Texas Residential Construction Commission Act (TRCCA) disproportionately changed the way homeowners must deal with builders who ignore both major and basic home warranty concerns. Since the passage of TRCCA, homeowners with construction defect issues must pay the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) a $350.00 fee for standard warranty issues or $450.00 for major warranty issues. They must also hire an attorney during the 3 ½ to 5 months of the TRCC process at a cost of approximately $15,000. What other state agency charges the consumer a fee to file a complaint?

The reality is that most new homeowners cannot afford the costly TRCC process after they discover their life savings has been invested in an American Nightmare.

On the other hand HB730 made only one difference in the way Texas builders do business. Only recently to become a Texas homebuilder in good standing, one need only provide a social security number and pay a $125.00 registration fee to TRCC. Further, to build and sell new homes in Texas there is no requirement to show proof of professional building skills, knowledge of current codes or to show any historical proof of financial responsibility or even proof of a current bank account.

A distinct inequity of TRCC is the nine-industry member “foxes in the henhouse.” The homebuilding industry took control of the new TRCC state agency and created an industry friendly process and “Builder Disclaimer New Home Warranty” that effectively regulates the consumer and provides a false sense of security for new homebuyers. Your help is needed to change the unlevel and unfair playing field created by TRCCA and the homebuilding industry.

One provision of HB730 requires that the Senate confirm the 9 TRCC Governor commission appointments. We are asking you to please cast your vote to reject the following five commissioners who are currently appointed; the three general public appointments (Patrick Cordero, Paulo Flores and Mickey Redwine); one engineer appointment (Ken Davis); and the inspector appointment (Tom Killebrew). See the attached biographical fact sheet that shows their direct relationship with the homebuilding industry.

Secondly, we are asking that you sponsor legislation that would amend HB730 as follows:

· Change the three Public Appointments to, three Consumer Appointments.

· Replace Builder Registration process with a Builder License Certification requirement.

· Require a $500 Builder License fee of all homebuilder entities and their subsidiaries, to increase operating revenue to efficiently process consumer complaints.

· Require Homebuilders show proof of Financial Responsibility by posting a $2M Surety Bond with the state that would give financial security to the buyer if the builder failed to comply with building standards or failed to address warranty issues in a timely manner

· Require that Homebuilder’s provide a Full Disclosure with Informed Consent as follows: B efore any legally binding contract is executed, and before any money is exchanged,

1) The buyer must receive from the new homebuilder and seller full disclosure of the product installation, care and component warranties, building standards, risks, and hazards of the particular home to be purchased;

2) The buyer must receive from the homebuilder and seller full disclosure in understandable terms, of any mandatory alternative dispute resolution provisions and the associated costs of the various alternative dispute resolution processes;

3) The buyer must then consent in writing to accept the terms of the homebuilders’ disclosures and provisions for new home construction by placing the buyer’s signature and date to the document.

Homebuyers are counting on you to help correct the inequities that were created by HB730. Thank you for your kind consideration.


Janet Ahmad, President


Non-builder Commissioner Appointments associated with the homebuilding industry

Patrick H. Cordero, Jr. (Chair) - Midland , Texas - General Public Appointment . Owner of Strategic Abstract & Title Corporation. Founder and current president of the Midland Community Development Corp., a nonprofit affordable housing and micro loan program business. Commission appointment expires February 1, 2009 .

Mickey Redwine (Secretary)- Ben Wheeler, Texas - General Public Appointment. A businessman who has managed engineering and commercial construction projects both nationally and internationally. Commissioner Redwine is President of Dynamic Cable Construction Company, L.P., which installs underground telecommunications cable. Commission appointment expires February 1, 2007 .

Paulo Flores - Dallas , Texas - Public Appointment – General Public Appointment. Paulo Flores participates as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association's Construction Disputes Panel and in the American Bar Association's Forum on the Construction Industry. His memberships include the Hispanic Contractors Association, Painting and Decorating Contractors of America. Commission appointment expires February 1, 2005

Kenneth L. Davis, P.E. - Fort Worth , Texas – Engineer Appointment. Kenneth Davis is V ice president of land development of Hillwood Development Corp. Davis was Associate Principal with Fort Worth Land Development Group Manager for Carter & Burgess, Inc. He is a member of the Texas Association of Builders, the Parker County Builders Association and the Greater Fort Worth Home Builders Association. Commission appointment expires February 1, 2009 .

Thomas Killebrew - Fort Worth , Texas – Inspector Appointment. Thomas Killebrew owns Metro Code Analysis LLC., which lists 68 homebuilders as clients. The firm performs home i nspections and submits the results to the city for their records and faxes validation of inspections having been completed. Commission Appointment expires February 1, 2005 .

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