Quarter1 (Jan - March) 2007 News Archives

Saturday, March 31, 2007. TN: Follow up on Chambliss Builders complaint Horn Lake home, update from yesterday!

Friday, March 30, 2007. NJ: UCIOA - A Wolf in Sheeps's Clothing - Part 7 It gives the developer, and only the developer, the control over the tolling of the statutes of limitations.

Friday, March 30, 2007. US: Request for arbitration horror stories Give Me Back My Rights -- a coalition of groups fighting to remove Binding Mandatory Arbitration clauses from consumer contracts

Friday, March 30, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Blog Attorney's news blog, new material almost daily

Friday, March 30, 2007. US: Housing Crash news New articles posted today.

Friday, March 30, 2007. MO: Little chance recall question will be removed Police Department said experts who specialize in analyzing documents still reviewing recall petition submitted to city by local builder Jeff Ranville. Conlee said the experts were to determine how many signatures were forged. Investigation is result of fraud reports filed by District 1 residents who claim they did not sign the petition.

Friday, March 30, 2007. CO: Homeowner bill gets preliminary approval “Give them permission to build negligently and breach contracts? That is not the public policy of Colorado,” Levy said.

Friday, March 30, 2007. NH: Regulate builders, inspectors of houses Senate Bill 243...would set up a board, composed of two contractors, a subcontractor and two members of the public to issue registrations and the board would be empowered to deny registration for cause.

Friday, March 30, 2007. WA: Lawmakers hope Olympia leader doesn't quit Without accountability for quality, much of what is being built now is going to start crumbling in a few years.

Friday, March 30, 2007. PA: 96-home subdivision proposed in Polk Township Eagle Valley Homes owner Steve Parisi, who pleaded no contest last year to criminal charges of defrauding home buyers, has proposed a new development project in Polk Township.

Friday, March 30, 2007. NY: Developer of pricey Brigadoon development in Woodbury fined for illegal sewage discharges Brigadoon slapped for gushing sewage

Friday, March 30, 2007. US: Fed Risks Moral Hazard as Housing Market Melts Consumers seduced into what Fed pamphlet calls ``American dream'' of home ownership becoming more fearful about future as real-estate values start to stumble.

Friday, March 30, 2007. US: Beazer probe puts scrutiny on builder finance arms Legal experts say that while details of the Beazer probe are not known, there is potential for abuse at home builders that operate financing arms, particularly if the companies are under pressure to relax lending standards or falsify loan documentation to facilitate sales.

Friday, March 30, 2007. Washington State: Bill For Warranties On New Homes Appears Dead But senator who sponsored it said he would continue to push the bill this session and accused Chopp of caving in to Building Industry Association which has vigorously opposed the measure. (WA homeowners this is your opportunity to contact your elected officials and try to keep this bill alive. Find your officials here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx HADD's WA volunteers and others have worked hard for this but still need YOUR help!--Ed.)

Friday, March 30, 2007. Forbes: Housing Outlook Darkens As Spring Begins "Housing prices could be declining for years and years."

Friday, March 30, 2007.Centex cuts half its workforce in FL Slowdown in the real estate market to blame, said division president

Friday, March 30, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Beware homebuilder lawsuits Home builders association vice pres. tries to persuade homeowners that suing over defects is a bad idea. (Prepare to be disgusted.)

Friday, March 30, 2007. US: Beazer hit with suit seeking class action The suit names as defendants certain company officers and directors, alleging that between July 27, 2006 and March 27, 2007, the defendants "issued false and misleading statements" about the company's business and prospects and failed to disclose to the investing public several "adverse facts." (This is in addition to the alleged mortgage fraud case going on now, too.)

Friday, March 30, 2007. CO: State House Approves Homeowner Protection Act "We're leaving in place the limits on liability that the homebuilders say they need but restoring the legal rights homeowners need to protect the huge investment they make in their house," Pommer said.

Friday, March 30, 2007. OK: Victims blame Lagar Construction, (owned by John Crews) KFOR's "In Your Corner" pursues contractor who took money and didn't complete work.

Friday, March 30, 2007. TN: Code Breaker in Horn Lake New home by Chambliss Builders fails to meet code; homeowners stuck in arbitration

Thursday, March 29, 2007. US: This Is Not My Beautiful House March 28, 2007 - Nearly three years ago, Shawn Howell and his wife, Niki, paid $217,000 for a three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot house in an upscale subdivision in Louisville, Ky. Today they live in an $18,000 Fleetwood mobile home on a small lot, struggling to undo the damage done to their credit from a foreclosure. "It's a big lifestyle change," says Howell, 37, an Iraq War veteran who works in human resources for the Kentucky National Guard. "I feel like the kids are cooped up inside. You don't have the space to be able to go outside and play. It's disheartening."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes properties don't get many bids UPDATE on builder bankruptcy

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. CO: Lawmakers apt to raise roof over lousy-homes bill Builders employ scare tactics and threats to try and kill Homeowner Protection bill

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. WV: Home builder named in thee more lawsuits American Homes By United Builders

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. TX: Lemon law for homes It sends the strong message that shoddy construction will not be tolerated.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. FL: Developer surrenders on housing charges developer who took $940,000 from the Miami-Dade Housing Agency but delivered only two houses for the poor surrendered Tuesday morning on fraud charges

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. NC: Beazer development buyers worry about home values U.S. Attorney's office requested information on its mortgage business

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. Business Week: Beazer, Builders Under a Microscope Not only is a federal probe examining Beazer’s practices—regulators promise to look at other builders' mortgage programs

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. TX: Supreme Court's appeal decision raises quid pro quo charges Texas Supreme Court in the midst of campaign-contributions controversy after it chose to hear appeal brought by one of its most generous benefactors (homebuilder Bob Perry).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. US: Homebuilding's unholy alliances Blog article with links to news on Beazer investigation and builder's mortgage co's.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. CO: House agrees to stronger protections for home buyers House gave initial approval Wednesday to bill that requires warranties to be upheld....Homeowner Protection Act would allow courts to void any part of contract that waives basic legal rights. (See Colorado articles posted earlier today about this bill.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. TX: Senators tear into homebuilders accused the Austin homebuilders group of sending inflammatory e-mails to its members containing erroneous information about the proposed legislation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. US: Insurance issues Policy Holders of America newsletter (PDF)Current issue

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Sold a Nightmare Link to the series on Beazer/foreclosures/fraud

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Update | Beazer confirms investigation This is the paper that did an investigation into numerous Beazer foreclosures; note link to archive of articles in the series.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. US: Newly Resigned Beazer Exec Investigated for Mortgage Fraud A week ago Beazer Homes CFO resigned. Now, Beazer being investigated for mortgage fraud.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. US: Feds Are Investigating Homebuilder Beazer Investigators, however, are not limiting their probe to possible mortgage fraud. "There's all sorts of potential fraud issues here," FBI spokesman Ken Lucas told BusinessWeek. "We're looking at all types of [potential] fraud associated with Beazer—corporate, mortgage, investments."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. MI: The Bayberry Group v. Novak, et al Two county building inspectors were properly denied governmental immunity based on the trial court's determination that a jury could find them grossly negligent on the theory that they approved installation of fireplace units knowing that the units did not comply with the applicable building code.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. CO: Colorado Home Alliance Legislative Alert page for Homeowners Protection Act, see articles below.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. CO: Heavy-handed lobbying' GOP colleague warned she'd be a target if she supported House Bill 1338, (Homeowners Protection Act), a construction-defects bill the home builders industry opposes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007. CO: Home warranty bill misguided Editorial opposing Homeowners Protection Act, House Bill 1338, (HADD and Colorado HOME Alliance disagree with this editorial. See related articles, also posted today.)

Monday, March 26, 2007. US: The Danger in the Fine Print Illustrates potential pitfalls and frustrations home buyers face when they buy a condo in preconstruction phase.

Monday, March 26, 2007. US: Housing Crash News articles posted almost daily

Monday, March 26, 2007. NV: Contractor arrested for alleged sexual offenses with a child Robert Hilke of Hilke Construction

Monday, March 26, 2007. US: Advance Fee Scammers Move Into Real Estate Home sellers were instructed to deposit the check and send the broker a portion of the money. The "broker," of course, is the scammer.

Monday, March 26, 2007. US: Another Subprime Lender Collapses People's Choice seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors, as house of cards built on risky mortgages continues to collapse.

Monday, March 26, 2007. Canada: Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH) Ontarians deserve and need meaningful consumer protection on the largest purchase most of them ever make: a new home.

Monday, March 26, 2007. Canada: Advocacy group seeks increased protection for new-home buyers Canadians for Properly Built Homes is calling on the Government of Ontario to transform Tarion Warranty Corp., the regulator of Ontario's home building industry, into "the consumer protection organization it is intended to be".

Monday, March 26, 2007. CO: Colorado HOME Alliance Consumer group whose effort HADD supports re: the Homeowner Protection Act

Monday, March 26, 2007. CO: Senator Veiga Discusses Homeowner Protection Act: House Bill 1338 New measure introduced in the House will give homeowners the legal foundation to protect themselves against predatory home builders.

Monday, March 26, 2007. AZ: Frontier finalizes purchase of defunct Turner Dunn's lots Update to ongoing stories posted earlier this year/last yr.

Monday, March 26, 2007. CO: Panel passes bill aimed at protecting home buyers “In Aurora I can point to entire subdivisions where, within one year, siding was falling off every home. It’s visible, it’s a massive eyesore, these properties were only a year old, they have no rights. Now they can’t sell them, they can’t refinance them, they’ve lost everything on this,” Rep. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, said.

Monday, March 26, 2007. TX: Leveling the Homebuilder’s Commission Based on testimony in State Affairs Committee, it is clear the TRCC (pronounced trick) is complete, total failure.

Monday, March 26, 2007. LA: Scams can abound in construction foundation problems, electrical problems, and poorly braced roofs

Monday, March 26, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Loans builder arranged will get federal review After Observer investigation, HUD to determine whether Beazer complied with rules (Part of an investigative series into high foreclosures with Beazer Homes where buyers used Beazer Mortgage.)

Monday, March 26, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: North Carolina law firm files suit against Beazer accusing the home builder and its mortgage company of selling mortgages to unqualified buyers.

Monday, March 26, 2007. FL: Lawyer analyzes Coast-CCI papers UPDATE: collapse of home builder Construction Compliance Inc.; about $70 million worth of uncompleted homes financed by Coast Bank

Monday, March 26, 2007. WV: Man sues Dan Ryan Builders after he fell through floor He suffered serious injury and has already incurred $30,000 in medical expenses, the suit says. He has also lost more than $25,000 in income.

Monday, March 26, 2007. TX: West-Side Housing Woes To Be Fixed Defective Homes May Be Bought With Taxpayer Money

Monday, March 26, 2007. CA: Track paperwork, contractors to avoid a lien Contractors License Board Q and A, (also look into having contractor post a bond even if not legally required, and getting lien waivers).

Sunday, March 25, 2007. TX: Perry Homes. Abuse of the elderly, our courts, and arbitration. Last week the Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning homebuilder Bob Perry and an elderly couple from the Dallas area, Jane and Bob Cull. Bob Perry Homes .vs Jane and Bob Cull is a case study in abuse of arbitration in new home contracts, abuse of our legal system, and especially the abuse of the elderly.

Friday, March 23, 2007. TX: Leveling the Homebuilders Commission In 2003 the Texas State Legislature passed HB730, which created the Texas Residential Construction Commission. This Commission was to provide consumer protection for new homebuyers with construction defects, but based upon the 12 hours of testimony in the State Affairs Committee, it is clear the TRCC (pronounced trick) is a complete and total failure.

Friday, March 23, 2007. TX: Consumer Groups, Citizens, Present Dramatic Testimony at State Affairs Committee Hearings on Homeowners Rights Texas Public Interest Research Group, (TX PIRG) Report

Friday, March 23, 2007. TX: Homebuyers May Get Lemon Law Protection House Bill 2721 would require builders to fix problems in a new home or buy it back.

Friday, March 23, 2007. TX: Homebuilder Bob Perry's bought justice It's not surprising to see that this sugar daddy wants a few favors in return. Right now, he's asking the Texas Supreme Court to help save his company, Perry Homes, more than $1 million.

Friday, March 23, 2007. US: Industry must initiate anti-fraud action Georgia's David McLaughlin says fraud has seeped into the building industry to an alarming extent.

"We've created an environment where builders now build for no other purpose than to sell to investor-buyer-fraudsters. They build a cheaper home (and) they care less about the home because they know that they can unload it on someone who doesn't care about it." (Article will be archived for paying subscribers only in one day; look for it on other sites like mortgatge101.com which picks up many Inman articles if you miss seeing this one. -Ed.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007. US: H.R.1519 Homebuilding Purchase Contracts Another federal bill to prohibit builders from requiring mandatory binding arbitration clauses in home purchase contracts.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. US: Consumer Fairness Act of 2007 HR 1443 PROHIBITION ON ARBITRATION CLAUSES IMPOSED ON CONSUMERS WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. (includes "real property.")

Thursday, March 22, 2007. CO: Short news video about CO Homeowner Protection Act Email from CO HOME Alliance, (link posted earlier today: http://www.cohomealliance.com/legislative.htm) indicates that about 20 homeowners showed up to testify to the CO legislature for need of this bill. Watch for updates on progress of the bill.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. TX: More about... homebuilder Bob Perry's testimony from earlier this week, and attempts to overhaul the TRCC

Thursday, March 22, 2007. MA; Nat'l interest: Guaranty Fund and Bankruptcy Homeowner prevented from going after bankrupt contractor may still be eligible for compensation from Guaranty Fund

Thursday, March 22, 2007. US: U.S. states oppose bailout to subprime lenders NC bank commissioner encourages Congress to avoid using taxpayer funds to bail out subprime lenders, brokers and investors that generated our current problem

Thursday, March 22, 2007. WY: Builder hammers subcontractors McDonald Homes LLC owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to subcontractors. Many homes have liens on them.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. FL: State bill eases insurer, builder requirements Builders, insurance industry, ask for and get leniency from FL Legislature re: payment of claims, stricter building codes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. FL: Regulators, FBI look into CCI dealings UPDATE: Investigators asked Johnson to look at photographs of some individuals related to the roughly $100 million in Coast Bank-issued pre-construction loan commitments to customers of area builders that included CCI, Enchanted Homes, Florida State Builders Inc. and Fort Myers-based Advantage Builders.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. US; Contractor Magazine: Builder's letters send wrong message We support the group's call for action that could result in an investigation of the builder's tactics.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. NC: Failed mortgages fly under the radar More from the series on high number of Beazer Homes foreclosures posted earlier this week. Links to other articles in series appear in this article.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. CA: Turtle Rock developer arrested Carter Pendergrass and Phil Cassidy owned and operated a residential construction company under the names of TF Ventures, All Service Inc., and Total Framing

Thursday, March 22, 2007. GA: Mexican family of victim to seek compensation 80% complete house built by BLW Homes blows over in 33 mph wind, killing construction worker and injuring two others, and no one has authority to stop construction.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes bankruptcy leaves buyers out in the cold UPDATE: Various liens on the development exceed its appraised value by $12 million

Thursday, March 22, 2007. IL: Law May Protect Consumers From Contractor Cons The licensing bill under consideration would require that general contractors disclose past court judgments or settlements, and criminal convictions. Their license could be revoked for future fraudulent practices and a bond to pay back clients could be forfeited. (News footage of ripped off consumers helped bill progress thru legislature despite strong homebuilder opposition.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007. CO: Colorado HOME Alliance Group trying to restore consumer protection to home buying in CO.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. CO: Bill designed to better protect homeowners "All of those (home buyer's legal) rights are waived, the minute the homebuyer signs that (purchasing) contract," said (State Representative) Pommer.

Thursday, March 22, 2007. US: KB Home profits plummet 84% Warned higher foreclosures, tighter lending standards, could prolong weakness.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. Nat'l interest: Waiting for a double lung transplant Man's doctors say lungs destroyed by mold.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. NJ: List of charges grows in Marlboro A federal grand jury Tuesday added new bribery and corruption charges to existing indictments against three of Marlboro's most notorious developers

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. TN; Nat'l interest: Sweating the Details Home inspector Walter Jowers tells what to watch out for in new home construction. (HIGHLY recommended author of articles on new construction problems.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. Walter Jowers, Home Inspector article commenting on WA Homeowners Rights bill: Homebuyers Beware Just build houses right. All you have to do is make sure houses conform to the building code, which is a minimum standard. Anybody with the designation “Master Builder” ought to be able to do this with no problem.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. FL: Builder looking to finish houses sounds familiar Construction Compliance Inc., builder that folded and failed to complete 482 homes and hobbled Coast Bank, back under new name: Florida State Builders, Inc.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. IA: Officials pushing for building code Staszewski expressed a belief that if a building code had been instituted years ago, many problems with existing homes would not be present now.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. WV: No Appeal for Man Convicted of Construction Fraud Kevin Fortney

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Builders, homeowners square off over prices (Seems new homes are depreciating like a car or mobile home, leaving resale sellers stuck to compete with builders.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. US: Lennar tells subs to cut prices mid-contract But during boom Lennar didn't offer to share profits.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. US: Beazer Homes CFO leaving James O'Leary, its executive vice president and chief financial officer, has resigned

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. AZ: Home buyers get a second chance Bankruptcy of home builder Turner-Dunn

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. TX: Lawyers for homebuilder, couple face off in high court (Bob Perry of) Perry Homes lost at arbitration and in court but is making spurious appeal to justices – all political favorites of Perry – in hopes of reversing string of unfavorable rulings.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007. US: Government Bailouts Proposed for Subprime Mortgage Victims Not everyone wants a bailout that could be financed by people who saved and bought a home the right way...would also bailout lenders who made bad loans with full understanding of the risk and encourage more of the same.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. TX: Homebuilders get hammered in State Affairs Committee Once again the Texas Homebuilders got hammered at a Committee meeting in Austin. The State Affairs Committee heard a number of bills concerning the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC pronounced trick). This hearing started at 4 in the afternoon and ended sometime after 4:oo in the morning. Over the 12 hours of testimony homeowners across the state hammered the commission and the homebuilding industry. It wasn't pretty.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. US: Failed Lender's Execs Regroup Bankrupt Mortgage Lenders Network reopening as InHome Capital LLC (See "Arrest Warrant Sought For Former Mortgage Co. Official," posted earlier today. Mitch Heffernan of Mtg Lenders has a warrant out for his arrest. --Ed.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. TX: Bob Perry Supreme Court hearing now online. The case Bob Perry vs the Culls is now online.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Charlotte Observer, NC: Sold a Nightmare Some of Beazer's actions violated federal lending rules, the Observer found. (See "Federal Review of Beazer Loans" that found violations.) Beazer said its practices in Southern Chase were "in strict compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Charlotte Observer, NC: Homes with Beazer loans cost more Prices approved by appraisers didn't hold up over time. More of the series below.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Charlotte Observer, NC: Federal review of Beazer loans Despite violation of FHA rules HUD still allowing Beazer to sell to, and arrange financing for, FHA buyers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Charlotte Observer, NC: House had code violations Part of series on high foreclosures in Beazer development

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. NC: One builder, hundreds of foreclosures MORE from earlier today: A subsidiary called Beazer Mortgage acted as a broker

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Nat'l interest: Wolf in Sheep's clothing Developer can simply reject arbitration award if it chooses under this law.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud News articles posted almost daily, some involving builders.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Charlotte Observer; Nat'l interest: Easy-credit loans can be hard on us all Beazer often exerted control in each step of the home-buying process. It sold the home, selected an appraiser, and even arranged financing. (Now, 1 in 5 are in foreclosure)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. US: Housing Crash News News articles

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. CO: Colorado homeowners--Important meeting! The hearing on The Homeowner Protection Act of 2007 will be held Wednesday, March 21st at 1:30 p.m. in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Nat'l interest: Habitat home plagued by mold Builder's failure to vent dryer in Habitat for Humanity built home causes $30,000 in damage

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. TX Supreme Court: Perry Homes v. Cull Hearing going on now, Mon. Mar 20, 10:00 a.m. Listen in.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. FL: Selling growth, not just houses Developers want residents to think growth/development is inevitable so they will give up fight against it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. GA: Bill would reduce erosion training for construction workers Environmental groups oppose bill; breaks promise made to them four years ago when they agreed to help development industry reduce red tape.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. NY: Condo sale is shrouded in mystery BUYERS CAN'T TOUR UNITS AT N.Y. LANDMARK (One wonders not only what the developer has to hide, but who'd buy a condo sight-unseen! --Ed.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. CA: Resident voiced concerns over dust Lennar, cited three times for failing to control dust in 2006 at site, still kicking up clouds of dust that may contain asbestos.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. OR: Mold removal begins following KATU report Plaza Townhomes

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. US: Mortgage Default Hits Stock Market Hard The construction industry thrilled to the artificial boom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. CA: Building official's bribery trial starts Favors provided for construction contractor and more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. US: Arrest Warrant Sought For Former Mortgage Co. Official Mitch Heffernan is involved in starting a new mortgage business, but his old company -- the now-defunct Mortgage Lenders Network -- could land him in plenty of trouble with the state for not paying wages earned by his former employees.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. SD: S. Dakota governor signs builder-friendly "right to repair" into law HB1196: An Act to provide for notice and opportunity to remedy residential construction defects. (This makes it about 31 states that have this type of law now. --Ed.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007. TX: Lawmakers to take closer look at agency that should protect homeowners Critics say it’s done nothing but help big builders. Lawmakers to hear testimony on the TRCC TODAY.

Sunday, March 18, 2007. TX: Homebuilder Bob Perry's Supreme Court hearing to be webcast on the internet. Bob Perry of Perry Homes will be one of the first hearings webcast on the internet on Tuesday March 20 in the Texas Supreme Court. The case. Perry Homes vs The Culls will start at approximately 9:00. It is currently second on the list to be heard. This case is a case study in the abuse of arbitration in new home contracts.

Sunday, March 18, 2007. TX: Homebuilder Bob Perry's Supreme Court hearing to be webcast on the internet. Bob Perry of Perry Homes will be one of the first hearings webcast on the internet on Tuesday March 20 in the Texas Supreme Court. The case. Perry Homes vs The Culls will start at approximately 9:00. It is currently second on the list to be heard. This case is a case study in the abuse of arbitration in new home contracts.

Sunday, March 18, 2007. TX: REMINDER! Homebuilder bills to be heard on Monday March 19. TIME & DATE: 2:00 PM or upon final adjourn./recess Monday, March 19, 2007
PLACE: E2.010 in the Capitol, Austin Texas TX HOMEOWNERS WITH CONSTRUCTION/BUILDER PROBLEMS NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS IF THEY HOPE TO IMPROVE CONSUMER PROTECTION ON NEW HOMES!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Plenty of home loans but not much sense The builder's mortgage officer assured me that an interest-only loan would make it not only possible, but easy.

Sunday, March 18, 2007. CBS News: Housing Market's Shaky Foundation Anybody who knew anything shook their heads while the politicians and the bankers and home builders boasted.

Saturday, March 17, 2007. CA: Stop Runkle-dyne Citizens website protesting development of contaminated site.

Saturday, March 17, 2007. CA: Dust in the Wind KB Homes and Lennar plan to construct hundreds of homes about one-and-a-half miles away site of the worst nuclear meltdown in American history.

Saturday, March 17, 2007. CA: Lennar slapped with racial discrimination lawsuit accused of violating toxic asbestos cleanup restrictions

Saturday, March 17, 2007. International: KB Home Mulls French Sale May sell its stake in its Paris homebuilding division

Saturday, March 17, 2007. CA: Disneyland sues to stop condo project with low-income units The Happiest Place on Earth doesn't want any new neighbors.

Saturday, March 17, 2007. MD: Home improvement fraud suspect sought Anyone with information pertaining to Jeffrey D. Allaband's whereabouts is asked to contact detectives at 302-856-5850, Ext 227.

Saturday, March 17, 2007. MA: Payton Construction files for Chapter 11 "The projects were substantially completed in 2005," said Haley. "The costs to complete these projects exceeded the collections under the contracts."

Saturday, March 17, 2007. CA: What pushes up home costs in Manteca? State's housing market too complicated to say increasing development fees always make homes less affordable.

Saturday, March 17, 2007. CA: New Desert Hot Springs homes built improperly The builders being sued are Hacienda Heights L.L.C., Mayer/Luce Enterprises, and LTV Builders/Developers Inc.

Saturday, March 17, 2007. MS; TX: 3 sentenced to prison in $1M scheme Jackson resident, others disguised alleged drug money by paying others to send money orders to homebuilder

Saturday, March 17, 2007. WA; Nat'l interest: Walls closing in on homeowners Article about foreclosures and exotic mortgages coming home to roost dut to combination of irresponsible lending, irresponsible borrowing, and sometimes fraud.

Friday, March 16, 2007. D.C.: Prison Sought In Jemal Case Douglas Jemal, Douglas Development Corp.

Friday, March 16, 2007. NJ: NJ Appellate Court Upholds Consumer Fraud Verdict Carboni v. Massimo: construction defects, building code violations; contractor attempted to deceive Plaintiffs by covering up improper work with Sheetrock.

Friday, March 16, 2007. IL: Five face charges in building safety probe Taking bribes for dismissing code violation complaints, etc.

Friday, March 16, 2007. CA: Local contractor accused of defrauding day laborers Criminal charges against Abdelmohssen Abozaid, d/b/a Nilufar Construction, Maintenance Management Co., among other names

Friday, March 16, 2007. NY: Judge clears way for sale of Suffolk's surplus real estate Threw out most of the claims made by controversial builder Robert Toussie. Toussie's son, (doing business with the father), had in the past pleaded guilty to falsifying loan documents to qualify more than 100 home buyers for federal mortgages

Friday, March 16, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes Bankruptcy Uphill battle trying to make the developer finish its projects.

Friday, March 16, 2007. PA: UPDATE: Poconos fraud case Jury hung in home fraud trial

Friday, March 16, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Coast Bank/Construction Compliance Inc Latest on the case

Friday, March 16, 2007. Money & Markets: What I'm seeing in housing now Mouthpieces of the real estate industry first denied there was a slump unfolding

Friday, March 16, 2007. MO: Civil suits pending against area home builder Brett Bybee d/b/a Country Construction LLC: Construction defects, inadequate repairs, mechanic's liens, faulty deeds, alleged mortgage fraud.

Friday, March 16, 2007. FOX News: Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown As in the wake of other financial crises such as Enron, Orange County and Long Term Capital, the Fed, lawmakers and lenders are cracking now that the game has come to an end. Where were they to protect unqualified borrowers a year or two ago, when the trashy mortgage party was just kicking off?

Friday, March 16, 2007. OH: G.A. White Enterprises v. Black Court held that Custom Homes had waived its right to arbitrate.

Friday, March 16, 2007. OR: Construction Contractors Board 2007 Legislative Agenda PDF file of bills before the Oregon legislature now.

Friday, March 16, 2007. US; Canada: Green builder's practices decried Protesters criticize Weyerhaeuser, Quadrant Home, for clear-cutting in Canada.

Thursday, March 15, 2007. US: Real Estate Crisis is More Than Just Mortgages What will homebuilders do when Wall Street comes knocking with pay back provisions for non-performing loans? (For informational purposes only, not an endorsement. --HADD Ed.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. TX: Homebuilder bills to be heard Monday March 19 in Austin Texas. A number of bills concerning the Texas Residential Construction Commission will be heard on Monday March 19 at 2:00 in Austin Texas in the State Affairs Committee.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. TX: BE A PART OF TRCC CHANGE TESTIFY ON MONDAY; 12 BILLS TO REGULATE HOMEBUILDING: Article has links to all the bills.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Toll Investors Protest Compensation Stockholders say TOLL CEO makes too much money.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Home builders assess exposure to risky mortgages Some home builders recently began limiting their exposure to subprime customers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Housing: Game Over Virtually every investment boom/bubble has the same characteristics: The perception that easy money can be made with little risk is reinforced by the media and “cocktail chatter” which serves to suck in the public (the “dumb money”).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Consumer Rights concerning which lender to use Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act does not allow builder to force you to use their lender, etc...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: Builders often key players in high-risk game Worth repeating this excellent article, part of a series on risky mortgages, foreclosures.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: From the Sub-Prime to the Ridiculous Typical and disingenuous for lawmakers to feign outrage, or to have waited until a collapse occurs before taking action.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. NY: Yonkers officials say subpoena won't stop Ridge Hill project FBI probe into the City Council's handling of the $600 million Ridge Hill development

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: New Century Insiders' Stock Sales Were Prime If you think lending money to people who can't afford to pay it back is a bad business idea, you don't know much about the stock market.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Massachusetts subpoenas UBS, Bear Stearns on subprime research Some investment banks may be violating terms of the 2003 global research settlement. Under the pact, Wall Street firms paid fines and agreed to isolate their analysts from other businesses after regulators accused them of publishing biased research to win investment-banking assignments from companies they covered....research analysts issued positive reports on mortgage lenders...even as those companies faced more and more defaults

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: The Menace of Mold Dr. Croft’s findings are controversial. Some researchers claim that the worst mold can do is exacerbate allergies, while others remain undecided. Dr. Doug Rice of Colorado State University is among the latter.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: How Insurers Size You Up The "CLUE" report

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Anatomy of arbitration New home vortex of red tape.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. COLORADO: LEGISLATIVE ALERT Colorado HOME Alliance: Reminder about CO Homeowner Protection Act pending now. Colorado homeowners with construction defect and warranty problems are urged to take part!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. MD: Couple wins $464,000 judgment against contractor R. Keith Ikle ordered to pay rare punitive damage award in construction defect and fraud case. Similar case pending against contractor.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Foreclosure rate concerns Congress Govt looked the other way, mortgage industry objects to tighter rules. Now chickens have come home to roost.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. PA: Peterson calls on detective, title agents at trial UPDATE on Poconos builder/mortgage fraud case

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. FL: Insurance and Building Industry representatives work to alter the rules passed in January Time limit to pay claims, and stronger building codes, are fought by insurers, builders.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Housing Crash News New material posted today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007. US: Mortgage terms are tightening as more sub-prime borrowers default and lenders reel In 2005 and 2006, mortgage brokers would joke, "If you can fog a mirror, you can get a home loan."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. CO: Homeowner Protection Act of 2007 Not surpsingly, but disappointing just the same, it was very clear that the homebuilders will oppose ANY legislation that might curtail their ability to steal away homeowner's legal rights.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: Colorado HOME Alliance Consumer group in CO NEWS PAGE

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: Local appraiser's license revoked Another appraiser who's on the Colorado Attorney General's task force to fight mortgage fraud, says the Friberg case is just one of many in Colorado.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. FL: In addition to copyright woes, builder faces unhappy clients Greg Leach contending with growing list of dissatisfied customers who claim builder has not completed houses on time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. PA: Home-sale title agent defends self in fraud trial UPDATE on Poconos fraud case involving builder Eagle Valley Homes and mortgage fraud, that has been ongoing for years. Article has links to past stories on case.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. CA: Plaintiffs claim homes poorly constructed, sue for repair costs 59 homeowners suing developer Ranchwood Homes. (Builders claim homeowners lawsuits are frivolous and that they buy pick-ups and big screen TVs with settlement money instead of using it for compensation for repairs and loss of value to homes.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. US: Developers, enviros criticize new flood plain regs Bush administration will allow some construction in flood plains (Not too bright! --Ed.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. US: Icahn, affiliates to launch $22 per share offer for WCI Billionaire investor Carl Icahn Tuesday announced plans to launch an unsolicited tender offer for home building company WCI Communities Inc

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. US: Icahn Bids For Major Homebuilder WCI's leaders have indicated that they don't want to sell but Icahn has a way of usually getting what he wants.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. US: More Homeowners Are Unable to Make Payments Default rates highest since 2002,2003, when economy was much weaker.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Escape Act Buyers struggle to get out of contracts to close on condos when projected monthy maintenance fees shoot up.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. US: Mortgagors see disorder in the house New Century Financial Corp., the biggest independent provider of subprime loans in the U.S., said Monday it didn't have $8.4 billion needed to repay creditors for mortgages it originated that went bad.

Shares of mortgage lenders and homebuilders took the hardest hit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. US: Is America Headed for a Depression? Homebuilders acknowledge abnormal supply, pricing pressures in marketplace. Sub-prime lenders that recklessly financed bulk of the industry’s business discovered problem with delinquencies and foreclosures...elements in place for first time in 80 years for America to sink into depression.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. CA: Critics assail developer over lawsuit " Seeno (West Coast Builders) and his allies are bashing environmentalists on whether or not freeways should be widened but he is suing over a citywide fee for transportation improvements," said Seth Adams of Save Mount Diablo. "He's a hypocrite."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. US: U.S. housing market worsens Deepest national housing decline in 16 years about to get worse.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. PA: Sen. Gordner pushes building code change Builders say the new mandate requiring new homes to have "anchor bolts" in the foundation and retaining walls is not necessary

Tuesday, March 13, 2007. National interest: Judge says home's copy had no right The damages in a copyright suit, often based on the profit made by the violator...A home builder's profit can be as much as 50 percent of sale price

Monday, March 12, 2007. KS: UPDATE on Wichita home builder David R. Rathbone Booked on arson charge, and subject of numerous lawsuits.

Monday, March 12, 2007. US: Next: The real estate market freeze Economy was driven by real estate and real estate is what will sink it.

Monday, March 12, 2007. FL: Complaints against builder in Osceola, Polk pile up Class action suit filed against British American Homes, Sega Ventures Ltd. and Gabay alleges violations of Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.

Monday, March 12, 2007. KS: New lawsuits, possible arson charges follow Wichita-area homebuilder Wichita home builder David R. Rathbone was identified as a suspect in a Feb. 22 house fire

Monday, March 12, 2007. US: Avalanche of Lawsuits Blogger's article about predicted/existing lawsuits. Many will be banks suing over bad loans they got stuck with.

Monday, March 12, 2007. AZ: UPDATE to story posted last week RE: Del Webb/Pulte's license being pulled It’s too bad Pulte Homes continues to ruin the name of a wonderful company while skating free under the Pulte name.

Monday, March 12, 2007. MS: Time for Gautier to clamp down on errant builders We've been told by the city manager that the codes are difficult to enforce since apparently there are codes but no consequences if they are broken.

Monday, March 12, 2007. US: More on previous story about Lennar asking subcontractors to lower prices Asked to drop prices even for completed work; subcontractors trade org says it's tantamount to extortion.

Monday, March 12, 2007. WA: Another VIDEO news report on Proposed WA Home Warranty law below Cites Criterium Engineers' report that found high percentages of new homes has serious defects. Virtually no consumer protection on a house exists at this time.

Monday, March 12, 2007. WA: VIDEO news report on BILLS below State lawmakers trying to require builders to warranty new homes.

Monday, March 12, 2007. WA: Report on HB 1935: (Companion to Report below) BOTH are PDF's "A statutory implied warranty is established for the construction of new residential homes or
the substantial remodel of existing residential homes....There is a systemic problem in the building industry with defective construction. The
warranties sold by builders are bogus at best. These warranties always require arbitration,
which is expensive and leads to no solution of the problem. It is very expensive to try to sue a
builder."

Monday, March 12, 2007. WA: Report on Senate Bill 5550: Consumer protection on new home purchases Bill has passed the senate! If passed into law will put into place consumer protection/warranty on new homes in Washington State.

Sunday, March 11, 2007. TX: A Bill relating to the abolition of the Texas Residential Construction PDF file of House Bill 3269 in TX legislature; if passed would abolish the useless builder-created TRCC.

Sunday, March 11, 2007. VA: Virginia Beach officials hammer builder Steve Bishard over shoddy work "A builder is responsible for what he builds and what he sells. They had two years to handle the problem, and they didn't."

Sunday, March 11, 2007. US: Construction materials are no longer running short Availability not an issue in slow market.

Sunday, March 11, 2007. US: Mortgage defaults are climbing Kenneth Heebner, manager of top-performing real-estate mutual fund: "If you're looking at the housing market, it's not the darkest before dawn, it's the darkest before pitch black,"

Sunday, March 11, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: As real estate investors emerge from denial, expect grief More foreclosures, more builders going out of business, more bankers reporting losses, more developers, real estate agents and investors suing one another in an attempt to pass on the blame for their losses.

Sunday, March 11, 2007. CA: A stealth tax on homeowners What's odd about the transfer tax – ranging from 0.05 percent to 1.75 percent of the purchase price of the house, with the most typical rate being 1 percent – is that this time the government isn't doing it. The homebuilder is playing Tax Man here, and the homebuilder often reaps the rewards while sticking it to the homebuyer in a sneaky way.

Sunday, March 11, 2007. TX: State Representative calls for abolishing the Texas Residential Construction Commission. State Representative Craig Eiland (D-Galveston) has filed HB3269, relating to the abolition of the Texas Residential Construction Commission. Out of all the bills filed this year, this is by far the easiest, most common sense, most consumer friendly, and most likely never to see the light of day in today's State Legislature.

Saturday, March 10, 2007. US: Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing Settlement A nationwide class action has been filed on behalf of any and all persons and/or entities who own structures in the United States in which CSST manufactured by Titeflex, Ward, OmegaFlex or Parker Hannifin was installed as of September 5, 2006. Plaintiffs allege that CSST poses an unreasonable risk of fire due to lightning strikes.

Saturday, March 10, 2007. WA: Home warranty measure advances in WA state legislature Fearing lawsuits, builders oppose bill, Senator Weinstein said good builders have nothing to fear from his Senate Bill 5550.

Saturday, March 10, 2007. PA: Home buyers testify against Peterson Eagle Valley Homes case update

Saturday, March 10, 2007. FL: Builders sue lax home buyers Advantage builders, others, losing money in down market, over supply of homes, and cancellations. Suing buyers for not honoring contract to close.

Saturday, March 10, 2007. AZ: Construction firm raid nets 8 arrests The arrests of the employees and top managers of Sun Dry Wall & Stucco Inc. were the product of a 16-month investigation by federal immigration agents.

Saturday, March 10, 2007. US: DR Horton's CEO Breaks Out of Housing Bust Spin Still building 26,000 houses though...article goes on to rake subprime lenders, etc over the coals a bit.

Saturday, March 10, 2007. US: Hovnanian shares plunge on news of $57M loss "We are not yet confident that we have found the bottom of the housing slowdown," Chief Executive Officer Ara Hovnanian said

Saturday, March 10, 2007. US: HOAs: Enough Is Enough Let's end the dictatorial reign of these power-and-money-seeking people.

Saturday, March 10, 2007. US: National Mortgage News See which co's are failing, under investigation, etc.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: New Subprime Guidelines Open For Comment Federal money policy agencies have opened for public comment new guidelines for subprime mortgage underwriting to ward off the growing number of subprime defaults and foreclosures.

Friday, March 09, 2007. AR: Residential Building Contractors Notice and an Opportunity to Repair Senate Bill 783: "Right to Repair" type law proposed in AR legislature, builder-friendly law that has been passed in about 30 states now, can give bad builders more protection from unhappy customers.

Friday, March 09, 2007. NJ: Arbitrator Exceeded Powers by Awarding Treble Damages Block v. Plosia, construction defect case.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Homebuilders Call for Flexibility in Green Building National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB); PVC, etc.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: PVC IS NOT A HEALTHY BUILDING MATERIAL U.S. Green Building Council report, on Healthy Building Network

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Construction Litigation New material today

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Housing Crash Many news articles compiled daily

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Exposing New Homebuilders If you are planning to attend the Texas Watch Homebuilder Reform Lobby Day, you must RSVP Friday March 9th... (chance for the public to speak up! --Ed.)

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Mortgage fraud in the news Affordable Homes in TX, many more stories

Friday, March 09, 2007. PA: Home sales fraud trial underway UPDATE on Eagle Valley Homes

Friday, March 09, 2007. NY: Nightmare home Homeowner's doctor found mold spores in her lungs, building inspector recommended they burn house down; now facing bankruptcy after purchasing HUD house that was inspected but had unseen mold.

Friday, March 09, 2007. PA: Convicted builder Slayton blames employee UPDATE: on Dennis Slayton d/b/a Clearview builders

Friday, March 09, 2007. MO: Area residents want recall question removed Residents say their signature were forged on recall petition initiated by local builder Jeff Ranville. Jackson County Election Board kept adding requirements for residents to dispute.

Friday, March 09, 2007. International: Law, PR firms help contractors navigate reconstruction inquiries From a Capitol Hill hearing room to a California courtroom last month, a disturbing picture came into focus: Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on Iraq reconstruction projects may have been squandered through mismanagement and fraud.

Friday, March 09, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes bankruptcy UPDATE

Friday, March 09, 2007. MN; Nat'l interest: SUBPRIME MORTGAGE MELTDOWN Edina-based Maribella is the latest casualty in an industry hit by defaults, housing decline.

Friday, March 09, 2007. CO: Owners of shoddy homes seek county action Building code violations. Code dept claims they've tried to resolve, and that homeowners threatened to sue; homeowners say neither is true, just want their homes fixed.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Nervous home buyers Builder's incentives not enough to lure buyers in shaky market

Friday, March 09, 2007. CO; National interest: ARMs, non-bank lenders contribute to foreclosures 77 percent of borrowers in foreclosure had received their loans from non-bank lenders such as mortgage and finance companies, homebuilders and private individuals.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Beware D.R. Horton CEO's over-the-top quip Shareholders should take note whenever the CEO loses his or her cool.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: KB Homes: What Happened To Bonuses Linked To Creating Stockholder Value? Much talked about industry turnaround is probably more fiction than reality.

Friday, March 09, 2007. WA: Senate OKs bill to boost homeowner rights in disputes UPDATE to ongoing stories about Homeowners Bill of Rights, aka Substitute Senate Bill 5550. Homeowners testified in committee hearings about problems with foundations, leaking pipes, unsealed crawl spaces and, most of all, moisture damage. (And because they DID, something may finally be happening! --Ed.)

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: The next wave of the housing bust Too many homes were built and sold to investors who rent them out.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Rising Subprime Mortgage Defaults Add to Unsold Homes Inventory Effect of looser lending standards could translate into another 533,000 homes coming onto market as borrowers default. (New developments that keep springing up also add to oversupply. --Ed.)

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: Hovnanian posts loss on canceled home deals $57.3 million loss.

Friday, March 09, 2007. US: US CREDIT-Home builders may weaken as leverage rises Falling profits at U.S. home builders will make it harder for the companies to reduce long-term debt...

Thursday, March 08, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Bank settles dispute with home buyers left in limbo R-G Crown provided millions of dollars in development loans to customers of Barrington Homes...Barrington was arrested, charged with fraud, money laundering, other crimes, was convicted felon with long rap sheet of financial crimes, & had legally changed his name...

Thursday, March 08, 2007. AZ: Illegal immigrants filling construction jobs In the absence of any meaningful penalties, employers in the construction industry will likely continue to hire undocumented workers.

Thursday, March 08, 2007. CA; National interest: Home builders sue city of Manteca over impact fees; trot out the hollow old "affordability" argument The mayor noted that when demand is high builders tend to raise prices that reflect what the market allows which undermines their concerns about affordability.

Thursday, March 08, 2007. WA: HOMEOWNER PROTECTION ACT OF 2007 HOUSE BILL 07-1338: Makes waivers of certain basic statutory rights and remedies by residential property owners in their transactions with construction professionals void as against public policy. [It is VERY important for Coloradans to show up for this and support it if they want to enact consumer protection on home purchases. Please don't think one person more/less won't make a difference...it does. --Ed.]

Thursday, March 08, 2007. NY; National interest: The Hazards of Hiring Unlicensed Contractors Homeowner's site.

Thursday, March 08, 2007. US: Housing Crash News New material.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. Berko Column: CPAs know the ABCs of lending Unfortunately, many firms in the home mortgage business frequently advertise partial truths (Lending Tree is a partial truth advertiser), while even more firms are guilty of outright, downright, bold-faced lies.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. PA: Bankruptcies New Vision Construction Services LLC, doing business as Sandleman Associates, Paco & Sandleman and Sandleman & Sunday; (and) Glenn R. Hartley, formerly doing business as Glenn R. Hartley Construction and Heartland Building and Development

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. NJ: Bankruptcy Auction UPDATE: 6 Kara Homes sites will be sold

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. US: Picking on the green home building cheerleaders There is still no standard for "green" building. Most such construction is self-reported.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. US: Home-builder: 2007 will be all bad D.R. Horton CEO said new-home prices will continue their decline this year as builders sell glut of houses currently on the market.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. MN; Nat'l interest: State fines 3 title companies over kickback allegations First American title co. fined $500,000 for operating sham title agencies that provided illegal kickbacks to real estate agents, mortgage brokers, developers and other industry players.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. MI: 260 Detroit homes to be auctioned Sold “as is:” prospective buyers are encouraged to inspect the homes before they bid. (Get inspections even if the homes are "new" or "under warranty!" Many newer homes haver serious defects and warranties are very hard to enforce! --Ed.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. MI: 260 foreclosed Detroit homes to be auctioned Sold “as is:” prospective buyers are encouraged to inspect the homes before they bid. (Get inspections even if the homes are "new" or "under warranty!" Many newer homes haver serious defects and warranties are very hard to enforce! --Ed.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. US: GM may owe $1B on mortgage loans Defaulted mortgage loans made to high-risk borrowers by Residential Capital LLC, the former home-lending unit of General Motors Acceptance Corp (GMAC)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. WA: VIDEO: Your pricey home may not be backed by a warranty Companion video to article of same name we posted March 6th: www.komotv.com/news/6325837.html

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. "Patrick.Net": It was fun to ask Housing Crash blogger asks the NAHB a very interesting question. Be sure to check the blog's news link at the top, for very current and well researched news articles on this topic.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. IN: Fighting foreclosures New law would require builders to disclose estimated property taxes for a new home’s full value.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. CO; National interest: Say no thanks to predatory lending Many homeowners have been misled to think a house is their greatest asset. I have argued for years that if homeowners have zero to very little equity, their house is actually their largest liability. (Article warns of using builder's lender or agreeing to predatory lending.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. MN: Good Faith insurance bill sparks controversy Homeowner testifies to MN legislature about mold case and battle with builder's insurance co. Insurance industry objects to legislation that claims it would give consumers protection from bad faith.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. IL: Far from a 'dream home' Shelby Construction was targeted by Madigan after several Southern Illinois residents filed complaints.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. IL: Posh project files for bankruptcy Bridgeport Village development has filed for bankruptcy protection...shoddy construction, code violations

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. LA: National interest: Contractor accused of more than 40 counts of fraud Abboud, who operated AB Coastal Construction Inc of Kenner, is "on the top" of the attorney general's list of questionable contractors, spokeswoman Kris Wartelle said. She said he faces similar allegations in Florida and is under investigation in Nebraska, Missouri and Texas.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. Boston.com: Cape couple wins a round against subprime lender (A homebuilder's own fight with Ameriquest mortgage company.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. MI; Nat'l interest: Boon or boondoggle? Pulte, said Karell, “has lots more money than our whole community and I just didn’t trust that if he wanted to do something other than what he said” he would do it, and after the property was rezoned the commission would be powerless to prevent it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. DenverPost.com: Foreclosures drag down neighbors "If you allow too much building, you are going to hurt the existing citizens of your community. It doesn't take a lot of brains to figure that out," he said. Homebuilders are expected to add 14,000 homes this year in the metro area, despite an eight-month supply of existing homes available for sale and more than 19,000 foreclosures last year.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. US: Hedge Fund Citadel Buys Bankrupt Company Citadel Investment Group buys bankrupt ResMAE Mortgage Corp....Hedge fund Fortress Investment Group buys subprime lending arm of Centex

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. Washington Public Interest Research Group: 2007 Legislative Priorities Enact a Homebuyer’s Bill of Rights

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. TheStreet.com: Mortgages Will Crunch Pulte, Horton These were homebuilders that lived off the no-documentation, no-money-down loans as speculators took these loans, bought homes built by Pulte and Horton... (Subscription site)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. OregonLive.com: Clark County engineering firm not content to be merely green with envy "The No. 1 argument is that building a green home costs more," said Brandon Taschuer, executive director of Project Green Build, a La Center, Wash.-based nonprofit that seeks to educate home builders and buyers about sustainable construction. "I'm going to be dispelling myths like that...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. Bloomberg.com: Housing Rebound Elusive as Abandoned Deposits Mount National Association of Home Builders in Washington now expects sales to fall for the sixth consecutive quarter

Wednesday, March 07, 2007. FL: Bill would delay storm building codes Florida Home Builders Association is behind the delay

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. WI; National interest: Lambrecht v. Don Belman Homes Court case: Builder misrepresented to customer what kind of siding they had, which was subject of class action lawsuit. Court's decision favored builder despite misrepresentation.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Blog More news on mortgage fraud posted today on attorney's law blog.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. US: Mortgage fraud news New material added this week incl. FBI report on mortgage fraud; appraiser fraud in Okla., etc.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. WA; National interest: Mobile Home Owners of America Meeting March 17, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. AZ: Lot owners want county to fix mess at Enclaves 3 years after buying land, roads, utilities unfinished, builder (West Speedway Partners) in bankruptcy court

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. FL: Exline linked to builder's $50,000 Former City Commissioner Jim Exline accepted $50,000 from a real estate developer seeking approvals for a development in the city, according to his defense attorney.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. US: Perhaps We Can Consider This Progress New home orders are down...Perhaps the builders have finally screwed people out of believing in them. (Home buyer did everything recommended and more and still got a lemon...says "surety bond" might have saved her.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. PA: Warning to code inspectors DR Horton development with building code violations.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. CT: A fight unites new neighbors Because local government helped finance the developer, the neighbors are demanding that City Hall help them hold the developer responsible -- especially since the developer is aiming to take on another government-sponsored project, the rebuilding of public-housing projects in West Rock. (Jonathan Rose's Eaton Row LLC)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. FL: Frustrated buyers sue for refund on condo They bought into the idea of living in Trump Tower luxury. Now they just want their deposit back...."There's a real risk many people will not get their money back. There's a real risk you're going to see a bankruptcy filing."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. TX: Protecting Homeowners’ Rights 2007 Legislative Agenda

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. WA: Your pricey home may not be backed by a warranty It's the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. So you might assume your new or newly-remodeled home comes with a warranty. The fact is builders in Washington state are not required to back up their work with a warranty.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. WA: Good builders need not fear (homeowners) bill of rights Washington homeowners unnecessarily pay hundreds of thousands of dollars each year out of their own pockets because current law does not hold contractors accountable for faulty construction.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. US: The Subprime Mortgage Blues Anybody who knew anything shook their heads while the politicians and the bankers and home builders boasted...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. FL: Enchanted Homes planning to take over Coast Bank/CCI mess UPDATE on ongoing case.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. US: Lending sector takes a major hit Stocks of sub-prime lenders fall steeply as backing from Wall Street tightens up.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. LA: OSHA talks to shoring firm after house falls on workers Man killed while jacking up house when it collapses

Tuesday, March 06, 2007. OH, KY: Guilty pleas in illegal hiring case part of probe into building industry UPDATE on Fischer Homes case from 2005/2006: Subcontractor S&W Custom Interiors knowingly paid undocumented workers.

Monday, March 05, 2007. AZ; National interest: DEL WEBB LOSES CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE IN ARIZONA Construction Malpractice: Now operating in violation of state law and court order under revoked AZ license (Del Webb is owned by Pulte Homes. --Ed.)

Monday, March 05, 2007. FL: Liens filed against KB Home "There is something wrong if the people that are building the development aren't being paid in a timely fashion."

Monday, March 05, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: News article and commentary on Phoenix housing bubble New home falling apart, not worth what she paid

Monday, March 05, 2007.Construction Litigation Blog New material added, incl. Kara Homes bankruptcy

Monday, March 05, 2007.New Home Builders News Blog New material added, incl. Del Webb defects

Monday, March 05, 2007. AZ: Lawsuits targeting mortgage schemes Big lenders and Wall Street investors are going after Arizona mortgage brokers, appraisers, real estate agents, title firms and home buyers for fraud.

Monday, March 05, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Phoenix firms, home buyers sued for mortgage fraud Cash-back deals to lying about income on loan documents.

Monday, March 05, 2007. LA: UL study looks at mold in homes Offering free assessments of homes possibly affected by the potentially harmful bacteria.

Monday, March 05, 2007. US: Builders cutting staff home-building giants are shedding workers

Monday, March 05, 2007. IL: Dream home became nightmare Liberty Homes, Woodale Homes: fraud, breach of contract, negligence and consumer fraud....State Rep. Mike Tryon contemplating law aimed at protecting buyers of modular homes.

Monday, March 05, 2007. NC: Contractors sue nonprofit builder Project Homestead

Monday, March 05, 2007. INMAN.com: Real estate appraisals are outmoded Lenders are in powerful position to pressure appraiser to "hit" pre-ordained numbers...lenders don't suffer the consequences of inflated valuations. Loans sold to investors, who have become so mesmerized by prospect of high returns they've willingly ignored reality that many loans justified by fictional appraisals.

Monday, March 05, 2007. AZ: Developer grilled by Corporation Commission Developer questioned about water availability to new housing: "These lawsuits call to question whether Rhodes is indeed a fit and proper person to conduct business in Arizona."

Monday, March 05, 2007. FL: Construction group leader focuses on growth Herald Tribune business writer Stephen Frater interviews representative of building industry (asks some pointed questions, gets some vague answers. --Ed.)

Monday, March 05, 2007. MI: Collateral damage remains after fall SonRise Homes Inc. went from the largest builder based in Genesee County to a company in shambles. Its collapse has affected other businesses and home buyers. (Home buyer also was threatened with lawsuit if he didn't close on shady looking loan with builder's lender, pg. 2 of article)

Monday, March 05, 2007. GA: Non-payment forces work on military housing to stop American Eagle Communities...Subcontractors allege SRC Construction, division of Carabetta Corporate Office in Meriden, Conn., withheld funding, defrauded

Monday, March 05, 2007. TX: New homes create headaches for homeowners Lennar

Monday, March 05, 2007. US: Payment shock high on new adjustable mortgage No money to be made in keeping borrowers informed

Monday, March 05, 2007. OH: Unconscionability Challenge Court agreed that a hearing was necessary because the enforceability and validity of the arbitration agreement were at issue.

Monday, March 05, 2007. DE: When Two Arbitrators Decide Differently, the First to Decide Wins Country Life Homes, Inc. v. Shaffer; For those of you following the cases that have found arbitration clauses specifying CAS as the arbitrator this should be of special interest.

Monday, March 05, 2007. MI Court of Appeals: Arbitrator's Award Was Sufficiently Detailed Demott v. McDonald

Monday, March 05, 2007. US: Biggest settlement in FHA history U.S. government v. ABN Amro Mortgage Group Inc.

Monday, March 05, 2007. US: A growing chorus on risky mortgages Washington Post

Monday, March 05, 2007. US: Lawsuit threatens a cozy relationship Ongoing issues in title insurance kickbacks.

Monday, March 05, 2007. MI: Developer sues over subdivision delay Kentmoor LLC, already suing citizens group for slander, suing city now over delays in controversial Maida Woods project.

Monday, March 05, 2007. US: How much is your house worth? Article on zillow.com: might not be very accurate.

Friday, March 02, 2007. MO: Task force formed to combat mortgage fraud “I have asked this task force to look at this issue from all sides to come up with common-sense solutions to prevent consumers from being stripped of their equity or facing foreclosure,” said Doug Ommen, the department’s director, in a news release. (The public needs to be involved in this task force which is stacked with indudustry people.--Ed.)

Friday, March 02, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud in the news Attorney's mortgage fraud blog; new material posted today

Friday, March 02, 2007. US: Housing Crash News Compilation of new articles almost daily

Friday, March 02, 2007. FL: Builder's unpaid workers file liens Merit Homes of Cape Coral.

Friday, March 02, 2007. MI: Liens, delays dash hopes for spec home; case involves several local companies Homebuyers lose house in foreclosure. Co's involved: Brown Lumber, Realm Contracting LLC, Countrywide Home Loans, Northridge Construction...

Friday, March 02, 2007. TX: Maravilla/Primera Homes Tens of thousands of dollars in liens from unpaid subcontractors, bad drainage, unkept promises for amenities.

Friday, March 02, 2007. GA: Alleged fraud kingpin called hapless but honest Mortgage fraud ringleader Phillip Hill

Friday, March 02, 2007. RI: The long road back (Fire) was the beginning of a yearlong nightmare of insurance run-arounds, shoddy contractors, and unhappy realizations of what their policy didn’t cover.

Friday, March 02, 2007. TX: Consumer Advocates Applaud Representative Todd Smith for filing House Bill 2008 Bill would greatly assist homeowners by enacting critical and necessary reforms to the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC). Texas Public Interest Research Group (TXPIRG) article.

Friday, March 02, 2007. TX; National interest: Why? Question About Arbitration Arbitrator admits builder committed fraud but homeowners still the loser in case.

Friday, March 02, 2007. FL: Civic Leader Arrested In Defrauding County Housing Developer Raul Masvidal arrested on grand theft, organized fraud charges: siphoned tens of thousands of dollars from county housing agency to buy himself a sculpture of a giant watermelon slice.

Friday, March 02, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes gets borrowing OK to complete 28 homes UPDATE: bankruptcy left home buyers, subcontractors in limbo: company had contracts for 300 homes...

Friday, March 02, 2007. LA: Repairs from Storms Appear Shoddy to Some Omitting code-required materials like roofing felt, etc...

Friday, March 02, 2007. TN: Builders, Developers Could Pay Hefty Fines For Not Following New Erosion Rules Contaminating drinking water and wildlife habitats.

Friday, March 02, 2007. FL: Couple site moldy home, fraud in suit vs. developer DiVosta (a Pulte subsidiary)accused of deceptive sales practices, fraud and mold in $606,032 home

Friday, March 02, 2007. CA; US: Lennar asks contractors for discounts on finished work Contractors fighting highly unusual request by asking state Attorney General Jerry Brown,local district attorneys, to investigate Lennar's action for possible criminal charges, extortion.

Friday, March 02, 2007. CO: Homeowner Protection Act aimed at builders wWould force home builders to abide by four- year-old construction-defect law builders supported.

Friday, March 02, 2007. OR; US: Open House: Survey says pressure's climbing on home appraisers Inflated property values, foreclosures, hurt home buyers and lenders.

Friday, March 02, 2007. TX; US: Over the top? Glut of homes on the market won't stop new starts

Friday, March 02, 2007. DE: Major Problems Spur Complaints From Delaware Homeowner Imagine buying a brand new home only to discover water seeping through the walls. (Common response from state attorney general: it's a civil matter...take it to court.)

Friday, March 02, 2007. US: SOLVED: Olshan Foundation Repair's Warranty Not So Lifetime Consumer complaint update from The Consumerist site.

Thursday, March 01, 2007.Exposing New Home Builders Blog KB Home & Martha Stewart partnership: Which one of the two are supposed to be making the others image appear to look better?

Thursday, March 01, 2007. WA: WA State Legislature: Buyer-rights battle builds In e-mails obtained by The Spokesman-Review, building association official repeatedly warned local Habitat for Humanity staff to stop supporting the (Homeowners Bill of Rights) bill.

"My advice to you is to kill Weinstein's bill or you will have major long-term problems with us," reads e-mail from Samuel Anderson, executive officer of King and Snohomish counties' Master Builders' Association, to Habitat chapter.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. National interest: Lesson in corrupt politics Federal jury convicted Russo of repeatedly enriching himself in return for influencing city decisions that affected developers' projects in Orange Beach

Thursday, March 01, 2007. DC: 'Real' incarceration sought for developer Federal prosecutors seeking "real and meaningful incarceration" for prominent D.C. developer Douglas Jemal after his conviction last year....But D.C. Council member, a former council member and several top business leaders have written letters to judge seeking leniency

Thursday, March 01, 2007. MI: Probe targets BayView Developer Marcus Yono and companies Suttons Pointe Development L.L.C. and Livingston Building Company under criminal investigation. Dozens of liens, building code violations.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. FL: Lawyer's client list grows in Coast case UPDATE on CCI and Coast Bank case: Possible class action lawsuit now.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. AL: Couple given 18 months in jail for bank fraud Dewey and Linda Hamaker

Thursday, March 01, 2007. LA: Authorities arrest contractor suspected of $500,000 worth of fraud Dana Abboud, owner of AB Coastal Construction Inc.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. NC: Clear picture Builder & real estate lobby wants to have its cupcakes and eat them, too.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. MI: Bank Says Moceri in Default of $9.6 Million for Le Bear LaSalle Bank has declared Auburn Hills developer Dominic Moceri in default on a $9.6 million loan for his Le Bear Resort in Glen Arbor and is seeking accelerated repayment with interest rate penalties.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. OH: Frustrated home buyers find spot to vent online After two years of dealing with Drees, Ohio mortgage broker made complaints public on www.DontDoDrees.com

Thursday, March 01, 2007. SC: Building Codes Builders Association proposed more than 40 changes to current code--some building inspectors argue changes will weaken code and increase homeowners' insurance.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. US: Home Inspection Pictures Siding installed upside-down and more.

Thursday, March 01, 2007. TX: Homebuilder bills in Austin. Reforming the TRCC. So, more on all of these later. Given the composition of the House and Senate, and with Governor Perry's lips sewn to the butt of Bob Perry, it is doubtful that any major changes are going to happen this session, but because of the negative attention towards the TRCC, something, although small, will be passed.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. FL: Four more months County Construction Board giving Hurley Builders & Developers until June to make make good on about 40 contracts.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. WASHINGTON STATE: State senator faces off against builders UPDATE ON “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” – now looks like it actually has a chance of passing.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. PA: Bankruptcy Filings James E. Krebs d/b/a Commonwealth Design Construction

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. National interest: Depressing myths Increasing impact fees so that home builders pay the full cost of growth will reduce affordable housing for low-income people. (Actually, low-income people generally don’t buy new houses. Also, most economists believe impact fees are passed back to landowners rather than on to home buyers.)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. FL: WCI reports quarterly loss, blames Florida housing market Speculation of a hostile takeover

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. NJ: Six projects by bankrupt builder Kara Homes on auction block Reader Comment at bottom of article: "All efforts focus on helping Kara Homes, but nothing is done to help the victims of Kara's lousy business practices."

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. US: New Home Sales Plunge Biggest monthly decline in 13 years; rising glut of homes

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. US: Housing Crash News List of news articles daily.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. US: Homebuilders fall on new-home sales data Business Week

Wednesday, February 28, 2007. TX: "REP. MCCLENDON HOUSE BILL 1686 PROTECTS HOMEOWNERS FROM FRAUD" TX House of Representatives Press Release

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. US: Freddie Mac to Clamp Down on Risky Loans Washington Post

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. US: Subprime housing game is over Fleckenstein: What's remarkable is that Wall Street was surprised

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. FL: Senator Aronberg Files SB 0978 re: Court-Order Nonbinding Arbitration Under F.S. 44 "Aronberg's bill puts some teeth into the "nonbinding" arbitration by adding some elements of a Proposal of Settlement to it." (FL home buyers need to know the consequences of this bill.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. KS/MO: Multi party Miller case covered on legal blog Mortgage Fraud Blog

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. WI: Subdivision in realty fraud case up for sale Wisconsin land deal of building industry con-man Bob Brownell, David C. Bush, Bielinski Brothers Builders, goes on auction block April 9. Article says operation was "definitely was a contributor" to run up in home prices.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. NV; Nat'l interest: Plumbing Defect Affecting Thousands of Las Vegas Homeowners Brass fitting corrodes when exposed to water: (How did THAT product get approved?!?) Homeowners paying thousands to fix.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. OR: New state court takes cases that are strictly commercial Commercial court, or business courts, includes construction defect cases: HADD would appreciate feedback on how these new kinds of courts treat consumers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: Bidding battles not fair, owner says Competing contractors bidding up to 30 percent lower on jobs because they use illegal immigrant workers and improperly classify them as independent contractors, which allows the employer to avoid paying workers compensation insurance and payroll taxes.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. FL: Suit filed to recoup investment Sky Development Group has been at the center of an FBI real estate fraud investigation....more than 100 victims.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Shingle problem leads to Pa. company Pulte and Lennar developments: (CertainTeed) said in many cases the shingles are not installed or sealed properly.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Defending the Castle When it comes to affordable housing, government makes things worse -- and better.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. WA: North Shore project denied Developer: SBI Developing, subsidiary of Soundbuilt Homes

Tuesday, February 27, 2007.Man in trouble again for fraud Figure in mortgage plot admits he falsified applications for loan (part of older homebuilder Robert Amico scam).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. US: Patrick's Housing Crash News List of news articles updated almost daily.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. US: Proxy adviser: Toll is overpaid The company said it would not respond to the Proxy Governance report.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. SC: Home Builders Association abandons effort to lower code requirements Weaker codes=higher homeowners insurance: Building codes council meeting WED Feb 28 open to public apparently.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. FL; US: Home builders see more red ink Decimated Florida housing market

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. FL: Home builders want to delay tougher rules Builders lobbying for reprieve. Some counties' building officials not enforcing the new law.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. US: Deed in lieu of foreclosure can still hurt credit; Builder built house on wrong log Real estate advice column.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007. MI; National: Can't sell, so owners give bank the homes Growing number families asking lenders to take homes off their hands...deeds in lieu of foreclosure rose 35 percent.

Monday, February 26, 2007. National interest: Attorney's collection of articles on the construction defect problem (Not an endorsement--for informational purposes only.)

Monday, February 26, 2007. US: Profit from the foreclosure boom? Beware of hidden liens, costly repairs and occupants who refuse to leave. (HADD would caution investors to beware of newer homes that may have construction defects as well.)

Monday, February 26, 2007. CO: Bill Targets Foreclosures, Mortgage Fraud Brokers need to be licensed and buyers need to understand what they sign.

Monday, February 26, 2007. AZ: Regulators shutter 75-plus loan offices Eagle First Mortgage and its broker, David Sanchez...individuals named in case can still get jobs at other mortgage co's.

Monday, February 26, 2007. KS/MO: Missouri man pleads guilty to mortgage fraud James Sparks pled guilty in case also involving developer F. Jeffrey Miller, (ONGOING MILLER ENTERPRISES CASE), Stephen W. Vanatta, Hallie Irvin, Sandra Harris, Todd Earnshaw, Brian Rouse, Angela Parenza, Elizabeth Hessel, James Moser, Steve Middleton and Lanny Ross.

Monday, February 26, 2007. International (French source; KB builds in France too): U.S. government investigating KB Home stock options Home builder blames former officials

Monday, February 26, 2007. NJ: A big mess in the backyard Bankrupt Kara Homes leaves piles of misery for neighbors

Monday, February 26, 2007. US: New and better measurement of toilet performance! Claims to closely replicate the "real world demand" upon fixtures.

Monday, February 26, 2007. MO: Attorney reveals details of alleged mortgage fraud Elaborate scams involve builders, appraisers and brokers who dupe buyers into borrowing above the property’s value...high prices followed by foreclosures...homebuyers concerned that they could be held criminally liable too. (Several page-long article)

Monday, February 26, 2007. US: Toll shareholders asked to withhold director vote Shareholder advisory firm recommended Toll Brothers shareholders withhold votes for chairman of the builder's executive compensation committee because of excessive executive pay that's 564 percent above median paid to peers.

Monday, February 26, 2007. US: Feds investigate KB Home stock options awards investigation is looking at the company's officials, and not the homebuilder

Monday, February 26, 2007. US: Tribune's Band of Billionaires Real estate and homebuilding billionairs among those bidding for ownership of newspaper

Monday, February 26, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Real estate's new dirty word:Inventory Builders ramped up production to meet investor demand which is now gone.

Monday, February 26, 2007. NV: Las Vegas Lemonade PROPOSED NEVADA NEW HOME LEMON LAW

Monday, February 26, 2007. TN: Citizens Against Sick Houses Consumer group's site.

Monday, February 26, 2007. Nat'l interest: Tax assessments rise while house resale values fall Market ignored by assessing process...too much emphasis on newly built homes.

Monday, February 26, 2007. MI: Westland group faces developer's suit Community group fighting controversial Maida Woods project slapped with lawsuit by developer Kentmoor LLC.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. US: Consumer advocate calls subprime market ‘quiet but devastating disaster’ About Center for Responsible Lending's predictions, by Ken Harney, published in The Oklahoman, Feb. 24.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. AZ: Financial regulators shut down mortgage firm Eagle First Mortgage and its broker, David Sanchez...more than 100 illegal money transactions

Sunday, February 25, 2007. KS/MO: Another guilty plea in mortgage fraud More on Miller case today.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. KS/MO: UPDATE: F. Jeffrey Miller and others, ongoing case Broker Pleads Guilty To Mortgage Fraud: Indictments: James Sparks, F. Jeffrey Miller (a homebuilder), Stephen W. Vanatta, Hallie Irvin, and Sandra Harris

Sunday, February 25, 2007. NV: New Home Lemon Law "Please call these legislators and voice your support of the Lemon Law... They will make a decision before Feb. 27 in regards to whether or not they will submit the Lemon Law. Every phone call counts!"

Sunday, February 25, 2007. MN: H.F. No. 437, Another bill in MN legislature Relating to construction and building codes; flashing for doors/windows

Sunday, February 25, 2007. MN: H.F. No. 402; bill in MN legislature Has relevance to mold remediation

Sunday, February 25, 2007. US: DOJ Launches KB Home Stock Options Probe Department of Justice has launched a probe into the handling of stock options at KB Home

Sunday, February 25, 2007. US: KB Home Press Release (Company says it's not being investigated by the US Attorney.)

Sunday, February 25, 2007. US: KB Home options spur criminal probe Criminal investigation by US Attorney, as well as by the SEC

Sunday, February 25, 2007.Loan jitters drive US correction fears Basically, too many Americans with too little money were able to get home loans that were too large when the real estate market was humming along. Now both lenders and borrowers are paying the penalty as home owners, caught between the horns of rising interest charges locked into their loans on one hand, and falling house prices on the other, are left with no choice but to default.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. AZ: Bill targeting cash-back mortgage deals moves forward Legislation to make mortgage fraud a felony is one step closer to becoming law.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. FL: Plans for towers take a tumble Condo Bust

Sunday, February 25, 2007. MS: Bay St. Louis couple found dead Police say shooting death of homebuilder and estranged wife was murder-suicide.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. TX: Texas homeowners could get more help with builder problems $700,000 new home needed another $500,000 to fix it...TRCC powerless to make builder do repairs.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. OH; KY; US: Dominion Homes closes out '06 with $34M loss red ink

Sunday, February 25, 2007. US: Bill would limit loans to those with a Social Security number "The government should not be in the business of creating incentives to encourage illegal behavior." (Industries that stand to profit oppose the bill.)

Sunday, February 25, 2007. MN: High end hard times Luxury homes not attracting buyers as planned.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. US: Lenders back off riskier loans Subprime lenders having trouble after housing bubble popped; more homeowners defaulting.

Sunday, February 25, 2007. US: Fannie Mae Shuts Down Foundation Big Local Donor To Move In-House

Friday, February 23, 2007. US: KB Home said in criminal probe over options Under investigation by US Attorney's office...

Friday, February 23, 2007. FL: Habijax Homeowners Plead For Help Habitat for Humanity problems

Friday, February 23, 2007. FL: Protest targets real estate agent, construction company Unfulfilled contracts, unfinished houses: RE/MAX Results Realty and Enterprise Construction

Friday, February 23, 2007. FL; National interest: FREE SPEECH Consumer watchdog Public Citizen has filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Michael Morgan, a Florida realtor sued by homebuilder Lennar for using its corporate name in the URL of a web site critical of Lennar

Friday, February 23, 2007. FL; National interest: PDF of Public Citizen's Amicus Brief in support of right to criticize Lennar Homes (Relevant to article posted above.)

Friday, February 23, 2007. NATIONAL: KB Home Is Focus of U.S. Probe of Options (U.S. Attorney's office as well as SEC investigating builder; possible criminal charges.)

Friday, February 23, 2007.Living Homes: The greenest of them all Harbinger of things to come in residential real estate.

Friday, February 23, 2007. US: Top home builder sees profits plunge Industry struggles

Friday, February 23, 2007. US: Canceled contracts masked glut of homes Housing analyst David Seiders told builders: estimate of 3.5 million homes for sale "grossly understated."

Friday, February 23, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Why you need your own attorney to review contracts! Confusing school construction case costs parties money to figure out if they have to arbitrate or not.

Thursday, February 22, 2007.Green Homes Mother Earth News has had Green Building info since before there was a term for it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007. FL: Developer faces cash crisis Three condo projects falter as contractors, banks and tax bills go unpaid

Thursday, February 22, 2007. US: American Arbitration Association Breaks Its Promise Not to Hear Pre-Dispute Arbitrations By Paul Bland of Public Citizen: More and more big corporations insist that their customers and employees sign mandatory arbitration agreements taking away their right to go to court as a condition of getting goods or services or as a condition of getting or keeping a job.

Thursday, February 22, 2007.Exposing New Home Builders Blog New material added, incl. article about legislation in TX for home buyer protection.

Thursday, February 22, 2007. CO: CCEG Sues Political Groups for Violating Campaign Finance Laws Homebuilders group named in article

Thursday, February 22, 2007. PA: Fraud-related perjury trial set for March 7 Scheme targeted first-time home buyers: false documents, forged signatures, inflated home prices, phantom down-payments on second mortgages hidden from buyers & lenders. Builder Steven Parisi and others...

Thursday, February 22, 2007. FL: House of Lies Housing funds misused

Thursday, February 22, 2007. US: CCI/Coast Bank case illustrates widespread problem Like day traders who drove up Internet stocks in the 1990s, investors, aided by cheap mortgages, helped drive housing boom over edge.

Thursday, February 22, 2007. FL/US: Public Citizen files brief in defense of owner of Lennar gripe site "The notion that you can't identify the subject of your criticism by using the name of the company you're criticizing is absurd," said Paul Levy, a lawyer with Public Citizen. "We think it's a matter of simple free speech."

Thursday, February 22, 2007. US: Subprime Titanic Hits Iceberg Subprime market overloaded with bad loans; smashed holes into hull of financial ship

Thursday, February 22, 2007. CA: Homeowners to sue D.R. Horton Expert says defects "in sometimes 80 percent of homes." Says builders used to understood the mechanics of construction but that's no longer the case.

Thursday, February 22, 2007. OH: Sales scandal revealed at Ryan Homes Manager of Ryan notified parent company, NVR, about sales representatives booking "contingent" home sales to "investors" instead of actual consumers....employee reported that higher-ups knew about the sales-inflating scheme.

Thursday, February 22, 2007. TX: House Bill 1686 A bill affecting Texas home buyers; one item is banning mandatory arbitration clauses in builder contracts, which currently take away a home buyer's right to use the courts when they've purchased a defective home.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. NJ: Congressional candidate, builder owe thousands in back taxes city's top 20 tax delinquents

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. WA: "I still want that house" Sound Built Homes: Bait and switch, all the protection is for the builder, (and buyer probably has no idea how lucky he was to get out of the deal and get his money back! --Ed.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007.Bubble News New entries on housing posted almost daily.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. NATIONAL: Code Talk Home inspector Walter Jowers discusses the decline of quality in new home construction and the fact that some new homes don't meet codes despite possibly having been "inspected."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. NATIONAL: Veneer-eal Disease Home inspector Walter Jowers explains many expensive-to-repair defects in brick siding common on newly built homes.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. CA: Who will stop Century Homes project? Opposition to insanity.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. CA: County building chief fired Many instances of substandard, shoddy construction approved during Waller's time as chief building official

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. TX: TRCC under fire again/still Builders ignore TRCC's recommendation to make repairs. Some consumers tell HADD that the TRCC's claim that you can view builder complaints is not true.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007.Fannie Mae Cancels Executive Bonuses Had been on hold after company was caught up in accounting scandal.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. Delaware Valley: Corruption and Pulte Homes Blog.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007. WA: Pierce Council decision startles many Accused council of trying to stack the group with pro-development members.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007.Green construction booms as housing market tanks Saving energy and the environment

Wednesday, February 21, 2007.Subprime mortgages scare Wall Street $200 Billion could be at stake.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007.A little humor "Shoe" cartoon re: Building inspectors

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. TX: Texas Homebuilding Commission continues it's propaganda campaign. Duane Waddill, the Executive Director of TRCC explains, "When you go to court, if you have to go to court and the builder doesn't fix it, you don't have to hire expert witnesses so it saves you thousands of dollars in expert witness fees."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. CO; US: Audio on arbitration drawbacks From Colorado HOME Alliance

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. CO: Colorado HOME Alliance Group working with HADD in CO to pass new legislation to protect home buyers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. OR: Moldy Home Burned To The Ground Two years ago, Renee Haynes and her family won a landmark toxic mold case against Adair Homes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. LA: Safety Places a Distant Second in Race to Repopulate New Orleans While monstrous fungal growths and chemical-encrusted sludge drape the Crescent City, environmentalists say that the EPA's response is scarcely visible, eclipsed by the political momentum of the rebuilding process.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. CA: Calaveras' top building official fired Minimum fire and life safety requirements were signed off without enforcement.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. FL: $72,000 later, still no home for Pasco man Builder Scott Sutter arrested for grand theft.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. FL: UPDATE: CCI and Coast Bank mess self-inflicted No lending intuition should allow a construction company the privilege of bilking funds from the consumer and general public.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. FL: Ethics complaint filed against Palm Beach County commissioner Critics question whether developers' donations to Aaronson's cause is way to influence votes on County Commission.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: One heck of a mess Average American consumers prefer granite countertops to solar energy panels; Homebuilders prefer square footage to energy efficiency.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Suit vs. Deco Homes (owned by Carlos Pio) may see more delays Builder's lawyer has quit.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. TX: Insurance companies embrace global warming. Climate changes, and a warmer Atlantic Ocean, have led insurers to fear that more intense hurricanes could make landfall. Risk modelers, who forecast natural disasters for the insurance industry, have changed their methods to take into account the higher sea temperatures that fuel storms. While there is debate in the industry over whether global warming or a long-term cyclical trend is to blame, insurers are responding.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. US: New York State Upholds Consumers' Right to Criticize "Companies don't have the right to pick and choose who can test their products, nor can they legally silence criticism,"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007. National interest: Levitt and Sons A homeowner's experience with builder.

Monday, February 19, 2007.Townhouse of Horrors Many problems with John J. Popp Jr. of Lord & Essex

Monday, February 19, 2007. MO; US: FBI investigating alleged mortgage fraud Less scrupulous real estate agents, builders, may turn to illicit tactics in slowing market.

Monday, February 19, 2007. US: The housing ATM rot is just the beginning The fact that folks want to pretend the problems don't matter...doesn't change the reality that the risks are extraordinarily high.

Monday, February 19, 2007.Beware the broker Time to get tough on those who float bad loans.

Monday, February 19, 2007. US: Silver State Mortgage makes abrupt exit Growing swath of lenders associated with Merrill Lynch have run aground.

Monday, February 19, 2007.RATE YOUR BUILDER Site has been redesigned. You may need to re-register. URL is now www.rateyourbuilder.com (not .info).

Monday, February 19, 2007. National interest: Find Soil Maps for your area before you build Help avoid foundation failure on new homes. Short video from Ask The Builder site.

Monday, February 19, 2007. OR: Firefighters destroy mold-infested house Hanes sued the home’s builder, Adair Homes. A jury awarded the family $540,000. It was one of the first jury verdicts on mold in the northwest. "This way we know that nobody will have a mold problem with this house in the future,”

Monday, February 19, 2007. OR: SHORT VIDEO: Firefighters burn moldy home for training exercise Re: article above, Adair Homes

Sunday, February 18, 2007. IL: Governor hired Rezko company to oversee home improvements construction company owned by a now-indicted political fundraiser

Sunday, February 18, 2007. Multi state contractor, multiple names: Grubbs can't lose deadbeat tag Repeated pattern of failing to pay bills that forced Grubbs into bankruptcy four years ago.

Sunday, February 18, 2007. SC: Conway home seller accused of loan fraud: homeowner named as defendant Investigation by The Sun News has shown some area home dealers regularly falsify documents or misrepresent buyers' financial information to get high-risk loans approved.

Sunday, February 18, 2007. FL; National interest: Rebuilding lives, homes Some are skeptical of group's motivation, saying the charity is likely an attempt to put a warm-and-fuzzy face on the Florida Home Builders Association

Sunday, February 18, 2007. US: Time to get some closure on foreclosure 2.2 million families will lose homes to foreclosure -- foreclosures that were predictable and avoidable through more responsible lending practices.

Saturday, February 17, 2007. US: Homeowners Associations and Dictatorships Developers (and wannabe developers) have discovered yet another route to acquiring power and money.

Saturday, February 17, 2007. IL: Condo dreams turn into nightmares with $100,000 special assessments said buyers have the mistaken impression that city inspectors will guard against shoddy construction.

Saturday, February 17, 2007. TX: Texas Homebuilders change their tune on immigration. And now the homebuilding industry and contractors are weighing in with the formation of Texas for a Sensible Immigration Policy (www.txsip.org pronounced Tee-Sip). One of their supporters is the Greater Houston Builders Association, imagine that!

Saturday, February 17, 2007. US: New Home Builders News Blog Recent material added.

Saturday, February 17, 2007. US: Exposing New Home Builders Blog with news and commentary, new material posted today including a call for action in Nevada

Saturday, February 17, 2007. WA; National interest: Is it safe to buy a home in WA? Mold and the phenomenon "sick building syndrome" have been widely noted for years, but health issue can apparently be roundly ignored by home inspectors.

Saturday, February 17, 2007. OK: KFOR In Your Corner: Lien on me Common nationwide: Builder failed to pay supplier; sticking homeowner with bill even though homeowner fully paid for new house. Builder in this case: Home Quarters Mark Leatherwood. KFOR got title co to take over fight.

Saturday, February 17, 2007. MI: Ways To File Builders Complaints or inquire about complaints Michigan Department of Labor (Such databases are not necessarily complete or up to date though.)

Saturday, February 17, 2007. VA; MD: Parking ticket leads police to fugitives Sandra and Belcher Stanley, wanted for construction fraud in Maryland

Saturday, February 17, 2007. FL; National interest: Plan growth with nod to environment Ways builders can construct energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes (and still make money!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007. FL: Wildlife panel unveils plan to save tortoises from being crushed by developers Would require developers pay to relocate tortoises, rather than current practice of obtaining permit to kill them.

Saturday, February 17, 2007. CO; US: Homebuyers cede rights Legislative bill in CO this year attempts to restore some consumer protection to home purchase: "If it moves forward, the bill's backers can expect all-out war with Colorado homebuilders, who have long wielded considerable political and financial clout."

Saturday, February 17, 2007. FL: Hot on homebuilder's trail State has opened investigation into some of the 482 deals that collapsed when Jesse Battle, Construction Compliance Inc, stopped building last year.

Friday, February 16, 2007. CA: Housing complaints continue to roll in Pedersen Construction

Friday, February 16, 2007. MI: Problems mount at BayView Building code violations, liens, on $729,000 condos

Friday, February 16, 2007. NM: Cases against Mychael Rodriguez of Precision Remodeling continue Fraud, racketeering, forgery, extortion...

Friday, February 16, 2007. OR: Moldy home in Sandy will be burned down A former Sandy family -- with the help of firefighters -- will burn their moldy house to the ground Sunday, nearly two years after winning one of the first Northwest jury verdicts against a home builder (Adair Homes) because of mold issues.

Friday, February 16, 2007. Nationa: Housing starts plunge 14%. WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The pace of U.S. home construction fell 14.3% in January, sharpest drop since October and much worse than economists had expected, a government report on Friday showed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007. CA: Sacramentao developer defaults on $22 million loan for high rise project Construction halted on 53-story towers last month after contractors filed liens against developer John Saca for unpaid bills totaling $13 million.

Thursday, February 15, 2007. NY: 5 Rockland contractors lose licenses Shoddy, unfinished work

Thursday, February 15, 2007. GA: Duo pleads guilty to mortgage fraud scheme Robert C Thigpen and Erich J Haskell pled guilty to fraud: companies, Heritage Lending Group, and Superior Home Builders

Thursday, February 15, 2007. NC: Mortgage fraud sends business owner and homebuilder to prison James Thomas Davis and David Layton: fraudulent scheme involving new homes.

Thursday, February 15, 2007. FL: Contractors say fired building official made it known granting favors had price State authorities arrested Dennis Grim on charges of bribery and unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior.

Thursday, February 15, 2007. US: Beazer terminates top legal executive Kenneth J. Gary "for a pattern of personal conduct which includes violations of company policies."

Thursday, February 15, 2007. US: Gates Foundation unloads home builder shares Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Wednesday, February 14, 2007. NC: New Home Inspections Part 2 A brand new home with so many problems, no one can live in it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007. VA: Tests under way to solve flooded basements in South Riding Lawsuits against Toll Brothers, Beazer Homes, and South Riding Proprietary

Wednesday, February 14, 2007. NATIONAL: Scare spreads Lenders and builders in trouble; mortgage defaults skyrocketing: "This is exactly what happened before the great depression."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007. NATIONAL: Investment Columnist Malcolm Berko advises on homebuilder stock You can bet the house that home values will continue to fall and your brokerage's sunny consensus on the housing market is an appalling sham.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007. NATIONAL: Dark side of the housing boom: Shoddy construction Steps you can take if you find yourself living in a poorly made home.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007. WA: Legislator confronts builders on homeowner rights Housing isn't affordable if homeowners have to shell out money to repair construction defects.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. US: New Home Builders News Blog New entries today: Volunteers needed in TX, etc

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. US: Leaks blamed on exterior of fake stucco exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. OK: Enid couple with contractor problems trying to keep house from being demolished by city Alfred Soulek, faces charges of home repair fraud filed by Oklahoma Attorney General

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. US: Irrational Reaction Overvalued: KB not for me

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. GA: Lawyer headed to prison Charles Femery Peebles represented plaintiffs in mold cases. He forged client's signatures on settlement checks, & kept the money.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. FL: Brit developer jailed in visa fraud scheme Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Hinshelwood asked court to take measures to prevent Leggett from fleeing

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. CA: Empire Ranch homes defective, lawsuit alleges D.R. Horton: extensive cracked stucco, leaky windows, leaky roofs, and negative drainage...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. US: Corps trying wetlands permits again Like letting the fox guard the henhouse...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. US: Quick Take: The High Price of Affordability "They are writing whatever loans just to write loans, thinking they will worry about it later. But now it's later."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. US: Fears grow over subprime loan market Another mortgage lender (ResMAE Mortgage) failed and a big homebuilder (KB Home) admitted borrowers' difficulties could damage its business.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. US: Fewer, bigger builders expected Industry likely to see more mergers this year

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. MI; Nat'l interest: Helping Hand? Click on "Steve Wilson Reports" to view video of how woman lost her home to scam.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. MI: Township halts retail, home development Officials investigate whether construction workers improperly intruded on a floodplain.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. WA: The house that Carmela built: more on the legislation in WA state It's hard to fathom why a builder who made a tidy profit on a $500,000 house wouldn't want to make sure buyers got what they paid for.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. AZ: Rules sought on mortgage officers Bill would keep convicted felons out of loan business, etc...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007. WA: New houses of horrors: article describes the legislation proposed in WA right now Attorney Sandy Levy told lawmakers that many builders offer "10-year warranties" that often exclude key things, waive all rights to damages caused by bad construction, and force legal disputes into expensive arbitration before an industry-picked arbitrator. Under such an agreement, even failure to finish building a home isn't considered a defect, he said.

"This is a complete sham," he said.

Monday, February 12, 2007. MA; Nat'l interest: The Guaranty Fund Massachusetts has a wonderful resource for homeowners who have obtained judgments against contractors.

Monday, February 12, 2007. MO: Missouri Real Estate Developer Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud Larry D. Wills of W.D. Enterprises, and Ida Mathis

Monday, February 12, 2007. US: New Home Builders News Blog New material added.

Monday, February 12, 2007. US: U.S. Homebuilder WCI to explore sale of company Other investors have taken notice including Microsoft owner Bill Gates's foundation.

Monday, February 12, 2007. US: Homeowner's site on experience with Lennar Yahoo group: "a place for property owners on Mare Island to share their home buying experience, construction issues, and figure out how we can work together..."

Monday, February 12, 2007. TX: HADD Report on the Texas Residential Construction Commission Please contact HADD's TX Chapter to help in fixing the problems of the TRCC: john.cobarruvias@hadd.com

Monday, February 12, 2007. Canada: Builders cancel contracts at their peril Force majeure clauses, are meant to relieve parties involved in contractual obligations from having to carry out their end of the bargain in the face of events that are "unexpected, something beyond reasonable human foresight and skill." "Courts have been clear they are not to protect against poor business decisions,"

Sunday, February 11, 2007. IL: Family's experience with Custom Dream Builders has been a nightmare Thomas Frenkel (company's owner) is a defendant in a handful of lawsuits...

Sunday, February 11, 2007. VA: Reform us Eminent domain legislation

Sunday, February 11, 2007. US: HUD investigators probe kickbacks investigators intervening in complaints brought by consumers (where) builders illegally force home buyers to use specific mortgage firms, pushing loans that consumers complain often cost more than what competitors charge.

Sunday, February 11, 2007. US: Philip E. Richardson sentenced for embezzling Was former president of Real Estate Associates Corp., and served as an officer or board member of the Northern Illinois Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

Sunday, February 11, 2007. TX: Coalition Of Advocacy Groups Calls For Legislative Action On Behalf Of Texas Homeowners Texas Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)

Sunday, February 11, 2007. WA: Scroll down to: CONSUMER PROTECTION Letter to Editor re: conflicts of interest on the Senate Consumer Protection and Housing Committee. (Writer's website is correctly RenovationTrap.com as the article has a typo.)

Saturday, February 10, 2007. MI: Looman Construction charged with fraud when big-ticket home goes unfinished Cost the victims another $700,000.

Saturday, February 10, 2007. AZ: Rural officials ask for power Told state lawmakers on Thursday that they need authority to stop housing developments from being built without adequate water supplies.

Saturday, February 10, 2007. FL: County pressed after session changes building codes Florida Home Builders Association asks Governor to delay implementation of stronger building code law that just passed

Saturday, February 10, 2007. US: 9/11 hero’s donated home mainly a blessing, but ... Utilities and taxes on donated home may not be affordable

Saturday, February 10, 2007. US: President retires from William Lyon Homes Cable has gotten wealthy as a leading shareholder of William Lyon Homes during the past 18 months when a buyout by Gen. Lyon sent the stock price up about $35 a share.

Saturday, February 10, 2007. US: Home builders told to stop building Building industry's chief economist warns inventory is too high: "We absolutely have to move these houses"

Saturday, February 10, 2007. TX: Tarrant County home builders, others fined for violations (Besides other builders named for fines), the commission states it evoked registration of Aaron Liverman, Eclipse Construction, now ineligible to legally build. He had been convicted of theft...

Saturday, February 10, 2007. TX: Homebuilder, Bob Perry, the sugar daddy of Texas politics. KPRC of Houston highlighted the local State Senators campaign contributions and focused on the donations by national kingpin, Bob Perry.

Friday, February 09, 2007. US: Predatory Lending class action lawsuit Federal judge allowing a class-action suit involving up to 7,000 borrowers who may have been deceived by Chevy Chase bank.

Friday, February 09, 2007. US: Drive by Appraisals Rapacious lenders really did have a goal of lending people more than they could pay back, witness the rise of the drive-by appraisals, no documentation loan, interest only loan, negative amortization loan, and a slew of other 'creative' financings to anyone who could fog a mirror.

Friday, February 09, 2007. FL: Brit investors find dream homes aren't British American Homes LLC still hasn't finished homes they upped the price on after contracts were signed.

Friday, February 09, 2007. US: Fraud in subprime loans 'coming home to roost' Fraud and sloppy lending practices at heart of rising defaults.

Friday, February 09, 2007. US: Rise in Dud Mortgages Spooks Lenders Inadequate capital set aside for repurchases of soured loans sold earlier to investment banks.

Friday, February 09, 2007. TN: Polluter crackdown coming Construction industry

Friday, February 09, 2007. IA: AG's Office Files Lawsuit Against Construction Company William Hill, owner of CIC

Friday, February 09, 2007. NY: Remodeling Fraud David Celerio, Midtown Home Improvements, charged with defrauding couple out of $175,000; gutted home then walked off job.

Friday, February 09, 2007. MI: Developer is told to stop work on land "The bottom line is that they cannot do any future work out there until proper work permits are pulled,"

Friday, February 09, 2007. FL: Builder's test finds high levels of arsenic at Wellington project Because of a loophole in state law, Centex is not required to clean up the site. But the company has promised to...

Friday, February 09, 2007. WA: Scroll down to--"HOMEOWNERS' BILL OF RIGHTS" Attorney's Letter to Editor re: articles posted on this topic earlier this week: "I have always been a friend of the building industry, but I am ashamed of the way it has tried to subvert the legal system for economic gain."

Thursday, February 08, 2007. OK: OK Attorney General's top ten list of complaint types Home repair and construction # 7. (And you may not be able to find out about any of the complaints before buying: http://s23.photobucket.com/albums/b371/CommonDefects/ See Attorney General letter on this site.)

Thursday, February 08, 2007. MI: Contractor Wayne Pinch ordered to fix home or pay up Home virtually destroyed by faulty construction: leaky roof, uneven footings. Everything was approved by the city, even though they were by other contractors who questioned the work.

Thursday, February 08, 2007. International: Wall St down on concerns over housing market HSBC, world’s third-biggest bank, reporting its bad debts were higher than analysts’ estimates because of US mortgage lending. The rise in defaults surprised investors and sparked selling of sub-prime mortgage lenders and homebuilders.

Thursday, February 08, 2007. WA: 6 charged in identity theft involving Bellevue firms Identity-theft ring had insiders at a Bellevue mortgage company and escrow company provide stolen customer information.

Thursday, February 08, 2007. MS: Three On Your Side Investigates: Mortgage Fraud Schemes Real estate appraiser Edward Young sentenced to 42 months in Fed prison for role in multi- million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

Thursday, February 08, 2007.U.S. subprime lenders shares drop U.S. subprime mortgage market in a tizzy as air hisses out of the housing bubble.

Thursday, February 08, 2007. US: Subprime lender New Century shares plummet on warning Didn't properly account for some of the home loans it had to buy back

Thursday, February 08, 2007. IL: State sues 3 mortgage firms The defendants include Cadillac Properties, Candice Co. and Payment Center, along with Donna DiBrito, president of the firms. Also connected: Father & Sons

Thursday, February 08, 2007. Wisconsin; Nat'l interest: Court Says No to Class Action Bar in Arbitration Class action arbitration agreement unconscionable and unenforceable under state contract law.

Thursday, February 08, 2007. OR, WI, Nat'l interest: Oregon Follows Trend Against Enforcing Class Arbitration Bars--unconscionable The Oregon court, according to Sternlight, said in a telling phrase that a class action bar "gives defendant a virtual license to commit, with impunity, millions of dollars' worth of small-scale fraud." (You will need to sign up for a free trial subscription to read articles in full on ADRworld.com)

Thursday, February 08, 2007. AK: Building codes don't guarantee a dam-proof home Drive through that subdivision now; every house has a curtain of icicles except the one she insisted the builder fix.

Thursday, February 08, 2007. VA: Countertop worker a fugitive Frederick Demetrius Beasley, owner of CounterWorks LLC indicted & now on the run.

Thursday, February 08, 2007. FL: Lawsuit in failed condos may end Fraud and greed run rampant

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. WA: Seattle PI Blog on homeowners rights bill article If you wouldn't want to live in that (problematic) house for a year, why ought your customer?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. WA: Scroll down to "HOMEOWNERS" Letter to Editor re: WA Homeowners Rights Bill stories poste earlier this week: "Criticize plaintiff's lawyers if you like, but if it wasn't for mine, I and my sick children would be living under a bridge somewhere, which would still be preferable to living in the sick building left on my property by our builder."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. NJ: Racketeering defense bill costly U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor recently denied builder Peter Davis' request to deflect his substantial legal defense bill toward the government.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. CA: Mold found in new El Dorado Hills homes Building inspector blames poor engineering, construction flaws...just the tip of the iceberg

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. TX: SAHA chief to take hot seat after council hears complaints Shoddy construction in KB Home development

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. WI: Sheriff warns of scams and frauds: Dealing with contractors Homeowner responsible for paying bills that contractor incurs.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. FL: UPDATE on CCI case: Frustration with builder mounting Satisfying liens is the purchasers' responsibility.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. US: Mortgage law proposals get cold shoulder from lenders "[Opponents] like to say regulation restricts competition," he added. "What's going on isn't competition. It's essentially cheating."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. US: Commercial brokers keep eye on residential real estate Orlando's new-home market experiencing 50 percent cancellation rate; nationwide average is 35 percent

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. US: Toll, Centex, Lennar Join `Moron' Speculators in Land Grab Bust ``It's going to be pretty ugly,'' McCabe said. ``Lots of people will lose money and a lot of paper wealth will be going away.''

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. TX: Many McMansions sitting unsold While there are lots of unsold homes on the market, some builders may decide to go ahead with more starts

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. US: Mortgage Lenders Network USA files for bankruptcy Many lenders have sold or quit their businesses, or are seeking buyers.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. US: Construction Litigation Law Blog New material posted: Fire Safety in construction, etc.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007. WA: Letter to Editor "HOME BUYERS" Re: previously posted articles on builders opposition to the WA Homeowners' Rights Bill.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. FL: SEC deadline looms for Coast UPDATE on Coast Bank-Construction Compliance case

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. FL: Sweep Targets Unlicensed Contractors In Weston Upswing in contractor fraud

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. VT: Contractor accused of defrauding clients David Rounds, d/b/a Springfield Roofing, Rounds Construction and Bradley Builders, allegedly defrauded residents out of $58,000

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. US: D.R. Horton says January home-building orders soft Cancellation rate for the month was about the same as the 33 percent seen in the December quarter.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. NJ: Couple allowed out of Kara Homes contract Kara filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, leaving the company with about 300 contracts for homes that it couldn't build.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. MD: Police standoff ends peacefully (Resort Pointe Custom Homes employee) Robert Prikryl was distraught over business troubles when he picked up his gun and held police at bay for more than three hours.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. FL: Investors deals with developer lead to court Since 2001, seven have sued over failure to repay loan or investment.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. TX: Homeowners For Better Building: “Tell Legislators to Hold Homebuilders Accountable” It only takes a few minutes of your time to make a big difference

Tuesday, February 06, 2007. US: Ethical home inspector loses referrals The very idea that agents are the primary source of home inspector referrals is a clear and obvious conflict of interest.

Monday, February 05, 2007. WA: Home Warranty--trust but verify Sen. Brian Weinstein is engaged in an important effort to provide greater consumer protections for buyers with several bills

Monday, February 05, 2007. WA: Builders try to demolish homeowner 'rights' bill: Comments of readers Seattle Post website that ran the story we posted earlier today.

Monday, February 05, 2007. US: Vacant homes for sale cloud hopes for housing recovery Could make desperate sellers drop prices

Monday, February 05, 2007. US: Toll Brothers CEO earns $29 million Sharholders didn't do so well.

Monday, February 05, 2007. OK; LA; National interest: In Your Corner: FEMA flip-flops on family Family loses everything in hurricane Katrina, gets FEMA aid, now FEMA wants the money back and is sending conflicting and confusing letters to the family.

Monday, February 05, 2007. US: KB Home to double CEO's pay New CEO Jeffrey Mezger who replaced outsted Bruce Karatz re: stock options investigation by SEC

Monday, February 05, 2007. WA: Building Industy opposes homeowner protections Why some of the honest builders don't do something about the trade group that has ruined their reputation is beyond me. (Blog discussion of news article below)

Monday, February 05, 2007. WA: Builders try to demolish homeowner 'rights' bill In Washington state, you've got more consumer-protection rights when you buy a $25 toaster than you do when buying a $500,000 home...."These bills are at the top of our agenda right now -- we want them dead," said Erin Shannon, spokeswoman for the Building Industry Association of Washington. [GET INVOLVED IF YOU ARE IN WA STATE--DON'T LET THE BUILDERS KILL IMPORTANT CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATION ON HOMES!--Ed.]

Monday, February 05, 2007. TX: Builder in hot water A growing number of individuals, banks and businesses are hiring attorneys and filing lawsuits (against Jason Cross).

Monday, February 05, 2007. FL: Contract Shifting Mystery More on the CCI/Coast Bank case

Monday, February 05, 2007. US: Most agree: Housing crunch isn't over yet Combination of ARM's, exotic mortgages, will lead to foreclosure and more homes on market

Monday, February 05, 2007. NC: Jackson leaders consider halting construction; builders opposed Meeting tonight re: land development law to protect ridge tops & prevent development on steep mountainsides.

Monday, February 05, 2007. US: How housing masked a weak economy "Housing mania will end in tears." That belief served as the headline of my column back on March 7, 2005. Now this scenario is slowly playing out...

Monday, February 05, 2007. US: Beware: New Constructions Illegally not disclosing seller subsidies Tricks could cost homebuyers thousands

Monday, February 05, 2007. US: Foreclosure creeps up on more owners Higher-risk loans a cause--Buyers of foreclosed houses beware

Sunday, February 04, 2007. OH: 'The appraisers ... are clearly enablers' Officials say virtually every mortgage fraud scheme requires an appraiser to make an artificially inflated estimate.

Sunday, February 04, 2007. FL: Who's to blame? Coast or CCI? Or both? Any way, it's the investors who are left in housing debacle's lurch. (Good article updating this case, with a timeline of events.)

Saturday, February 03, 2007.Rate the Courts Another rating site, this time for the courts

Saturday, February 03, 2007. MI; Nat'l interest: No Developers Welcome Conservation easements...voluntary legal agreement that places restrictions on development of property.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: ‘Suitability’ may become buzzword for mortgages Stricter liability for brokers, lenders and the bond investors who buy pools of mortgages.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: PDF: Policy Holders of America Newsletter Melinda Ballard's insurance and mold site has a PDF of their current newslettr online.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: Appraisers get pressure to fudge figures May be blackballed by the industry for not going along with it.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: Don't rush decision to use builder's lender Builder cannot require buyers to use the in-house lender

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: Strong-ARM-ed out of a home Realizing the Option ARM Mistake

Saturday, February 03, 2007. MI: Liens, delays dash hopes for spec home; case involves several local companies (Homebuyers paying twice.) Many people face similar risks when they decide to have a home built....it may be less risky to buy an existing home.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. KS/MO: REMINDER: Re: Jeffrey Miller d/b/a Miller Enterprises, Star Land Development, etc Kansas Dept of Justice: to report fraud concerning this case

Saturday, February 03, 2007. FL: Grand Jury finds West Palm has ‘pay-to-play’ image Developers should not be permitted to circumvent the clear intent of the law, " the report said.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: Housing Bubble: Ponzi Schemes unwinding CCI loan crisis, etc.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. TX & US: Homeowners Without Protection Are Falling To Foreclosures Renegade Builders allowed to throw up substandard construction. Foreclosure statistics include homeowners who can not afford repairs to new homes and are trapped by arbitration clauses. Attorney general hasn't investigated 12,000 complaints...

Saturday, February 03, 2007. NV: Warning about unlicensed contracting company Welcome Home Builders

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: Made in ... Germany? Home importer Platz Haus USA...While U.S. home-builders beg to differ, Meier argues that European homes tend to be better-built for many reasons...

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: Standard Pacific CEO doesn't expect housing rebound in 2007 The builder's profit fell 72% last yr.

Saturday, February 03, 2007. US: Are housing fears overblown? Poll says half of consumers expect housing mkt collapse despite pundits' predictions to the contrary.

Friday, February 02, 2007. IL: Three Riverside mortgage firms face fraud suit Companies made more than $10 million in unlawful loans; hid relationship to shoddy home-repair firms

Friday, February 02, 2007. OH: Don't do Drees Homeowner's site

Friday, February 02, 2007. CA: Plumbing Defect Disaster DR Horton knew about problem says homeowner

Friday, February 02, 2007. US: Exposing New Home Builders News and commentary blog, new material recently added.

Friday, February 02, 2007. US: Federal Reserve Finding Eminent Domain for Private Development May Do More Harm Than Good

Friday, February 02, 2007. US: U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Eminent Domain Extortion Case “Your money or your property” may soon become the mantra of politically connected developers

Friday, February 02, 2007. MI: Free advice on avoiding mortgage fraud Realtor® Ralph Roberts continues his successful teleseminar series on Feb. 6th

Friday, February 02, 2007. MI: Developer sends fliers as residents gear for vote Critics argue Moceri's efforts to promote a yes vote have suggested that voting against the rezoning ordinances equates to voting against housing for senior citizens, etc

Friday, February 02, 2007. MI: Builder must pay $111,000 for unfinished house Pinch Construction; owners say home worthless due to mold

Friday, February 02, 2007. FL: UPDATE on CCI: Coast Bank officials 'asleep at switch' As long as the money was coming in, few questions were asked.

Friday, February 02, 2007. US: Real Estate Soft Landing? Hardly! (Investor's opinion) There will soon be $1 trillion of adjustable mortgage payments increasing beyond payment capacity of borrower....90% of borrowers who lied on original application will find replacement loan no longer exists.

Friday, February 02, 2007. TX: Homeowner wants city to pay for canal fixes she says are a safety concern Development built in 2001 by Castle Creek Custom Homes who's now out of business

Friday, February 02, 2007. VT: Builder denies charges of fraud Todd Brunelle, d/b/a Multi Craft Construction

Friday, February 02, 2007. TX: 2 get prison in Dallas housing-fraud investigation Barbara Hildenbrand of nonprofit Community Housing Fund; Gerald Stone of Ranscott Construction.

Friday, February 02, 2007. MI: Wayne Cleo Price charged with construction fraud and larceny Accused of stealing homeowner's insurance money after fire

Friday, February 02, 2007. CA: Big Cost Homes Blown Apart "The builders call it 'value engineering'." (Woodside and Wm. Lyon named in article.)

Friday, February 02, 2007. MD: Gemcraft Homes of Forest Hill, Md., has acquired CDG Homes Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Friday, February 02, 2007. FL: Coast Bank unlikely to fail; FDIC has taken no enforcement actions Bank struggling since admitting $110 million in loans to home buyers are in jeopardy after builder CCI stopped work.

Friday, February 02, 2007. CA: Landowner sues city and KB Home over tract project Contamination, altering stream bed

Friday, February 02, 2007. WV: Developer companies face more than 25 lawsuits Sub's and suppliers are among those filing suits against John E. Petry, his company American Homes by United Builders LLC and his other businesses

Friday, February 02, 2007. US: Subprime Loan Defaults Pass 2001 Peak One type is the use of ``straw buyers'' who are in collusion with homebuilders or real estate speculators

Friday, February 02, 2007. FL: Veteran banker tapped to lead troubled R-G Crown R-G Crown also ensnared by controversial case of local builder John Barrington, who was charged last year with fraud

Thursday, February 01, 2007. US: New Home Builders news blog News, commentary, new material added this week.

Thursday, February 01, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Blog Attorney Rachel Dollar's blog/news: new entries today

Thursday, February 01, 2007. AR; US: Bank Losses Reflect Housing Slowdown Builder bankruptcy, failure to see it coming...

Thursday, February 01, 2007. MI: Families in failed development awarded $540,000 Failed Sugar Maple Farms subdivision.

Thursday, February 01, 2007. US: Buyer Beware: Homebuilding Stocks on the Brink Steve Christ, editor of "The Housing 911 Report," says that in reality, "The bottom in housing is nowhere in sight."

Thursday, February 01, 2007. TN: Residential developer sued over secret sex videotapes Homebuilder Steve Kirby

Thursday, February 01, 2007. US: Pulte my finger Homebuilders continue to struggle

Thursday, February 01, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes bankruptcy Bankruptcy judge granted four home buyers permission to cancel, even at risk of losing thousands in deposits.

Thursday, February 01, 2007. US: Mediation v. Mandatory Binding Arbitration Don’t take my word for it, just check your home construction, car, car lease, credit card, bank account, cell phone, storage room, utilities, or an exterminator contract and see for yourself.

Thursday, February 01, 2007. CA: Mold found in El Dorado Hills homes William Lyon Homes...a subcontractor may have improperly installed the windows.

Thursday, February 01, 2007. US: Toxic Mold Wall Street Journal Uncovers Medical Association's Alleged Conflicts of Interest -- Advocacy Groups Call for Senate Investigation

Thursday, February 01, 2007. MI: Oxford Bank offers seminars on self-built homes Free, Feb. 27th, 2007.

Thursday, February 01, 2007. FL: CCI loan crisis casts wide net Battle Realty, (also) owned by CCI's owner Jesse Battle III

Thursday, February 01, 2007. FL: Builders mimicked CCI and survived Even though Advantage Builders is experiencing financial problems similar to CCI's...

Thursday, February 01, 2007. FL: What was Coast Bank thinking? The man, who has often bought and sold homes as investment vehicles, was careful in his research of the entities involved....Everything seemed to check out. (Now there are liens, unfinished homes, etc.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007. FL; SC: Update: CCI got loan just days before trouble revealed Companies included Coast and CCI (Construction Compliance), Seashore Real Estate, American Mortgage Link.

Thursday, February 01, 2007. FL: Builders losing licenses Eligha Lewis Pryor Jr., (d/b/a Pryor Homes, ENS Enterprises, SNE Construction. Also Bruce Hurley.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007. TX: The State of the State Affairs Committee. (which will hear homebuilder bills) The Texas homebuilding industry, tort reformers, Bob Perry, and his supporters are well represented on the State Affairs Committee. This committee historically handle bills concerning the homebuilding industry.

Monday, January 29, 2007. VA SLAPP suit bill: Senate Committee backs bill to protect speakers' rights Lobbyist for Virginia's homebuilders spoke against bill.

Monday, January 29, 2007. WA: Letter to Editor: Renovation rights Among other renovation defects, author had a bathtub that was electrified at 110 volts AC!

Sunday, January 28, 2007. Nat'l interest: CODE BLUE: mold resistant lumber "It won't replace quality construction and workmanship," Dorschner says. "It's best if builders build homes correctly so they don't get wet, instead of relying on these and other building materials that are a bit more forgiving if they get wet, but are certainly not the silver bullet. It's like putting a Band-Aid on a surgical wound."

Sunday, January 28, 2007. FL: Remodeler faces new complaints Frank Edmund Donofrio accused of shoddy incomplete work, paid for with high interest loans he helps customers obtain.

Sunday, January 28, 2007. FL: Money, homes, are lacking The money certainly didn't all go into completing the houses. (More on CCI-Coast Bank case)

Sunday, January 28, 2007. FL: Sweet deals turn bitter amid CCI's decline, fall The prospect of a fast profit with no money down was hard to resist.

Sunday, January 28, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Attorney preparing suit over CCI loans Construction Compliance Inc, Seashore Resorts, Coast Bank...lawyer says certain flipping may violate securities laws.

Sunday, January 28, 2007. Nat'l interest: Net-zero homes: The future lives here A house designed to use less energy, make its own electricity and draw its heat from the earth.

Sunday, January 28, 2007. IN: Dispute over drainage lands couple in court Stonegate Homes files defamation suit on picketers

Sunday, January 28, 2007. AR: When your handyman's craft is theft Criminal remedies have more teeth than small claims suits: Dwight Thomas, d/b/a Ace's, Aardvark, All Around Handyman. ... "little evidence Thomas has tried to pay anything he owes in small claims, according to court records."

Sunday, January 28, 2007. IN: Oldie but a goodie: Insurance co says it's not obligated to Defend Beazer Homes in Fraudulent Home Sales Defects, breach of warranty, false representations concerning the amount of their monthly payments (Case began in 2004)

Sunday, January 28, 2007. Nat'l interest: How to find a top-notch home inspector Insurance, experience, etc.

Sunday, January 28, 2007. Nat'l interest: House Calls Good home inspectors can catch issues of safety

Sunday, January 28, 2007. National interest: Letter to Editor: There's no such thing as affordable housing Attorney describes the many catches to buying "affordable housing," which can be worse than renting for the "owner."

Friday, January 26, 2007. TX: Letters to Editor Re: article earlier this week, "Dream home becomes legal nightmare for Mansfield couple," www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8MR6NH80.html

Friday, January 26, 2007. WA SLAPP suit: Woman fought a big firm -- now it's a new battle The developer was fined $477,000. In retaliation, the developer filed a $1.8 million defamation suit against Skylstad, who didn't even know what defamation meant. A court slapped a gag order on her.

Friday, January 26, 2007.Question remains on landslide repairs If city officials knew a natural landslide (existed) why didn't they force the entire thing to be fixed before allowing Seeno Construction to build its San Marco subdivision?

Friday, January 26, 2007. IL: Builder's suit says Daley allies retaliated when he balked When Snitzer refused most requests, the city shut his project down for alleged code violations and went to extraordinary lengths to drive him from the multimillion-dollar development, the lawsuit says.

Friday, January 26, 2007. PA: Builder asks judge to get him off Google Gregory Hill says public record from US Attorney's office telling of his criminal record is an embarrassment and he doesn't want it to come up on a search engine anymore!

Friday, January 26, 2007.Housing Panic Interesting housing bubble blog with articles, commentary

Friday, January 26, 2007. FL: Name change should foil fraudulent contractors A 'license tax certificate' will now be known as a 'business tax receipt,' so it can no longer be used to falsify licensure.

Friday, January 26, 2007. NY: Bail denied again to contractor accused of larceny "Your client has a record of fraud stretching from Long Island to Florida," Justice Leonard P. Rienzi told (Jimmie) Cartrette's attorney

Friday, January 26, 2007. CA: Residents fear cracks signal landslide risk A city-commissioned report released last week suggests the half-acre slide last summer may have happened, in part, because (William Lyon Homes) did not follow its own recommendations when grading

Friday, January 26, 2007. CA: First American agrees to pay $10M One of many examples nationwide about title insurance & illegal kickbacks to real estate professionals, builders.

Friday, January 26, 2007. MI: Condo dispute The development is being built by Advance Craft Home Builders, owned by Steve Davis.

Friday, January 26, 2007. US: SEC steps up KB Home options probe U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is now conducting a formal investigation.

Friday, January 26, 2007. MI: Dearborn building inspector charged in bribery probe Mark Ovares is scheduled to be arraigned today--soliciting bribes in return for favorable inspection reports.

Friday, January 26, 2007. AK: Bankrupt Homebuilder Lance Lamb d/b/a Diamond Builders built and broke dreams of families Risky "deed to builder" to obtain financing results in financial disaster for home buyers. One home had $100,000 in liens from subs and suppliers builder didn't pay.

Thursday, January 25, 2007. MA: Developer seeks bankruptcy Robert F. Grenier d/b/a Four B Development Corp

Thursday, January 25, 2007. FL: Homebuyers caught in $110 million stalemate, official says Unfinished homes, unpaid subcontractors; buyers were apparently steered by CCI toward using Coast Bank.

Thursday, January 25, 2007. CT: Lawmaker targets land-use conflicts State Rep. Larry Miller--R, proposed bill that would prohibit developers, contractors, real estate brokers from serving on planning commissions, zoning boards and inland wetlands agencies

Thursday, January 25, 2007. AK: Bankrupt builder leaves four families in limbo Customers lost it all when Lance Lamb of Diamond Builders went bankrupt.

Thursday, January 25, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Coast Bank seeks to allay concern Floundering FL builder Construction Compliance (CCI)

Thursday, January 25, 2007. NE: Site Helps Select Home Builder The idea came after him hired a company to build his home and it went poorly.

Thursday, January 25, 2007. Omaha, NE: Metro Builder Reports New Builder rating site!

Thursday, January 25, 2007. US: "Not With Our Money" Lehman Brothers and Predatory Lending

Thursday, January 25, 2007. MI: Developer wants $20M for delay Clarkston attorney representing residents ... suggested that (developer) Moceri is using large potential damage amount as pressure tactic.

Thursday, January 25, 2007. MI: FORECLOSED Trend predicted to worsen

Thursday, January 25, 2007. NJ: Town rejects K. Hovnanian for the third time "The town has won another major battle against a developer who continues to try to bully us into submission,"

Thursday, January 25, 2007. US: Housing bubble will not burst gently Author says official housing industry statistics are massaged, adjusted, & hard to believe.

Thursday, January 25, 2007. FL: Residents balk at new developer fees Residents concerned that Lennar will dump more than $6 million in costs on homeowners in stalled development

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. OK: Crooked contractor cashes in again Alfred Soulek scheduled to appear in court on six counts of home repair fraud.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. TX: Mold Excluded in Homeowner's Policy Is Not Covered as an Ensuing Loss of Leaking Water Builder cuts hole in roof, homeowner not covered

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Attorney's news blog, new material today.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. TX: Advocacy Groups Call for Legislative Action on Behalf of Texas Homeowners Consumer groups calling for substantial reform

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. PA: Restitution hearings to continue in Slayton case Dennis Slayton pleaded no contest to charges of cocaine possession and taking more than $500,000 from customers without working on their homes

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. FL: Talk of the bay Coast Bank partnered with CCI with promise of no-money-down houses. CCI often failed to deliver, leaving clients on hook for half-built homes

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. FL: Home investors sharpen attacks on builder, bank UPDATE on Construction Compliance (CCI) and Coast Bank, unfinished homes, investor's money lost

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. CA: Auction planned for new houses Sign of slow market: readers can leave comments at end of article.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. US: Centex, builders adjust to housing's reality Inventory reduction, land write-offs, Layoffs

Wednesday, January 24, 2007.Lennar seeks cuts from subcontractors Faced with a $195.6 million loss in fourth quarter, builder tells subs to cut costs or be excluded for six months from future bidding

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. WV: Insurance Dept posts warnings on businesses that don't have workmans comp insurance The businesses are: (see article which names many construction companies).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. TX: Man Wanted In Construction Fraud Case Arrested Damon Lynn Snipes, d/b/a Snipes Construction

Wednesday, January 24, 2007. PA; National: Judge cool to a grumble over Google Builder tries to get dept of justice news release blocked from search engine

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. US: FDIC's Supervisory Policy on Predatory Lending The FDIC expects the institutions it supervises to treat consumers fairly, adhere to all applicable legal requirements, and underwrite loan products appropriately. ("expecting" ain't "enforcing," though is it?)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. US: Mortgage Lenders Network Job Cuts Made Permanent Delivery of notices began just hours after banking departments ordered lender to finish financing home loans that had closed in late December, but had yet to be funded.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. US: Lender Facing Possible Fines Cease-and-desist orders have been filed against Mortgage Lenders Network USA by seven states

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. FL: Loan deals on shaky ground In some cases, Coast Bank disbursed money to CCI (Construction Compliance) for construction, but no work was ever done

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Home buyers assemble lawyers in Construction Compliance cases Investors in houses to be built by CCI say they had to use Coast Bank...are now scrambling to see whether they can recoup their money.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes working out details to auction developments UPDATE on builder bankruptcy case

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. US: 482 home loans and potential $50 million loss being probed (Construction Compliance, CCI Homes the common denominator in the unfinished homes.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. US: D.R. Horton Profit Falls on Incentives, Cancellations Quarterly profit fell 65 percent as sales incentives failed to stem cancellations

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. AZ: More about the mortgage fraud bill in AZ Discussed on a blog.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Bill would make mortgage fraud a felony Fraudsters could get 10 years in prison.

Monday, January 22, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Bubble Meter Home Builders Association of Metro Orlando Engages in Scare Tactics, Self Contradictions, and Lies To Sell Homes

Monday, January 22, 2007. US & Canada: Rate Your Builder The site has undergone some remodeling. Read and submit builder ratings. News, info, etc.

Monday, January 22, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Blog and news Several new articles posted today, NJ Affordable Homes, etc

Monday, January 22, 2007. MA: Troubled development site up for foreclosure auction Cold Spring filed for bankruptcy after one of its investors, Robert C. Sears, of Northampton, an investment adviser for Charles Schwab Co., was charged with fraud by federal prosecutors.

Monday, January 22, 2007. NJ: Critics see new state comptroller lacking teeth Corruption cited...five former mayors pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from builders.

Monday, January 22, 2007. NJ: Area developer indicted on charges of bribery Howard M. Schoor indicted on federal charges that he bribed officials in New Jersey to get contracts for his engineering firm( Schoor DePalma Engineers and Consultants).

Monday, January 22, 2007. NE: Subcontractors Learn Hard Lesson Subcontractors who weren't paid by Pearl Construction lost their liens because the builder foreclosed on the house before it was sold.

Monday, January 22, 2007. TX: Arbitration: Even Winners Are Losers Tort Deform website picked up the Cull's case against Perry Homes

Sunday, January 21, 2007. WA: Letters to the editor: Mold victims speak out With little recourse for consumers, what incentive does a builder have, anymore, to do the job right?

Sunday, January 21, 2007.Public Citizen Wins Motion to Protect Identity of Anonymous Web Site Operator Real Estate Developer Paul McMann Cannot Unmask Online Critic

Sunday, January 21, 2007.Perceptions of political impropriety We shouldn't have to wonder whether Joe Blow Homebuilder is donating to a favorite charity in order to get on a politician's good side.

Sunday, January 21, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Wave Cash back at closing scams

Sunday, January 21, 2007. TEXAS: Couple's dream home a 10-year legal nightmare Builder Bob Perry fights claim of faulty house in court to which he's donated

Friday, January 19, 2007. SC: Moldy Mess Builder, David Winkley Homes

Friday, January 19, 2007.ARBITRATION Free registration from the National Arbitration site to research their archives, etc.

Friday, January 19, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud on CNN this weekend "Open House," 9:30 a.m. EST (6:30 a.m. PST) Saturday morning on CNN;
5:30 p.m. EST (2:30 p.m. PST) Saturday and Sunday on Headline News

Friday, January 19, 2007. WA: It's time for a Homeowners' Bill of Rights An overview of what's been proposed in the State Senate this session:

Friday, January 19, 2007. OR: Oregon Task Force Aims to Improve Construction Environment Oregon's Construction Claims Task Force has released a report noting 11 recommendations to help protect homeowners from construction defects and ensure affordable liability insurance for contractors. (See task force articles previously, too.)

Friday, January 19, 2007. IN: Former police officer sentenced in theft is a mortgage broker Court allows Chris Sollars to keep mortage brokers license

Friday, January 19, 2007. FBI: Mortgage Fraud 80 percent of all reported fraud losses involve collaboration or collusion by industry insiders.

Friday, January 19, 2007. US: Amid lawsuits over mold, experts wear 2 hats Worth rerunning: Another source has picked up the article about the ACOEM paper on mold-health connections. Possibly very important to people with mold cases!

Friday, January 19, 2007. US: Real Estate Ripoff You could save big selling your home -- if only the brokers would let you.

Friday, January 19, 2007. US: UPDATE: EPA Rejects Lumber Treatment Proposal Environmental Protection Agency has now rejected industry request to use chromate-based wood preservative for lumber in decks and playground equipment: risk of cancer and other health problems.

Friday, January 19, 2007. US: EPA poised to send known carcinogen back to the public Decision would put chromium-6, the Erin Brockovich chemical, into wood sold to homeowners and contractors nationwide.

Friday, January 19, 2007. Canada; of US interest: Canadians for Properly Built Homes New material added to the site recently. This is a very effective organization from what we can tell!

Thursday, January 18, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Blog Attorney's law blog; new entries

Thursday, January 18, 2007. US: Real Estate Fraud: Facts, Figures and Closed Cases From the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website; incl. info on how to report suspected fraud

Thursday, January 18, 2007.Construction Litigation Law blog New material added

Thursday, January 18, 2007. CO: New mortgage broker law already bars 10 people (listed in article) To file an online complaint against a mortgage broker go to www.DORA.state.co.us/real-estate/

Thursday, January 18, 2007. CA: Monterey County contractor faces workers' comp charges Herman Johnson d/b/a Buzz's Drywall: workers were not insured for injury. (This can put homeowners at risk for having to pay.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007. TX: Group may have funneled Perry aid Builder denies he back-doored $1 million to the governor's bid for re-election

Thursday, January 18, 2007. US: KB Home warns of ID theft risk Thousands of KB Home customers are being warned of the risk of identity theft after one of the home builder’s computers was stolen from a Charleston sales office.

Thursday, January 18, 2007. FL: Legislators pull 'Panhandle exemption' Requires new homes built in Florida to withstand 120-mph storms.

Thursday, January 18, 2007. TX: Homebuilders donations seem fishy Bob Perry could have legally donated unlimited amount to governor's campaign. Campaign reform activists said he may have preferred to pass it through committee to hide source of funds.

Thursday, January 18, 2007. FL; US: Another article on home builders media blitz to convince people to buy now Comment at end of article by "35Guy:" "Do not fall for this
campaign to create a false urgency to buy now. They are still overpriced, and the quality of
craftsmanship on them is low end at best."

Thursday, January 18, 2007. NV: Serving two masters Conflict of Interest: Can Harry Shull be an NLV planning commissioner and home builders chief?

Thursday, January 18, 2007. US: Martha's Frosting Martha's options, observed my wife, "are a very expensive frosting on a rather ordinary (KB Home) cake."

Thursday, January 18, 2007. NJ: Bankruptcy judge OKs replacement loan for Kara Homes Update on builder bankruptcy that left hundreds with unfinished homes and money down that they could not get back.

Thursday, January 18, 2007. FL; Letter to Editor: Builder implosion hits home: re: Avalon Homes & Construction Compliance For all of the greedy, incompetent builders out there who thought they'd make lots of money in the great real estate boom of 2005, I have one word: karma.

Thursday, January 18, 2007. US: Foreclosure rates up big in December Lower lending standards and softening markets contribute to continued troubles for homeowners. (Informative chart shows state by state comparison.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007. MD: Lawsuit Dismissed Against Area Activist Developer Aris Mardirossian plans to file another claim against activist Wayne Goldstein for inquiring if trees would be preserved.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. OR: Construction Claims Task Force Final posting of submitted information, etc. This is the task force HADD Representatives took part in and we are very proud of the effort they put into this for the benefit of Oregon homeowners!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. AZ: Buckeye residents fuming over unfinished subdivision (Developer: Creative Classics) City pulled permits. Citizens have been paying homeowners dues and they don't really know what the money is going toward or what it's being used for.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Homeowners Insurance It pays to fight for your rights

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. MO: Developer vows to fight city Lebanon City Council voted Monday night to halt the issuing of building permits until a solution is reached to deal with water run-off

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Lennar dons rose-colored glasses Homebuilder gave a seemingly upbeat forecast for 2007.... should be taken with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. NY: Disbarred lawyer guilty in theft from Greenburgh couple The couple asked him to act as their lawyer to recover money from the home builder, Toll Brothers. Neuren received a check from the company for $46,212, but kept the money.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Ashton Woods' profit drops 87.5 percent

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. CA: Proposed amendment to Yuba County's well ordinance Would require builders to prove safe water supply exists before building permit issued.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. FL: Builders oppose strengthening building codes in FL panhandle rest of the state follows national regulations for buildings that could be exposed to 120 mph winds

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Lennar Kicks Up More Industry Gloom With home values not rising as they had in the past, coupled with creative financing strategies that allowed homebuyers to get into these houses in the first place, it's likely there will be a wave of foreclosures that will further suppress housing prices and ripple out to the mortgage holders themselves.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Builders launch ad campaign to persuade buyers to act now Paid for by the trade group's larger production builders (Some good comments at end of story suggest the public isn't as easily fooled anymore. --Ed.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. WA: New houses of horrors Over the vigorous protests of the state's home builders, committee chairman Sen. Brian Weinstein, D-Mercer Island, is proposing several laws designed to make it easier to hold contractors accountable for shoddy or dangerous construction. Chief among them: a "Homeowners' Bill of Rights."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter Eleven lenders have gone kaput

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Foreclosures at 52-Year High There are several contributing factors with one main factor: ARM's-- Adjustable Rate Mortgages.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. MI: Family wins mold case against Andrew Tonkovich, A&T Development A poorly built roof allowed rain to seep into the walls and floors on all three levels of the home.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. US: Crooked deals that destroy neighborhoods Condo fraud is a scam where a developer, mortgage broker and an appraiser work together to inflate value and steal mortgages from legitimate institutions.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007. TX: Leveling the Texas Residential Construction Commission (Houston) — Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings (HADD), a consumer protection organization, released a report titled “Leveling the Texas Residential Construction Commission” detailing the changes needed to the TRCC to provide adequate protection to homebuyers with construction defects.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. OK: Remodeler robs sight-impaired blind Build Masters, Inc

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. US: Builders Told to Ramp Up Sales Efforts in Slow Market Home builders are paying the price for the buying frenzy they helped create

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. US: Mortgage Bankers Association fights proposed restrictions on hybrid ARMs Senators want loans classified as exotic, want disclosure. (Inman news article free on day of posting)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. US: Arbitrating Away The American Dream If mandatory arbitration agreements are so good for us consumers, then why are they mandatory?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. US: Depositions in construction defect cases We are amazed at the lack of knowledge of many project managers and superintendents we depose.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. TX: SLAPP-suit in Houston Texas Johnson Development Co. Seeks To Access Customers Computer Hard-drives

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. US: DOJ Antitrust Lawsuit against NAR to Proceed Court stated in its opinion that "NAR has failed, with all respect, to demonstrate that this case should be dismissed

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. NV: After the default Glut of overpriced properties and falling home values

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. MI; US: FBI: Mortgage fraud increases Inflated assessments and loans falsely raise value of neighborhoods and increase homeowners' taxes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. FL: Developer Armed with Experts Environmental activists ... have criticized such cross-pollination between developers and their regulators

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. US: Builders Report Disappointing Results Centex Corp. and KBHome said they will report disappointing quarterly results because a slumping U.S. housing market forced them to write down a combined $793 million of property.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007. US: Housing Bubble Bloodbath “The crash of the housing bubble will not be pretty. Millions of people stand to lose their homes and life savings.

Monday, January 15, 2007. TX: Foundations worry SAHA residents Homes built by KB Home will probably cost tens-of-thousands to repair.

Monday, January 15, 2007. FL: "Poison peril unlikely in Wellington scare" Article says "residents living in Palm Beach Polo, Farmington Estates or other communities near the planned 202-home development at Oakmont Estates, where those poisons were discovered in the soil or groundwater, are not likely in any immediate danger."

Monday, January 15, 2007. MI: New home building plummets Construction permits drop nearly 50% as stalled subdivisions become common sight.

Monday, January 15, 2007. US: New Listing (Sort of) Agents are pulling houses off the market and then presenting them as new offerings

Monday, January 15, 2007. US: Home Loan Servicing Gone Awry Predatory servicing has attracted little attention, yet in many respects it is more vicious...

Monday, January 15, 2007. US: Home-loan house of cards ready to fall fraud is an out-of-control locomotive

Sunday, January 14, 2007. Kansas City Star: Letter to Editor RE: Water damage problem in new homes Author says homes in his area have been standing "50 or more years in many cases without suffering this sort of damage."

Sunday, January 14, 2007. FL: Construction Compliance Inc leaves subcontractors unpaid Homebuyers end up paying twice

Sunday, January 14, 2007. US: Mortgage-Trapped Homeowners With New Exotic Loans Aren't Always Aware Of the Risk Involved

Sunday, January 14, 2007. Kansas City Star: Mortgage fraud’s new super sleuths Consumers must become better educated about complicated, but legally critical, paperwork they are signing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes bankruptcy Proposed loan from Plainfield Special Situations Master Fund Ltd. hedge fund will be subject of hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Court Tuesday.

Sunday, January 14, 2007. IN: New Albany Police looking for vandals in rash of thefts Police speculate that stolen compressors going to builders/contractors

Sunday, January 14, 2007. NY: Bloomberg to license builders City Council will soon enact legislation requiring city's more than 600 home builders to get licenses before they erect any more homes

Sunday, January 14, 2007. US: Rebound won't help home builders U.S. home builders, stuck with more than 500,000 unsold houses, may report the lowest earnings in five years

Sunday, January 14, 2007. NJ: Schooner Bay condo owner files suit against builder, architecht Complaint alleges Pat and Greg DiAntonio of P and G Deveopment and architecth Kevin Young have committed fraud and negligence...

Sunday, January 14, 2007. FL: Home buyers hit with liens Construction Compliance, owner Jesse B. Battle III, hasn't paid subcontractors, homeowners have liens even though they paid company

Friday, January 12, 2007. OK: Realtor could see license suspended Ann Campbell one of several people facing charges in connection with alleged mortgage fraud

Friday, January 12, 2007. OR; Nat'l interest: Construction Claims Task Force Main site: see updates and final reports posted today, below.

Friday, January 12, 2007. OR: More from the Construction Claims Task Force PDF: Task force makes recommendations to improve Oregon’s construction environment

Friday, January 12, 2007. Big Builder Online: Appraisals/values slipping; Eminent domain Voters prevent developers from gaining an easy path to prime property.

Friday, January 12, 2007. OR; Nat'l interest: CONSTRUCTION CLAIMS TASK FORCE Final Insurance Study Report.

Friday, January 12, 2007. OR; National interest: CONSTRUCTION CLAIMS TASK FORCE UPDATE: Final Legislative Report; this is the task force HADD Representatives took part in.

Friday, January 12, 2007.Construction Litigation A law blog w/recently added material

Friday, January 12, 2007.New Home Builders News Blog Recent entries, articles

Friday, January 12, 2007. PA: Builder will fight court order to pay restitution to customers Scott Binsack served jail time for taking money from clients without finishing their homes

Friday, January 12, 2007. MI: Housing glut curbs building Projects half-constructed, vacant, or have yet to begin, while developers stall plans, go bankrupt, or desperately try to lure buyers

Friday, January 12, 2007. NV: Centex nixed land deal Centex backed out of deal that would have provided the company with capital it needs to pay down outstanding debt.

Friday, January 12, 2007.Builder who fled country to avoid prison cites misery More on contractor Kevin Bruce Cooper, accused of sex crimes with minors

Friday, January 12, 2007.Evidence of the Housing Bottom from the Builders Earlier this morning, we discussed some of the more hallucinogenic forecasts of the NAR (Home Prices Seen Rising in '07). As if on cue, a few more Home Builders show us what a bottom looks like (or not):

Friday, January 12, 2007. VA: Expert hammers out warning to homebuilders Prices, growth, unsustainable

Friday, January 12, 2007. CO: Mortgage company under fire for practices has closed Altus Home Loans, owned by Ferren Rajput, accused of deceptive advertising and misleading sales tactics

Thursday, January 11, 2007. TX: SAHA Tenants Claim Requests To Repair Homes Ignored (Homeowners)said KB Homes built them homes on Precious Lane that are nearly worthless because their foundations are riddled with cracks.

Thursday, January 11, 2007. CO: Guilty plea in fraud probe A mortgage-fraud scheme that ravaged an Aurora neighborhood with foreclosures

Thursday, January 11, 2007. PA: Chester Underhill sentenced to prison for fraudulent property appraisals "significantly overappraised" properties

Thursday, January 11, 2007. MI: Rochester Hills land deal turns into zero return, lawsuit (Lawsuit claims) Rochester Hills Real Estate Development Corp. and other parties, conspired to commit fraud and inflate the value of at least a half-dozen lots in the subdivision.

Thursday, January 11, 2007. OH: Homearama cancelled High levels of unsold homes remain on the market

Thursday, January 11, 2007. TX: Cities ask to help Kyle in lawsuit Four Central Texas cities want to help the City of Kyle fight a lawsuit by the NAACP and home builders that they say could keep the cities from passing and enforcing their own zoning laws.

Thursday, January 11, 2007. US: Housing market pain not revealed by stats Why is there such disconnect between the numbers and reports from the front lines?

Thursday, January 11, 2007. WI: 7-year low for home permits Some builders would rather hold onto their 30 percent (profit) margin.

Thursday, January 11, 2007. NH: Contractor licensing an issue in NH legislature again stricter contractor regulations

Thursday, January 11, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes Bankruptcy Update to earlier articles.

Thursday, January 11, 2007. TN: Blount builder and sex predator jailed Builder: Kevin Bruce Cooper

Thursday, January 11, 2007. FL: Pulte gets $1 million back from Osceola Homebuyers who asked for refund to be passed back to them will have to fight the builder in court.

Thursday, January 11, 2007. FL: Collection claim goes public Subcontractor says D.R. Horton has not paid him; others have problems with the builder too

Thursday, January 11, 2007. MI: Cement contractor charged with obstructing justice in grand jury investigation Alan Pighin, president of Century Cement Co., is named in a seven-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Thursday, January 11, 2007. TX: Johnson Development SLAPP-suit in Texas settled corporations target groups or individual consumers who actively complain

Thursday, January 11, 2007. US: The elephant in the room; foreclosures, fraud FBI estimates 80% of real estate fraud involves real estate insiders.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007.Ready or Not From BigBuilderOnline.com: KB Home ... went from red flag to code red.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007. OR: Oregon reforming construction law Jeff Manning's article in The Oregonian picked up by BigBuilderOnline.com

Wednesday, January 10, 2007. OK: War veteran can't go home because of contractor's unfinished, shoddy work Blanchard: Contractor is Patrick Sutton

Wednesday, January 10, 2007. FL: Contractor fraud a huge problem in 2006 Article mentions Collier county's website to check contractors: Colliergov.net

Wednesday, January 10, 2007. FL: Builder faces $7mil foreclosure Sellers foreclosing on 141-acre property owned by Jacques Cloutier, (J&J Homes).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007.Homeowner's experience with the American Arbitration Association Right up front we had to pay $1,800.00 to AAA just to get them to accept the case.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007. MI: Suspend building on slopes City Council scheduled to vote whether to temporarily halt further housing development on steep waterfront slopes until city can adopt clear rules developers must heed

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. TOP STORY: Amid lawsuits over mold, experts wear 2 hats Worth repeating from earlier today: Study claiming no health effects from mold found to be biased

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. MI: Buyers to builder: Step it up! Shoddy and unfinished work at Antique Woods condominium complex that was supposed to be done in 2003; builder is Lewiston Realty

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes bankruptcy (Bankruptcy judge gives Kara Homes approval to auction off four of its properties so another builder can finish the homes.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. IL: FBI bribe sting snares alderman Arenda Troutman was charged Monday with taking bribes to grease a development in her ward in an undercover sting in which she was recorded brashly asking one informant: "What do I get out of it?"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. MA: Contractor facing criminal charges for unfinished projects Peter E. Grenier of Salem also the subject of several civil lawsuits

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. US: They Insisted That We Must Have Been Doing Something Wrong (When a builder goes bankrupt, customers can lose everything. Important info about surety bonds every home buyer should know.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. NC: Consumer complaints rise at BBB Top industry complaints for the area were in the following industries: home improvements and remodeling, auto dealers, home builders

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. VA: Lawmakers consider weighty surcharge on large homes If larger than 4,000 square feet and not energy efficient

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. US: Homebuilders report drop in sales (Meritage)cancellations hit a record 48 percent

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. FL: Builder 'going on offensive' Deco Homes will file countersuits against group of customers ... (Deco's owner--Carlo Pio) is also the subject of a pending investigation by the Collier County Economic Crimes Unit

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. CO: Criminalizing appraisal fraud To address the growing wave of appraisal fraud, the legislation will also prohibit a mortgage broker from compensating, coercing, or intimidating a real estate appraiser in order to obtain an artificially inflated appraisal.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. US: Flood insurance that works Only a few US towns have been moved wholesale after repeated natural disasters. The idea should be encouraged in hurricane-prone areas.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. US: Building from the ground up Weekend and summer workshops teach people how they can build their own homes with minimal expense, as long as they put in the labor (naturalbuildingnetwork.org).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. Barry Stone column: Ground-level inspection misses a host of roof defects Inspecting a roof from the ground is little better than not inspecting it at all.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. Canada: Canadians for Properly Built Homes Federal Government Report Card re: consumer protection

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. US: More "creative financing," (risky) financing! No Mortgage Payment for 12 Months Author commentating on loan: those desperate enough to use this program will quickly go bankrupt at the end of it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. CO: Suthers wants Legislature to crack down on appraisal fraud Inflated appraisals, aggressive building, risky loans and mortgage-fraud, pushed Colorado to the second-highest number of foreclosures in nation.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. NATIONAL IMPORTANCE RE: TOXIC MOLD "STUDIES": Amid lawsuits over mold, experts wear 2 hats Attacking the credibility of mold position papers drafted by scientists who work for defendants.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. OH: Ohio AG Dann Commends Strickland For Vetoing Anti-Consumer Legislation Relevant to article below.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007. OH: Bill could jeopardize consumer protection You can't treat a bad mortgage and toaster with the same cap (on damages)

Monday, January 08, 2007. OR: Construction Claims Task Force UPDATE Last meeting January 12, 2007, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Room 260, 2nd Floor of the Labor and Industry Building,
350 Winter St NE, Salem, Oregon 97301 (Related to Jeff Manning's article below. This is the Task Force HADD volunteers took part in. --Ed.)

Monday, January 08, 2007. OR: Rules are drawn up to make sure new homes measure up To Legislature next - Code revisions and more contractor education are meant to eliminate residential building disasters: by Jeff Manning, Oregon Live

Monday, January 08, 2007. FL: Official swayed, activists contend (Critics suspect Susan Valliere sold out to developers. -Ed.)

Monday, January 08, 2007.When failure's worth $200M, something's out of whack KB Home CEO Bruce Karatz earned $156 million in a single year

Monday, January 08, 2007. US: Philanthropy's holdings contradict its human-welfare goals Long before the Gates Foundation's investment in Ameriquest, the mortgage lender had become known for high-pressure sales tactics, forged documents, hidden costs, stiff prepayment rules and rushed closings

Monday, January 08, 2007. US: Housing Is Still Off Balance UCLA Anderson Forecast says residential real estate will nonetheless be a "moderate to poor" investment in 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007. MI: Dream home brings a big tax hike "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" results in higher tax assessment

Monday, January 08, 2007. US: Option ARMs, a.k.a. the Negative Amortization loan They've repeated the pitch so often that they believe their own B.S.

Monday, January 08, 2007. MA; Nat'l interest: Dissolving Mechanic's Lien; by attorney Andrea Goldman I have received numerous inquiries from homeowners who have had mechanic's liens placed on their property by contractors or subcontractors.

Monday, January 08, 2007. TX: SCROLL DOWN TO: "TRCC site is no help" Reader is told by TRCC that builder complaints only divulged if she files an open records act request in writing, so earlier claims that builder complaints now on TRCC website may be highly misleading.

Monday, January 08, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Mortgage Fraud Blog has news entries again today

Monday, January 08, 2007. AR: Housing Market Slumps Bella Vista-based Betty's Homes Inc. and its owners Robert and Betty Abercrombie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, owing almost $10 million to local creditors and affecting eight area banks and dozens of small businesses.

Monday, January 08, 2007. CO: A valuable lesson Author discusses some soil problems that can lead to foundation failure in CO.

Monday, January 08, 2007. AZ: Turner-Dunn Bankruptcy update: Half-done homes continue to languish homebuyers are last in line and unlikely to get anything

Monday, January 08, 2007. NJ: $100G sought from builder Kara's bankruptcy has left hundreds in New Jersey uncertain about the fate their unfinished homes.

Monday, January 08, 2007. US: More mortgage fraud scammers are targeting area, and an FBI team is targeting them The industry is turning a blind eye to fraud

Monday, January 08, 2007. TX: Speakership key to clout Bob Perry, a Houston homebuilder, in the past five years has donated $915,000 to the Hillco political action committee, about 43 percent of all the PAC's fundraising. The money was then donated to legislators.

Monday, January 08, 2007. US: Right Side Advisors on Homebuilders stock model continues to show deteriorating fundamentals for the homebuilders

Monday, January 08, 2007. WA: Lenders don't have to warn you about unsuitable loans Response to a stream of reports suggesting a rise in so-called predatory lending practices

Monday, January 08, 2007. WA: Mortgage brokers tighten rules on loan officers Until this month, virtually anyone could work in Washington as a loan officer for a mortgage broker — even convicted felons

Monday, January 08, 2007. WA: No taking property without notification (WA currently allows your property to be taken without notice.)

Monday, January 08, 2007. OH: "Don't Do Drees" A homeowner's website about their experience with Drees Homes

Saturday, January 06, 2007. US: Potential mortgage foreclosures are worse than thought Broker who closes loan just concerned with production--has little or no reason to consider long-term viability

Saturday, January 06, 2007. NJ: Superior Court Judge Finds New Jersey's Home Owner Warranty Program "A Useless Piece of Paper" (Judge in Cesard v. D.R. Horton) "This is a program, even though it is distinguished by the Legislature, as a homeowner warranty, it is basically a safety net for the builder..."

Saturday, January 06, 2007. ABC-7, NY: Home Warranty Problem When one family needed their boiler replaced, the company that issued the warranty refused.

Saturday, January 06, 2007. US: EPA Poised to Send Known Carcinogen Back to the Public Decision would put chromium-6, the Erin Brockovich chemical, into wood sold to homeowners and contractors nationwide.

Saturday, January 06, 2007. US: The Real Estate Depression of 2007 hucksters usually fail to mention that almost 80% of all real estate purchased in the past decade has been leveraged with mortgages

Saturday, January 06, 2007. FL: Builder finding it tough to sell his hurricane-resistant houses in current market said he would be happy to get $249,000.

Saturday, January 06, 2007. US: Hurricane expert's forecast: Disaster Mayfield believes that what is lacking in the United States is the political will to make and impose hard decisions on building codes and land use in the face of resistance from the influential building industry and a public still willing to gamble...

Saturday, January 06, 2007. CA: Sloping driveway is grounds for dispute The builder agreed this was a problem, but didn't agree he should fix it.

Saturday, January 06, 2007. AZ: In state politics, it's same old BCS While developers have to prove there's water before they can build in the Valley, Prescott and Tucson, they can throw up whole cities in rural Arizona without having to consider whether there will be anything other than gila monsters running through the pipes.

Saturday, January 06, 2007. OK: A house not yet built (Oak Tree Homes) The ceiling in several rooms was falling in and there was water damage in nearly every room.

Saturday, January 06, 2007. TX: House Speaker decision to impact everyone That can make a huge difference in terms of whether we protect the home builders or the home buyers...

Saturday, January 06, 2007. US: Ninth Circuit Court Strikes a Blow for Fairness and Common Sense In the case of Nagrampa v. MailCoups, Inc., No. 03-15955 (9th Cir. Dec. 4, 2006) (en banc), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit restored the rights of parties to challenge contracts that unfairly strip them of access to the civil justice system.

Friday, January 05, 2007. US: More mortgage fraud news New entries.

Friday, January 05, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud News Mortgage Fraud Blog/News by attorney Rachel Dollar; new entries.

Friday, January 05, 2007. TX: Buyers can now review home builders online inspection reports can be accessed from the Residential Construction Commission home page at www.trcc.state.tx.us or www.texasrcc.com, .net or .org

Friday, January 05, 2007. CA: C.A. Sets Aside Order That Parties Attend, Pay for Private Mediation multi-party construction defect action

Friday, January 05, 2007. NJ: 9 charged or convicted in Marlboro probe Vuola was indicted on federal charges that he offered bribes to an official in Marlboro and two in Manalapan to secure property zoning favorable to a builder

Friday, January 05, 2007. MA: Suspect might stay on town board Cahill charged with accepting/soliciting bribe after promising local builder approval for project in exchange for $500

Friday, January 05, 2007. FL: Lennar's Heritage Harbour forbids homeowners to put up "for sale" signs That control has raised some eyebrows as the developer itself is busy trying to sell its inventory of new homes.

Friday, January 05, 2007. OH: Columbia Gas to test for leaks The pipes, incorrectly installed, "can blow full gas pressure against a structure and cause significant damage,"

Friday, January 05, 2007. US: For CEOs, failure has its rewards (incl. KB Home's Karatz) "A trained monkey could have run a publicly traded home builder over the past three years and done pretty well,"

Friday, January 05, 2007. US: Cold Sales Give Renters a Break Owners Lease What They Can't Unload

Friday, January 05, 2007. Kansas City Star: Councilwoman charged with mortgage fraud Councilwoman Saundra McFadden-Weaver said she still intended to seek re-election this spring.

Friday, January 05, 2007. Kansas City Star: Shields, husband indicted in mortgage fraud case Former Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields...

Thursday, January 04, 2007. NJ: Domicile defects rile state Flaws in newly built houses have Labor and Industry wanting to speak to codes boss.

Thursday, January 04, 2007. AZ: Councilman told not to get involved with customer service issues (Queen Creek council member Gordon Mortensen) said home buyers need more protection against builders when it comes to customer service and construction issues.

Thursday, January 04, 2007. MO: Kansas City Appraiser Sentenced To Two Years Phillip D. Thomas, appraiser sentenced to twenty-four months in federal prison for his role in conspiracy

Thursday, January 04, 2007. US: States Get Tough With 'Nontraditional' Mortgage Lending 19 states and D.C. have warned state-regulated lenders about the hazards of nontraditional mortgages

Thursday, January 04, 2007. CA: Delta law on the line [B]uilding houses along the banks of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers escalates the potential for a catastrophic flood.

Thursday, January 04, 2007. VA: Spinning fairy tales about transportation every time such proposals appeared before the General Assembly, the lobbyists hired by corporate retailers, developers, home builders and real estate brokers would say, "Oh, no. We can't have that.

Thursday, January 04, 2007. TX: These bills could save you money HB 295 by Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, would require more consumer advocates on the commission board, add new grounds for taking enforcement action against builders and remove the fee homeowners now must pay to file a complaint.

Thursday, January 04, 2007. TheStreet.com: More Trouble Ahead for Builders Supply exceeds demand, and the aggressive price-cutting of homes from big builders such as Lennar will eventually cause serious ripple effects among rivals.

Thursday, January 04, 2007. CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Subprime Lender Implosion Lenders Collapsing Faster than Cheaply Built Houses

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. Global: Many homes built after tsunami require repairs Many homes built for victims of 2004 tsunami in Indonesia of questionable quality; will have to be rebuilt

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. The Pitch, Kansas City: Letter to Editor Scroll down to "Something's Rotten"

Wednesday, January 03, 2007.You too can be a victim of financial scams Consumer protection experts say people of all ages, income levels and occupations sometimes get suckered.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007.Watch for scams, Gulf Coast homeowners told Homeowners likely to face wave of contractor scams as they begin collecting billions of dollars in government grants to rebuild

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. US: Eminent Domain Case Creates New Hurdle for Developers Now from New Jersey comes a new eminent domain decision which may be adopted in many states.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. Nat'l interest: Mortgage scams send foreclosures skyrocketing Given the complexity of home mortgages, it can be hard to figure out whether the loan you’re being offered is a good deal. The Don’t Borrow Trouble Minnesota campaign offers these tips...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. GA: Mortgage fraud suspect jailed again Dupree and nearly two dozen others were involved in a scheme designed to artificially drive up home values in Milford Hills, a large subdivision on Barnett Shoals Road.

The scheme allegedly involved appraisers, a real estate agent, a prominent local real estate attorney and others

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. OH: Dominion gains new backers The new deal, which expands the Dublin homebuilder’s capacity to borrow money, "totally takes any (bankruptcy) debate off the table," ... Dominion at one point faced reviews by state and federal authorities over the high default rates on some mortgages it had arranged.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. GA: Georgia to require licenses for home builders in 2008 But some builders won't have to take the test at all. Those with considerable experience in construction may be exempt from the exam.

However, the deadline to be "grandfathered in" was Sunday, and the state licensing board has been inundated with last-minute applications.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. LA: The Times-Picayune Some people who make their living building and selling homes are complaining that Horton is using its own banks, lumber yards and title companies instead of spreading the business around.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. LA: D.R. Horton targets Baton Rouge purchased Omni Mortgage LLC, Provident Title and Day Building Supply of Baton Rouge

Wednesday, January 03, 2007.Stone Bridge Truths Another K. Hovnanian experience

Wednesday, January 03, 2007.K. Hov Rents Home buyer's experience with K. Hovnanian Homes

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. Inman.com may require subscription to view: Reader asks if there's a 'Lemon law' for brand-new homes (Answer: no, not yet! --Ed.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. MI: Housing dispute 18-month long public struggle between residents of Northridge Hills Phase II Condominiums and developer Advance Craft Home Builders

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. US: Next big test of power to seize property? Property rights activists are hoping that a majority of the justices view Didden's case as an opportunity to clarify a portion of the high court's controversial decision in its last big eminent domain case, Kelo v. New London (where)the court ruled local governments could seize private property and turn it over to a private developer

Wednesday, January 03, 2007. US: Lennar lays an egg Also scroll down to "Defective Homes."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007.A classic tale of bait-and-switch [They] appeal to the hidden belief of victims that somewhere out there is a tooth fairy who will solve their financial problems.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007.Bubble Blog News and commentary from around the US on the housing market

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. US: Mortgage Lenders Network Halts Loans as Housing Slows third mortgage company in a month to curtail operations

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. LA: Derailed building plan gave leaders a wakeup call (KB Home) scaled back its plans piece by piece until negotiations with property sellers Churchill Farms dissolved this fall.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. CA: Once-sizzling city now overbuilt 55 percent drop in new home sales

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. US: New House, New Nightmare Legal problems erupt when builder ignores approved plans

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. Nat'l interest: "Subdivided" "It's a cartoon of country life in a cartoon of a country house."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. FL: Lawyer defends official's role in wooing Scripps Fagan registered as a lobbyist for some of the home builders eager to develop Vavrus.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. US: Nasty Hangover for Homebuilders Lennar is not the first big industry player to announce writedowns.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. US: Lennar to cut stake in venture, slashes outlook Home builders have cut forecasts and posted lower earnings over the last several quarters as demand has slumped

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. KS; Nat'l interest: My Pulte Experience Homeowner's experience with what appear to be serious and documented defects in a new house.

Monday, January 01, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: DENVER POST: Foreclosing on the American Dream Another in a multi part series on foreclosures, predatory lending, & in some cases builders' part in it, by journalist David Olinger and other reporters.

Monday, January 01, 2007. National: What's wrong with this house? Home inspector's forum discussing a defective Pulte Home

Monday, January 01, 2007. WA: Walla Walla Contractors Homeowner's complaint site on Don Bush Construction

Monday, January 01, 2007. MI: Family, builder at odds over unfinished house "Every corner of the house leaks...You can go in and on certain days the walls are bleeding water."

Monday, January 01, 2007. LA: KB Home contract for West Bank land expires A year ago this month, Los Angeles-based KB Home wooed the West Bank with an announcement it would build thousands of homes near Avondale.

Monday, January 01, 2007. CA: Former mayoral aides charged with lobbying violations their sworn reports never mentioned the earlier lobbying work and listed just one client -- Clear Channel Outdoor -- leaving many others out, including...KB Homes.