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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

2003 Archived News Reports
Thursday, 04 December 2008

No Binding Arbitration Allowed with Freddie Mac Loans  
Thursday, 04 December 2003

Freddie Mac announced today that effective August 1, 2004, it would no longer invest in subprime mortgages originated on or after that date that contain mandatory arbitration clauses. Freddie Mac is the first among secondary mortgage investors to adopt such a stance on subprime mortgages with mandatory arbitration clauses. This policy is aligned with the corporation’s existing prohibition on the use of mandatory arbitration for prime market mortgage investments.

Unskilled Labor Leads to Flaws  
Friday, 03 October 2003
Homes often are rush jobs, critics assert
Fast work by subcontractors' unskilled labor leads to flaws
Sentinel/WESH inspections of 406 homes built during 2001 discovered hundreds of examples of poor-quality construction: concrete-block walls that had little or no mortar in the joints; stucco so thinly applied that the outline of the blocks underneath was visible; air-conditioning ducts bent at such sharp angles that almost no cool air could get through; metal-frame windows jammed into crooked openings in the wall. Such carelessness is the result of building too many houses too fast, with workers who have little training and not enough oversight, builders and hired hands say. Adding to the problem is the fact that many workers can't speak or read English, or decipher a blueprint...By some estimates, illegal migrants, mostly Mexicans, make up half of the 50,000 people in residential construction in the region. The 2000 census found only 10,000 Hispanic construction workers, a number considered ridiculously low by many in the trade. READ MORE...
KB Homeowners can now sue  
Tuesday, 01 July 2003
KB Home Changes Contract: Homeowners can now sue
Last month, we told you that as a KB Home owner, you sign away your right to go to court -- you are not allowed to sue the company over basic warranty disputes, but that's about to change. KB Home tells the Trouble Shooters that it is removing the mandatory "Binding Arbitration" clause from all contracts. That means if you have unresolved problems with your home that you think KB is responsible for fixing, you're not bound to the decision of a third party arbitrator. You now have the option of taking your complaints to the courthouse.
KB sold defective house twice and bought it back twice  
Monday, 23 June 2003
Trouble Shooters KB Home Investigation
Remember Jesse Font? He's the man who bought a used KB home with a history of problems, but says he was never told about them. This left him worrying that no one would ever buy his home. Our investigation uncovered a city engineer's report that found "significant cracking" and "separation" in Jesse's house two years before he bought it. When KB Home sold him the house, the company disclosed nothing about any problems, any repairs, or even any inspections that had been done. Since our investigation, we've learned that KB has put an offer on the table to buy Jesse's house back.
HUD Investigates KB Home  
Friday, 06 June 2003
HUD To Investigate Mirasol Homes
Congressman Charlie Gonzalez asked the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to check out the West side development. That after a report obtained by News 4 WOAI blamed the architect, Randy Bartholomew and builder KB Home, for using shoddy plans, materials and specifications.
KB Illegal Contracts  
Friday, 16 May 2003

Lawyer Says KB Contracts "Illegal"
The Donahues sued KB. But before they ever got their day in court, they learned that when they bought the house, they had signed away their right to sue the company. In fact, you may not realize it, but if you've recently bought a home from KB, you've also agreed never to take the company to court. Instead, you've agreed to resolve all warranty disputes through binding arbitration. That's where a third-party hears both sides, then makes a decision that is binding on both parties. "For consumers, it's not such a good idea," St. Mary's Law Professor L. Wayne Scott tells the Trouble Shooters, "because it tends to be controlled by the industry that writes the contract."

News 4 WOAI Investigates KB Home  
Friday, 16 May 2003

Homeowners Say Problems Not Disclosed
KB Home, the largest homebuilder in San Antonio, has been the target of protests from angry homeowners.  Now, the company is the subject of a News 4 WOAI TroubleShooters investigation..."If I'd have known it was a buy-back, there's no way we would've purchased the house," Diehl told the TroubleShooters."Nobody's going to buy my house for what I paid for it," Jesse Font told us. Font claims all of the windows in his home leak. Diehl showed us a crack that runs from his garage, through his house, to the back of his kitchen.  He was aware of the crack when he bought the house but says it's gotten worse.

KB Homes attempts to deprive couple of Free Speach  
Monday, 12 May 2003

Attorney knocks KB Home's suit
Arguing before the Third Court of Appeals on Wednesday, a former state chief justice challenged KB Home's attempt to restrain a Kyle couple from publicly protesting about their dissatisfaction with their home. Alice Oliver-Parrott, former chief justice of the First Court of Appeals, criticized a state district judge for granting what she called an overreaching, vague and unenforceable temporary restraining order.

Creation of TRCC  
Tuesday, 29 April 2003

Some complain new homeowner-rights bill not enough
News 8 has reported numerous stories of homeowners complaining of shoddy construction, and being left with expensive repairs. Lawmakers promised to find a way to hold homebuilders accountable, but some wonder if a bill passed Monday really does that...Unsafe and leaky construction has forced Dawn Richardson to move out of the new home she's still paying for. Richardson said the problem was mold, and the lack of a statewide code that would require homebuilders to meet specific standards. "The builders know they can't be held accountable, so I don't think that they are working to resolve issues," Richardson said.

Business Week - KB Home and Shoddy Workmanship  
Friday, 25 April 2003

Shoddy Building in the Housing Boom?
Annette Perry was giving her daughter Susan a bath when she heard what sounded like "a truck" slamming into the second story of her new $133,000 home in suburban Phoenix. She ran outside with her towel-clad two-year-old to inspect the roof. Nothing was visibly wrong. It wasn't until she was back inside that she noticed her dining-room ceiling was newly cracked from front to back. She says the builder, KB Home (KBH ), had installed the wrong type of supports for the roof in one spot and failed to align them in another area, causing her walls to bow.

Texas Watch on Binding Arbitration  
Thursday, 24 April 2003

A Report by the Texas Watch Foundation
Most people would think twice before they signed away their right to free speech. Many would hesitate before they agreed to waive the right to vote, and more than a few would pause before they passed on the right to freely worship the god of their choosing. The same can be said of the fundamental right to a jury trial. However, it is now simply commonplace for Texans to unknowingly sign away this cornerstone of democracy. Read more...

Arizona isn't doing enough to protect consumers  
Saturday, 05 April 2003

Contractor watchdog faulted
The state agency charged with watching over construction in Arizona isn't doing enough to protect consumers, according to a report from the Auditor General's Office.The audit said the agency needs to fix a $5.5 million deficit in the recovery fund, which helps people who lose money to licensed contractors. A residential builder pays $300 initially to the fund and then $150 annually.

KB Home & Mirasol Homes  
Friday, 28 February 2003

Attention Taxpayers!  New Public Housing built by KB
For those of you who are keeping up with your tax dollars at work. "San Antonio Housing Authority commissioners narrowed the scope of their investigation into problems at Mirasol Homes to  three questions and told their attorney to hire experts to get answers as soon as possible. Are the homes structurally sound? Did SAHA get what was specified and paid for? Did SAHA administrators perform reasonable and acceptable oversight?"


KB Home to Buy Back Homes   
Wednesday, 26 February 2003

Homeowners may get relief from KB Home 
A bitter battle over the quality of some new homes on the far West Side may be resolved by an offer from the builder, KB Home, to purchase the houses back from their current owners. KB officials released a letter from the firm's in-house counsel Tuesday that advises an attorney retained by three homeowners in the Tara West Subdivision of the repurchase option... Council members Enrique Barrera, Enrique "Kike" Martin and Nora Herrera looked at problems in the homes Tuesday and came away convinced the deficiencies were severe. Mayor Ed Garza said he, too, examined the homeowners' claims last weekend and became convinced a buyback by KB Home was the only appropriate response.   

KB Home and Henry Cisneros New Subdivision Draws Protesters  
Thursday, 20 February 2003

Prospective Homebuyers, Protesters Mix At Grand Opening
The Lago Vista subdivision is the first in a series of subdivisions targeting low-income homebuyers in the inner cities. The houses are being built in a joint venture with American CityVista, a company that is headed by former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros. "Maybe it's the soil," Wiese said. "Maybe they shouldn't have built my house there. I need answers and I need something done. My house continues to crack." Janet Ahmad, a member of an organization called Homeowners For Better Builders, also was there to protest. "The builders cannot be held accountable," she said. "That's why people can only resort to this type of thing."

Dozen of KB Homeownrs Fighting Mad  
Friday, 14 February 2003

KB Homeowners Fighting Mad
Dozens of KB homeowners are fighting mad and taking their case to City Hall. They’re complaining about problems with their homes in the Northhampton, El Sendero and Tara subdivisions. KB homes admits having problems with shifting soils in the Tara subdivision but homeowners tell News 4 WOAI they wish they would have known about it before buying their new home.



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

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Reckless Endangerment

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
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NY Times: Building Flawed American Dreams 
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Arbitration Bill Passes Senate
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Texas Regulates Homebuyers
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TRCC from Bad to Worse
Case of the Crooked House

Perry's Gifts Keep on Talking
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Homebuilder's Right-To-Repair Illusion

Builders Looking for Federal Handouts

How Texas Home Building Industry shaped the TRCC to regulate buyers 

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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?

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