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Hightower: Binding Mandatory Arbitration Kangaroo Courts
Sunday, 31 March 2013

Hightower: Corporate kangaroo courts supplant our Seventh Amendment rights
Being wronged by a corporation is painful enough, but just try getting your day in court. Most Americans don’t realize it, but our Seventh Amendment right to a fair jury trial against corporate wrongdoers has quietly been stripped from us. Instead, we are now shunted into a stacked-deck game called “Binding Mandatory Arbitration.” Proponents of the process hail it as superior to the courts — “faster, cheaper and more efficient!” they exclaim. All you really need to know about today’s process is that it’s the product of years of conceptual monkey-wrenching by corporate lobbyists, Congress, the Supreme Court and hired-gun lobbying firms looking to milk the system for steady profits. First and foremost, these fixers have turned a voluntary process into the exact opposite: mandatory. Let’s look at this mess.

Texas Rep. John Kuemple interested in protecting animals not homebuyers
Saturday, 30 March 2013

Lawmaker ignores housing issue
State Rep. John Kuempel is more interested in dogs and cats than he is in his own constituents.Homeowners all over Cibolo have been suffering from new homes with foundation failures caused by the shoddy construction practices of major home builders and we sought help from Rep. Kuempel. We asked him to file a bill in the Legislature to provide home buyers with the opportunity to have their lemon homes bought back by the builder when they have repeatedly failed to remedy significant problems... In the last days before the bill filing deadline, he wouldn't even meet with his constituents; instead he filed HB 1449, a bill to license and regulate dog and cat dealers.

Press Release - Homebuyer Protection Act (Home Lemon Law) Filed
Saturday, 23 March 2013

Homebuyer Protection Act (Home Lemon Law) Filed
With the abolishment in 2010 of the homebuilders’ Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC), it marked the end of a long battle over the rights of homeowners. Today, as it was in 2001 before TRCC, to cut hair, catch a fish or drive a car requires a license, but anyone can be a builder in Texas. Knowledge and financial responsibility are optional to become a builder, but required to drive a car in this state. Homebuilding is unregulated, there is no state agency that oversees the industry or new home sales. New home warranties give a false sense of security.

Home Lemon Law Improves Homebuilders Image, Fix or Buy Back
Saturday, 23 March 2013
New Home "Lemon Law" Pushed
Ahmad says there was an attempt to regulate home builders with the old Texas Residents Construction Commission, but that became simply a tool of the home builders, so it was abolished. Currently, she says home building is the largest consumer activity in the state which has no regulatory framework at all.  Ahmad says a Home 'Lemon Law' would not only help home buyers. She says it would help home builders improve their image, strengthen the resale value of homes, and make the image of Texas-built homes more reliable.
Cibolo Mayor Jennifer Hartman supports Homebuyer Protection
Friday, 22 March 2013

Proposed home "Lemon Law" would protect buyers
You've heard about a Lemon Law for your car, but what about a Lemon Law for a bad house? Legislation is in the works which could protect you as a homebuyer. The city of Cibolo is backing the proposed homebuyer protection law in Austin. Once a small town, it's experiencing a housing boom with up to 500 homes built yearly. "Not only is supporting the homebuyers and citizens important, but we see this as an economic factor, and when these homes start to have issues, it starts to play on home values," Mayor Jennifer Hartman explained. "It takes away not only from the city but the county and the school district in their taxing entity."

Home Lemon Law Gets Support From Elected Officials
Friday, 22 March 2013

Bills may protect homebuyers
Under the legislation, known as the home lemon law, if a problem covered under the home warranty isn't remedied in three attempts, the homebuilder must replace the house or accept its return and refund the purchase price and closing costs. But (Mayor) says the problem goes beyond the consumer. The defects cause homes to lose value, which means less revenue for the city, county, school districts and state.“We have to raise taxes on everyone because of our homes' depreciating value,” she said. “We had to raise taxes this year just to maintain the same amount of taxes although we're growing at such a high rate.” The legislative push has received local support form the Bexar County commissioners, who voted to back the initiative last week, said County Judge Nelson Wolff.

KTSA Brad Messer Commentary: Home Lemon Law
Friday, 22 March 2013

If life were fair, there would be a lemon law for houses
A significant number of new-home buyers discover they have terrible problems. Bad framing, crooked leaky roofs, other structural shortcomings. They then discover they can't sue the builder, because of fine print in the sales contract. Those little average citizen homeowners don't have lobbyists and don't donate big bucks to politicians.

Worth Repeating: 2005 Knoweledge & Financial Responsibility Optional for Builders
Friday, 22 March 2013

Homeowners storm Capitol
Janet Ahmad, president of HomeOwners for Better Building, said TRCC's Texas Star Builder Program is the main point of contention. The program allows builders to qualify as "star builders," demonstrating knowledge, experience and history of financial responsibility, Ahmad said. She said this must be made mandatory for builders instead of optional, as it is under the current system.

Cibolo Texas Serious on New Home Defects and Homebuyer Protection
Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Cibolo backs efforts for home buyer legislation
By a 6-0 vote, the Cibolo City Council Feb. 26 passed a resolution supporting state legislation that would provide protections and remedies for homeowners whose homes have structural problems. Cibolo is the first area city to support the home buyer protection legislation. Issues with substandard home building, Hartman said, have come up in cities across the state.  “We are trying to show it is not just a Cibolo, Metrocom, or San Antonio problem,” the mayor said. “It is way beyond our community. We need to address this at the state level and give home buyers protection.”

Home Builder exempted from using licensed roofers
Saturday, 02 March 2013

Critics call roofing legislation a job killer
A bill in the state Senate would require roofing contractors to be licensed and regulated for the first time inTexas...Legislators say the bill, which exempts new construction, would help consumers... a substitute bill is being written that is "a little less stringent."

Defective House and Lost Document Fees
Friday, 22 February 2013

Company avoids document fees
The Campbells purchased what they were told was a brand new home in October 2004, but within months after moving in, they realized the structure of the home -- and their investment -- was unsound.

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