Quarter 2 (April - June) 2007 News Archives

Friday, June 29, 2007. US: UPDATE on Beazer Exec trying to destroy records From The Charlotte Observer, which exposed Beazer mortgatge/foreclosure problems: fresh trouble for a company already under federal criminal investigation.

Friday, June 29, 2007. Business Week: Building Woes for Beazer MORE: "Was he shredding under orders? If not, who else had knowledge of the information in those documents and what does it imply for the then-CFO?"

Friday, June 29, 2007. US: RESPA News Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act: RESPA violations include issues we've posted news about here on HADD such as builders requiring buyers to use their lender, illegal kickbacks, etc. This is a subscription site, but the headlines and teasers are sufficient to know if the info is worth paying for in your particular case. --Ed.

Friday, June 29, 2007. IL: Lawyer says report proves shoddy porch in fatalities, injuries Besides being too long and wide, the report notes, the porch had insufficient floor joists, perimeter beams, joist hangers and lag screws.

Friday, June 29, 2007. NC: Efforts should persist in getting a slope development law Objections from builders groups, real estate agents, others, killed legislation intent on ensuring homes built on steep slopes would not slide downhill.

Friday, June 29, 2007. CA: UPDATE: Mayor wants to see alleged Runkle Canyon contamination for himself Joint partnership between KB Home, Lennar to build 461 houses on land that may be contaminated.

Friday, June 29, 2007. Motley Fool Investing Site: Fall of the House of Beazer UPDATE: Shredding of documents might leave Beazer's reputation in tatters

Friday, June 29, 2007. NJ: MORE on Kara Homes Bankruptcy Kara Homes getting new name--Maplewood Homebuilders. Unsecured creditors, (homeowners, subcontractors, etc), will only recover pennies on the dollar.

Friday, June 29, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes (aka Maplewood) Bankruptcy and New Name Comments at end of article are also interesting.

Friday, June 29, 2007. US: Home stores' sales not so sweet Housing market swoon hits furniture, home improvement sectors

Thursday, June 28, 2007.Building Science Articles on window flashing, drainage planes...common problem areas we see in complaints at HADD.

Thursday, June 28, 2007. US: Flashing Recessed Windows Company that repaired many leaky windows explains how to do the job right. Does your builder use any flashing? One of the most commonly omitted materials that HADD hears about lately is missing window flashing which virtually ensures windows will leak inside walls.

Thursday, June 28, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Current news

Thursday, June 28, 2007.Housing Crash Current news

Thursday, June 28, 2007. SC: Homes were approved for occupancy despite flaws, records show Trusses improperly fastened in Pulte development, possibly others.

Thursday, June 28, 2007. TX: Update on Oak City Ryland complaints For more than four hours Tuesday night, residents of the Bridlewood Park neighborhood told the Live Oak City Council about watching their new homes deteriorate around them. City Councilwoman says Ryland has 15% error rate

Thursday, June 28, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes bankruptcy case NOTICE OF BUILDER NAME CHANGE Kara Homes founder ousted and builder's name changed under revised plan...(changing name to) Maplewood Homebuilders LLC., owned by Glen Fishman, and Plainfield Specialty Holdings II, a hedge fund.

Thursday, June 28, 2007. Charlotte Observer: UPDATE: Beazer "This recent development will, in our opinion, dramatically increase the appearance of the company's culpability," Citigroup Inc. analyst Stephen Kim wrote (Contains link to Observer's series on Beazer foreclosures.)

Thursday, June 28, 2007. MD: Condo owners sue Ryland Water infiltration and damage, structural instability and more

Thursday, June 28, 2007. US: Beazer and KB Home troubles From CNN

Thursday, June 28, 2007. US: FBI: Just released 2006 Mortgage Fraud Report Finance-related occupations, including accountants, mortgage brokers, and lenders, were the most common suspect occupations associated with reported mortgage fraud.

Thursday, June 28, 2007. Nat'l interest: Schoolyard secrets Article exposes some dangerous assumptions about the public's right to know about toxins in their neighborhoods.

Thursday, June 28, 2007. LA: 9 contractors hit with theft charges Post-Katrina construction fraud

Thursday, June 28, 2007. US: Deflating the Housing Bubble Growing wave of scandals surrounding the mortgage and housing industry

Thursday, June 28, 2007. US: Just Ask Lou Columnist advises consumer to pass up shady sounding deal from builder, & more...

Thursday, June 28, 2007. US: UPDATE on Beazer , federal investigations & destroyed documents Raises red flags regarding content of documents

Thursday, June 28, 2007. FL: Palmetto subdivision homeowners surprised by blanket lien Roughly 200 individual property owners are finding themselves in the first step of a foreclosure because of a legal tussle between well-known Palmetto builder deMorgan Communities and the company that did roads, utilities, sewers and drainage for the development....Real estate attorneys said that the neighborhood's troubles could be a taste of what is to come as contractors in the state's limping real estate market use every remedy available to them under Florida law to get developers to pay.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. TX: Shaky Foundation: Homeowners — and HUD — give city failing marks Critics charge department is pandering to favored developers, wasting money, and has little accountability.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. US: More on Beazer Homes and destruction of documents Wall Street Journal: HUD said it's examining whether Beazer violated federal regulations in arranging government-insured mortgage loans, while the FBI said it's looking at issues of possible fraud.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. CO: Man In Fight With Builder Over Shifting Soil Disabled military vet can't sell cracked home built by Centex

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. US: Beazer Accountant Fired in Document Destruction Try MORE...Beazer Homes USA Inc., which is under investigation by the FBI for potential fraud, fired its chief accounting officer for violating the company's ethics policy by attempting to destroy documents.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. US: BEAZER HOMES: cans chief accounting officer for destroying documents UPDATE on Securities and Mortgage fraud investigations in news posted earlier this year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. NV: Developer describes consultant's bonus for Las Vegas land deal Developer Donald Davidson standing trial on charges he paid Commissioner Erin Kenny $200,000 for getting zoning on property changed from residential to commercial.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. Contractor Magazine: Bring residential fire sprinklers into the code Heavy opposition from home builders, who consider fire sprinklers an unnecessary expense that affects their bottom line.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. AL: Commission needs to revisit inspector issue Author grasps concept that shoddy construction is not "affordable" for communities!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. US: More trouble for homebuilders Lennar's loss of nearly a quarter BILLION dollars, etc...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. PA: Contractor pleads in fraud case Frank James Jarbeck Jr. pleads guilty on multiple counts...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. OR: Bid to protect homebuyers fizzles In an emotionally charged hearing room, a budget subcommittee last week chose not to advance House Bill 2656. The bill's proponents accused the powerful Oregon Home Builders Association of acting in bad faith.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. PA: UPDATE: Developer pays $250,000 to end federal mortgage probe Homeowners will not get restitution and Percudani can remain a home builder and contractor. (The headline perfectly describes how this problem keeps happening. --Ed.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007. US: Second Home Scam Self Defense Realty Times: Con artists, including builders, know "baby boomers" have money & are ripe for the taking. Red flags: Guaranteed Appreciation; Preconstruction Specials; Cash-back deals; Glitzy Advertising; using experts recommended by the seller/builder/real estate agent; not getting house inspected before closing, etc...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007. US: Builders pushing hard to be able to keep cheap (illegal) labor From NAHB's Nation's Building News.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007. US: Return of the Amnesty Bill Horror Illegal immigration debate.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007. MO: Developer pleads guilty to not paying taxes for workers Michael Schlup d/b/a Schlup Investments Inc. and Plaza Gardens on the Lake Inc

Tuesday, June 26, 2007. US: Appraisers push for real estate fraud rules It's called "hitting the number" - or inflating a home's value - and real estate appraisers who don't do it often enough can find it hard to make a living.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007. US: Eagles soar while species protections sink US Supreme court rules in favor of home builders, over environment and endangered species.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007. US: Ex-execs plead guilty to Countrywide fraud Mortgage lender's former executives plead guilty to insider trading

Tuesday, June 26, 2007. TX: Alleged shoddy workmanship leads property owner to sue contractor Fast-Trak Construction

Monday, June 25, 2007. US: Immigration II: No Guarantees Under pressure from White House, business community -- with chief exception of home builders -- has agreed not to oppose stricter work-site rules requiring verification of workers' legal status.

Monday, June 25, 2007. PA: JURY TO CITY: PAY UP City took family's property for housing development; four years later jury says city must pay.

Monday, June 25, 2007. Nat'l interest: Give me a 10 or else! Customer surveys in general; mentions Beazer Homes attempting to pay for high ratings.

Monday, June 25, 2007. FL: Mold issue gets some air Problems with Levitt and Sons: Rosenberg said he has asked for a list of the items that will be repaired, but was told that only those residents who agree to sign a confidentiality agreement will be allowed to read or pay to receive a copy.

Monday, June 25, 2007. NY Times: The Best Judges Business Can Buy Wealthy interests trying to influence court decisions by pouring money into state judicial elections

Monday, June 25, 2007. US: 6 Sleazy Home Improvement Scams "Some are actual scam artists, while others are just incompetent or unethical," says Ellis Levinson, a consumer reporter and author of the book "Hiring Contractors Without Going Through Hell."

Monday, June 25, 2007. KS: Pulte video Lexana homeowner's complaint about faulty construction; some neighbors fer her complaint is driving down their property values. (We are having some problems getting this video to play now (except for the ads!) but if you can see it note that one of the "homeowners" interviewed is really the Pulte VP of finance!)

Saturday, June 23, 2007. Nat'l interest: Two Veterans Experience with Buying a House from Pulte Homes Consumer's site. There is more regulation on the manufacture of toilet paper than on houses!

Saturday, June 23, 2007. US: Mortgage Forms Sow Confusion FTC found that despite current truth-in-lending laws many borrowers simply do not understand their mortgages -- especially subprime loans that come with complex features and costly penalties.

Saturday, June 23, 2007. AZ: Company shake-up reaches Sun City 14-year Pulte veteran one of 1900 people builder laid off nationally; Tehama project in hibernation.

Friday, June 22, 2007. You Tube video of news report: Songwriter's Toxic Nightmare Forced to abandon home, possessions.

Friday, June 22, 2007. NY: Valley Cottage family's home isn't finished, and town isn't happy Family ripped off by builder, then another contractor. Now living in violation of city code, with nowhere else to go. Their own lawyer and the bank allowed closing without a certificate of occupancy (CO) a problem HADD frequently sees and does not recommend home buyers close without.

Friday, June 22, 2007. TX; TRCC: Homeowner seeks help in renovation dispute Homeowner trying to re-coop portion of $23,000 he paid Blue Diamond Remodeling (Owner Richard Rucker). Complaints against company have been received by BBB and Texas Residential Construction Commission.

Friday, June 22, 2007. FL: UPDATE on CCI case Ongoing saga of Jessee Batttle's Construction Compliance Inc, company failure and possible criminal charges.

Friday, June 22, 2007. FL: Son of Developer refuses to pay fines on "behemoth truck" ''The neighbors hate me, dude,'' said George, the son of wealthy developer John Paul George, owner of Majestic Homes, a major custom-home builder in Florida.

Friday, June 22, 2007. AZ: More on the PULTE incident with the protesters being doused East Valley Tribune, the paper that did the series on the "checkered past" of developer Jim Rhodes earlier this year.

Friday, June 22, 2007. PA: Poconos home builder case settled for fraction of what state attorney general sought One of the biggest fraud cases he'd ever seen...None of the money will go to the homeowners, and Percudani is free to build homes again. Many of the homeowners lost their homes and/or are in bankruptcy as a result.

Friday, June 22, 2007. US: Has That Homebuilder Got a Deal for You? Pulte, D.R. Horton, (others); when a builder offers a $99,000 discount on a newly built home, are you really buying a $300,000 home for $201,000? Or are you paying $201,000 for a home that's really a $190,000 home spiffed up with marketing smoke and mirrors? (Article mentions "cash back" deals, too, but doesn't point out that many of them are illegal as previous news has done. --Ed.)

Friday, June 22, 2007. US: The downside of real-estate sales incentives Might mask a much steeper downturn in real-estate sales. The most aggressive deals may be downright fraudulent.

Friday, June 22, 2007. US: Suspicious Activity Reports Prove to be a Helpful Tool in Combating Mortgage Fraud From Mortgage Fraud blog

Friday, June 22, 2007. TX: UPDATE: Congressman Informs Feds About Mirasol Homes U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez of San Antonio recently sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission concerning complaints about health and construction issues raised by residents who live at Mirasol Homes (built by KB Home).

Friday, June 22, 2007. MO: Incomplete projects cause headaches Frederick Hiner stopped work on the Hollister development nearly two years ago, leaving four of the 11 homes partially built and without streets, water and sewer.

Friday, June 22, 2007. CO; U.S.: D.R. Horton Closes Trimark Communities in Denver Housing giant also consolidates Melody Homes and Continental Homes in market overhaul.

Friday, June 22, 2007. ADR World: House Subcommittee Probes Fairness of Consumer Arbitration Requires subscription; for free articles about same thing see Tue June 19th 2007 News below.

Friday, June 22, 2007. US: ADR World Arbitration articles.

Friday, June 22, 2007. LA: Easterling v. Royal Manufactured Housing Manufactured home dispute and arbitration. (Both this and the WA state case below are PDF's)

Friday, June 22, 2007. WA: Satomi Owners Association v. Satomi Appeals Court said Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) doesn't trump state law re: use of courts in this condominium warranty dispute. One issue: whether there is interstate commerce triggering FAA.

Friday, June 22, 2007. AZ: Water trucks douse Pulte protesters AZCentral.com article re: video below. Labor dispute. Pulte denies it was their truck but video clearly shows "Pulte" on the truck.

Friday, June 22, 2007. You Tube: Video showing Pulte truck spraying protesters with water Check out menu below showing more videos of Pulte problems.

Thursday, June 21, 2007. US: High Court Has Been Good For Business Consumer advocates say it is especially important that victims of corporate wrongdoing have the option of going to court, partly because the federal government for years has been scaling back its regulation of business.

Thursday, June 21, 2007. OR: Gov signs bills into law Certain of these bills pertain to construction.

Thursday, June 21, 2007. US: More on harmful arbitration claues in consumer contracts (including home purchases)

Thursday, June 21, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Make Sure Builders and Developers Put Promises in Writing Promises made by Linderand Inc., developer and Bracken Chase Home Builders were not kept; homeowners on existing property now have expensive drainage problem.

Thursday, June 21, 2007. US: Buying an Environmentally Friendly Home Tips.

Thursday, June 21, 2007. FL: Proposed amendment pits builders against voters Plan should reflect the public interest

Thursday, June 21, 2007. CA: Radiation Rangers Developers of Simi Valley’s Runkle Canyon claim the water tested clean. Then a band of citizens discovered super-toxic goo seeping from the ground...where KB Homes hopes to build 461 residences.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: Nat'l Association of Mortgage Bankers warns about using builders' in-house lenders PDF: when the consumer informs the builder they have chosen an unaffiliated mortgage company, the builder refuses to go to closing, cancels the contract, keeps the customer’s deposit, and denies the consumer the previously offered incentives. (RESPA law violations)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. TN: 'Nightmare' dream home may lead to building codes in Campbell Co. Leaky home built by Alco Builders.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. TN: Couple battles contractor in court over 5-year house project Homeowners obtained judgment against Jones Brothers Construction for their losses of over $100,000, but haven't been able to collect. House "has to be torn down."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. Nat'l interest: Builder story on "America's Most Wanted" to air Sat. 23 June 2007 According to the FBI, Craig John Oliver, (aliases John Oliver, Craig J. Oliver and Mel Merlowe), a convicted felon, defrauded 68 Virginia and Maryland homeowners out of more than $2.5 million.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. CT; Nat'l interest: Home Construction Became Big Headache Contractor didn't finish work, put lien on house. House wasn't even connected to water or sewer. Homeowner cannot sue contractor because of arbitration clause.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: Update: Arbitration Hearings How consumers are negatively affected by mandatory arbitration agreements. Good links to legislation, testimony, etc.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: The Illegal Employer Problem Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: You can write to your elected officials asking to ban mandatory arbitration in consumer contracts Click on "Ban Mandatory Arbitration" on the right hand side/menu. Very easy, no registration required.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: Builders Sharpen Attack on Flawed Immigration Bill NAHB launches major effort to ensure they will have steady supply of cheap unskilled labor

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. MN; Nat'l interest: $1million lobbying effort helped kill bills insurers feared Insurance industry killed legislation that would make it easier for wronged consumers to sue.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: Homebuilders Failed to Pay Taxes on Undocumented Workers State & Federal Governments May be Owed Over One Hundred Billion Dollars...obtain labor through "coyotes" who arrange illegal labor for subcontractors. (This is posted for the information/opinion content only. --Ed.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. Nat'l interest: La Quinta homeowners allege fraud 44 investors suing D.R. Horton for securities fraud

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. OH: Judge allows foreclosures UPDATE: Evergreen Homes LLC and Evergreen Investment Corp Bankruptcy

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. Canada: Riverbend fight goes on the web http://coquitlamriverbend.ca offers readers history of real estate debacle w/CB Development

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. CA: New Home Nightmare "Call Kurtis," local consumer reporter, tackles moldy home problem. Builder has been unable to make the home livable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. CO: Liens Placed On New Homes Homeowners named as defendants in legal action filed by unpaid subcontractors: Majority of homes affected built by DR Horton...Homewoners can ask to "tender defense," which allows title company to represent them through legal process...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes Bankruptcy Completion expected for some projects

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. TX: UPDATE on Mirasol development built by KB Home Inspections show water intrusion, high humidity, mold, mildew, bacteria, faulty air conditioning and ductwork, and insufficient attic insulation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: Housing Crash Current news

Wednesday, June 20, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Current news articles

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: Witnesses Clash Over Mandatory Arbitration Clauses A financial services lawyer appeared today at a hearing on Capitol Hill to defend contract provisions that require consumers to take disputes to arbitration, but other witnesses blasted the provisions.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. GA: Builder pleads guilty to theft Builder swore in affadavits that he paid subs, which he had not, causing homebuyers to have liens on their property. (HADD sees this in complaints frequently...it's interesting that in this case it was considered a crime because usually homeowners are told "get a lawyer--it's civil." --Ed.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. FL: Ex employees sue Mercedes Homes Allege they were not paid overtime they were entitled to.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes Bankruptcy Town to go after bond for Birch Hill project

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. SC: Fraud suspect turns self in John Lauro-Brotherton used mortgage brokerage, licensed construction company, home manufacturer, two banks and the Florida Division of Corporations to facilitate scheme.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: McGreevy on Law Though this is written for the benefit of subcontractors, it is also useful to home buyers and homeowners.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: Reminder: Important request for arbitration stories Give Me Back My Rights -- a coalition of groups fighting to remove Binding Mandatory Arbitration clauses from consumer contracts

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. MD; Nat'l interest: Buyers beware Homebuilders often write contracts with certain arbitration companies, and those firms tend to be on the side of the builder.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: Center for Responsible Lending Mandatory Arbitration Harms Homeowners in lending, too.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: Hearing on the "Mandatory Binding Arbitration Agreements: Are They Fair for Consumers?" Reminder: this is the US House of Representatives page to watch on this legislation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: US Public Interest Research Group on Arbitration Legislation in Congress Most Americans think that everyone with a dispute has the right to a day in court. Wrong...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. UPDATE: US: 2007 FAIR ARBITRATION ACT More testimony about proposed federal legislation to ban mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. This testimony is by David Schwartz, a law prof. at the U. of WI. This is a PDF file.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. WI: Homeowners protest D.R. Horton development Shortchanged by company that built their subdivision, homeowners protest. Court rejected builder's restraining order.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: FAIR ARBITRATION ACT OF 2007 Abolishing binding mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. VERY important legislation benefitting all consumers, including those buying HOUSES.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007. US: BAD STUCCO We've seen a number of articles in the news recently about homes with stucco related construction defects. This site, Bad Stucco, should help understand what goes wrong. --Ed.

Monday, June 18, 2007. Canada: Court orders sale of BC homes at market value CB Developments in receivership

Monday, June 18, 2007."KB Home Warning" Consumer's experience with the builder

Monday, June 18, 2007. CO: UPDATE: Lobbyist criticized, but not sanctioned Builder's lobbyist lied to voters about a consumer protection bill in attemtp to kill it; lawmakers say it is ok, protected by free speech. (Remember that next time a builder sues a homeowner for truthfully complaining! --Ed.

Monday, June 18, 2007. NJ: Crack Down on Tax-Cheating Home Builders Bill sponsored by Sen. Ellen Karcher would increase penalties on home builders who misclassify construction workers to circumvent tax laws; approved by Senate by vote of 24-12.

Monday, June 18, 2007.Centex Leaving Ohio Market Centex says move matches what other builders are doing.

Monday, June 18, 2007. US: Home Builder Sentiment Down: And They’re Mad At Me?? Columnist Diana Olick and Dave Seiders, the Chief Economist for the NAHB share something: Seiders apparently isn't favored by home builder CEO's for speaking negative news either.

Monday, June 18, 2007. US: How the housing collapse is like the Iraq war. In both Iraq and housing, folks who got us into the mess have repeatedly reassured the public that the debacle is contained

Monday, June 18, 2007. US: Important Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Remodeling Contract From Realty Times

Monday, June 18, 2007. US: Trail of complaints spans several states John David Boggs and Mike Ellis and/or Mark Grawunder, d/b/a Affordable Roofing, Johnson Roofing, KDA Speigle Roofing, A.D. Home Improvements, Scott's company, Tri-State Roofing, Bates Roofing, Trinity Roofing, M One Roofing...

Monday, June 18, 2007. MI: UPDATE: Bay View Conso lawsuits Excavating co. says developer owes nearly $90,000

Monday, June 18, 2007. OR; Nat'l interest: Proposal would toughen ban on fake stucco Illnesses attributed to use of siding's synthetic version.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. US: Ongoing problems exposed with using the builders' lenders: Nat'l Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) Applauds Investigation of Builders’ RESPA Violations Warns that Violations Emerging Now Are Just Tip of the Iceberg

Sunday, June 17, 2007. US: The Only Thing They Have to Fear Is ... a Level Playing Field Private industry arbitration, such as in home builder and home warranty contracts, deprives consumers of essential rights. Though this article is about arbitration in general it's relevant to housing. --Ed.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. US: 7 Days Remaining to Move to Be a Lead Plaintiff in the Shareholder Lawsuit Against Toll Brothers Complaint alleges that defendants violated federal securities laws by issuing material misrepresentations to the market concerning the Company's business and prospects, thereby artificially inflating the price of Toll Brothers securities.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. MD: How to fight developer and win Residents fight K. Hovnanian development

Sunday, June 17, 2007. AL: You're on your own on the Alabama coast IF YOU live near the coast, don't rely on FEMA's flood plain maps to decide how safe you are.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. Nat'l interest: Low cost homes turn into high priced headache More on Habitat for Humanity problems.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. IL: Black mold warps family's dream into nightmare Due to building defect toxins force evacuation of Habitat for Humanity in Knox County. Home will supposedly be "fixed" and sold to another family. Original owner lost $13,000.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Experts have tips for new-home buyers Some good tips but HADD urges buyers to do MUCH more than these types of articles normally recommend. For example they always tell you to check licensing agencies and BBB's but from our experience both entities may keep at least some compliants out of public view. See our Downloads link on our home page for more info on this topic. --Ed.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. FL: Condo investors having a nightmare--have lost millions Condos unfinished. Contractor & subs not paid. Bank foreclosing on project.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. NY: UPDATE: The neighborhood killers Part of ongoing report: The Daily News investigative series "Building Boom-doggle"

Sunday, June 17, 2007. FL: Habitat homes shoddy, residents contend More than 50 Fairway Oaks homeowners say they fear that the blitz construction was shoddy and that their land, adjacent to two former town dumps, is unstable or contaminated.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. PA: Big Mess at Big Ridge Toll Brothers created illegal housing development, Middle Smithfield Township officials contend....affects legal ownership status of nearly 400 home buyers.

Sunday, June 17, 2007. AZ: $500K house takes its toll: (A DEVELOPER gets taken by a builder!) When he hired Toll Brothers his dream home turned into a nightmare.

Saturday, June 16, 2007. FL: Man wanted for elaborate fraud scheme Jeffrey John Lauro-Brotherton, aka Jeff Lauro, has been associated with Forefront Construction, Palm Harbor Consulting Services, Palm Harbor Homes of Southwest Florida, Maverick Development of Southwest Florida and ETS Interiors.

Saturday, June 16, 2007. TX: Officials say there's hope for troubled Lake Ridge neighborhood Unfinished & abandoned houses, foreclosures, unscrupulous builders, and suspected arson, in "upscale" neighborhood.

Saturday, June 16, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Builders resist wind standard FEMA has threatened to withhold relief money from North Carolina if the building code council doesn't adopt the national standard protecting against wind-borne debris.

Friday, June 15, 2007. TX: 5 Indicted in Multimillion Dollar Texas Fraud Scheme Texas attorney and developer, sports agent, bank loan officers, and appraiser indicted in multimillion dollar mortgage fraud scheme. Scheme reached every aspect of real estate loan: seller, buyer/borrower, loan officer, appraiser, escrow officer, title company.

Friday, June 15, 2007. TX: UPDATE: Inspector details Mirasol home problems Water intrusion around windows, too little attic insulation, faulty air- conditioning systems and drainage problems surfaced as key issues in the first comprehensive inspection reports on houses in the complaint-plagued Mirasol Homes subdivision. (Which was built by KB Home.)

Friday, June 15, 2007. GA: Builder Faces 25 Years in Prison Steve Stratacos, aka Steve George.

Friday, June 15, 2007. Nat'l interest: Builders wooing real estate agents Plying agents with freebies, cash bonuses to close sales.

Friday, June 15, 2007. MI: Homebuilders exempted from Michigan Consumer Protection Act Liss, et al. v. Lewiston-Richards: May ultimately allow businesses to engage in unethical behavior, and "the ultimate loser, of course, will be consumers...

Friday, June 15, 2007. US: Tips to "green" your home HGTV article

Friday, June 15, 2007. US: EPA: Indoor Air Quality Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) found in paint and many products, have effects ranging from irritation to toxicity.

Friday, June 15, 2007. US: FTC Confirms That Most Homebuyers Couldn't Identify Mortgage Amount Study found half of borrowers couldn't identify loan amount, 90 percent couldn't figure out upfront costs, two-thirds couldn't find prepayment penalties.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. US House of Represenatatives: Hearing on Mandatory Binding Arbitration Click on names to the right, to hear witness testimony.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. US: Mandatory Binding Arbitration Agreements: Are They Fair For Consumers? Testimony of Jordan Fogal to Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, (Judiciary.house.gov site)

Thursday, June 14, 2007. US: PAUL BLAND'S TESTIMONY ON MANDATORY BINDING ARBITRATION Article has link to PDF file of testimony.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. US: Use It or Lose It U.S. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank threatened to take away the Federal Reserve's legal power to write consumer-protection rules, telling an official the board must ``use it or lose it.''

Thursday, June 14, 2007. NY: UPDATE on long-running story: Amico freed from prison The Amicos were convicted of running conspiracy that allegedly defrauded mortgage lenders of $58.5 million on homes built in suburban Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties

Thursday, June 14, 2007. US: AZ and other states make mortgage fraud a crime Artificially inflated values, cash-back schemes, etc.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. MI: Fired official was Inspections head since '91 Was inspector fired for citing builders for violations?

Thursday, June 14, 2007. US: American Arbitration Association Launches Home Construction Arbitration Rules And Mediation Procedures Changes to the rules that every homeowner with an arbitration clause needs to know. See link to actual rules, below. Keep in mind both articles/rules are from the perspective of the arbitration industry which serves the building industry...it is not from a consumer's perspective.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. US: American Arbitration Association "Home Construction Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures." If you have an arbitration clause in your contracts these are the rules you will likely be under, though some private arbitration firms may go by their own rules.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. HGTV: Framing for Strength A lot of framers don't get how to use housewrap, flashing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Mortgage firm fires 12 without warning Wells Fargo workers did First Home loans, (a Hovnanian subsidiary).

Thursday, June 14, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes Bankruptcy UPDATE on reorganization.

Thursday, June 14, 2007. NJ: Another builder files for bankruptcy Elliott Building Group, aka Elliot Holding Group; buyers' deposit money may be tied up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. NY: Westchester County expands list of shady contractors Reliable Chimney, Frontier Fence, Russell's Door Service; U.S.A. Roofing Inc.; Marotta's Home Improvement; Mighty Joe Young's Contracting; Tim-Ron Fence Co. and Capital 1 Construction... (The question is, how many complaints does it take before the county adds a contractor to the list?)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Gopher tortoises win reprieve from live burials Developers no longer allowed to bury gopher tortoises alive. (Previous news said developers paid fine as if it were a fee, and bulldozed over the animals without doing required relocation.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. MI; Nat'l interest: The Beautiful Solution to Water Pollution Builders, cities, homeowners using Rain gardens to absorb and store storm water. The gardens also help purify water as it percolates back into soil.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. TX: Homeowners seek help from Live Oak Dissatisfied buyers of Ryland Homes seek help of City Council, some have set up website, www.rylandtrouble.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. OR: Home sales still sliding as prices inch upward Houses no longer flying off the market.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. GA; Nat'l interest: Do Georgia's Small Builders Signal a Dangerous Trend? "Meyer-Sutton is a small bankruptcy, but it isn't the only one out there," says Keith Long, head of Otter Creek Management, a $125 million hedge fund in Palm Beach, Fla. "It's a sign that we're right at the tip of what's beginning to unfold."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007. OH: UPDATE: Judge denies creditor's request Evergreen Homes LCC and its other companies will not be changing its bankruptcy status from Chapter 11 Reorganization, to Chapter 7 Liquidation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007. MI: Suit filed in BayView case; effort to block refund check BayView condos: Suttons Pointe Development, L.L.C. Article describes two cases, one which the builder lost in arbitration and appealed anyway.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007. US: Building a Home Tips from the Nat'l Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007. WA: Court Declines to Apply Fed Arbitration Act to Washington Condo Project Purchaser guaranteed right to pursue judicial relief for breach of the statutory warranties.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Current news

Tuesday, June 12, 2007. US: Homebuilders New Mantra: Don't Talk To The Media! It begs the question: What are you all afraid of?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007. MD; Nat'l interest: Green is the goal While green building's touted by the industry as a new trend they invented, some builders have already been doing it for decades.

"We've been doing it for years," homebuilder Jim Hurney said. "It just irritates me that houses aren't built right."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007. US: HUD audit hurts stock in Hovnanian Builder had to refund 17 loans; 65 more loans under investigation. Hovnanian also accused of requiring buyers to use its mortgage and title insurance affiliates, a violation of federal law.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007. US: Housing Crash Current news articles

Monday, June 11, 2007. Nat'l interest: War of Words Targets Civil Justice System in California and the Weapon is Fear Phrases, "jackpot justice," "frivolous lawsuits," "runaway juries," or "liberal judges..." carefully crafted to manipulate public opinion and pollute jury pools using fear. (Builders' right-to-repair laws also play on these fears.)

Monday, June 11, 2007. CA: Salinas contractor faces fraud, theft charges Jose Luis Vasquez

Monday, June 11, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes Bankruptcy: More Time for Plan A slew of creditors objected to the home builder's disclosure statement for providing "inadequate" information.

Monday, June 11, 2007. US: Pay Back Time Drawbacks of Cash-back mortgages

Monday, June 11, 2007. US: Over 1 million foreclosures coming Biggest payment shocks will be felt by borrowers who got low-rate introductory loans

Monday, June 11, 2007. TX: UPDATE on defective Mirasol project Built by KB Home

Monday, June 11, 2007. DE: Past County corruption cases tied to land use Ongoing fraud and racketeering case involving developers: Mario B. Capano, Newark home builder, also was snagged in probe. Capano served six-month sentence on obstruction charges, for allegedly counseling witness not to cooperate.

Monday, June 11, 2007. US: Follow the Alphabet Soup Why would an outfit as large as Fannie Mae or a company that makes steel or glass or builds houses want to be a partner or associate member of one of these organizations, other than to have access to our elected officials...?

Sunday, June 10, 2007. US: Texas homeowner to testify in Congress on arbitration. Jordan Fogal, a Texas homeowner and activist, who has fought against her builder for years, will be testifying in the United States Congress on Tuesday June 12 at 10:20am. Her testimony will be in the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on the topic "Mandatory Binding Arbitration Agreements: Are They Fair for Consumers?".

Sunday, June 10, 2007. US: Lender beware Vast majority of homebuyers still can get mortgage old-fashioned way: verifying income, putting money down.

Sunday, June 10, 2007. MN: Builder left subcontractors' bills unpaid--now homeowner stuck paying the bill (liens) It is felony theft for a contractor to take money from a consumer and not use it to pay off the subcontractors...

Sunday, June 10, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Lost homes haunt families Nationally, the foreclosure rate is 3%; in one Beazer Homes development the rate is 38%. This is part of the Charlotte Observer's series "Sold a Nightmare," on Beazer Homes foreclosure rate and subsequent investigation for mortgage fraud.

Sunday, June 10, 2007. US: A look at local CEOs pocketing top salaries Sharholders unhappy with Toll Brothers CEO pay of $25 million.

Sunday, June 10, 2007. KS: Homeowners wage battle with Pulte Homes over improperly built foundations Both Sabin and Daugherty say they have let the company send repair crews in the past, but that all the work either had been cosmetic or failed to fix the problems. They have no confidence that future repair efforts would finally fix the problems.

Friday, June 08, 2007. US: P*ssed Consumer Consumer Gripe site's pages on construction/builder complaints.

Friday, June 08, 2007. OK: Homeowner questions Lawton's policy builder's permits Builder (unnamed in report) "fixes" obviously leaking shower with a cosmetic dab of caulk. Reporter says builder claimed they would fix the problem.

Friday, June 08, 2007. US: With Houses Lingering on the Market, Builders Outfit Their Model Homes What interior designers try to do, McInnis said, is "create house lust."

Friday, June 08, 2007. US: Mercedes Homes hit by suits on overtime The lawsuits, filed within the past week in U.S. District Court in Orlando, seek class-action status.

Friday, June 08, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Joseph Pufta d/b/a Avalon Homes Builder says he's not guilty; charged with 20 counts of misapplication of construction funds and one count of grand theft. Authorities say more charges pending. Many of Avalon's customers were left financially ruined.

Friday, June 08, 2007. MO: Grain Valley, Mo., Home Builder Guilty of Giving EPA a False Document David Ward, owner of Ward Development & Investment Co, and Woodbury Homes: falsely stated Woodbury had applied for storm-water permit for residential development.

Friday, June 08, 2007. Nat'l interest: Mortgage fraud's costs go beyond the loan Solon police say everyone — from the builder to the mortgage broker to the title company — were in on taking out loans and splitting the cash, with no intention of repaying them...lenders were simply too focused on making money to notice.

Friday, June 08, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes Bankruptcy case Bank to foreclose on Kara development

Friday, June 08, 2007. CA: Civil engineer faces criminal charges in construction project More about engineer Jimmy Jen and contractor Robert McCurn case below: Jen previously had his license suspended & had record of violating building codes.

Friday, June 08, 2007. CA: Dept of Building Inspection liaison charged in theft, fraud Contractor Robert Lee McCurn knowingly did not follow plans; engineer Kaimin “Jimmy” Jen signed off on it anyway in documents filed with the Department of Building Inspection, prosecutors allege.

Friday, June 08, 2007. CA: UPDATE: Red tags lifted off D.R. Horton houses Problem centered on improperly installed anchor bolts that attach homes to concrete foundation. Horton official contacted county and said it had narrowed down improper reports to one employee who was fired.

Friday, June 08, 2007. CA: UPDATE: Permits Reissued To D.R. Horton Building inspectors allege that the developer forged, falsified or changed inspection records on 64 homes. (Article contains link to earlier story)

Friday, June 08, 2007. TX: UPDATE: Mirasol inspections put on fast track KB Home-built housing project w/poor construction, cracked foundations and illnesses residents say are related to mold

Friday, June 08, 2007. Nat'l interest: Ohio sues two O.C. real estate firms over appraisals Appraisers pressured to inflate home values.

Thursday, June 07, 2007. MI: Builders getting out of the MI Consumer Protection Act Liss v. Lewiston-Richards Inc; dissenting opinions quite interesting.

Thursday, June 07, 2007. NY; Nat'l interest: Report details problems; seller's disclosure contradicts findings Before local couple sold "mold house" to woman whose life and credit were ruined by the purchase, two prospective buyers paid for home inspection report that detailed house's laundry list of shortcomings.

Thursday, June 07, 2007. US: Reader comments on immigration article, homebuilders' lobbying Link to article also. Comments are interesting.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. OK: Man charged with home repair fraud Mark Wayne Shaver charged.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. FL: Cape builder removes fixtures R. Fry Builders

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. FL: Sky High Controversy Toll Brothers wants to build closer to nesting Bald Eagle than law allows.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. MA: Telling It Like It Is Homeowner will stand tall and fight…even among tremendous adversity. Ongoing story about Rich Builders, owned by John Rich which will air another part this Fri June 8th.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. TX: Ryland Trouble Homeowner's site about bad experience with builder.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. TX: Disgruntled Ryland homeowner turns Internet into soapbox After builder didn't repair 'cracks wide enough to stick a hand in,' homeowner created website, www.RylandTrouble.com featuring photos and inspection report.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. MD: Conflict of interest on planning board? ‘‘Any applicant that works in the land development industry in Montgomery County or even in adjacent jurisdictions, there could be a perception of conflict of interest,” Goldstein said. One finalist is a custom home builder. Another is a real estate investor. A third has been a developer in the past.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. TX: Live Oak residents say their new homes are falling apart New homes by Ryland falling apart and/or flooding.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. DE: Once-legal debris pits give homeowners that sinking feeling Builders burried construction trash, trees, etc, and built over the pits. Houses, yards, and driveways sink when the material decomposes. State has cleanup program but homeowners are on waiting list for years. Very expensive repair.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. KY: Squeaky wheel gets the grease Roads uncompleted, lawns terrible, cracked sidewalks, windows not caulked and stucco that’s falling off: WKB Properties homes in Troon development.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. US: DR Horton lowered to negative Moody's Investors Service changed outlook on D.R. Horton to negative from stable, indicating company's debt ratings are likely to be lowered into junk territory over next 12 to 18 months.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. US: Homebuilders storm the Hill After enjoying years of unbridled growth, many homebuilders say they're now sinking along with the subprime lending market. So 1,300 of them are in Washington today to ask for help... (What happened to industry's cry to 'keep big govt out of our lives?' --Ed.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. CA: Bayview Hunters Point residents want moratorium on shipyard work Toxins: development of former shipyard by developer Lennar Corp.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. CA: Lennar Corp has bought some SF Board of Supervisors with blood money Lennar Corp. has distributed millions of dollars in the Bay Area and especially in San Francisco buying the votes of some very corrupt City officials.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. FL: HOUSE OF LIES (Update to news stories dating back to last year) Miami mayor: Ban troubled housing contractor, Cazo Construction.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. Canada: Advocate named to protect new home buyers Levy, an award-winning journalist and lawyer who retired from the newspaper last fall, is now the consumers' representative on the Tarion board of directors. Tarion regulates builders and administers the new home warranty program.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. International: Spain's Housing Crash Ghost Towns Appear in Spain as Decade-Long Boom Ends: (many parallels to U.S. housing market)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. US: Executives Cashing In Shares At Homebuilder NVR I think it indicates that [executives] think it's the peak of the stock for quite some time," said Jack Adamo, who edits a weekly independent newsletter that follows insider transactions.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. US: Is a subprime storm brewing? Market corrections are rarely easy for the people involved.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007. NC: UPDATE: Builders forgiving loans AG says were illegal At least three of the builders Hall worked with cut a deal with the Attorney General’s office. (Follow up to articles posted earlier this week.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. AZ; TX: Robson Unfair Home buyer's bad experience with Robson Communities

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. NH: Builder charged with certificate forgery Aaron Fielder, d/b/a Frontline Construction, arrested for forging certificate of occupancy on house that failed inspection.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. FL: House built to defy a Category 5 hurricane By acting as his own contractor, he will be able to build the home for about what it would cost to hire a contractor and build a normal home of comparable size.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. US: Subprime fiasco exposes manipulation by brokerages Hustling risky mortgages.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. NY: Westchester wants tougher contractor law New law could trigger higher fines and seizure of contractor's truck and tools.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. MS; TN: Developer files for bankruptcy Tom Person d/b/a Providence Group Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. MS: Man gets 8 years, fined $53,000 for home repair fraud Contractor Victor Kendall King

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: ARMs, non-bank lenders contribute to foreclosures Reminder: 77 percent of borrowers in foreclosure had received their loans from non-bank lenders such as homebuilders...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Sold a Nightmare Reminder of March investigation into bad loans made by Beazer Homes

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. US: Building industry wants "reform" of FHA Article from National Association of Home Builders. Best read in conjunction with articles posted below and above! --Ed.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. NC: Three builders to forgive $2 million in suspect loans and cooperate in investigation UPDATE: Homebuyers didn’t know they were agreeing to second mortgage placed on home with one of three builders named as lender. State said a third of mortgages Hall made are in foreclosure...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. NC; Charlotte Observer: Builders to forgive home loans More from yesterday's posting re: Dixie Homes LLC, MCE Properties Inc., Evans-Davis Inc., and Hall Financial Services.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007. US: Home Builders hit Capitol Hill National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): formidable lobbying group in Washington DC with budget of $100 MILLION for lobbying, etc. (Not counting state lobbying by local HBA's.)

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Beazer Homes lowered Moody's Investors Service lowered homebuilder Beazer Homes ratings because it believed the company will come very close to violating its interest coverage covenant in fiscal year 2007.

Monday, June 04, 2007. International: Why I think non-green housebuilders will lose out Ask a housebuilder whether the general housebuying public would pay more for a green home and they’ll reply no, there’s no evidence to support it. However, ask an eco housebuilder - of which there are a growing number – and they’ll say the opposite.

So who’s telling the truth? Is it just a question of leaders and laggards? I believe it is.

Monday, June 04, 2007. NC: Three Builders Agree to Forgive Loans Dixie Homes LLC of Gastonia and MCE Properties Inc. and Evans-Davis Inc. of Kings Mountain: Homebuyers who used Hall for financing didn't know they were also agreeing to a second mortgage, which was placed on their home with one of the three builders named as the lender.

Monday, June 04, 2007. NJ: Major Creditor Agrees to Kara Homes Plan Update on Kara Homes bankruptcy.

Monday, June 04, 2007. CA: Nobody home at center for housing help Were developers promises re: affordable housing just "lip service?"

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: GA builder Meyer-Sutton Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Intends to remain in business. (Buyer Beware!)

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Market Rumors KB Home could be target of leveraged buy out.

Monday, June 04, 2007. TX: Robert D. Kizer v. Meyer, Lytton, Alen & Whitaker, Inc., d/b/a MLAW Consultants and Engineers Doctrine of res judicata does not bar the litigation of breach of contract claims in a construction defect lawsuit simply because those claims could have been brought in an earlier action, a Texas appellate panel concluded

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Reelin' in the Suckers ...and more housing crash news. Current.

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Flashing Windows Does your builder flash windows? A common omission of material HADD sees is no window flashing at all which leads to leaks. If your builder isn't flashing the windows you could have big problems later on. This article is posted for informational value and is not an endorsement of any particular brand or type of flashing.

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Construction Defect Litigation Blog by attorneys

Monday, June 04, 2007. SC: Lennar blog homeowners discuss builder

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Mortgage fraud News News about evolving scams, etc. Current.

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Adjustable-loan borrowers are the big losers Part 3 of 5: Upheaval in the subprime market

Monday, June 04, 2007. FL: Dispute keeps condo buyers from moving in County holding up certificates of occupancy for last building as leverage to ensure developer makes good on promises.

Monday, June 04, 2007. FL: New law alters condo landscape Measure set to take effect July 1 could make prime waterfront properties ripe for redevelopment

Monday, June 04, 2007. US: Government's water authority murky despite Supreme Court ruling Environmentalist groups such as the National Wildlife Federation support the bill, saying it would restore authority that always existed under the 1972 law but has eroded under recent court rulings, including the Carabell case.

A coalition of construction, farming and other business groups is fighting it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007. TX: A Fresh Coat Of Paint For The Homebuilder Commission On a fiscal note, the modifications in the bill will require 43 new paid positions in the TRCC at a cost of $7.5 million. This includes more attorneys, inspectors, and case investigators. Over the last four years millions of dollars collected in registration fees were returned to the general revenue fund. Now these funds will be used to further the TRCC bureaucracy with 43 new employees.

Saturday, June 02, 2007. AZ: Tempe homeowner paid for work contractor can't complete Update on Solymar Homes bankruptcy, suspended license: (According to research at the ROC this contractor has even more complaints now than when this article ran June 1st and erported 43 on record. We have to ask--what took the ROC so long to suspend his license, and is he still building under another license as is common? --Ed.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007. Chicago Tribune Investigation: Clout helped build flawed luxury homes High priced homes didn't meet code. One collapsed while under construction. City allowed developer to continue building. 3 page report.

Saturday, June 02, 2007. NJ: Kara reaches deal with major creditor UPDATE on Kara Homes bankruptcy

Saturday, June 02, 2007. TX: A Fresh Coat Of Paint For The Homebuilder Commission House Bill 1038, a bill to address the flaws of the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC pronounced trick), has passed the House and Senate and awaits the signature of the Governor. Unfortunately the bill provides nothing more than a shiny coat of paint to cover up the severely flawed foundation of the Commission.

Friday, June 01, 2007. NV: Spanish View Towers teeters on bankruptcy, foreclosure Developed by Rod Yanke, a longtime local custom-home builder, Spanish View soon flatlined after breaking ground in early 2006. Now there are lawsuits and mechanics liens lodged against the project.

Friday, June 01, 2007. Nat'l interest: Not-so-real estate on ‘Flip This House’ I find nothing shocking about this story and would only be surprised if A&E finally verified their other episodes and learned that none of the other developers were just scammers,” wrote a contributor to housingpanic.blogspot.com. “I suspect most episodes in the last 2 years have been largely works of fiction.”

Friday, June 01, 2007. Nat'l interest: 'Flip This House' star accused of fraud Authorities and legal filings claim Leccima's true passion was a series of scams that included faking home renovations shown on the cable TV show and claiming to have sold houses he never owned.

Friday, June 01, 2007. FL: Trump Tower Tampa penthouse buyer: Where's my $1.2 million? Buyer of a $6.15 million Trump Tower Tampa penthouse says the $1.2 million he had in escrow can't be found. Donald Trump also suing Tampa developer SimDag and removing his name from project.

Friday, June 01, 2007. FL: Trump Tower Tampa penthouse buyer: Where's my $1.2 million? Buyer of a $6.15 million Trump Tower Tampa penthouse says the $1.2 million he had in escrow can't be found. Donald Trump also suing Tampa developer SimDag and removing his name from project.

Friday, June 01, 2007. US: The Worst Investment Ever House is a place to live.

Friday, June 01, 2007. GA: Fulton County inspector indicted on bribery charges Mitchell allegedly solicited and received payments from grading contractor who was subject of inspections

Friday, June 01, 2007. FL; (SLAPP lawsuit): Troy Land Development can't amend lawsuit Developer who sued residents for objecting to his project will not be allowed to add fraud, etc, to his complaint: judge said his request was not filed in a timely manner and there was no proof the claims were based on new evidence.

Friday, June 01, 2007. MA: Developer charged with fraud Aaron Fielder allegedly forged paperwork to clear the way for homeowners to move into newly constructed home

Friday, June 01, 2007. TX: Tougher building rules needed in case of storms A major hurricane would cause much less property damage in Southeast Texas if builders were required to construct sturdier homes, former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels said.

Friday, June 01, 2007. MI: Land dispute near settlement on Habitat house Construction was in wrong place; house on hold.

Friday, June 01, 2007. US: SEC penalizes companies in stock options probe Other companies still being investigated include KB Home.

Friday, June 01, 2007. US: Border Security: Accept No Substitutes Regardless of flowery rhetoric, ugly reality is Democrats desire a massive influx of new voters, while Republicans seek to please their big business supporters with cheap pliable labor.

Friday, June 01, 2007. AZ: Tempe homeowner paid for work contractor can't complete At least 30 Valley homeowners hoped to have new bathrooms, garages, renovations done by now. Instead, they are out tens of thousands of dollars because Solymar Homes cashed their checks and never did the work.

Friday, June 01, 2007. Nat'l interest: Does it need a permit? Certificate of occupancy (CO) crucial for many renovations (as well as newly constructed homes).

Friday, June 01, 2007. FL: R-G Crown Bank's financial troubles deepen Bank was also embroiled in controversy after it financed deals for a local home builder who turned out to be a convicted con man. (Update to older news on builder John Barrington a.k.a. John Jakows who wasn't named in this particular article.)

Friday, June 01, 2007. US: About that Buyer's Market Defaults, number of vacant homes: With mortgage fraud up an estimated 30 percent it's unknown what will happen to these homes when the buyers walk away.

Friday, June 01, 2007. US: Hidden costs of owning a new home (Addresses durability or what we refer to as Disposable Housing) The builder wants a base price that is as low as possible... For an individual homeowner, this is penny wise and pound foolish....From a societal standpoint, this strategy is also a shortsighted waste of money and resources

Friday, June 01, 2007. Washington Post: Loudoun Official Tried To Capitalize On Contacts Tulloch's relationships with people whose projects or clients have come before his board reflect a coziness that has become routine among some Loudoun officials and the building industry.

Friday, June 01, 2007. US: Mortgage Brokers: Friends or Foes? The mortgage broker does not represent the borrower ... The industry recently opposed legislation that would have required mortgage brokers act primarily for the benefit of the borrower.

Friday, June 01, 2007. MS: Horn Lake man's house woes due to arbitration clause Because he signed an arbitration clause, Stacy cannot sue Chambliss Builders. But he does plan to sue the city of Horn Lake because it does not require its code inspectors to be licensed or certified. In fact, the city's current chief inspector is a former homebuilder whose building license was revoked for shoddy construction.

Thursday, May 31, 2007. MI; Nat'l interest: Workers rally to ‘build justice’ at Pulte Homes Workers report dangerous working conditions, pressure to work too quickly and bypass recognized safety precautions, substandard wages, lack of vacation and sick days, and lack of affordable family health care.

In 2006, Pulte’s chairman/CEO got a pay boost of nearly 12 percent. That year the total compensation for the company’s top five officers was $46.9 million.

Thursday, May 31, 2007. US: Arbitration Industry's point of view re: arbitration clauses and ways to avoid having plaintiff get out of arbitration. Power Point Presentation link is in article.

Thursday, May 31, 2007. Nat'l interest: Sale of bank-held homes Lenders stuck with rising numbers of repossessed homes

Thursday, May 31, 2007. US: JUNK! Moody's Investors Service on Thursday cut ratings on home builders Beazer Homes and K. Hovnanian deeper into junk territory.

Thursday, May 31, 2007. AR: Developer Faces Subdivision Foreclosure Metropolitan National Bank filed petition of foreclosure against Fayetteville developer Tom Terminella and related parties for nearly $7 million in unpaid principal and interest

Thursday, May 31, 2007. Boston.com: Who's profiting? (Land sold again and again for big profit, affordable housing never built.) "We need to take a look at all the 40Bs in the town, to make sure the developers are complying with profit limits" under the affordable-housing law, Rosa said.

Thursday, May 31, 2007. TX: Lipstick for the Texas Residential Construction Commission House Bill 1038, a bill supposedly designed to correct the serious flaws of the Texas Residential Construction Commission, passed the House and Senate and is waiting for a signature from the Governor. Unfortunately, this bill did nothing but put lipstick on a dead pig, and like HB1038, it stinks.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: CA Court Finds Interstate Commerce and Sends Broken Pipe Case to Arbitration Preemption of state law

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. US: Settlements on HUD site Violations of Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA); Recent cases.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. Canada: Tarion Actions Speak Louder than Words Tarion has disappointed Ontario homeowners again. This time through their 2007-2008 board appointments. The interest of the members are weighed heavily in favor of builders, not homeowners.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. Nat'l interest: PDF of Law Review article: PUBLIC COURTS VERSUS PRIVATE JUSTICE Time to let sun shine in on alternative dispute resolution. (Arbitration, etc)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. FL: Coast Bank hits New Low: UPDATE Coast made $110 million in loans to nearly 500 customers of Construction Compliance Inc., defunct home builder. CCI drew millions of dollars from bank, did little or no work on some homes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. SC: Battle Between Home Owners And Lennar Home Builders Continue Faulty construction, city looking the other way, and now combustible gases leaking into homes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. US: Subprime Fiasco Exposes Manipulation by Mortgage Brokerages Subprime sinkhole...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. NY: When new condos go bad Developers cutting corners when it comes to basic underpinnings like electrical wiring, fireproofing and ventilation. Experts say part of problem is Department of Buildings' self-certification system, where developers attest buildings are up to code without official oversight.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. NY: Dream Denied Buyers' hopes crumbling as new city-subsidized $400,000 townhouses do: Serviceman finds biggest battle a construction defect case.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. MS: County foreclosures spike Foreclosures increased 154 percent over the past year, public records show, one indicator of glut in housing market, in part because of overbuilding

Wednesday, May 30, 2007. MN: Settlement ends lawsuit over housing development Class action lawsuit filed residents of the Gardens Manufactured Home Community: article describes how money is divided up in such cases.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. US: Pulte Cutting 16% of Work Force About 2,000 Jobs

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. US: Letter to the Editor: Don't Reward Illegal Immigrants A builder who does not agree with all of the homebuilding industry's wish list for immigration reform.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. Consumer Affairs: Home Prices Fall Again, Sabotaging Recovery Hopes Analysts attributed the price drops to several factors

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. US--Arbitration being objected to on other fronts besides home buying: PIABA Calls on Congress to Halt Mandatory Arbitration for Disputes of Public Investors "It is unfathomable that individual investors are being forced to submit all of their disputes to a system of mandatory arbitration which is owned and operated by the securities industry,"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. US: Centex, DR Horton, Pulte may bust bond terms At least three major U.S. home builders suffering from the housing slump may soon violate contracts meant to protect payments on some $11 billion in debt

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. US: Home Prices Drop for the First Time in 16 Years Not going to ease any time soon

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. US: Home construction bust may last until 2011 said David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders in Washington.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007. US: Lenders weren't prepared for home-price declines Lenders should've known better.

Monday, May 28, 2007. US: A True "No Fee" Mortgage? No free lunch

Monday, May 28, 2007. NY: Public Hearing on Home Repair and Improvement Contracting May 30th, State Office Building in Syracuse...

Monday, May 28, 2007. Canada: Developer accused of fraud speaks out. Graydon Hayward of CB Developments: accused of tainting entire homebuilding industry

Monday, May 28, 2007. FL: East Naples condominium group becomes latest to sue Toll Brothers alleging that the developer violated local, state and national building codes by building condos that have numerous cracks and many other defects.

Monday, May 28, 2007. Canada: Juliet Homes complaint Squeaky Wheel

Monday, May 28, 2007. Canada: The Squeaky Wheel General consumer complaint website

Friday, May 25, 2007. FL: Coast Agrees to Cease and Desist Order More on the Coast Bank, Construction Compliance Inc (CCI) debacle.

Friday, May 25, 2007. MO; Nat'l interest: Don't get robbed when you buy a home Missouri regulators acknowledge that current state law is notoriously lax on title agents. There's no oversight on the escrow funds the agents are supposed to set up.

Friday, May 25, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Convictions, news.

Friday, May 25, 2007. NJ: Suit opens window on developer with clout Newark Housing Authority lawsuit alleges Tony Gomes used substandard materials, failed to follow plans that called for footings, support beans and girders on a $21 million complex delivered three years late and $6 million over budget.

Friday, May 25, 2007. CO: Aurora man indicted in real estate fraud James S.Taylor, associated with Dingo Trading Limtied, Amerimax Realty Inc., JJ Real Estate Investments Inc. and AJG Construction, alleged to have prepared loan applications using false information.

Friday, May 25, 2007. US: Companies reclassify workers to escape pay and tax obligations “The workers often get paid less than they were promised or don’t get paid at all,” he testified, adding, “None of the tract homebuilders in our area hire carpenters as employees.”

Friday, May 25, 2007. FL: With builders gone, North Port is pressing owners to clean up lots Home buyers left broke and homeless after their builders collapsed could soon face thousands of dollars of fines now that their lots have become overgrown, dangerous and dirty. Avalon Homes, Jade Homes and Construction Compliance Inc....

Friday, May 25, 2007.AZ Gov signs bill requiring HOAs to permit for-sale signs should take place by late June

Friday, May 25, 2007. US: Kaufman & Broad Mulls Stock Sale plans to hire an independent consultant to assess an offer to buy out shareholders at a price that is below market value.

Friday, May 25, 2007.Housing Crash News Current.

Friday, May 25, 2007. US: New Home Sales Up (But Beware Double Digit Monthly Gains) Double digit gains of new home sales VERY unreliable --mostly due to the way the Builders self report sales to Commerce.

Friday, May 25, 2007.HUD SUES CALIFORNIA HAZARD REPORTING COMPANY AND FOUR REAL ESTATE BROKERAGES IN KICKBACK SCHEME Lawsuit is against Property I.D. Corporation, and four California real estate brokerages for creating sham companies designed to generate illegal kickbacks in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Brokers named in the suit are: Realogy Corporation (formerly known as Cendant Corporation); NRT/Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Corporation; Mason-McDuffie Real Estate (doing business as Prudential California Realty); and Pickford Realty Ltd d/b/a Prudential California Realty.

Thursday, May 24, 2007. Nat'l interest: Code Red Don’t trust new-home builders or government inspectors to look out for your best interests

Thursday, May 24, 2007. Nat'l interest: Make sure your new home is inspected before moving in Homeowner had $226,000 in repairs due to defects not caught before closing, now builder is going out of business and they've spent all their money on legal fees including their retirement fund. GET INSPECTIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION before things can be covered up!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007. CA: Builder Accused Of Falsifying Inspection Reports More on the D.R. Horton issue from earlier today. Includes link to video report.

Thursday, May 24, 2007. MI: Dozens sue developers over flooding in homes Del Vallo Construction Inc. and Catera Homes

Thursday, May 24, 2007. TX: Foundations and Empire No better example of pay-to-play culture than Texas Residential Construction Commission.

Thursday, May 24, 2007. Realty Times: Neighborhood Home Values Brought Down My wife and I purchased a Pulte Home, we are currently living in a community where the majority of the homes surrounding us are owned by investors/speculators...

Thursday, May 24, 2007. CA: Plumas Lake homes red-tagged, stopped More on D.R. Horton's foundation bolt and questionable inspection reports.

Thursday, May 24, 2007. CA: YUBA COUNTY PROBES D.R. HORTON HOMES OVER SUSPICIOUS INSPECTION DOCUMENTS Problem with foundation bolts: County orders construction stopped because of "altered special inspection reports/suspicion of forged documentation."

Thursday, May 24, 2007. IN: Builder pulls out of Anson development KB Home

Thursday, May 24, 2007. US: Toll Brothers' profit falls 79% Followed run-up in real estate prices in US, as Americans bought w/ unconventional financing schemes like interest-only mortgages

Thursday, May 24, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on NJ Builder: Kara Homes Reworking Bankruptcy Plan Dozens of creditors, as well as the Justice Department, voiced opposition to the East Brunswick, N.J.-based company's disclosure statement...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. US: The Homeownership Myth Time to re-assess the policy emphasis on homeownership, which has been driven by belief in advantages of homeownership, but also wide range of business interests who stand to gain

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. NY: Mortgage Fraud Convictions Thrown Out U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City ruled that U.S. District Judge Charles Siragua should have recused himself from the homebuilders' trial when a star prosecution witness claimed he had once helped the judge fraudulently obtain a mortgage. Update on old case: Amico

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. US: Notice of Filing Securities Class Action Against Beazer Homes Alleges Beazer violated Securities Exchange Act: false and misleading statements and omissions about Company’s business operations, reasons for its purported financial condition...concealing from investors that Company had engaged in improper mortgage lending practices. Complaint further alleges Beazer violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and filed false and misleading reports with the SEC. Complaint also contends individual defendants engaged in substantial and suspicious insider trading

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. US: Dumb Move, WCI The troubled real estate developer has rebuffed billionaire investor Carl Icahn's advances, a gutsy move that will prove costly if a better offer for the company isn't waiting in the dilapidated wings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. PA: Sentencing date slated for builder Dennis Slayton to be sentenced June 29, following series of restitution hearings, to determine how much, if any, money should be paid back to customers who accused him of taking money without performing work.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. NC: Are county officials finally waking up? Lipstick wearing off the pig.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. VA: Subdivision's construction on hold Blackstock's Willow Walk project at a standstill

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. MN: Breezy Point needs ordinance for contractor Letter to editor re: builder's practice of burying decomposable material on lots, which causes sinkholes, and devalues property.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. US: Housing Crash News Very Current

Wednesday, May 23, 2007. TX: Fake contractors ordered to shut down Contractors Kenrick Adrian, Richard Barnett, Steven Spears, and others caught in sting. “What we found in some of these stings is that they were installing stolen equipment. Installing equipment improperly.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. TX: Senate Approves Bill Give Homebuilders Commission Sharper Teeth Consumer advocates have criticized the four-year-old commission, saying it limits home buyers' legal recourse and lacks the power to enforce its own rules.

A survey released last year by former Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn found that 86 percent of homeowners said their builders failed to repair home construction defects, even after going through the state inspection and resolution process. (HADD would love to hear feedback from Texans on whether the TRCC will have "sharper teeth" now!--ED.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. US: Builders Call for Major Overhaul of Immigration Bill In full-page advertisement National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) criticized legislative proposal that would require home builders verify legal status of employees hired by subcontractors. (Nation's Bulding News, put out by NAHB)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. US: Businesses oppose key measures in immigration reform proposal National Association of Home Builders lobbies on behalf of construction companies

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. US: Labor Market Figures That Are Puzzling the Fed Housing-industry employment is at the top of the list of the data discrepancies.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. US: Dorgan: Scrap temporary worker program It is just a fiction that these are jobs Americans aren‘t willing to do," Dorgan said. "The main reason that big corporations want a guest worker program is that it will drive down U.S. wages."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. FL: Developer's logic stalls on uncompleted road Good faith should require Lennar to live up to the bargain

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. US: Home builder WCI to keep itself on block Update on the buyout attempt.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. OR: Home builders again postpone hillside laws City's proposed Hillside Development Ordinance stalled after Umpqua Valley Home Builders Association planned presentation without running it by city officials.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. Texas: Unscrupulous contractor jailed Tim Riley with Ideal Building Systems convicted. County prosecutor said 40-percent of cases in division deal with bad contractors....Because Denise Manderscheid found other victims, Riley was not only convicted, but also ordered to pay more than $25,000 back to the people he ripped off.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. NY: Ex-contractor gets probation in grand larceny case Anthony J. Cavallaro Jr. sentenced. Homeowner: "We won a little bit because he has to pay or he does go to jail now. But will we ever get paid (back)? Who knows,"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. MO: Log Home Construction Business Must Refund Consumers' Payments for Shoddy work and Jobs Never Finished MO Attorney General's lawsuit against Heartwood Log Homes Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, also seeks permanent injunction to prevent further violations of state consumer laws.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. IN: Raising the bar for local contractors Trying to protect the public by preventing the fly-by-night operations from coming to town and taking over.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. Realty Times: Buying Foreclosures "Not For The Novice" If you don't know what you are doing the ordeal can smother you under a shroud of financial losses.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. US: Speed of subprime bust surprises lenders (Apparently they "didn't do their homework.")

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. VA: Supervisors Make Zoning Suggestions Use of criminal conspiracy statutes to pursue Realtors, investors, builders, and other owners who have clearly and/or blatantly set out to violate the law.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. MI: 'Independent' inspector examines BayView units To determine whether the units comply with building codes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007. US: Tony Soprano Meets Subprime Lending New Century Financial's high pressure tactics

Monday, May 21, 2007. US: The downside of real-estate sales incentives Incentives, which don't figure into home-price data reported by industry, may be masking steeper downturn.

Monday, May 21, 2007. Washington Post: The Many Costs of a Promise Not Yet Kept Last fall, the county executive himself came to a gala ribbon-cutting and news conference to show off the first piece of the Johnsons' new prefab home, a gift from the county and the homebuilder. Nearly seven months later, the family has, um, nothing.

Monday, May 21, 2007. FL: Without road, new school stranded Lennar won't build the road it was supposed to.

Monday, May 21, 2007. NC: Unlicensed Contractors Part II Troubleshooter investigation

Monday, May 21, 2007. UT: Sandy homeowner fights for her property's safety City [officials] fell short of obligation to enforce their own code.

Monday, May 21, 2007. FL: Residents of sinking houses move out, move on The land on which the homes were built was once an illegal dumping ground and has been sinking since the 1980s, causing extensive structural damage to the houses. (Disposable housing!)

Monday, May 21, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Current news

Monday, May 21, 2007. International: Housing Crash Current news articles

Monday, May 21, 2007. US: Painful Choice Between Home And Family Homeowners association (HOA) has presented homeowner with ultimatum: give up 3-year-old grandchild or give up home.

Monday, May 21, 2007. US: What really caused the subprime defaults? Part 1 of 5, Inman article reprinted on Mortgage101.com

Monday, May 21, 2007. US: Housing Is Tumbling Even Faster Than Reported Policy makers relying on bad data

Monday, May 21, 2007. US: Securitized Loans, Moral Hazard and Eau de Liquidity House of cards

Saturday, May 19, 2007. Canada: Name Change Reliant Home Warranty Corporation, announced today the company is changing its name to Reliant Financial Service Corporation

Saturday, May 19, 2007. FL: St. Joe Company, Shea Homes Announce Strategic Alliance for Florida Project From a builder news site.

Saturday, May 19, 2007. NY: PDF: Public Hearing on Home Repair/Improvement May 30th, 2007, 10:00 a.m., State Office Building, Main Hearing Rm., 333 E. Washington St., Syracuse, NY.: If you want to present testimony the PDF tells you how! Great chance for NY state residents to speak up!

Saturday, May 19, 2007. US: Notice of Filing of Securities Class Action Against Beazer Homes Complaint alleges defendants issued false and misleading statements regarding Company's growth, business, prospects and financial condition and engaged in improper and possibly illegal mortgage lending activities for several years in order to misleadingly enhance Company's business.

Saturday, May 19, 2007. SC: SC Law Enforcement Dept Contacts Lennar Homeowners Lennar accused of violating building codes

Saturday, May 19, 2007. Nat'l interest: Construction Worker Arrested for ID Fraud Illegal immigrant Francisco Vences of Kenney Construction using someone else's social security number.

Saturday, May 19, 2007. TN: Builders Swindle Retirees Who Pay Twice For House Jeffrey Bratcher and Annette Dutton of Pinnacle Builders caused eldery couple to have to pay twice for their new home.

Saturday, May 19, 2007. PA: UPDATE on old story: Karoly under fed's microscope for a year Federal agents investigating lawyer Karoly due to allegations in lawsuit he took part in money laundering scheme with Dennis Slayton, Clearview Builders.

Friday, May 18, 2007. TX: Tell Legislators to Reform Homebuilder Agency this Session From Texas Watch, a consumer org.

Friday, May 18, 2007. TX: Homeowner related bills in TX legislature From Texas Watch, a consumer org.

Friday, May 18, 2007. US: Binding Arbitration and Consumer Bargaining Power Court ruled the take-it-or-leave it nature of the arbitration clause...to be procedurally unconscionable

Friday, May 18, 2007.Housing Crash Current News

Friday, May 18, 2007. US: Market News: Glum and Fun in the Sun Blog commentary on KB Home's sale of it's French division, etc.

Friday, May 18, 2007. US: Loan fraud seen as economic threat Instead of helping people achieve homeownership, almost 1 million families will enter foreclosure because of a risky loan

Friday, May 18, 2007. NJ: Town to go after bond for Birch Hill project Update on Kara Homes bankruptcy, unfinished houses, buyers and banks in limbo

Friday, May 18, 2007. Louisiana: Building code could be 'gutted' Builders get their wish: no code inspections. Insurance companies warned they won't likely cover homes that aren't inspected.

Friday, May 18, 2007. US: Don't overlook durability when house shopping Over time it's the reason that some houses come to be valued more than others.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. TN: Tennessee Courts Rule On Insurance Coverage For Construction Defects Contractor's insurance policies provide considerable coverage for construction defects.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. KY: Planning Commission questions city's failure to stop Ball Homes project in wetlands City's lack of action in the matter shows why Lexington is in trouble with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Thursday, May 17, 2007.AZ Gov gets bill to require HOAs to permit for-sale signs State law already prohibits HOAs from prohibiting a property owner from displaying a political sign on the owner's property

Thursday, May 17, 2007. TX: Same Pig. Uglier Lipstick. Texas Residential Construction Commission

Thursday, May 17, 2007. US: Mortgage fraud Blog Attorney's compilation of news on mtg fraud, some cases include builders. New material today.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. US: Construction Litigation Law Blog New material posted today.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. NC: Slope bill may go steeper Building new homes on steep slopes: Rapp says the bill is needed to avoid landslides.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. MI: Developer sets up meeting Developer Bill Clous' campaign to derail a proposed, uniform storm water control ordinance throughout Grand Traverse County has at least half the townships' officials rethinking their earlier support.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. Canada: Leaky Condo Class Action Lawyer Ross Clark argued in B.C. Supreme Court Monday that the housing department is under no statutory obligation to Canadians in the wake of the billion-dollar housing construction disaster that first surfaced in the early 1990s.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. FL: FDLE declines to investigate Ideal Homes FDLE may change its conclusion, however, after it considers a second batch of complaints to be forwarded to the prosecutor....Some of the complaints include affidavits signed by Ideal executives in which they swore subcontractors had been paid and the work completed. Ideal then used the affidavits to get banks to release funds from homebuyers' construction loans.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. MS: Two face felony theft charges Hattiesburg Century 21 office and Cornerstone Construction

Thursday, May 17, 2007. MI: Window buyers sue over permits UPATE on Renewal by Andersen

Thursday, May 17, 2007. International: KB Accepts Bid on French Builder Accepted offer of $812 million from Paris-based buyout firm PAI Partners for its stake in French developer Kaufman & Broad SA.

Thursday, May 17, 2007. US: Sequel to Dumb and Dumber??? The Next Home Equity Surge

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. CA: City of Emeryville to Sue Wareham Development More than half of (affordable housing) units not occupied because residents were displaced due to construction defects.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. LA: State building code possibly 'gutted' to provide options; Insurance warns not to Contractors may be able to simply swear they followed stringent state building codes instead of following a certified inspection. (Yeah...that'll work. Note sarcasm. --Ed.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. FL: Sick of sprawl, voters deserve chance to stop it No surprise: president of Home Builders Association terrified by idea of voters having final say about sprawl...biggest real estate boom in Florida history...Over-construction, speculation, foreclosures, rising property taxes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. MD: Homebuilders have licenses suspended Richard E. Deise, Jr. of Deise Custom Homes; Kenneth S. White and Kirk A.J. Ervin of Capital Custom Homes

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. FL: Legislator seeks action against builder State Rep. Paige Kreegel has been lobbying the Florida Attorney General's Office to consider racketeering charges against the owners of Ideal Homes while at the same time weighing a push to tighten laws governing building contractors.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. US: Starting to Defy Logic Why do we keep building more and more and more houses, when existing home vacancies are at record levels and new home inventories are huge?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. TX: When builders get scammed, attorney general acts Attorney General halts fraudulent builder expo operators who scammed exhibitors. Where is the AG when consumers get scammed by builders?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. TX: Texas Government's Potemkin Village Much of the bill that created the commission was written by John Krugh, a corporate lawyer for Perry Homes. The Houston company is owned by Bob Perry—one of the state’s most prolific home builders and also Texas’ top contributor to political campaigns. Since 2001 Perry has donated more than $15 million to campaigns in Texas, almost exclusively to Republicans, according to the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice. Perry has contributed $436,800 to the Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign account since January 2004, according to filings at the Texas Ethics Commission. Gov. Perry (no relation) later appointed Krugh to serve as one of the nine commissioners who run the agency he helped create. As the Observer reported two years ago, the commission overseeing the TRCC features not a single consumer advocate [see “The Agency that Bob Perry Built,” February 4, 2005].

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. US: Defective Construction as Occurrence Insurance industry article from May 2007 on when defective construction is covered by builders' insurance.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. MI: Fairview Builders v. Bireta PDF of case decided May 15 2007: Builder failed to complete job, did defective work, and still wanted to be paid.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007. CA: Jury fails to convict building official Former San Francisco building inspection official charged with massive corruption was acquitted of four minor counts by a jury, which also deadlocked on 29 other charges of bribery and fraud.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. AZ: Concerns ignored, home buyers say At least 10 have complained of leaky windows, cracked walls, from builder Ron Owsley, GV Premier Homes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. MI: Window company shut down Andersen taking over its Detroit-area Renewal by Andersen franchise amid allegations it charged homeowners for work permits never obtained, concealed fees and violated environmental-disclosure laws.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. Charlotte Observer Series "Sold a Nightmare" re: Beazer Homes foreclosures, fraud investigation: Down payment FHA gifts may end: Proposal would halt seller-funded practice that boosts home foreclosures The Observer described in March how Beazer Homes USA, a major national builder, increased home prices in a Cabarrus County subdivision to cover its down-payment gifts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. SC; Nat'l interest: Former Lennar Homes Employee Speaks Out Says some big builders like Lennar, who he once worked for, cut corners to meet their quotas. It's number of homes they're after, not quality. Says City is also at fault. "They shouldn't be issuing permits if they don't have adequate inspectors,"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. MO: Contractor gets probation for mail fraud underpayment of prevailing wages and for paying bribes to city of St. Louis plumbing and sewer inspectors

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. IL: Five Local Contractors Named In Consumer Fraud Lawsuits Grzegorz Greda, AKA Greg Greda, Greda Construction; Samir M. Mansour, Precision Iron and Welding; Milton Cole, Mel's Construction; Willie Clark, Clark's Mechanical Services; James Rios and Marshall Brescia, Rios Construction.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. US: Class Action against Toll Brothers charges Toll Brothers and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. US: Home Builders' Confidence Plunges Smart Money

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. CBS: Chipping Away At Realtors' Six Percent It is possible for readers to post comments on article, which are building.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. US: Why an Ultra-Conservative Texas Grandmother Hates the GOP What could make Jordan Fogal, a 61-year-old ultra-conservative Republican grandmother from Texas, refuse to vote for a single Republican in the last election? Two innocent sounding words: mandatory arbitration.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007. US: PDF: Policy Holders of America June 2007 issue; news about mold, insurance, etc

Monday, May 14, 2007. MN; Nat'l interest: Water Woes; stucco and rot Million dollar new home--$200,000 in repairs, didn't even meet building code. Building industry's solution? Get the code changed to allow lower standards!

Monday, May 14, 2007. TX: This old house ... free* Dallas developer offering free house – circa 1932 – to anyone willing to move it off land where it sits.

Monday, May 14, 2007. TX: New Mirasol task force seen as making progress UPDATE on SAHA/KB Home development problems

Monday, May 14, 2007. SD: Another state gets builder-friendly "right to repair" (aka right to cure, etc) law South Dakota is 31st state to adopt “right to cure” law.

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: Lennar Blog Available for Homeowners Inspectors found code violations, unsafe roof construction, missing square footage.

Monday, May 14, 2007. Nat'l interest: Lennar's charitable fund raising opposed Planning Commissioner will move to ban Lennar from imposing fee on current and future sales of homes to support Lennar Charitable Housing Foundation, non-profit group that funnels money to homeless programs.

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: Standards for Mortgagor’s Investment US Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Federal Register report detailing why down payment "gift" programs that are not true charity may be banned. (Last yr. IRS ruled some of the "charities" were not in fact charities. This included programs where builders indirectly paid toward down payment but rolled cost into house, etc.)

Monday, May 14, 2007. NPR: Former Ameriquest Workers Tell of Deception Some former employees of the nation's leading subprime lender say the company encouraged them to conceal rate terms and make fake fixed-loan documents that pushed customers into loans they couldn't afford.

Monday, May 14, 2007. TX: Broken Homes Pair alleges millions of federal dollars squandered or lost due to mismanagement, incompetence, questionable deals made with shady or inept contractors, and substandard work.

Monday, May 14, 2007. SC: Slope construction needs controls to protect safety Builders in SC oppose tougher controls on slope building. See Utah landslide articles from today for relevance.

Monday, May 14, 2007. UT: Hillside homes: On the edge Too often, home buyers demand hillside views, fail to research risks, put too much trust in government. Developers scrimp on geologic or geotechnical expertise. Experts use outdated standards and produce quick reports. Cities and counties fail to assess future threats, readily defer to developers' consultants, rarely tell a builder no. (Relevant to articles posted earlier today also)

Monday, May 14, 2007. UT: Landslide turns dream into nightmare Repeated evidence of unbuildable hillsides was ignored

Monday, May 14, 2007. AZ: Builder fallout hits Sierra Vista Sonoran Insights (a.k.a. Carl F. Pepper, Paul A. Sheridan and JVD Development LLC, Acacia Construction LLC, PEP Enterprises LLC, Jost Enterprises LLC and Corona Homes LLC); unhappy customers, unfinished houses, unpaid bills, suspended license thwarted again by multiple LLC's...

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: 3 bad reasons to buy a home Not always a good investment...

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: Lennar problems UPDATE from last week

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Current News

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: Housing Crash News Current articles

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: Congressional Bill Would Remove Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Tax Penalty Under Internal Revenue Code any forgiveness of mortgage debt is considered to be income, fully taxable at regular rates. Even if you've just lost everything...

Monday, May 14, 2007. MI: House with hidden, flooded basement to be auctioned in foreclosure Previous owner concealed problem; insurance won't cover it, and legal recourse for current owner is slim to none.

Monday, May 14, 2007. US: Home Down-Payment Gifts May Cease "Gifts" rolled into cost of house, inflate prices, increase risk of default.

Monday, May 14, 2007. PA: McNaughton Co. fined by DEP Homebuilders McNaughton Co. and subsidiaries fined $46,733 for violations of erosion and sedimentation-control

Monday, May 14, 2007. NY: Home still causes furor Article about builder Dave Roberts, re: letter to editor below.

Monday, May 14, 2007. NY: Contractor and town acted disgustingly I have been conducting home inspections since 1986. I have seen the results of poor construction and so many poor inspections. I have seen inspectors sit in their trucks and sign off on inspections all the time laughing along with the contractor. (Home inspector's letter to editor re: contractor Dave Roberts)

Monday, May 14, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Don't just swoon over the granite countertops -- do your homework Incentives tied to using builder's lender may not be such a good deal. (Reminder: builder can't REQUIRE you to use their lender; it's a RESPA law violation.)

Monday, May 14, 2007. UT: Lives rebuilt after landslide tragedies "I asked three or four times if that mountain was going to move," Sorenson says, "and they [the real-estate agent and builders] said, 'No.' "

Monday, May 14, 2007. NY: Home Improvement Initiative A CHANCE FOR CONSUMERS TO SPEAK UP! Consumer Protection Board (CPB) inviting New York consumers, contractors and others to answer questions and present comments in on-line surveys

Monday, May 14, 2007. GA; Nat'l interest: Mom Turns into Mortgage Fraud Sleuth She is a nationally-known expert in one of the most complicated forms of crime.

“Mortgage fraud is almost always committed with a collaboration of industry professionals working together,” Fulmer said.

Monday, May 14, 2007. KY: Ball Homes developed wetlands without permit Ball Homes ignored warning.

Monday, May 14, 2007. KY: Ball Homes must move foundation City officials say it's the second time Central Kentucky's largest home builder has built inside the setback zone

Monday, May 14, 2007. WA; Nat'l interest: Choosing the wrong home inspector could cost you big Not all are qualified, not all states license inspectors

Monday, May 14, 2007. MO: Developers draw criticism The Real Estate Co. LLC's customers dissatisfied with construction quality of the homes and terms of financing.

Saturday, May 12, 2007. FL; Nat'l: Lennar Homeowners Claim New Homes Unsafe One of a few articles this week on Lennar problems:

Saturday, May 12, 2007. FL; Nat'l: Broker Posts Lennar Complaints on Website Morgan says he gets 10 to 15 thousand hits a month on www.defective-homes.net

Saturday, May 12, 2007. FL; Nat'l: Lennar Division President Reacts to Defective Home Claims John Hull says his Lennar home is falling apart. He hired a home inspector who found dangerous roof construction, code violations, like incorrect hallway width, and high levels of combustible fumes.

Saturday, May 12, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Dim view of builder Albrite Bath & Kitches Arizona Registrar of Contractors has 57 complaints against Albrite, totaling more than $800,000 in jobs. Arizona Attorney General's Office is not going to pursue any case against the firm, who filed for bankruptcy.

Saturday, May 12, 2007. FL: Lennar Homes Speaks Out Mike Morgan, webmaster of www.defectivehomes.org also comments. Complaints: faulty trusses,structure violations, lied to by Lennar.

Saturday, May 12, 2007. KY: Ball Homes condo inside setback zone 2nd time builder must tear out and rebuild foundation.

Saturday, May 12, 2007. FL; US: More on attempted takeover of builder WCI Update.

Saturday, May 12, 2007. FL: Coast Bank filing reveals investigation and growing loan problems UPDATE on builder CCI and bad loans

Saturday, May 12, 2007. PA; Nat'l interest: Legislators try to prevent homebuyers finance woes Fraud can arise when builders or mortgage brokers manipulate payroll and bank records of buyer...Some appraisers being charged with providing incorrect values to meet seller’s requirements. (Can post comments at end of article.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007. US: $782 million offered for KB's stake KB Home, suffering two years of falling profit, received $782 million bid for its stake in French homebuilder Kaufman & Broad

Thursday, May 10, 2007. Canada: Encouraging News for Ontario Homeowners Home warranty article on Rate Your Builder, a site that rates builders in both the US and Canada.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. VA: UPDATE on Tidewater Builders Association "Warranty" It's clear why Tidewater Builders Association loves its insurance program for new homeowners. Over recent six-year period, TBA's for-profit subsidiary known as HW10 collected $4.8 million in premiums, paid out less than $700,000 in claims and costs. Builders pay the premium up front and roll cost into price of new home. The policies tend to favor builders...Homeowners already paid for policy even if they don't want it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. NY: Home Sour Home Rich suburbs feeling housing pinch for first time in years, values sliding as much as 18 percent

Thursday, May 10, 2007. CO: 'Deceitful' calls not a violation UPDATE on builders lobbyist lying to try and sink homeowners protection legislation

Thursday, May 10, 2007. Business Week: Danger of Real Estate Incentives They don't figure into national home-price data, and might may be masking much steeper downturn

Thursday, May 10, 2007. Business Week: Homebuilders in a Hole Battered by the bust, they're filing for Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) and begging hedge funds for help to bail them out with fresh loans at high rates and onerous terms. Attorney says it's likely more will file in the coming months.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. AZ: Yuma builder to stay behind bars Henry Abel Varela Jr. charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices, illegally conducting an enterprise and theft.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. FL: CCI's permitting rights revoked More on CCI

Thursday, May 10, 2007. FL: Builder plays blame game More on CCI: Blames customers

Thursday, May 10, 2007. FL: Angry creditors grill CCI chief Even as company continued to collapse, Construction Compliance President Jesse B. Battle III was tooling around in Hummer, paying $7,600 membership to Yacht Club.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. PA: Developer to fix heating problems New Pulte Homes with $700 to $800 monthly heating bills.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. AZ: Appeals court decides against builder after suit Fulton Homes built homes on unreinforced slabs despite recommendations of civil engineer.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. NJ: Measures Offer Protection to New Homebuyers Bills sponsored by Senators Rice and Madden to offer more protection to new homebuyers approved in Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. US: In This Case Blog: Tell YOUR story about your experience with legal system

Thursday, May 10, 2007. US: Relationship Between Predatory Mortgage Lending And Political Contributions? Investing nearly $210 million on Washington lobbying and campaign contributions, mortgage lending industry successfully blocked Congress from taking action to restrict lending abuses

Thursday, May 10, 2007. CBS 60 Minutes Sunday May 13: 6% Real estate agent commission Sunday promises to have more on the current state of the housing industry.

Thursday, May 10, 2007.Electronic Frontier Foundation Internet Free Speech

Thursday, May 10, 2007. FL: Homeowners say developer, contractor knew of defects at East Naples condos Three homeowner associations at upscale Lake Barrington condominiums suing Toll Brothers, alleging developer and contractor violated local, state, national building codes and built condos with numerous hidden defects.

Thursday, May 10, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Let the Sunshine In When power-tripping HOAs push solar-minded residents around, everybody pays the price. (Yikes...reminds us of "The Colony:" [url]http://www.lifetimetv.com/movies/info/move3583.html[/url]

Thursday, May 10, 2007.Center for Responsible Lending Information

Thursday, May 10, 2007. US: Housing Crash Current news, blog, forum, etc..

Thursday, May 10, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: Out of order Author sees builders lobbyist's lies as protected by free speech--interesting that builders who have file SLAPP suits do not see customers' truthful complaints as protected by free speech!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007. FL: UPDATE: North Port revokes CCI permitting rights CCI represents Southwest Florida's most prominent home-builder meltdown

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. KS: County where deck fell has no safety code Collapse of deck at new home that killed one man and injured numerous others occurred in county that has no safety building codes or inspectors for new dwellings

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. NY: Letter to Editor: Gambling with safety "I think it is a shame that the general public has no awareness of the lack of concern the National Association of Home Builders has for the safety of its customers and their families."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. AZ: UPDATE: Link with Townsend doesn't pass 'smell test' County Assessor Victor Hambrick was working for Elise Townsend, homebuilder who owned numerous properties his office would value for property taxes.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. US: Want A Green House? Prepare For Confusion Hall and other Green Building Council officials worry the NAHB will come up with watered-down standards of what constitutes green in an attempt to appease too many varied stakeholders, including builders who want to keep costs down.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. Nat'l interest: Home builders get inventive in a soft market: offering to buy your home IF... Pulte Homes, Brier Crest...they'll pay you from 82 percent to 92 percent of the market value of your old home, but there's (another) catch: You have to use them for financing, too. That provision concerns at least one local banker. "That would certainly be a red flag to me at any time," he said.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. CA: A home improvement scam - beware your contractor Fake licenses, criminal histories, unfinished or shoddy work, money gone...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. CO: Felonies threaten contractors license Building department must balance protecting public from unsafe contractors against rehabilitated felon’s right to make a living. (Contractor: Weldon Long, J.L. Cole, A Best Value)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. FL; NC: Builder's collapse shakes faith FL Pastor Keith Chandler Powell, owner of Golden Rule Construction Group, pleads guilty to theft; may be moving to NC next.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. CA: As Bayview Referendum Goes to Court, Lennar Plows Ahead With public testimony that Lennar has already spread asbestos into Hunters Point with minimal oversight, giving it exclusive control over a massive project was (to say the least) troubling.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. TX: SAHA suit against developer must wait on mediation Update on development built by KB Home

Tuesday, May 08, 2007. US: Housing Crash News

Monday, May 07, 2007. TX: Texas homebuilders get a free ride on hearing. Senator Fraser gave less than 24 hours notice for the homebuilder bill HB1038. It will be heard tomorrow, May 8, at 8:30am, Business and Commerce Committee in the Betty King Committee Room. Senator Fraser is the author of the companion bill of HB1038.

Monday, May 07, 2007. From Rate Your Builder: Benefits of Speaking Up Fixes came after The Chronicle contacted Lennar about residents' complaints.

Monday, May 07, 2007. US: Pressure at Mortgage Firm Led To Mass Approval of Bad Loans Bang! The bat whacked the top of her desk. As an appraiser for a company called New Century Financial, Hardiman was supposed to weed out bad mortgage applications....But "you didn't want to turn away a loan because all hell would break loose," she recounted in interviews. When she did, her bosses often overruled her and found another appraiser to sign off on it.

Monday, May 07, 2007. TX: Hearing Tue May 8th on TRCC! Senate and Business Committee 8:00 a.m. (verify before you go) HB 1038 Ritter: Relating to the operation of the Texas Residential Construction Commission; providing penalties. (Not to be confused w/ SB 1038)

Monday, May 07, 2007. NJ; Nat'l interest: Cost to Repair and Diminution in Value of Real Property as Damages in a Construction Defect Case Decreased value due to construction defects

Monday, May 07, 2007. US: Housing Crash news News articles posted almost daily.

Monday, May 07, 2007. US: Bailout mutates into FHA “modernization” FHA/HUD wants to keep the subprime shell game going

Monday, May 07, 2007. Canada: B.C. developer cancels contracts with home buyers CB Developments; (buyers should probably be glad they got out and got their money back, if similar U.S. complaints are any indication! --Ed.)

Monday, May 07, 2007. PA: Frustrated contractors back repeal of statewide building code Builders whining about having to comply with codes again...want law repealed.

Sunday, May 06, 2007. KY: Builder developed wetlands without permit Warning was ignored: Ball Homes built in protected wetland with city's knowledge. US Army Corps of Engineers ordered Ball to stop.

Sunday, May 06, 2007. US: A quarter-century of cons may catch up with Munster man Couple lost more than $100,000 to David Sroge...Sroge has been caught before but little is done.

Sunday, May 06, 2007. AZ: County assessor had close ties to Townsend Connections came to light recently--Daily Courier was looking into complaints about Townsend Construction which filed for bankruptcy in April.

Sunday, May 06, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Record number of unsold homes flood market Explosion in building of new houses, condo conversions contributed to glut

Sunday, May 06, 2007. US: 5 Reasons to Rent Sunday's "Parade" magazine

Sunday, May 06, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Escrow officers under scrutiny Escrow officers banned from the escrow & mortgage industry for writing unauthorized checks out of home-sale funds to relatives, real estate agents, loan officers, contractors and cleaning companies. Some also convicted of theft.

Saturday, May 05, 2007. AZ: Home builder's license suspended (builder may still be building under other names) Sonoran Insights Construction, owned by Carl Pepper, has 14 complaints and unpaid subcontractors. Officers of Sonoran Insights, Pepper and Sheridan, founded another LLC, Corona Homes, 12 days ago. Also listed as officer in new company is Mitch Kring, manager of Sonoran Insights and owner of Acacia Construction LLC, also formed about 12 days ago.
As of Friday, neither Corona or Acacia appeared in the registrar's license database. "It's just sad that subcontractors are dealing with a general contractor like this, and they can pick up and start a business under a different name," Butler said.

Saturday, May 05, 2007. US: Don't overlook durability when shopping for new house Focus should be on durability, keeping water out: "the most underrated aspect of any new house," said Dan Chiras, green building expert, teacher and author of "The New Ecological Home." Flashing, good drainage, etc, critical.

Saturday, May 05, 2007. FL: UPDATE on Ideal Homes (of FL--not to be confused with other co's by same name) Growing number of failed builders, unfinished homes, and customers damaged financially: Jade Homes, Avalon Homes, CCI, etc: Building official says, "I don't know how many times I've said it: 'I would love to help you, but this is a civil matter,'"

Friday, May 04, 2007. US: Dominion Homes quarterly loss more than doubles 1Q net loss $11.5 million

Friday, May 04, 2007. US: Beazer Discloses ERISA Suit, SEC Probe UPDATE to invesgitations into Beazer mortgage fraud, etc: Breach of fiduciary duties as result of investments by home builder's 401(k) plan

Friday, May 04, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Condo owners upset by work done by builder Owners battling leaks, malfunctioning ventilation, shoddy work in $1.5million condos built by Lennar...concerns about future developments

Friday, May 04, 2007. PA: Monroe DA investigator: Home sales fraud worse than we're aware Update on years-long investigation/series by reporter David Pierce of the Pocono Record: Many buyers don't even know they've been victimized; they never see the illegal alterations to their loan documents, including forged signatures.

Friday, May 04, 2007. Consumer Affairs: Builders, Contractors Hammer Consumer Sites In recent cases, consumers and online publishers have prevailed against attempts to silence them.

Friday, May 04, 2007. AZ: UPDATE on Jim Rhodes/Rhodes Homes news from Mar/Apr "It's our belief that this whole bidding process was geared up to sell it to Rhodes," Dunton said.

Friday, May 04, 2007. CO: Update on ethics complaint about builders lobbyist It is legal for groups to run ads about legislation and lawmakers, but a legislative rule prohibits lobbyists from attempting to influence lawmakers "by means of deceit" or threats.

Friday, May 04, 2007. FL: Joseph Pufta may face additional counts Update on builder facing criminal charges

Friday, May 04, 2007. FL: Charlotte County Licensing board denies contractor Thomas Gregory Irons owner of Gullwing Homes and Irons Homes Builders denied due to past record and attempts to circumvent system.

Friday, May 04, 2007. OH: Couple wins $67,000 in lawsuit against predatory lender Lender didn't have license, misapplied payments, claimed homeowner didn't make payments, failed to pay taxes from escrow.

Friday, May 04, 2007. US: Housing market flooded Builders turning over units to once-hungry-butnow-dreading-the-closing investors. And investors are listing their vacant properties for sale even as developers try to pre-sell new properties that won’t be finished for years.

Friday, May 04, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: UPDATE from Charlotte Observer series Beazer fraud investigation

Friday, May 04, 2007. NC: Mortgage fraud sentencing Isaac and Regina Woods, Timothy Benjamin, UFR Builders

Friday, May 04, 2007. US: U.S. home market took a costly subprime advance Subprime mortgage industry rushed so many buyers into housing that it opened an ownership gap...now many also in default

Friday, May 04, 2007. US: Reality Check by Diana Olick (Builders still blaming media for housing woes instead of looking in mirror.)

Friday, May 04, 2007. US: Homebuilder shares slide Cancellations, foreclosures, and federal investigations.

Thursday, May 03, 2007. US: SEC begins informal investigation of Beazer Mortgage fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, etc

Thursday, May 03, 2007. CO: UPDATE: Ordianary people won this time Middle-class Coloradans won out over powerful special interests in the 2007 legislative session...including Homeowner Protection Act

Thursday, May 03, 2007. OR; Nat'l interest: Oregon Appellate Court Rejects Economic Loss Doctrine in Two Construction Cases Economic Loss Doctrine is often trotted out by defendants in Construction Defect cases as a way of avoiding responsibility for their actions.

Thursday, May 03, 2007. TX: UPDATE on SAHA stories, homes built by KB Home When it rains, her phone jack oozes a rusty liquid.

Thursday, May 03, 2007. CA: Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud Rogelio Mata, Rogma Construction Services

Thursday, May 03, 2007. FL: Countertop firm facing barrage of complaints, suits Intu, formerly Quartz Solutions: criminal and civil complaints

Thursday, May 03, 2007. PA; Nat'l interest: UPDATE on series that began in 2001: Managing foreclosures Pocono Record uncovered and followed tangled web of building and lending practices that expose hopeful first-time homeowners to terrible risks. These practices have enriched a few unscrupulous builders and lenders.

Thursday, May 03, 2007. FL; Nat'l: More details on Coast Bank/CCI problems MSN Money Central

Thursday, May 03, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Coast Bank $2.4M in 1Q Direct result of problems with bankrupt builder Construction Compliance Inc. (CCI)

Thursday, May 03, 2007. MI: Developers step in to save homebuyers in Novi Maybury Park Estates development: Multi Building's customers left in the lurch

Thursday, May 03, 2007. AZ: Phoenix New Times: Congressman Renzi's big land-swap fibs finally catching up to him As long as land swaps are allowed, there's going to be some schmuck who gets elected to Congress and owes a favor to a developer friend back home. 2 pg. article by Sarah Fenske who wrote the articles on Del Webb/Pulte

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. FL: Possible Sinkholes Have Some Residents Nervous Homeowners said they've gotten little response from Lennar Homes

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. US: When Carrots Go Bad (UPDATE on BEAZER articles) Beazer offering money to skew customer satisfaction survey shows eye-opening lack of ethics and may be criminal...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. US: Housing Crash News Current and relevant to new home construction.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. MA: Home contractor vs. Home owner MA attorney blog w/current articles; presented from both points of view.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Attorney's blog on mtg fraud; current news

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. MI: Fighting Foreclosures: not always due to late payments Little-known state law allows struggling homeowners to apply for "hardship extension." Gives them a year to pay delinquent tax and avoid losing homes that in some cases are owned outright by seniors on fixed incomes.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. Alabama: SoHo Square developer sues project's contractor Leaky condos

Wednesday, May 02, 2007.Home still causes furor Defective, foreclosed home repurchased by builder Dave Roberts; being "fixed" for another buyer despite expert opinion it should be torn down, despite reinspection by city that said it was not safe. Original owner lost everything.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Business group doesn't look green to all The (green) homebuilder and other environmental activists say the chamber puts a sustainable facade on its members' conventional practices.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. US: International Risk Management Institute IRMI has current articles relevant to homeowners insurance, builders' insurance, etc.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007. FL: UPDATE on Construction Compliance Inc and Coast Bank fiasco CCI bankruptcy; stockholder and other lawsuits etc

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: An Industry Assessment based upon Suspicious Activity Report Analysis Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, fincen.gov: Pg. 17-18: Some home builders include clauses in their sales contracts that prohibit buyers from placing their houses back on the market for a period of time...may be unenforceable...builders may forger borrowers names on loan draw documents.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. AZ: Rhodes enters controversial last-minute bid on well sites Rhodes was allowed to put in a bid about 45 seconds after the 3 p.m. deadline. (See E.V. Trib's report, Land Baron has Checkered Past, relevant to this update: www.eastvalleytribune.com/page/rhodes )

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: Important request for arbitration stories Reminder.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: ABC News: Incompetent Building Inspectors Hurting Homeowners On house in the article, engineer found more than 25 code violations inspector missed: said house should be demolished and started over, unfit for occupancy. Drive by inspections, overwork, and corruption "all over the country."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. TX: SAHA tests show toxic mold KB Homes built them: shoddy construction work and materials were to blame

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. TX: Regulatory boards should steer clear of conflicts of interest Too many regulatory and professional boards appear to exist to protect members, not serve public interest. Even state's elected judges at highest levels take campaign money from individuals, lawyers and companies with cases before them.

The Texas Residential Construction Commission, which is supposed to resolve conflicts between home builders and home buyers, is widely considered a toothless bureaucracy to protect builders.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Correction: Beazer Homes mortgage fraud Beazer doc's turned over to U.S. Attorney, not SEC.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. TX: Taking action against housing blight Empty and burned houses, & houses builders never finished

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: Survey--with incentives? Did your home builder offer any after-sale incentives to give a positive rating on a survey?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. VA: Who really benefits from home-protection (warranty) policies? Dog fell through floor: because damage was due to water leakage, 10-year insurance (warranty) policies were of no use...Policies issued through HW10, a for-profit subsidiary of the non profit Tidewater Builders Association. Only a nickel of every dollar of profit to the warranty co went to paying claims.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. VA: 'Foundation' money goes to builders association's bottom line "The concern is that the perception that it's a real charity and the reality that it is not can create a number of problems," he said. "The biggest problem is the donor can believe they're making a tax-deductible contribution when they're not."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. VA: Tidewater Builders Association many entities create maze of tax issues Inside TBA's headquarters is maze of for-profit and nonprofit affiliates so complex that it can be hard to keep straight...discrepancies in exec's pay, inconsistent IRS filings..

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: New Program Links Builders With Members of Congress Has NAHB found way to surgically attach its lobbyists to our elected officials?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US/Internat'l: David Lereah leaving NAR and other current news Housing Crash News

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: Lipstick on the Housing Pig Homebuilders such as Beazer Homes Pulte, Ryland, Toll, Hovnanian, stuffed country to gills with properties, now can't dump them quick enough. Only reason they sold so many at such insane prices over past few years was because crummy lending from the likes of New Century Financial and Countrywide Financial made it easy for anyone with a heartbeat to borrow more than they could afford. (Don't forget the builders' in-house mortgage lenders!)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. UT: Crumbling Driveways (UPDATE) From brand new to three yrs old. One thing all have in common: built by Richmond American Homes. Homeowners say builder is not responsive.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. FL: Homes backlog 16.6 months Report calls county's housing inventories among the nation's most troublesome

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. CO/KS: SCROLL down to: Home Investment Portfolio Partners Denver-based R.E. investment company will acquire 61 new residential properties in KS from homebuilders JCT Construction, Craft Builders, Willming & Associates.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. CO: UPDATE on ethics investigation of builders' lobbyist The ethics panel plans to meet Wednesday to hear testimony

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. Ask The Builder: Home Building Collection of articles by Tim Carter of Ask the Builder

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. TX; US: Two reasons never mentioned for housing cirisis By Jordan Fogal

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: Home Buyer Demand Shifts Downward — Again Renewed downward pressure on home sales--renewed upward pressure on cancellations.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: Home Builders Group Opposes Firefighters, Homeowners Safety National Association of Home Builders orchestrating major opposition campaign against firefighters and the fire service. (Firehouse.com)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. International: Contractor faces possible suspension U.S. Army considering debarring Parsons Corp., one of largest contractors in Iraq; allegations of double billing, shoddy work, on Iraqi reconstruction.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. FL: Lawsuit alleges appraisals inflated Also named in suit: D'Alessandro & Woodyard, broker Frank D'Alessandro, real estate agent Samir Cabrera, First Home, lender Norlarco Credit Union. D'Alessandro writes a weekly real estate column for The News-Press.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. FL: Millions still due GSR's creditors Developer GSR and its principals, Robert Byrne and Steven Noriega, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. US: FHA "inspection" more of an "appraisal" Don't count on FHA to find defects in home

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. TX: Tests Finished on Problematic West Side Homes Mirasol project: SAHA filed suit against Magi Realty, contractor who handled the building. (Article does not mention it but earlier articles have said KB Home was the actual builder. --Ed.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. OR: Man Shares Contractor Woes; FOX 12 Investigates You hire a contractor and check him or her out with the state licensing board. You think you’re OK. But...that is not always the case, as customers of Rodney Powell of Powell’s Docks and Metal Fabrication found out.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. CA: Running Horse in limbo, despite shift in control. Running Horse LLC, golf and residential project, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Tuesday, May 01, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Military families among those hit with home foreclosures Money to be made in foreclosure business, and not many soldiers seek help, perhaps because they feel self-conscious. Severe cases of debt and foreclosures can cost soldiers their security clearance. (Mentions Beazer Homes incidents)

Monday, April 30, 2007. ABC: Deck Dangers Five Warning Signs

Monday, April 30, 2007. FL: One year later, still no hurricane shutters Action Line received dozens of complaints about SeaView, bankrupt contractor. Amazingly, co's license still ''current and active,'' according to state Department of Business Regulation

Monday, April 30, 2007. CO: New Fremont County homes, big legal mess Engineering firm found foundation not suitable for the soils...16 others in Pueblo West development may have similar problems. Builder: Oakwood Construction, Fremont County not to be confused with builder of same name in Denver.

Monday, April 30, 2007. NC: Leaders worry about dangers of mountainside construction Homebuilders won’t pay what it takes to ensure ground beneath house is steady.

Monday, April 30, 2007. MI: Comerica declares Peninsula Bay in default, wants units auctioned Peninsula Bay Resort Condominiums LLC, and partners defaulted on $10 million construction loan

Monday, April 30, 2007. FL: Contractor Pleads Guilty to Grand Theft Contractor Russell Ash

Monday, April 30, 2007. Texas: Couple goes after disappearing contractor Homeowners suing Don McRae, Mike Allison and Dennis Gillett for more than $50,000 for breaching contract.

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Centex 4Q Profit Falls 49 Percent in what company called one of most difficult housing markets in 25 years.

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Centex sells its subprime mortgage business Press release from the builder

Monday, April 30, 2007. Canada: Citizens of Ontario, speak up From Rate Your Builder, which covers the USA and Canada

Monday, April 30, 2007. OH: Evergreen Homes files Chapter 11 bankruptcy; lawsuits filed State said company sold 480 investment certificates worth more than $6.1 million in first five months at a time when the company was insolvent

Monday, April 30, 2007. Canada: Who's liable for house defects? Dozens of defects in new home, some major, some minor... Tarion warranty program not responding to satisfaction, homeowners must resort to long and expensive court case

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Public Citizen Trashes Anti-Tort Study Study released last month attacking nation's tort laws is not scholarly research but another public relations advance by corporate-funded "think tanks" in ongoing campaign to gut civil justice system and reduce corporate accountability

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Housing Crash News Articles.

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Housing Crash Message Board New!

Monday, April 30, 2007. OR: $50,000 vanishes, along with their contractor Homeowners had checked references and verified (Jimmy Ray "Jay" Kelly, d/b/a The Jemm Corp, and Northwest Home Source) through state board that the company was licensed and bonded. Got ripped off anyway. Weak state laws and passive enforcement by the state Construction Contractors Board as reported in 2005. (See articles posted earlier this year and before on the Construction Claims Task Force, etc, in OR.)

Monday, April 30, 2007. Nat'l interest: Real Estate Rip-Offs News station did criminal check on licensed real estate agents: 63 had records for theft, financial fraud, sexual assault, and weapons violations.

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Wall Street ripped for loans “There’s been fraud on all sides.”

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: SEC begins $357 million payout to Fannie Mae investors Fannie Mae paid about $350 million to the SEC as part of a settlement over charges its management committed financial fraud between 1998 and 2004.

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: What is Home Ownership? Author says many homeowners really don't own much thanks to exotic loans...is against bail out that would be at expense of responsible people.

Monday, April 30, 2007. NY: Carmel turns down Pulte 'Trying to transform and supersede the town code'

Monday, April 30, 2007. FL: Don't let unlicensed contractors leave you in a home of hazards To find out if contractor is licensed, insured visit www.marioncountyfl.org/BU341/BU_home.htm

Monday, April 30, 2007. NC: Windy Pines South hit hard by foreclosures (Perfect storm of uneducated buyers with dreams of homeownership, and deceptive possibly fraudulent lending practices of Fintech Homes manufactured home development.)

Monday, April 30, 2007. AZ: Taking on the HOA Filing HOA grievances with Office of Administrative Hearings

Monday, April 30, 2007. Nat'l interest: Permanently Stop Homeowner and Property Owner Association Foreclosures Petition site

Monday, April 30, 2007. MI: "No" means "Yes" to builder Despite being rejected by various township boards: "We're going to develop this property," said Robert Schostak of Schostak Brothers & Co.

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Beware the builder's lender Builders can't force you to use any particular lender; federal law prohibits it. Nor can they dictate whom you must use for other settlement services

Monday, April 30, 2007. Charlotte Observer: MORE: Customers tell of pay for survey marks; execs stood to benefit Article links to actual letter, and to last month's series on Beazer foreclosures and federal mortgage fraud investigation articles, etc.

Monday, April 30, 2007. More on Beazer Survey "deals": Offer by Beazer: $100 for praise "You're essentially buying good ratings. If people are trying to take that data seriously, they may be making disastrous decisions."

Monday, April 30, 2007. MI: Builder faces sentencing for bilking others out of thousands. Eric Williams will be sentenced May 15 for fraud conviction: now (also) accused of taking $9,650 from couple.

Monday, April 30, 2007. US: Why some "Surveys" aren't very reliable!: Builder accused of paying for survey results Buyers say Beazer Homes offered $100 for high marks: Three other Charlotte-area customers also say Beazer paid for their answers on the survey.

Monday, April 30, 2007. FL: Lennar wants out of land deal Lennar says deal was corrupt; seller says it wasn't. Dispute will go to arbitration.

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: Beazer investigating self (Yeah...that'll work.)

Friday, April 27, 2007. AZ: EV Trib series on developer Jim Rhodes Exposed big problems, see article below.

Friday, April 27, 2007. AZ: AZ Corporation Commission Backs Rhodes (despite history) See relevant EV Trib report above.

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: Builder loses $94million MDC, also builds under Richmond American

Friday, April 27, 2007. CO: HOMEOWNER PROTECTION ACT SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR From last week but worth repeating. Conngratulations to every member of the Alliance whose help was critical in the past two months. Your phonecalls, emails and testimony was critical to every stage of the process.

As a final act, we would ask that you contact the Governor and voice your support and thanks that he resisted the pressure from unscrupulous homebuilders and did what was the "right" thing for every Colorado homeowner.

All the Governor's contact infromation can be found HERE.

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: Housing industry fraud Numerous articles from recent headlines incl. Beazer mortgage fraud, foreclosure schemes, etc.

Friday, April 27, 2007. NJ; Nat'l interest: Certificate of Occupancy No Guarantee of Quality or Code Compliance Implied warranty of habitability and fitness for use

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: UPDATE on Beazer cases Charlotte Observer

Friday, April 27, 2007. NJ: UPDATE Bankrupt Kara Homes will try to complete two projects "I don't know whether they will just do the bare minimum to get the (certificate of occupancy) and close the house with all the deficiencies," he said.

Friday, April 27, 2007. FL & GA: Former Local Developer Indicted in Georgia Phillip Hill & questionable real estate dealings...

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: Toll Brothers sued by shareholder Lawsuit against Toll Brothers Inc., claims luxury homebuilder inflated stock prices by misleading investors about strength of company's position in housing market.

Friday, April 27, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: All-Concrete Home Withstands 300 MPH Winds The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house costs about $175,000, which Sands said is about the same price it would have cost to build the house with a wood frame. In addition, the all-concrete house has a regular A-frame roof, not a flat roof.

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: Americans must sacrifice to help the planet We cannot continue to add 1,000 square feet to each house being...(and) cannot keep gobbling up land

Friday, April 27, 2007. ND: Some contractors now willing to turn in other contractors for breaking law? Fargo drywall businessman Roger Hauck met with builders
association; said he had evidence contractors around the state using illegal aliens.

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: Jacksonville Bancorp "Our decision to stay out of the residential construction loans to homebuilders market has left us with a very high quality loan portfolio."

Friday, April 27, 2007. US: Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Announces New Board Members Housing developer and former president of National Association of Home Builders, F. Gary Garczynski, now sits on Federal Housing Finance Board

Friday, April 27, 2007. NH: Compromise may yield state contractor registration More of the same...builders opposing licensing and even a measly four hours of education a year...

Friday, April 27, 2007. IN; Nat'l interest: House Poor--TV report Several experts blame certain builders for devising loan programs that sell homes, but, at the same time, put some buyers in more house than they can really afford.

Friday, April 27, 2007. NJ; Nat'l interest: Builder sues Web site and Google over posting Raffi Arslanian d/b/a, RSA Enterprises wants complaint removed from RipOffReport.com and wants Google to remove from search engines. Bank that did its homework considered the complaints before deciding whether or not to loan builder money...Internet scholar said "cyber-defamation" lawsuit has little chance of success in court, because federal law protects Web sites and search engines. (Editor's note: this is not the first incident we've read of, where a builder wanted public records removed from search engines!)

Friday, April 27, 2007. FL: Update on Home builder charged with 21 felony counts Joseph Pufta, CEO of Avalon Homes, abandoned 50 home sites after taking money for construction.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. Nat'l interest: Lemon Law to Help Protect Texas Homebuyers Rate Your Builder writes opinion about Texas Residential Construction Commission

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: Beazer turns over documents in federal investigation Update.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. AskTheBuilder.com: VIDEO What kind of camera to use for documenting construction or defects. Good tips, and digital cameras may not be best choice!

Thursday, April 26, 2007. REMINDER: Important Request for Binding Mandatory Arbitration Stories Give Me Back My Rights is still looking for people who have an arbitration story.

Thursday, April 26, 2007.Bad Builders in the Funny Papers For grins--we can use a laugh now and then.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. VA; MD: From MortgageFraudBlog.com: Husband and Wife Indicted in Home Building Fraud Scheme Omondi was the president of Raycha Homes, also known as Construction Consulting and Management (CCM), a home builder located on Old Bridge Road, Woodbridge, Virginia. Sanfo was a loan officer for CCM and Allstate Mortgage.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: Housing Crash News New articles

Thursday, April 26, 2007. NJ; US: More face losing homes Few lawyers want cases, just as need for them increases.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. CO: UPDATE on builders' lobbyist's ethics violation Possible attempt to divert attention from ethics complaint against homebuilding industry related lobbyist

Thursday, April 26, 2007. WA: Condos' defects repaired Mastro Properties

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: Homebuilders May Break Loan Covenants Housing market is so weak that homebuilders haven't been able to cut their inventories, leading many to ask their bankers for so- called covenant relief

Thursday, April 26, 2007. FL: Rooftop view for Stars and Stripes Pino (d/b/a Century Home Builders) and his plane have attracted the attention of the feds, who issued him a subpoena in a public corruption probe.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: Big Homebuilders Button Up Beazer and Pulte won't offer earnings guidance for '07 as the sector's problems deepen...FBI, the IRS, Inspector General of HUD, and the Justice Dept. criminal investigation of Beazer's lending...

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: When Up is the Wrong Direction Cranes busily moving over Miami skyline, hurrying massive condominiums toward certificates of occupancy, local county commission doing back flips to satisfy greed of the development lobby, built on back of liar loans, mortgage fraud, and incestuous relationships between builders & lenders...

Thursday, April 26, 2007. IN: House Poor TV news report

Thursday, April 26, 2007. FL: Dispute in housing deal could lead to class-action lawsuit Broward couple claim fraud in loans re: First Home, subsidiary of K. Hovnanian.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. NC; US: Beazer Homes swings to loss The Atlanta builder also disclosed more details of investigations related to its mortgage origination business.

Thursday, April 26, 2007. Charlotte Observer: UPDATE on Observer's series, Sold A Nightmare Beazer board investigating loans

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: Soaring bad debt hits mortgage lender Countrywide Home Loans/Countrywide Financial

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: Beazer: No End In Sight For Housing Woes FBI spokesman Ken Lucas has said: "There's all sorts of potential fraud issues here. We're looking at all types of fraud associated with Beazer--corporate, mortgage, investments."

Thursday, April 26, 2007. US: When do courts say arbitration clauses may be "unconscionable" and "unenforceable?" Article compares two cases.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. US: Gloves Off: Roofing expert reveals construction schemes in new book Last year, homeowners in Marana’s Continental Ranch asked Osterman to inspect their roofs for defects. Dozens of residents claimed that Richmond American Homes subcontractor took short cuts and caused their roofs to leak, deteriorate and simply fail.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. Warranty Week, industry news: New Home Warranties Industry report on builder's warranties.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. AZ: UPDATE: Rhodes Homes ongoing stories Las Vegas homebuilder Jim Rhodes has suspended large-scale development in Mohave County. From: Special Report: New land baron has checkered past

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. FL: Avalon Homes CEO arrested on fraud charges, released from jail Joseph Pufta arrested on 21 fraud charges.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. TX: House bill targets builders who fail to repair defects The Texas House tentatively made it a crime for a builder to fail to register with the state, but rejected an attempt to require contractors to buy back houses with serious defects.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. TX: House considers home lemon laws Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, added five amendments to the bill. She's in favor of the bill because she has her own history with defective construction.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. TX: UPDATE on Mirasol development's ongoing problems Magi Realty; KB Home

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. AZ: PULTE Law site with articles relevant to two below.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. AZ: Cracked Houses Defective homes; (Del Webb is owned by Pulte.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. AZ: Pulte halts plan for big complex in Benson Pulte Homes has pulled out of a proposed Anthem housing development in Benson, citing the weak national housing market. (See related "Cracked Houses," above, from our archives.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. US: A Who's Who of mortgage industry investigators Numerous agencies.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Fueling Housing Slump According to Office of Thrift Supervision, which oversees savings and loans institutions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. US: Pulte posts loss Loss of $85.7 million

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. US: Ryland posts first quarter loss Company reported first-quarter loss of $24.4 million

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. US: UPDATE: BEAZER New CEO after beginning of federal investigation and lawsuit

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. GreenOptions.com: How to Find a Green Builder -- Part 1 More and more products touted as green have only a tenuous claim to being a truly green product.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. US: Meritage Homes profit plunged 81% Glut of homes

Wednesday, April 25, 2007. Kansas City Star: McBride & Sons mergd McBride Homes and Vantage Homes Just FYI.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. CO: Panel weighs complaint on lobbyist Lawmakers reject First Amendment argument for homebuilding leader accused of making false statements...orchestrating calls to constituents that made knowingly false claims that lawmakers were backing bill that would raise taxes. Related to earlier articles posted on CO Homeowners bill that restored some consumer protection to house purchases. The bill passed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. MD: Harford project facing auction Wave of foreclosures has hit developers as well as homeowners: In the Harford case, Acacia Capital Corp. bought the property to develop it for national builder K. Hovnanian Homes

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. US: Realty Times article re: who's behind election money Top 10 PACs in the 2005-2006 election cycle included National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, the American Bankers Association...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. David Pierce in Pocono Record, PA: Hearing to discuss high foreclosure rates Exceptions from mortgage licensing currently granted to Realtors, builders and insurance companies would be eliminated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. US: Will SEC be sued for negligence re: mortgage industry? Author thinks so.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. US: 300 jobs vanish in flash Subprime lender Mortgage Investment Lending Associates lays off 300.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. US: Title Agency Faces Two Lawsuits Old Republic National Title Insurance of Minnesota filed suit alleging breach of contract, fraud, conversion and theft against Independent Title of FL.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007. US: Housing Bubble Boondoggle The repercussions of millions of homeowners defaulting on their loans could be a major hit for Wall Street and the banking sector. That's what Senator Schumer is worried about (with his bailout plan)---not the plight of over-leveraged homeowners.

Monday, April 23, 2007. US: DR Horton's earnings plunge; no plans to weed out unqualified buyers if it means cancellations Loans that required little or no documentation, which have also come under scrutiny recently, accounted for about 40 percent (of builder's loans)...."As I've said to all our salespeople, if a buyer is warm and has a pulse, we want to put them on paper."

Monday, April 23, 2007. CA: Perpetual fees on home resales a rotten idea Correa's bill would ban the increasingly common practice of developers attaching a covenant to a new home requiring that whenever the home is resold, the buyer must pay an additional fee based on a percentage of the sales price. The beneficiary: whomever the original home-builder specified....The potential for abuse is vast.

Monday, April 23, 2007. IL: Liens stacking up against Prime Development Connected to residential properties in Glen Carbon and Madison County.

Monday, April 23, 2007.Seniors most common target of predatory mortgages From Consumer Affairs.

Monday, April 23, 2007. Nat'l interest: Real-estate schemes often start with inflated appraisals Public ends up paying the price.

Monday, April 23, 2007. AZ: More on the Jim Rhodes/Rhodes Homes stories from previous postings Baron's aim was 5,500 homes on 1,200 site

Monday, April 23, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Workers' comp fraud by bosses rising Work-related injuries big cost driver in construction industry

Monday, April 23, 2007. WA: Legislature UPDATE: "Homeowners Bill of Rights" Washington state bill that would have provided statutory warranty against defective new home construction faced tough challenge from builders. Senate Bill 5550 made it out of Senate, but not House.

Monday, April 23, 2007. FL: Contractor leaves trail of unfinished jobs Ideal Homes--article also points to trouble with Floridian Gulf Coast Homes: Liens. Certain owners voluntarily "deactivated" their state licenses, are no longer authorized to sign off on construction contracts.

Monday, April 23, 2007. NJ: Faiella accused of wheeling and dealing behind 'divorce' Bankruptcy fraud trial of developer Al Faiella

Monday, April 23, 2007. US: Would-be buyers at auction, beware Buying foreclosures very risky--buyers can lose all their money due to liens, etc.

Sunday, April 22, 2007. AZ: Tucson builder files for Chapter 11 AmericaBuilt Construction Inc. and affiliate, AmericaBuilt Communities: filings list as creditors numerous contractors owed as much as $238,000, as well as individuals who paid deposits up to $351,000 for homes under construction.

Sunday, April 22, 2007. US: How 'systematic inattention' led to subprime fiasco Four largest trade groups representing appraisers say pressure to over inflate houses' value part of foreclosure problem.

Sunday, April 22, 2007. US: Why we shouldn't be bailing out subprime lenders or borrowers 'Dumb and Dumber:' Article about sorting out those who were duped from the gamblers and conmen, myth that a home is always an investment, etc.

Sunday, April 22, 2007. Nat'l interest: Rate of Inland foreclosures is expected to rise Mortgage failures are most numerous in areas with a large amount of new-home construction. John Marcell Jr., immediate past president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, blamed builder-affiliated lenders for touting easy financing to bolster sales.

Sunday, April 22, 2007. AZ: Another Builder files for Bankruptcy Townsend Construction owned by former Arizona Senate candidate Elise Townsend filed for bankruptcy, three months after AZ Registrar of Contractors revoked license. The usual: liens, lawsuits, debt, unfinished homes, buyers in limbo.

Sunday, April 22, 2007. CO: LINK TO ARTICLE BELOW: SORRY FOR THE ERROR UPDATE on builders lobbyist in CO

Sunday, April 22, 2007. CO: Ex-Rep. Stengel jumps into another ethics brouhaha UPDATE ON: Homebuilders' lobbyist accused of orchestrating calls to constituents that falsely said lawmakers were backing bill that would raise taxes on homes. Relevant to CO Homeowners Protection Act which just passed, see relevant articles posted Apr. 21 and earlier.

Sunday, April 22, 2007. AZ/NV: Land Baron has Checkered Past Jim Rhodes/Rhodes Homes story picked up in another paper.

Saturday, April 21, 2007. Washington Post: Beware of Builders Bearing Gifts and Pushing Lenders Builders can't force you to use any particular lender; federal law prohibits it.

Saturday, April 21, 2007. US: Before Getting That Loan (from builder or anyone) If loan officer says "don't worry, you can always refinance," walk away. It's hardly a ringing endorsement of the loan. And if the recent wave of foreclosure troubles has taught anything, it's that you can't always refinance.

Saturday, April 21, 2007. Nat'l interest: Home ownership could turn into a nightmare Yu said the subdivision, built by Armadillo Homes and subsequently sold to KB Home, was one of many around the city where the builder steered first-time home buyers to its own mortgage company.

Saturday, April 21, 2007.Colorado HOME Alliance Homeowner Protection Act passed into law thanks to this group and all the homeowners who participated in the effort.

Saturday, April 21, 2007. CO: VICTORY IN COLORADO: Governor signs Homeowner Protection Act Does not remove damage caps but removes builders ability to force all complaints into arbitration. Watch for updates on this story as the bill covered more than articles are currently mentioning, and check out CO HOME Alliance, (above), website of the group that headed up the effort.

Saturday, April 21, 2007. IL: Builder pleads guilty for filing false tax returns Custom home builder Gary L. Fulrath, Fulrath Construction

Friday, April 20, 2007. KY: Builder Bankruptcy Bugs Customers, Contractors Calumet Homes bankrupt; some subs not paid, homeowners can't get warranty work done.

Friday, April 20, 2007. US: Housing crash, foreclosures, lenders News articles; blog

Friday, April 20, 2007. US: Fund Takes 8.8 Percent Stake in Beazer Shares of Beazer jumped after investment partnership disclosed it acquired 8.8 percent stake in the struggling homebuilder.

Friday, April 20, 2007. UT: Families blame illnesses on mold in their Hill Air Force Base housing Worries over potentially dangerous mold have fallen on private contractor's unsympathetic ears

Friday, April 20, 2007. Op-Ed news on Mold: Wall Street Journal Uncovers Medical Association's Alleged Conflicts of Interest Advocacy Groups Call for Senate Investigation

Friday, April 20, 2007. NY: Former banker pleads guilty in fraud Arranged loans for TEL Industries, residential construction company that later expanded to include Capital Region Disaster Services, Certified Water, Smoke and Fire Restoration Services, Purofirst of the Capital Region. All three companies failed.

Friday, April 20, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Ongoing CCI case Fresh from revocation of Avalon Homes' (Joseph Pufta's) license, officials going after Jesse Battle of Construction Compliance Inc.

Friday, April 20, 2007. US: Homebuilders: The Chill Lingers Shares of D.R. Horton, Pulte fell; sales slump grinds on

Friday, April 20, 2007. AZ: Rule change guards area's groundwater [The] way we were growing, we were headed toward an economic disaster," Edmond said. "We have been allowing people to put all these houses on a supply of water that is not renewable.

Friday, April 20, 2007. US: Green Mansion? Not an endorsement for the company, just information on materials and methods of green building.

Friday, April 20, 2007. FL: KB Home plans to sell 4 Hillsborough parcels Sinking market--developers dumping excess property

Friday, April 20, 2007. TX: Kerr Real Estate fined over $600,000 Destroyed 4000 trees that provided crucial habitat for fish and wildlife on one of North Texas' most popular lakes.

Friday, April 20, 2007. NV: LV housing slump worsens Ongoing weakness in housing industry

Friday, April 20, 2007. FL: Panitz Homes is closing its doors Decided to close shop after a national builder, who intended to buy the company, delayed its closing for six months. Was once bought out by Beazer Homes.

Friday, April 20, 2007. NH: Registering contractors: License to kill the competition Editorial says continuing education requirement of bill is basically only supported by the home builders because it would require more contractors to join and pay fees.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. NJ: Judge puts off Kara Homes foreclosure decision UPDATE to ongoing case.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. TX: SAHA toxic mold tests are negative KB Home says molds in Mirasol Homes are not the "toxic" kind, but still ignores the cause which is that the house leaks?

Thursday, April 19, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: UPDATE on Beazer foreclosures Charlotte Observer: Sold a Nightmare series, "Beazer talking to council"

Thursday, April 19, 2007. AZ: Rhodes Homes series in EV Trib Land Baron has checkered past, and more

Thursday, April 19, 2007. AZ; NV: Arizona homes project halted Las Vegas home builder Jim Rhodes has suspended work on Pravada, a 5,750-acre master-planned community near Kingman, Ariz., because of land use, zoning and water issues (NOTE: See articles posted earlier this week from EV Trib series on Rhodes shady past and AZ Corp. Commission being reluctant to let the builder own a water utility in AZ. This article does not cover that! --Ed.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007. US: PDF: From Government Accountability Office Report "Actions Needed to Improve Oversight of the Title Industry and Better Protect Consumers"

Thursday, April 19, 2007. INMAN.COM: Title industry under scrutiny again Builders, real estate brokers, lenders, title insurance companies could work in conjunction with title insurance companies to set up reinsurance entities, which investigators charged were used to funnel money back to the owners of the reinsurance entities.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. Nat'l interest: HUD SETTLES CASES AGAINST NEW MEXICO BUILDER AND FLORIDA TITLE COMPANY Illegal kickbacks; Fidelity National Title Insurance Company and Longford Homes

Thursday, April 19, 2007. New York City: Council panel, agency weigh legislation to license builders Home-improvement contractors are licensed; those erecting houses from scratch are not (similar to bill pending in NH, below.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007. US: More on attempted takeover of builder WCI Billionaire investor Carl Icahn urged WCI shareholders to elect new hand-picked board after current board recommended rejecting takeover offer

Thursday, April 19, 2007. OR; Nat'l interest: Press release/"Ad" from builder's company Buena Vista Custom Homes and JPMorgan Chase financing arrangement: promoting what could be another risky loan that ends in foreclosure when payment goes up.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. NH--update: Clegg upset with group’s exemption Legislator critical of exempting homebuilders from pending law regulating contractors.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. US: Pulte Homes sees loss New home orders decline

Thursday, April 19, 2007. US: Status of the Homebuilders & Financials New home prices still too high. Banks facing pain. Industry overly optimistic about a gradual recovery beginning around mid-year.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. US: Home builder D.R. Horton earnings plunge 85 %

Thursday, April 19, 2007. FL: Homeowner's Association Taking Construction Company To Court Toll Brothers development formerly owned by Landstar Homes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. FL: FDLE probes property appraiser's files Appraiser Jim Ford says raid on his office was possibly politically motivated

Thursday, April 19, 2007. PA: Letter roils some at Village Grande Residents with code violations in new homes get letter from DR Horton

Thursday, April 19, 2007. US: Dive in Long Island Luxury Real Estate Prices You can see why announcements from the NAR such as Home Prices Seen Rising in '07 are so absurd.

Thursday, April 19, 2007. AZ: State officials should keep a close eye on developer Jim Rhodes Arizona has more than its share of experience with land moguls who build mountains of wealth through shady, underhanded deals while back-stabbing partners, ripping off taxpayers and buying influence with local and state politicians. (See series from EV Trib posted earlier this week.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007. MI: MARD Enterprises declares Ch. 11 Bankruptcy Developer of Sherman Hills residential development: not first bankruptcy

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. US: Trade panel to investigate illegal logging complaints As much as 30 percent of U.S. hardwood imports are from suspicious or illegal sources.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. US: Most property insurance policies contain some version of a "faulty workmanship" exclusion. Insurance article re: defective construction

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. US: Homeowner's site on Beazer Homes Unhappy homeowner's site.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. US: Housing Crash Current News articles

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. PA: Homeowner advocacy group closes shop But Al Wilson and original group, Poconos Homeowners Defense Association, will continue. Wilson started (the groups) after discovering problems with his own home purchase from Eagle Valley Homes and its in-house brokerage company. (That case and many more have been coverd by this reporter over the past few years; many of the stories are here in our archives.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. FL; US: UPDATE: Third class action lawsuit filed in Coast Bank--Construction Comliance Inc case Claims investors in Coast should have been made aware that Coast committed $110 million in loans to 482 homebuyers whose houses were being built by failed builder, CCI

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. US: Class Action Suit against Toll Brothers On behalf of shareholders complaint alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. DC: Developer Douglas Jemal sentenced to probation, fined U.S. Attorney’s office described Jemal as lacking remorse and “as an ordinary criminal who committed fraud to obtain money.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. FL: Builder costs contractor his license James Leake allowed Avalon Homes to use his building license and now may lose it. "You had to know what's going on," Len Wheat, a board member, told Leake. "If not, you've got to be the worst contractor in the world."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. FL: Builder left homes undone; CEO now faces arrest Avalon Homes collapsed, leaving 50 homes unfinished, dozens of home buyers saddled with mortgages for homes they may never finish. Prosecutors obtained arrest warrant for owner Joseph Pufta.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. NH: Contractor regulation gains steam Since being burned by contractor who took $38,000 and disappeared, Doug Doremus has spent last four years collecting similar stories and urging lawmakers to regulate contracting trade.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. US: Trouble in Squanderville Two years ago, anyone who wrote about the housing bubble was dismissed as a conspiracy nut...Now, all of a sudden, the media is acting as if the problem sprouted up overnight

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. SmartMoney.com: Renting Makes More Financial Sense Than Homeownership Investor dispells some of the myths about owning vs. renting.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007. US: High Court Sides With Banks on Mortgage Rules Consumer advocates argued states are more effective at policing lenders.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. NJ: Marlboro feels impact of Kara Homes collapse UPDATE on builder bankruptcy case contains interesting comment that the city's law firm "will also represent Marlboro "with regard to one of the indicted developers,"" (unnamed developer)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. NC; Charlotte Observer: FHA borrowers facing foreclosure Workshops part of the federal agency's response to high failure rate for FHA loans in Charlotte area, particularly developments by Beazer Homes

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. IN: Indiana Builder Sentenced for Loan Fraud Eric H. Tauer sentenced to imprisonment for money laundering and fraud.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. PA: 26 houses evacuated as retention basin overflows Town and residents worried retention basin in Alliance Homes development was inadequate to handle serious rainstorm. On Sunday, fears became reality.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. MD: County continues to crack down on illegal building County Council passed a bill last night that would halt construction scofflaws in their tracks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. VA: A $78,000 down payment to court? Bane "Mike" VanDyke III told by judge; pay restitution to conned customers or stay in jail.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. AZ: $12 million in sales not enough to keep homebuilder from bankruptcy AmericaBuilt Construction Inc. and its affiliate, AmericaBuilt Communities Inc

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. CO: Against Affordable Housing Article by Andreow Boucher claims allowing homeowners to hold bad builders legally accountable will make homes cost more, some good comments at end of article by those who know this is baloney.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. TX: Homebuyer left in the dark...literally Arroyo Construction failed to get permits and house does not meet code. Buyer can't get electricity.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. US: Eye on the Pie People offered home contracts that feed on dreams not capabilities; Predatory lenders, colluding with rapacious home builders and corrupt appraisers were responsible for some foreclosures...future homebuyers need bo be sufficiently educated

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. OK: "Certified" contractor on city's list of companies rips off Shawnee couple Roland Pruitt of L.A. Temporary services took the money and disappeared.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007. AZ; NV: Developer gains favor with officials MORE OF REPORTER MARK FLATTEN'S SERIES ON BUILDER JIM RHODES PROBLEMS, IN E.V. TRIB.

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Green Building "Mother Earth News" which has been covering Green Building since the 70s at least.

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Message forum thread on "Green Building" See what builders and buyers say about green building industry's "certification." Is it just a buzz word?

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: New housing crash news articles Blog

Monday, April 16, 2007. PA: Stanton Heights contractor admits fraud Andrew F. Andros, of Builders Choice Remodeling admits to bankruptcy fraud. Concealed assets.

Monday, April 16, 2007. FL: Keep wetlands protection Wetlands absorb water during hurricanes and rainy months, preventing and reducing flooding. They provide important habitat for wildlife, particularly Florida's wading birds. They hold and clean water that eventually seeps into drinking water. (Loss of protection would allow)developers to bulldoze small wetlands with impunity.


Monday, April 16, 2007. AZ; NV: Follow the Timeline Developer Jim Rhodes’ history from Nevada to Arizona

Monday, April 16, 2007. AZ; NV: E.V. developer locked in litigation Scott Dunton thought he had deal with Jim Rhodes. (But) when deal closed, 5,200 acres near Kingman that Dunton was supposed to buy wound up titled to company controlled by Rhodes. As dispute has dragged on in court, Rhodes has locked up water rights in the area. Rhodes told Dunton that even if Dunton wins lawsuit, land will be worthless without water rights

Monday, April 16, 2007. SC: Levitt and Sons complaint Builder backs out but won't return buyer's deposit? Home buyer's site.

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Lenders blame the media The nation's mortgage bankers say the news media's intense focus on the subprime lending crisis may be making matters worse. So the industry's association is adding $5 million to its advertising and lobbying budgets. (Otherwise known as SPIN!)

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: What is Home Ownership? Bailing out or subsidizing irresponsible lenders or borrowers not the answer. Both solutions will drive up prices and encourage more exotic loans.

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Oh Alphonso! FHA Modern is So Subprime! Kenneth Donohue, HUD’s current inspector general and a former Resolution Trust investigator, believes FHA Modern is open to the same frauds as subprime.

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Gene That Governs Toxin Production in Deadly Mold Found For people with diminished immune systems ubiquitous mold known as Aspergillus fumigatus can be death sentence.

Monday, April 16, 2007. AZ; NV; CA: Rhodes temporarily closing Golden Valley operations Re: two articles below. Buyer beware.

Monday, April 16, 2007. AZ: Developer grilled by ACC AZ Corporation Commission questions whether builder, (Rhodes Homes), with checkered past is fit to own and run a water utility in state.

Monday, April 16, 2007. AZ; NV: New land baron has checkered past (Did state fail to "do its homework" before selling Rhodes state trust land?) Rhodes admitted to illegally using his money to aid powerful politicians; has been sued over allegations of fraud, theft and self-dealing by investment partners and others; has a long history of complaints for shoddy construction.

Monday, April 16, 2007. Texarkana Gazette: Builder Jason Cross files bankruptcy Homeowners left with unfinished work, liens, and improper construction.

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: 5 homeownership tax myths Homeownership tax benefits are not always clear cut

Monday, April 16, 2007. IN: Building boom turns into bust for developer Hendricks County home builder will pay for writing $217 million in bad checks by spending up to 6 1/2 years in prison: Eric Tauer, Royal Haven Builders. Most recently, Tauer was allegedly working for Home One Builders.

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Housing Slowdown Means BOOMTIME for Stocks I'll leave such trickery and fraud to the real estate professionals, home builders and mortgage companies that have been trying to keep this party barge of fiscal prosperity afloat.

Monday, April 16, 2007. NJ: Bad weather cancels Kara hearing--postponed til Wed Apr 18 UPDATE

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Corporate America Enters Modern Era of Scandal Including Beazer mortgage fraud...

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Homebuilder Confidence Index Falls Bloomberg.com

Monday, April 16, 2007. US: Could you lose your deposit in a developer bankruptcy? Kara’s sales contracts provided that purchasers could bond their deposits for an additional fee but many purchasers failed to purchase such extra protection.

Monday, April 16, 2007. TX: Fires, foreclosures, taxes plague neighborhood House under construction abandoned, foreclosures, and fires

Monday, April 16, 2007. Nat'l interest: Freddie Mac gives R-G Crown top rating Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac gives award to company that was ensnared in builder fraud, etc!

Sunday, April 15, 2007. US: Is the Endangered Species Act in Danger? National Association of Homebuilders v. Defenders of Wildlife and Defenders of Wildlife v. Environmental Protection Agency

Sunday, April 15, 2007. NJ; Nat'l interest: Kara Homes bankruptcy Author suggests legislation requiring all builders to post a bond that would protect homebuyers' deposits in the event of builder's bankruptcy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007. FL: Lee buyers claim fraud Buyer says mortgage company affiliated with First Home Builders altered information to enhance their financing application without their knowing it, jacking up the value of residence and length of time husband had been at his job.

Sunday, April 15, 2007. OH: Area home-building slows to a crawl Builders acknowledge that they experienced declines unrelated to weather

Sunday, April 15, 2007. US: U.S. Homebuilders Face Bankruptcy Risk in '08, Lawyers Say Breaking point could come in 2008 or 2009.

Sunday, April 15, 2007. AZ: Out-of-state homebuilders enter cooling Arizona market Despite the fact local builders struggling to offload thousands of speculative homes.

Sunday, April 15, 2007. US: Dominion Homes Rhodes Homes owner Discloses 7.06% ownership stake in Dominion.

Saturday, April 14, 2007. US: PREFAB CONSTRUCTION: Green or Greenwashing? Material waste and other considerations

Saturday, April 14, 2007. US: Cover bases to guard against contractor scams Don’t ever trust a contractor who recommends that you borrow money from a lender he knows, (and more)

Saturday, April 14, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara describes reorganization plan Will still be called Kara Homes -- will also include Plainfield Asset Management, and developer Glen Fishman

Friday, April 13, 2007. FL: Shady contractors fined, jailed Thomas Andrade, Encore Kitchen and Bath, Daniel & Rachel Whalen, Kevin Hillier, John Harold Venneman, Premier Fabricators, Jose R. Gutierrez, Novas Homes

Friday, April 13, 2007. US: REMINDER re: arbitration Horror stories sought.

Friday, April 13, 2007. NJ: More on Kara Homes Bankruptcy Kara would finish some housing developments, sell others under reorganization plan

Friday, April 13, 2007. OH: Man found bound, gagged harmed self Godfrey, an employee of Pella Windows and vice-president of the Home Builders Association, says he gagged and bound himself, doused himself with gasoline, and locked himself in his car. (How do you do that?)

Friday, April 13, 2007. AZ: Pulte/Del Webb Relevant to two articles posted below. Comments at end of article are informative and/or interesting.

Friday, April 13, 2007. AZ: Del Webb claims they were victimized Denies license suspension. See articles posted directly below this one.

Friday, April 13, 2007. AZ: Pulte/Del Webb license suspension Attorney's website with links, articles, PDF of suspension on Pulte/Del Webb, and more.

Friday, April 13, 2007. CA: Berfield Takes Legal Action Over Mouldy Home Former Malcolm In The Middle star Justin Berfield suing Los Angeles construction firm for turning home into mould-infested wreck.

Friday, April 13, 2007. CA: Mekhi Phifer Sues Home Builder City inspectors last year informed the star the permits weren't obtained and the work violated the building code.

Friday, April 13, 2007. US: Housing Crash News blog, news articles posted almost daily

Friday, April 13, 2007. NJ: Kara bankruptcy affecting local homeowners More than two years later, Kara Homes still has not fixed problems. UPDATE to articles posted previously incl. home buyers' lost deposits.

Friday, April 13, 2007. CO: Homeowners fight back in mortgage fraud Homeowners claim Mark Strodtman of JS Real Estate conned them into buying homes out of their price range and that homes have structural problems

Friday, April 13, 2007. US: Mortgage fraud Lawyer's blog on mortgage fraud; some news articles involve homebuilders engaged in mtg fraud.

Friday, April 13, 2007. Canada: 'Nightmare home' tarnishes industry Former regional manager of the Ontario New Home Warranty Program: "To suggest the purchaser is in any way responsible for any of this mess is a travesty. The house is entirely in the hands of the builder from permit application to final inspection and the purchaser has no authority to interfere or complain until he or she owns the property."

Friday, April 13, 2007. MN; Nat'l interest re: PRIVATE ARBITRATION FIRMS: First Lady leaves job at private firm Two former National Arbitration Forum private arbitrators both claimed in highly publicized cases that the co. depends on credit card companies and banks for its business, and pushes a pro-business bias in its rulings.

Friday, April 13, 2007. US: Harwood Feffer Files Class Action Suit Against Beazer Homes On behalf of persons who purchased common stock of Beazer.

Friday, April 13, 2007. FL; Nat'l: Live Oak project suffers stunted growth The Tampa Bay homebuilding juggernaut didn't begin slowing until a year ago, according to Metrostudy, a housing research firm. Now, unsold homes on the market are double the number for sale three years ago.

Friday, April 13, 2007. TX; Nat'l: Foreclosures Even with the slowdowns, Dallas-Fort Worth's biggest builders are putting up thousands of houses.

Friday, April 13, 2007. US: Two Ryland executives are leaving Departures come as industry enters second year of slowing sales.

Friday, April 13, 2007. FL: Sides in $300 million land deal head to arbitration Palm Beach Aggregates' $300 million deal to sell 1,210 acres west of the village to Lennar Homes could be in trouble.

Friday, April 13, 2007. US: Housing unraveling fast! Things are getting worse, especially for the public home builders.

Friday, April 13, 2007. FL: Lawsuit: Home builder Toll Brothers did not correct defects A formal "notice and opportunity to repair" was sent to Toll in July 2006, but deficiencies remain unresolved

Friday, April 13, 2007. TX: Woodwind Lakes subdivision built on oil and gas field turns on neighbor who pointed out the contamination. Welcome to Texas. A subdivision built on an old oil field with no disclosure to the homeowners. The lone homeowner who has raised the issue has been attacked by the community. It is an incredible story. A very good read!

Friday, April 13, 2007. US: Test-Drive Your New Home Construction defects are a fact of life in today's real estate market, and many of these problems stem from shoddy workmanship that was overlooked in the recent U.S. housebuilding boom.

Thursday, April 12, 2007. NV: Amendments needed for Bill 553 in order to provide greater homeowner protection. Las Vegas Lemonade has reviewed legislation that will affect homeowners.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. US: HUD To Expand RESPA Investigations Predatory lending, mortgage fraud and illegal builder
incentives are among the hotter targets.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. Canada: Caught in a bizarre, catch-22 situation Problems with Tarion Warranty Corporation, the not-for-profit private company that runs Ontario's New Home Warranty Program.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. US: The FBI's terrorism trade-off Focus on national security after 9/11 means agency turned its back on thousands of white-collar crimes. (Including mortgage fraud, builder fraud. --Ed.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. US: Freddie, Fannie a 'Concern' The government-chartered mortgage funding companies have taken much more time and money to put their houses in order than either they or regulators expected

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. VA: Resident blows whistle on wetlands encroachment Freedom Development of Virginia Beach was working without the necessary permits. Tom Leedom, a biologist with the Corps of Engineers, shut the operation down

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Beazer Homes USA under investigation UPDATE on mortgage fraud news posted about Beazer starting mid-March this year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. KS: Kansas Governor Signs Bill to Promote Energy Efficiency in New Buildings Requires homebuilders, realtors, to disclose info about energy efficiency of new homes

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. NY Times Real Estate Section: A Word of Advice During a Housing Slump: Rent Buying has never been quite as beneficial as Realtors — and mortgage brokers, home builders and everybody else who makes money off home purchases — have made it out to be.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. US: Setting a Course You have to pay the piper eventually. (Housing market related.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. US: Realtors Under Fire Unless housing prices tumble very quickly, it will be years before buying is smarter than renting

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. US: Moody's Downgrades Hovnanian Hovnanian burning cash during downturn

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. NJ: Caveat emptor not sufficient Home buyers under contract with bankrupt Kara Homes may have lost $100,000 deposits. Whether it will be required by future laws or not, buyers should consider protecting deposits by mandating bonding or insurance or requiring deposit money be placed in escrow account. Relevant to NM article below, home buyers would also need to make sure co's selling bonds were doing so legally! --Ed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. NM: Firm accused of illegally selling surety bonds Southwest Bonding Inc. continued to sell surety bonds after being denied state permission. Such bonds are sold to construction companies to guarantee work will be completed on a project.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. CO: UPDATE on House Bill 1338: Bill To Let Homeowners Sue On Way To Ritter Clay Vigoda, a lobbyist for the Colorado Home Alliance, said homeowners are being denied their right to sue under that law because all large builders now require buyers to sign contracts waiving that right.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. FL; MO: Missouri couple sentenced for fraud William and Anita Morrison of Total Response Systems took more than $200,000 from residents for post-Hurricane Ivan construction work they never completed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. International: Mortgage Fraud Funding Jihad? Financial experts say mortgage fraud is fastest growing white-collar crime--terrorist organizations quick to jump on trend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007. TX: 12 hours of testimony wasted in Texas. The State Affairs Committee on March 19 heard 12 hours of testimony on the homebuilding industry and bills addressing the severe defects of the Texas Residential Construction Commission. HB1038 filed by the original author of the TRCC, Representative Allan Ritter (D-Nederland) was the only bill that was voted out of the committee. If the analysis of the bill is correct, the State Affairs Committee wasn't listening to the homeowners who testified.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. IL: Construction companies sued Encore Construction & Richards Brick Co.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. TX: Save Our Springs files for bankruptcy “It is not easy to pick out the worst thing about what’s happened in this case, but I’d nominate the court decision forcing a non-profit group, which has been instrumental in protecting the Hill Country and Austin from the ravages of money-driven private development, to fork over three hundred thousand dollars to cover the attorney fees of the MUD’s developers.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. CA: Home, Suite Home 20 of 101 Wareham Development condos uninhabitable due to leaks. Builder made cosmetic caulk repairs that didn't work.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. NC: Action 9: Waterfront View Not Pleasant For Homeowners Bad drainage on KB Home site

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: Mortgage Bankers Applaud Investigation of Builders’ RESPA Violations "No one questions the legality of properly managed affiliated businesses," said NAMB Vice President, Marc Savitt, "but we have come across many instances like those coming to light against Beazer Homes and Ryan Homes, and I know for a fact, we're just looking at the tip of the iceberg in terms of the fraud committed."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Attorney's blog; news articles posted almost daily

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. TX: SAHA files suit over houses Magi's largest subcontractor, KB Home, built the houses but was not mentioned in the suit.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: Housing Crash News News articles posted almost daily

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. NJ: Mortgage scam turns 40-year dream into a nightmare for Paterson family John Evans, head of East Coast Developers rips off homeowners after house fire, home now in foreclosure.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: HUD auditors find widespread mortgage fraud (The) builder goes back and says, "You have no money for closing cost so we’re going to give you a gift...” (pg. 2 of article.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: Housing Boom Tied To Sham Mortgages Lax Lending Aided Real Estate Fraud

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud? I'm Shocked! National Association of Realtors and its cohorts at Beazer, Pulte, Ryland, Toll Brothers, Countrywide Financial, Fannie Mae, and others make their bread by peddling images of happy families, doggies, green lawns, and smiling neighbors.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. FL: Ex-builder admits to bilking clients UPDATE on John E. Barrington, who legally changed name from John Stuart Jakows to help conceal criminal past when he launched Barrington Homes, faces as much as 20 years in prison.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. WA: Washington state bill for warranties on new homes appears dead Senator who sponsored it said he would continue to push the bill; accused speaker of caving to Building Industry Association

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. IN: $217M in bad checks; now, a day of reckoning Indy area's biggest realty bust: Bankruptcy of Royal Haven Builders left feuding neighbors, half-finished subdivisions and unpaid subcontractors.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: Special Report: The Mortgage Mess Homebuilders who offered easy credit are also playing a role in the unwinding of the subprime market

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes buyers lose deposits in court bankruptcy-sale decision "My wife and I are the ones that are going to suffer...Everybody else goes before me even though (Kara Homes) used my money to build the development."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. FL: Correction: Collapse of lender taints Lee builder FLORIDA, not MICH.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. MI: Collapse of lender taints Lee builder A Michigan credit union has collapsed following hundreds of questionable loans to people buying First Home Builder houses...some buyers have filed suit against First Home, the credit union and others — alleging fraud and conspiracy in the marketing, sale and financing of the homes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: KB Home faces backdating lawsuit alleges company breached fiduciary duty to participants in company's 401(k) retirement program by issuing backdated option grants, according to filing with Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. CO: Doors staying open for homebuyers bill Shoddy work pushes up costs when builder pushes costs onto insurer....For people who buy poorly constructed homes, it's devastating

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. MD: AG Fines Home Builder Meager Amount for Bldg. Code Violations US Home/Patriot Homes fined. Builders operating wihtout required registration: Jarryn Ryan Avery, Churchhill Development Corp, DP Custom Homes, Diversified Properties...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: CNBC's Olick Tackles 'Homebuilder Extortion' Debate Lennar tells subcontractors to reduce prices, even on work already done, or risk losing future business: video.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. US: Home builder: Spring hasn't sprung weakness is widespread across nation

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. TX: SAHA Files Lawsuit Over Shoddy Construction San Antonio Housing Authority suing developer over shoddy Mirasol Homes project.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007. GA: Our House is Falling Down Homeowner's site re: their experience with Sue Campbell Properties and arbitration.

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: Subprime Loans Led To Decreased Homeownership Study Finds No Net Increase in Home Ownership Despite Lending Bonanza

Monday, April 09, 2007. REMINDER: Important request for arbitration horror stories Ongoing.

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: Has the Exit Sign Ever Looked So Good? American CEO's including KB Home's Bruce Karatz can fumble, fudge or fail to deliver results — & still walk away with more money than most people earn in a lifetime.

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: Rising Foreclosures Endanger Condo Associations If lenders will not screen their borrowers, why should a community association have to suffer by having new owners who will not be able to meet their financial obligations to the association?

Monday, April 09, 2007. KS: Dealmaker cuts a path of financial anguish Ray Zwego ripped through the Kansas City real estate market like a buzz saw.

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: Dominion Homes sales drop 54% One builder who was investigated in the past for high number of defaults when using builder's lender.

Monday, April 09, 2007. FL: Florida is 'ground zero' in foreclosures, housing drama FL center of activity for series of failed home builders: Construction Compliance (CCI), Jade Homes, Avalon Homes, & others showing signs of trouble.

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: Executive Pay: A Special Report Home builders also continued to reap big rewards, even as the American housing market soured.

Monday, April 09, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Do your part to stop SPI turning forests into moonscapes There are timber companies who...practice selective, sustainable logging that protects endangered forests. Their lumber is certified by the independent Forest Stewardship Council. We consumers need to insist that home builders and others use FSC wood. (The timber industry's misleading "certification," the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, condones business-as-usual destructive logging. Don't be fooled.)

Monday, April 09, 2007. TX: Wrongheaded push to take justice out of local hands Texas Supreme Court would have ultimate decision-making power over whether a local judge can hear a case. This is the same court that bends and contorts the law to favor polluters, insurance companies, shoddy homebuilders, HMOs and liquor store operators.

Monday, April 09, 2007. LA: State officials fear surge in contractor fraud cases Louisiana now considers only two types of contractor fraud as criminal: misapplication of funds and theft of funds without completing work. Consumers dealing with any other type of fraud have to file the case in civil court, which can be a long, difficult process. (typical of most/all states! --Ed.)

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: Same Old Lines NAHB proudly considers defeat of mandatory fire sprinklers to be their major victory

Monday, April 09, 2007. FL: UPDATE to ongoing news stories: CCI files for bankruptcy A homebuilder that left millions of loans issued through Coast Bank of Florida in limbo has filed for bankruptcy.

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: Builder Bullies Lennar

Monday, April 09, 2007. US: National Consumer Law Center Useful website that may be of use to homeowners with housing and arbitration issues.

Monday, April 09, 2007. TX: Homebuilder's bill passes out of committee A substitute bill for the homebuilding industry (HB1038 filed by Ritter D-Nederland) was passed out of the State Affairs Committee. None of the other bills filed on behalf of the consumer has made it out. HB1038 was heavy on punishment for "bad" builders, but provided little if any protection for consumers which the Texas Residential Construction Commission is severely lacking in.

Friday, April 06, 2007. FL: Builder turns dream homes into unfinished nightmares As many as two dozen Ideal Homes with liens against them.

Friday, April 06, 2007. FL: Builder's wife enters guilty plea UPDATE: Wife of jailed builder John E. Barrington pleaded guilty to evading federal income taxes. Charges in connection with scheme federal authorities say bilked dozens of clients out of millions of dollars for homes that were never built.

Friday, April 06, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Tort Deform A number of the articles on this site have relevance to homebuilding, arbitration, etc.

Friday, April 06, 2007. WV: Home builder named in another lawsuit UPDATE on American Homes, a.k.a. United Builders cases

Friday, April 06, 2007. US: WCI board rejects billionaire's takeover bid Homebuilder WCI advised shareholders to reject billionaire investor's takeover offer

Friday, April 06, 2007. US: Cost per square foot: a flawed way to measure value Bigger house means builder must skimp elsewhere

Friday, April 06, 2007. TX: No place but Texas. Homebuilder Bob Perry. A Justice for Sale. Besides being the worst state to live in, Texas has got to be one of the most corrupt and unethical states to live in. Case in point: Bob Perry and his donations to a Supreme Court Justice just before his own case comes to court.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. US: Securities Class Action Filed Against Beazer Homes Alleges defendants issued false and misleading statements regarding Company's business and prospects and failed to disclose to investing public the following adverse facts...

Thursday, April 05, 2007. CO: More on ethics complaint Homebuilders' lobbyist...more.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. CO: More on ethics probe of homebuilders' lobbyist If found guilty could face suspension.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. CO: Lawmakers vote to launch ethics investigation of lobbyist Legislative leaders voted Thursday to launch ethics investigation of homebuilder's lobbyist accused of drumming up constituent complaints to lawmakers with false claims about legislation.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. US: Legal Boom Lowered on Beazer Homes UPDATE: Mortgage fraud and shareholder lawsuit

Thursday, April 05, 2007. PA: Mike Lee reinstated as Shrewsbury Township building code inspector Labor and Industry investigated complaints from homeowners that alleged Lee ignored construction defects in new homes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. US: Real Estate Dominoes set to topple Everyone relaxed their standards - homebuyers, builders and the banks keep thinking that home prices would be increasing forever

Thursday, April 05, 2007. US: Calpers to vote against Irani for KB Home board Calpers, the biggest U.S. pension fund, will vote against reelection of Ray Irani to board of KB Home because he was chairman of builder's compensation committee during options backdating.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. MO: Another builder buying the election "Tom Hughes (a homebuilder who funded "Voters for Good Government") spent $58,000 to buy the city of St. Charles," Riddler said.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. US: Builder under federal scrutiny UPDATE to earlier news posted on HADD from Charlotte Observer, others, on BEAZER HOMES being investigated for mortgage fraud.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. TX: Judge should recuse himself in builder Perry's appeal, watchdog says Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht should recuse himself from a pending appeal involving Perry Homes after accepting $16,000 in contributions from a political committee funded by company owner Bob Perry.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. CO: COLORADO HOME ALLIANCE Important legislation for homeowner protection going on now!

Thursday, April 05, 2007. CO: Senate to consider homeowner bill Colorado Senate on Monday is scheduled to consider the Homeowner Protection Act, which could put it on Gov. Bill Ritter's desk for signature later next week. (Use CO HOME ALLIANCE link above to track this legislation and be involved in speaking up about it! --Ed.)

Thursday, April 05, 2007. AZ: Downtown Downer Urban condos never got promised parking area.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. CO: E-mails contradict homebuilder's lobbyist Records tie official of the organization "Colorado Concern" to deceptive calls claiming House Bill 1338, which would give home buyers protection from bad builders, would've raised taxes. Bill had nothing to do with taxes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007. WA: $3 million settlement upheld in condo case Ninety-six units built in the late 90's, with water pouring in through siding, windows, and doors.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007. NC: Mortgage Scam Alleged In Federal Lawsuit includes builder, attorney, others Defendants are: Spence and Spence P.A. of Smithfield, attorney Robert Spence of Smithfield, employee Sylvia Pickard, paralegal Patsy Narron of Middlesex, investors Mark Lowery of Angier and Spencer Jenkins of Wake County, loan officer Annetha Dunn of Wake County, builders Elizabeth and Eldon Standridge, builders Gregory and Elizabeth Johnson, Rodney Taylor of Johnston County, Carol Daniels of Johnson County and Freemont Investment and Loan in Florida.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007. WA: Senators’ ire over warranty bill cools Two lawmakers fired off criticism when House Speaker Frank Chopp killed home-warranty legislation

Wednesday, April 04, 2007. US: Despite tumbling profits, Pulte Chief's pay up 12%. CEO Richard Dugas's compensation totaled $15.7 million last year

Wednesday, April 04, 2007. CO: Bill on home builders’ responsibility advances Home builders would be barred from requiring contracts that free them of liability for construction defects under a bill endorsed by a Senate committee Tuesday.

House bill 1338 would force builders to stick to the terms of the bargain written into law by the Construction Defect Reform Act of 2003.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007. NV: Contractor's board may be replaced by new watchdog RE: PDF BELOW

Wednesday, April 04, 2007. NV: Important legislation for NV Homeowners! PDF of Senate Bill 553; see yesterday's news article from NV about doing away with the NV contractor's licensing board. This bill needs to be carefully scrutinized by homeowners as it may be a wolf in sheep's cloting that will harm homeowner's rights.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007. TX: Bob Perry Again. Builder's PAC aided judge AUSTIN – A political committee funded by homebuilder Bob Perry contributed $16,000 to help Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht pay his legal bills as the court was preparing to hear arguments in a case against the company.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. NJ: Residents complain about backyard water woes Lennar not keeping promises to fix problems. (HADD recommends making sure all requests are sent certified return receipt mail to prove notification of defects was made prior to warranty deadlines! --Ed.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. US: Mortgage Vultures Explains why some newer loan products are so risky.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. US: Homeowners swindled out of homes The great American scam

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. MD; Nat'l interest: New Down-payment Funding Idea Draws Regulators’ Attention Beware 'exotic arrangements' that could be pyramid scheme or mortgage fraud.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. CO: Home buyers vs. builders in Legislature Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee passed the measure today that would prohibit requiring home buyers to waive basic consumer protection

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. MS; TN: Suspended, revoked -- and in charge UPDATE on stories from TN posted earlier this week on Chambliss Builders: Charles McCracken, the man in charge of inspecting the work of homebuilders here is a homebuilder himself whose license was revoked by the state.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. MD; Nat'l interest: Maryland's High Court Diverges from Majority Rule in Holding That Magnuson-Moss Claims Are Not Subject to Binding Arbitration As the two dissenting justices pointed out, the Court's holding goes against the weight of authority, including the only two circuit courts to examine the issue. See Davis v. Southern Energy Homes, Inc., 305 F.3d 1268 (11th Cir. 2002); Walton v. Rose Mobile Homes LLC, 298 F.3d 470 (5th Cir. 2002).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. FL: Beware the Centex Illusion Palm Coast Citizens for Action, homeowner's experience.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. GA: Georgia Mold Home Homeowner's experience with John Wieland Homes.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. CO: Denver Post wins national writing awards Series highlighted aggressive building and lending practices, lax regulation and high rate of mortgage fraud as key factors contributing to state's foreclosures.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. US: And Still More On The Subprime Fiasco Nearly half of House Financial Services Committee members which have been holding hearings on the tanking of the subprime market have received money from New Century (subprime lender that just declared bankruptcy).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. US: Tarragon's Bitter Taste Co. builds condos, apartment buildings in Florida; having problems.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. NV: Cleaning up after the contractors Contractor's board may be replaced by new watchdog. (NV consumers would do well to research this legislation and be sure it is really good for them, and speak up about it while they still have the chance. Contact Las Vegas Lemonade: http://lasvegaslemonade.org/ --Ed.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. WA: Consumer Protection: Building to last House speaker accused of giving in to pressure from Building Industry Association on Senate Bill 5550, Homeowners Bill of Rights

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. MO: Faux Capitol News Political group backed by homebuilder Tom Hughes puts out deceptive, bogus newspaper to promote election agenda.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. WA: Freshman senator lashes out at speaker for killing Homeowners Bill of Rights Bill had passed senate and house but was killed by House speaker, who may have ties to the building industry.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. CO: Lawmakers accuse homebuilder lobbyists of ethics violation Two lawmakers filed ethics complaints against lobbyists for homebuilders today, accusing them of orchestrating phone calls to constituents that falsely accuse them of supporting a bill that would increase taxes on homes.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. Inman.com--subscription, free only on day of publication: The meaning of fiduciary duty National Association of Mortgage Brokers says "NAMB remains opposed to any proposed law, regulation or other measure that attempts to impose a fiduciary duty, in any fashion, upon a mortgage broker or any other originator."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. Inman.com--subscription: FDIC issues warning about mortgage lending sales pitch Says Community Reinvestment Act offer is bogus

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. US: Barry Stone column about new house's leaky roof The best time to have had a professional inspection of the property was before you took possession. Prior to the purchase, you had leverage.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007. TX: Homebuilder shot dead after construction dispute. Trying to resolve a defect with a new homebuilder that refuses to take responsibility for their actions, stands behind their attorney instead of their products, and looks to Texas lawmakers for protection (and gets it) is one of the most frustrating situations a family can endure. It can be devastating financially, physically, and mentally. It can cause friction between family members. And it can drive people to do things they never have done before.

Monday, April 02, 2007. FL: Pulte Homes appears to have stopped work on huge project. Leveled the land, felled the trees, now nothing's happening.

Monday, April 02, 2007. CO: Colorado HOME Alliance Organization working to restore some consumer protection to home buying process...ongoing legislation of urgent interest to CO consumers! Highly recommended to get in touch w/this org ASAP.

Monday, April 02, 2007.Housing Crash news Very current

Monday, April 02, 2007. REMINDER: Important request for arbitration stories Give Me Back My Rights -- a coalition of groups fighting to remove Binding Mandatory Arbitration clauses from consumer contracts

Monday, April 02, 2007. TX: SAHA boss promises Fortuna problems will be fixed Homeowners complained to the city council about poor construction, cracked foundations and respiratory illnesses they believe may be linked to homes built by KB Home.

Monday, April 02, 2007. US; The New Yorker: Subprime Homesick Blues New Century Financial dubbed itself “a new shade of blue chip.” Today, it looks more like a new shade of Enron.

Monday, April 02, 2007. US: Home builders' loans feel heat The crisis in risky mortgage loans is shedding light on aggressive lending practices by some of the largest U.S. home builders, which stand accused of using lax standards and illegal sales tactics to arrange financing for buyers.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. US: Class Action Lawsuit Against Beazer Securities class action lawsuit filed on behalf of purchasers of common stock alleges Beazer violated federal securities laws by issuing material misrepresentations to the market artificially inflating the price of Beazer Homes securities.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. VA: Daughter writes for her family's cause For the past two years, 10 yr old Meg has watched her family battle Toll Brothers and Beazer Homes.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. CO: Another builder-lender problem Homeowners say builder Mark Strodtman referred them to mortgage broker who qualified them for high-interest loans that cannot be refinanced because they exceed the values of their homes. Some homes also defective.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. FL: Homeowners, developers at odds over unfinished construction Enterprise Construction which is bundled together with other services including mortgage and real estate, e.g. RE/MAX Results Realty

Sunday, April 01, 2007. US: Alt-A mortgages could be next to show trouble Loans are sold to investors as mortgage-backed securities...Investors greedily scooped up nonprime mortgage-backed securities...investors began holding lenders to account for the dumb loan decisions they had made to satisfy the investors' demand.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. NC; National interest: Beazer Responds to Investigation Subsidiary of builder was subject of scathing four-part series of articles in Charlotte Observer

Sunday, April 01, 2007. International: Corruption Stains Timber Trade American demand for lumber fueling often illegal timber cutting, environmental destruction, in China and other countries.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. TX: New Home Warranties. As worthless as the Texas Residential Construction Commission The implied warranty, also called the common sense warranty, covered items such as brick falling off the house, paint washing off the house, tile coming off the floor, carpets coming apart, etc etc. Defects like these defy common sense especially in a home that is just 1 year old. Because the warranties in use prior to 2003 were near worthless, the implied warranty was very important to the consumer.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Home bailouts are often traps UPDATE; more on the Charlotte Observer's investigation into Beazer Homes possible mortgage fraud

Sunday, April 01, 2007. WA: Who Lobbies for Homeowners? SB 5550: "The Homeowner's Bill of Rights." There are no paid lobbyists representing ordinary homeowners, but just about anyone in this state can tell you a horror story involving shoddy construction.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. CO: Lawmakers still swim in lobbyists' "shark tank" Just ask Rep. Debbie Stafford, R-Aurora, who caused a bit of a mini scandal in the statehouse last week when she complained about the pressure being exerted on her to kill a bill that would make it easier for home owners to sue over construction defects.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. US: Housing 'dots' fail to lead to answers With inventories of unsold homes as vast as they are, and prospect of foreclosed homes likely to appear when the no-down payment-interest-only loans reassessed, investor doesn't see how prices can sustain, nor how homebuilders as listed in stock markets can keep lofty prices.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. AL: Mitchell alleges fraud by former executive Real estate developer says land flips cost company $4 million or more

Sunday, April 01, 2007. NC: Development leaves murky legacy Outnumbered state inspectors, each assigned to hundreds of construction sites, spar with builders willing to cut corners. Many sites never see an inspector until somebody complains.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. MI: Lawsuits filed over flooding Developers of subdivisions failed to install detention ponds that would store runoff from severe rainfall and prevent the damage to plaintiffs' homes and furnishings.

Sunday, April 01, 2007. CA: Use of Out of State Materials Involves Interstate Commerce Thus Preserving Arbitration Under the FAA; Shepard v. Edward Mackay Enterprises, Inc.