Warning: mysql_query() [function.mysql-query]: A link to the server could not be established in /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php on line 54

Notice: SSI.php was unable to load a session! This may cause problems with logout and other functions - please make sure SSI.php is included before *anything* else in all your scripts! in /home/hobb/htdocs/forum/SSI.php on line 166

Warning: mysql_select_db() [function.mysql-select-db]: A link to the server could not be established in /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php on line 141

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php:54) in /home/hobb/htdocs/includes/joomla.php on line 1463

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php:54) in /home/hobb/htdocs/index.php on line 250

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php:54) in /home/hobb/htdocs/index.php on line 251

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php:54) in /home/hobb/htdocs/index.php on line 252

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php:54) in /home/hobb/htdocs/index.php on line 253

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/hobb/htdocs/mambots/system/SMF_header_include.php:54) in /home/hobb/htdocs/index.php on line 254
HomeOwners for Better Building - Beware: No Consumer Protection for Texas Homebuyers
HomeLatest NewsFeatured HomebuildersHome Buyer ResourcesBinding ArbitrationResource LinksSubmit ComplaintsView ComplaintsTake Action 101!Report Mortgage FraudMortgage Fraud NewsForeclosure NewsConstruction DefectsHome DefectsPhoto GalleryFoundation ProblemsHomeowner Website LinksHOA Reform
Main Menu
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
Latest News
New Jersey
New Jersey & Texas
Write Letters to the Editors
TRCC in the News
Texas TRCC Scandal
Fair Use Notice
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
ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration
Beware: No Consumer Protection for Texas Homebuyers
Sunday, 02 December 2007

Homebuyers deserve better protection
Janet Ahmad
Special to the Express-News

 It's no coincidence that homebuilders have enjoyed record-breaking profits at the same time the state has sanctioned poor building practices and limited liability of builders who build defective houses.

However, for builders who continually fool homeowners and embarrass lawmakers, it may prove to be a different story after state Rep. Todd Smith called on the state comptroller to report on some important questions he had about the Texas Residential Construction Commission, or TRCC.

If you think the government protects buyers when purchasing the biggest investment most of us will ever make, think again.

In early 2003 the building industry contrived convincing tales of woe, along with millions in political action committee contributions, that persuaded some Texas lawmakers to help create the unprecedented experimental state agency. Elected officials not only complied but relied on the wisdom of the industry to write the bill and trusted them to run the agency that mandates homebuyers to pay a fee to complain about their builder, while allowing shoddy construction standards to be written by the industry.

In the comptroller's report, there is compelling evidence that lawmakers made a mistake and were duped into going along with the building industry's long-term plan to thwart homeowners. The report gives failing grades to TRCC, and the revelations are reprehensible.

At a news conference, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, in typical fashion, candidly presented the results of the five-month investigation.

Strayhorn described TRCC as a builder-protection agency. She said that in a survey by her office, 86 percent of homeowners who responded stated builders failed to fix construction defects after going through the TRCC inspection and dispute resolution process.

The report pointed out the agency did not require builders to show any "proof of experience, education or financial solvency." However, despite the requirement for a criminal background check, "TRCC files show that a currently registered builder was convicted of burglary of a vehicle, burglary of a building and attempted homicide. Another builder was convicted of a sex crime and registered as a sex offender just months before he was allowed to register as a homebuilder."

Strayhorn concluded, "If it were up to me personally, I would blast this Texas Residential Construction Commission builder-protection agency off the bureaucratic books."

Her findings support what homeowners and consumer groups have said all along. The builders' limited warranty gives a false sense of security and a state mandate that imposes bureaucratic hardships on buyers and wasted time, plus millions in taxpayers' dollars, on a state agency for what they describe as unnecessary.

TRCC is an industry scheme to "control" the consumer through dilatory tactics, exorbitant fees, ridiculously lax performance standards and a warranty with more "gotchas" than a house of mirrors.

The report is a wake-up call. We can either perform extensive lifesaving procedures on this multimillion-dollar bureaucratic fiasco or get on with the business of consumer protection by enacting a simple, logical solution, like a home lemon law. At least a home lemon law would give an incentive to builders to construct a home right the first time or buy it back when they fail to make repairs.

We echo the sentiments of Strayhorn: "It isn't the role of government to throw up bureaucratic barriers to protect unethical or inept builders from their customers ... Caveat emptor — let the buyer beware — is the motto of the unscrupulous. It should not be the hallmark of state policy."

At the end of the day, shouldn't families expect basic state consumer protections when purchasing something as fundamental as decent housing that should last for generations?


Janet Ahmad of San Antonio is national president of HomeOwners for Better Building.


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

Search HOBB.org

Reckless Endangerment

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
Economic Armageddon

Barnes & Noble

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

Consumer Affairs Builder Complaints

As Goes Texas So Goes the Nation
Knowledge and Financial Responsibility are still Optional for Texas Home Builders

TRCC from Bad to Worse
Case of the Crooked House

The Pat and Bob Egert Building & TRCC Experience 

Builders Looking for Federal Handouts

Build it right the first time
An interview with Janet Ahmad

Voting Texas Style
What Lawmaker is Voting for you?

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

Homebuilding Texas Style
And the walls came
tumblin' down

Pulte Homeowner Survey
Warranty & Mortgage Experience
 Click to participate

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

 Feature: Mother Jones Magazine
Are you Next?
People Magazine - Jordan Fogal fights back
Because of construction defects Jordan’s Tremont Home is uninhabitable
You could be the next victim
Interview with Award Winning Author Jordan Fogal

Letters to the Editor
Write your letters to the Editor

top of page

© 2024 HomeOwners for Better Building
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.