Second Quarter (April-June) 2003 Archive

Friday, May 30, 2003. Texas : href="">Texans
about to lose full day in court, unless
The Texas Legislature has
taken its mandate to rollback excessive insurance rates by rolling back
citizen rights instead. The Legislature has ignored its obligation to represent

the interests of all Texas families and consumers -- and not just the
of the insurance industry and Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

Thursday, May 29, 2003. Wyoming: href="">Gillette
proposes competency test for builders
The city's Board of Examiners
is again proposing a competency test for building contractors to be licensed

in Gillette.

Thursday, May 29, 2003. Tennessee: href="
irate over leaky homes
ãItâs an absolute bear to recover
damages,ä Harrison said, ãWhat people donât understand

is that itâs not from the day you discover the defect. Itâs
from the time you take possession of the home. The truly insidious thing
is if youâre house does not have weep holes and flashing the damage
may not manifest itself during that four years.ä

Thursday, May 29, 2003. Florida: href="">Lawsuits

alleging 'massive fraud' may jeopardize large residential project A
series of lawsuits filed in federal and state courts in Pittsburgh could
jeopardize a large residential project in Bonita Springs and throw a hurdle
into the path of the extension of a major north-south road through the

Thursday, May 29, 2003. Nevada: href="

Home defect compromise Buyers of new homes, meantime, can help
thin out after-the-sale problems by treating the "walk-through" and other
acceptance procedures as something other than a mere formality. Those without
construction expertise of their own are free to hire an independent consultant
to help inspect the home before a purchase is finalized. A builder still
awaiting his money can show amazing alacrity in dealing with flaws. And
if he doesn't ... there'll always be another house going up a few blocks


Thursday, May 29, 2003. Texas : href="">Senat
sends builder bill to House
At its inception, the bill had an

membership that would set policy on all construction defect claims, regulate
the dispute resolution process, choose third-party warranty companies and
define building performance standards

Thursday, May 29, 2003. Ohio: href="">Lead
Hazard. 'It was our dream house'
The Butler County subdivision
with houses ranging in price from $190,000 to $330,000 is officially

A Superfund site. This summer, Environmental Protection Agency workers
in jumpsuits and masks will be tromping around yards where kids have been
playing..... "This was our dream home," Robin Lumbert says. She and her
husband, Ed, bought the house in Liberty Township after looking through
a Ryland Homes model. They chose the second cul-de-sac. The first was too
close to a pond. Robin worried one of her kids - ages 2, 4 and 61/2 - would
wander into the water.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003. Texas :

homes, Barrett Station

ãWe the homeowners of the Arcadian
Gardens Subdivision in Barrett Station, Crosby, Texas, due hereby submit
this petition as a protest against Homeland Inc. and its affiliates,ä
the petition states. ãWe are making a public stance to the placing
of temporary dwellings such as manufactured homes, trailer houses and or
mobile homes are in direct breech of the Deed Restrictions ... on record
at the Harris County Clerkâs Office in Houston, Texas. Our signatures

below states that we intend to pursue all measure of the law provided to
stop this breech of our Homeowner Deed Restrictions from

Tuesday, May 27, 2003. NV: href="
Senate agrees to home defects changes
The state Senate has agreed

with compromise legislation requiring what builders call a "right to repair"
before Nevada homeowners can sue for construction defects such as leaky
roofs or cracked walls.

Monday, May 26, 2003. texas: href=""
nature, development clash.
"Go out to any new housing development

in Frisco or Little Elm," said Dr. Louis Verner, a former ecologist for
the state of Texas. "You'll find a moonscape. That stuff is going up so
fast, people just aren't taking the time to think about ... what we're

Monday, May 26, 2003. Ohio: href="">Builde
will buy back homes
LIBERTY TWP. - In a rare and expensive move,

one of the largest homebuilders in the nation is offering to buy back most
of the homes in a lead-contaminated Butler County subdivision.

Monday, May 26, 2003. Ohio: href="">Ryland
Homes Offers Buyout To Lexington Manor Residents (with video)
Homes has agreed to buy back more than two dozen homes built on lead

soil. "I think that anyone who looks at this from an objective perspective
looks at the fact that the United States EPA has declared this a superfund
sight, looks at the fact that workers are going to be coming through the
neighborhood in chemical protective suits right next to where children
should be playing would say that any reasonable home builder would come
to the table and make a reasonable offer," Croskery said.

Monday, May 26, 2003. Texas: href="">Astros

cry foul over park roof [NOTE: The new retractable roof of the
Houston Astros has some kind of mold growing on the outside and the warranty
does not cover it. I think they now know how homeowners feel] But an official
with an organization that represents roof manufacturers said he hadn't
heard of a warranty covering cleanliness. "No one has guaranteed that a
roof will stay white," said David Roodvoets, technical director for SPRI
Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based organization of 17 roof manufacturers, many
of which make the type of roof that tops Minute Maid Park.

Thursday, May 22, 2003. California: href="">K
Home project picketed
Dispute over the use of non-union labor held
up cement work Wednesday at the Seaside Highlands development.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003. California:

targets KB Home project

The lawsuit says KB Home representatives
told the City Council on May 4, 1998, that the development would include
a mix of affordable and higher-priced homes starting at below $200,000.
The city paid the federal government $5.1 million for the 107-acre property
in July 2002 and sold the land to KB. The lawsuit says KB paid a token
amount of $1, though KB says the price was $6 million. Renneisen said that

no matter which amount is correct, city taxpayers were shortchanged. The
lawsuit says KB is in line to receive "approximately $115 million pure
cash windfall."

Wednesday, May 21, 2003. National: href="">UPDATE:
What Kind of Dirt Do They Have On You?
The article "What Kind of
Dirt Do They Have On You?" is no longer on the website of

The article has somehow been deleted from the newsletter.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003. National: href="">What
Kind of Dirt Do They Have On You?
Before you dismiss HADD as yet
another small group of nut cases, take a minute to stop and think about
this: What if HADD becomes as big as MADD? What if HADD reaches the tipping
point and becomes a real deal?

Tuesday, May 20, 2003. Texas: href="
halt special SAHA board meeting
Problems at the Mirasol Homes public
housing project have been a hot issue for more than a year. Commissioners
hired an independent auditor to investigate construction issues there,

and the auditor's report surfaced April 30, but SAHA refused to release

Monday, May 19, 2003. Texas: href="">Weekley
Homes Comes on Home.
When David Weekley Homes filed an appeal in
Texasâ High Court last month, it was as if the builder had entered

one of its own custom-built homes. Since David Weekleyâs brother
Richard formed Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) to slash businessesâ

legal liabilities, the Weekleys have crafted the court in their own anti-tort
image. Current justices alone have taken $120,337 from TLRâs PAC
and the Weekley family ($32,000).

Saturday, May 17, 2003. Texas :


The TroubleShooters have documented some of the problems
like cracks in walls and foundations, 20 homes bought-back by KB in the
past 3 years, half a dozen lawsuits in Bexar County courts, and numerous
complaints. On a recent Thursday night, more than 75 people from 8 different
subdivisions packed one living room.Ê All had similar problems in

their homes.

Friday, May 16, 2003. MN: href="">"Clock
Ticking on Home Warranty Bill" (HADD is mentioned in article.)
time running out at the Legislature, Twin Cities residential builders are
pushing for a slimmed-down home-warranty measure that would offer greater
protection from construction defect claims."

Friday, May 16, 2003. NV: href="
told home defect bill against Nevada Constitution
"The measure
would establish a commission to hear claims of construction defects, decide
whether there is a valid claim and mandate procedures for the builder to
immediately fix any problems."

Friday, May 16, 2003. NV: href="">Panel
told home defect bill against Nevada Constitution
(Article did
not say who would've made up panel.) "Bob Maddox is a lobbyist for the
Nevada Trial Lawyers Association. He says the measure impedes people's
guaranteed right to due process by the courts."

Friday, May 16, 2003. WA:

Builder, can't settle

(story involves water intrusion) Gemini tried
to compel homeowners into arbitration, but a Thurston County judge denied
Gemini's motion. The judge described the arbitration process, as outlined
in the warranty, as "so one-sided as to be grossly unfair."

Friday, May 16, 2003. Ohio:

removes pellets on curbs. EPA concerned lead would wash into drains, ponds.

TWP. - At the direction of federal authorities, Ryland Homes dispatched
workers Wednesday to its Lexington Manor subdivision - now a Superfund
cleanup site - to remove lead pellets from street curbs

Friday, May 16, 2003. Texas:

Says KB Contracts "Illegal"

In the late 1970's KB, then Kaufman

& Broad, was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive
trade practices. In a consent order with the FTC, the company agreed to
provide all homeowners with a specific warranty that allows for non-binding
arbitration. That is, if the homeowner isn't satisfied with the decision,
he or she can sue.

Friday, May 16, 2003. New Mexico: href="">Homeow
claim builder used insufficient foundations in subdivision
cracks in the floor to moving foundations, some residents on Albuquerqueâs
West Side say their homes are falling apart. The residents blame the

company and K.B. Homes. Nearly 130 houses could be affected.

Friday, May 16, 2003. Texas: href="
Homes on ex-bomb range discussed
"I hope your company does well,
because I have a lawsuit, and I want KB to pay me," Del Williams said while

waving her finger at Victor Toldeo, KB Home's vice president of legal affairs
for Texas, who attended the forum but declined to comment, citing

Thursday, May 15, 2003. Texas : href="

knocks KB Home's suit Arguing before the Third Court of Appeals
on Wednesday, a former state chief justice challenged KB Home's attempt
to restrain a Kyle couple from publicly protesting about their dissatisfaction
with their home.

Thursday, May 15, 2003. Texas : href="

Say Problems Not Disclosed KB Home, the largest homebuilder in
San Antonio, has been the target of protests from angry homeowners.Ê
Now, the company is the subject of a News 4 WOAI TroubleShooters investigation.
Our question: what is KB Home telling the buyers of some of its homes with
past problems? The answer might make you wonder how much you know about
your own house.

Thursday, May 15, 2003. Texas:

Morning News Editorial: Reconstruction Needed: Home builders bill isn't
good for buyers.

House Bill 730, which passed the House and is
in a Senate committee, isn't consumer friendly. If it were to become law,
consumers could expect a difficult battle to pursue claims against even
the most negligent builders.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003. TX and OK:

Mess With Texas," Rebel Lawmakers Say

"Three Texas House Democrats
returned to the Capitol on Tuesday, but more than 50 remained on the lam
in Oklahoma, frustrating Republican efforts to push through a plan to redraw
the state's congressional districts. The rebellious Democrats holed up
in Ardmore, Okla., where they blamed Republican U.S. House Majority Leader

Tom DeLay of Texas for interfering with redistricting."

Wednesday, May 14, 2003. TX: href="">Texas
lawmakers enjoy Ardmore hospitality
"On Monday, Texas state troopers
were sent to the motel by Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick to convince
the lawmakers to return. Under House rules, the lawmakers could have been
arrested for blocking a quorum, but the troopers have no jurisdiction in


Tuesday, May 13, 2003. Texas: href="
congressman jumps into Mirasol Homes flap. [KB Homes]
SAHA slates hearing on Mirasol Homes]
A frustrated Rep. Charlie Gonzalez on Monday asked HUD's inspector general
to conduct two audits of the San Antonio Housing Authority's management
of the Mirasol Homes public housing project..... In the past year, Mirasol
has been criticized severely for poor workmanship and materials. The complaints
included using a bad design that omitted back doors and back windows, using
particle board instead of real wood, placing hinges on the outside of doors
and installing poor-quality kitchen cabinets.

Monday, May 12, 2003. Florida: href="
would regulate Florida home inspectors
At least two bills dealing
with the regulation of home inspectors are active in the Florida Legislature,

shadowing a nationwide trend for the industry. There are no federal laws
governing the practices of home inspectors, leaving the burden to individual
states. Florida is one of 25 states that have no such laws.

Monday, May 12, 2003. Australia: href="">Financial
test for builders planned
The State Government is investigating
a new "gold star" licensing scheme in which home builders would need to

pass a financial test to prove they were viable before qualifying for a
building licence.

Monday, May 12, 2003. Colorado: href=",1413,36~33~1360938,00.html">Developer
gets jail, fine
A municipal court judge has sentenced a local developer
to more than four months in jail and ordered him to pay more than $26,000
in fines after abandoning a development project. Post / Karl Gehring Cole

Murray, 6, plays ball on the cracked driveway of his home Wednesday in
Westminster's Holly Park subdivision.

Monday, May 12, 2003. Florida: href="">Dr
in violations
Residents of Nature's Watch in northeast Pinellas
County have been repeatedly clobbered by bad news since their townhouses

began falling apart several years ago because of water intrusion. But last
week's blow was truly crushing: The owners of the 182 units there learned
they will have to pay a total estimated $92,000 each to repair the

Monday, May 12, 2003. California: href="
Safety Week recognizes importance of safe construction
If a builder

builds a house and does not make its construction firm, and the house collapses
and causes the death of the owner, that builder shall be put to death.
That excerpt from the code of Hammurabi serves as an example of what building
code enforcement was like almost 4,000 years ago.

Saturday, May 10, 2003. Virginia: href="">Suspic
Fire Destroys 1859 Mansion in Fredericksburg, Va.
In recent years,

Ryland Homes, a California-based development company, took interest in
the property and proposed building a 785-home subdivision there. The plan
prompted the Preservation Alliance of Virginia, the state's nonprofit
organization, to add the building to its annual "most endangered" list
in 2000.

Saturday, May 10, 2003. Nevada: href="">Lawmakers

urge compromise on Nevada home defects bill The bill before an
Assembly panel requires homeowners with crooked doors and windows or other
problems to issue a formal complaint to a builder.

Saturday, May 10, 2003. Florida: href="">Resid
roiled by builder's plan shift
The Cozewiths were alarmed to learn

recently that the developer, whose parent company is Lennar Corp., wants
to retreat from plans for an additional golf course, swimming pool and
tennis courts.

Saturday, May 10, 2003. Ohio: href="">Subdiv
site 'hazardous'. Lexington Manor declared Superfund site.
A subdivision

under federal scrutiny because of lead contamination from an old skeet-shooting
range has been declared a Superfund site. The U.S. EPA can make the parties
responsible for the contamination pay for the cleanup and is in negotiations
with them. The EPA wants the parties, Ryland Homes, the subdivision's builder,
and Lexington Manor Inc., the developer, to sign a federal consent decree
that will outline the cleanup plan, which the EPA will oversee.

Saturday, May 10, 2003. Ohio: href="">Cleanu

spoils summer. Arsenic scare Most families refuse to let their
children and pets into the yards. Many want Ryland to buy back their homes.
"Ryland took chances with all our children's lives," Tara Dilley said.
"I couldn't possibly ever stay here again."

Saturday, May 10, 2003. Nebraska: href="">Questions

Raised Over 'Nebraska's Most Trusted Home Builder A KETV NewsWatch
7 investigation reveals that dozens of subcontractors and suppliers remain
unpaid by an Omaha contractor. Dan Witt calls himself "Nebraska's most
trusted home builder." But some of the investors in Witt's Centennial
said they wonder if the project will ever be completed. They told NewsWatch
7 investigators that Witt hasn't yet paid them for work on the subdivision.
Some residents already living in the subdivision are just now discovering

liens that were put on their properties after closing.

Saturday, May 10, 2003. Arizona: href="
vetoes bill on home-builder suits.
Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed
a bill that would have made it more difficult for homeowners associations
to sue home builders for allegedly shoddy work. The bill, which was the

home-building industry's top priority of the legislative session, would
have required that a majority of HOA residents voting in an election give
the OK for an association to file a construction-defects suit.

Saturday, May 10, 2003. California: href="">P.M.
Update: SEC files lawsuit against Fresno homebuilder.
The Securities
and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against a Fresno homebuilder

Thursday for allegedly defrauding investors out of $5.1 million.

Friday, May 09, 2003. Kentucky: href="">Erpenbeck

While it took Bill Erpenbeck less than a decade to build
Erpenbeck Co. into one of the area's largest homebuilders, allegations
of bank fraud and hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills are
threatening to bring it down even faster.

Friday, May 09, 2003. Florida: href="">Buyers
sue home-builder, say garages are too small.
A group of homeowners
filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing Caribe Homes, one of the largest home-builders
in Miami-Dade County, of fraud for allegedly delivering homes with smaller
than promised garages. The 12 buyers of single-family homes in southwest
Miami-Dade claim the garages of their homes, touted as being able to hold

two cars, aren't deep enough to fit even one mid-sized car.

Friday, May 09, 2003. California: href="">Residents
Decry Shoddy Homes
ANTIOCH (KRON) -- HADD Director, Sandy Lopez,
meets with distressed Antioch Homeowners and KRON Consumer Unit. When you
buy a new home, you don't think about repair work. Well, think again. Half
of all new homes come with some trouble. Tonight, Contact 4 looks at a

Bay Area development whose homeowners are complaining loudly. Their builder
isn't the worst. The problems are the kind shared by new homeowners everywhere.
The difference here is homeowners are fighting back. Together.

Friday, May 09, 2003. AZ: href="">"At
Terravita, the clock ticks to transfer liability to homeowners" Scroll
down to this article; it was in the May 7, 2003 Front page news.

CREEK ö Terravita homeowners have been dealing with leaking roofs,
stucco and a multitude of other defects for several years now. However,
when the calendar rolls past that eight-year mark (nine if not discovered
until the eighth year), the liability will become the

Thursday, May 08, 2003. Colorado:

faces strong foe on construction bill

By Allyn Harvey- Aspen Times
Staff Writer May 6, 2003--Glenwood Springs Republican Greg Rippy may well
have unleashed a force like none he�s ever faced.Freda Poundstone, a Denver-area
resident who has successfully convinced voters to pass three constitutional

amendments, plans to lead the effort to roll back Rippy�s construction
defects law that he wrote and ushered through the Legislature. Gov. Bill
Owens signed the bill in late April.

Thursday, May 08, 2003. California: href="">Settlement
of Ed McMahon Mold Lawsuit Now at $7 Million--
Wednesday May 7,
1:12 pm ET LOS ANGELES, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Settlements in a mold lawsuit

filed by former Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon have eclipsed the $7 million
mark, HarrisMartin Publishing informed subscribers to its national mold
litigation magazine on May 7.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003. Minnesota: href="">Minnesota
Consumers Often Lack a Protection Agency
"The consumer has no organized
voice at the Capitol," said Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, who also has

had consumer-oriented bills defeated by lobbyists for business interests.
"Often, industry purports to speak for consumers, and legislators accept
their word that the legislation they're pushing is good for

Wednesday, May 07, 2003. Texas: href="
right with the (GOP) world
The Texas Observer ran the records on

TRL's top donors and found that Dick Weekly, of Weekly Homes, has been
named a defendant in 10 civil suits in Harris County since the start of
2002 -- four involving deceptive trade allegations. Harlan Crow, son of
construction magnate Trammell Crow, has been named in 16 civil suits since
1986. But the winner is Bob Perry of Perry Homes, sued more than 60 times
in the past 15 years.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003. Texas: href="">Ho

Bill to be heard in the Texas Business and Industry Committee. HB730,
the Texas Residential Construction Commission Act will be heard in the
Senate Business and Industry Committee May 8th at 9:00. Check
for more information. This is a very anti-consumer bill and will devastate
consumer protection for new homeowners.

Saturday, May 03, 2003. New Jersey:

signs ban on predatory lending

An anti-consumer fraud measure billed
as the toughest ban on so-called predatory lending in the nation became
law Thursday. The bill's enactment capped months of bipartisan efforts
to grapple with the practice, which involves unscrupulous lenders targeting
those unable to afford loans that they have no realistic hope of paying
off. Along with authorizing victims of predatory lending to sue violating

lenders for damages, the law mandates borrowers be given credit counseling.

Thursday, May 01, 2003. Texas: href="
complain new homeowner-rights bill not enough.
The bill's author
acknowledges his legislation was influenced by the homebuilding industry.
Opponents, including state representative Steve Wolens, call the bill a

sham. "It is offensive," said Wolens, D-Dallas. "It is obscene."

Tuesday, April 29, 2003. California: href="
home nightmares. Homeowners at odds with builders when construction defects
show up.
"It's a lot of stress, and that's why we came along,"
said Skipper-Lopez, who is now national director of Homeowners Against

Deficient Dwellings, based in Kansas City, Kan. HADD is not alone. During
the past two years, other advocates -- through books and online -- have
advised new homeowners to prevent problems by taking action before the
home is built. Since it started in 1997, HADD says 10,000 problems from
across the nation have been reported to it. The group, represented in 25
states, says California,

Monday, April 28, 2003. OK and Nat'l: href="">Non

Profit company aids victims of mold helps people
who have been financially impacted by mold to get back on their feet

Monday, April 28, 2003. National: href="
home nightmares
Sandy Skipper-Lopez thought she was living the

American dream when she stepped into her brand new three-bedroom home in

Friday, April 25, 2003. Texas : href="">Home-d
panel to be argued.
A proposed law, initially drafted by Texas

homebuilders to create a state commission to resolve construction disputes
and set building standards, is set for debate today in the Texas House
of Representatives. The Texas Residential Construction Commission Act would
create a commission with two-thirds majority control by the homebuilding
industry. It would decide criteria for building performance standards and
warranties, and would establish a new layer to the already multilayered
homebuyer dispute resolution process.

Friday, April 25, 2003. MO:

doctors, businesses join forces in tort reform effort

are one of the businesses/industries supporting "tort reform" in many states.
Less accountability for businesses is what it will mean for

Friday, April 25, 2003. AZ: href="

Building in the Housing Boom? Millions of new homes have gone up
over recent years -- and so have complaints and class actions charging
defective workmanship.

Friday, April 25, 2003. Texas : href="">Research
on HB730, the Texas Homebuilder Bill.
This is from the House Research

office. Look at page 17 for comments.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003. Florida: href="">Florida
Lawmakers are letting Lobbyists Set the Agenda
Lobbying and home
builder interests.

Friday, April 18, 2003. Missouri.:

href="" target="x">New

This website is considered
a non-commercial, non-profit, consumer advocacy, and parody website. This
site has been developed as a forum for consumers to share their experiences
with other home buyers when shopping American Heritage Homes in St. Louis,
Missouri. This is permissible via the First Amendment to the Constitution
of the United States of America; specifically, the freedom of speech and
expression. If you do not agree with the disclaimer below, select the exit

button at the bottom of this page.

Thursday, April 17, 2003. South Carolina: href="">Bill
would reduce time for consumers to sue for negligent construction.
the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Gregory's bill was discussed last
week, Sen. John Hawkins, R-Spartan-burg, pointed out that stucco problems
sometimes don't show up until 10 years after construction. "Along the coast,

especially, they have a problem with stucco," he said.

Monday, April 14, 2003. California: href="
construction law aims to slow, weed out lawsuits
California has
a new law designed as a compromise between disgruntled new homeowners,
homeowner associations, lawsuit-wary builders and insurers overloaded with


Monday, April 14, 2003. OHIO: href="
Building Fight - In Pickerington, plans to rein in growth of housing have
put many on edge
By the end of April, housing builders could be
effectively locked out of Pickerington for a year while prospective new

homeowners in the city face the prospect of paying higher taxes or looking
elsewhere to live.

Friday, April 11, 2003. Texas : href="">Carlos
Guerra: Are you willing to eliminate your rights to hurt lawyers?
significant dilution would drastically alter class-action cases, or suits

brought by groups of injured consumers. HB 4 would not only limit many
claims ÷ for an individual or for a group ÷ to $250,000 total,
it would empower the Texas Supreme Court (whose members are elected in
contests heavily influenced by big-bucks contributors) to certify or refuse
to certify classes.

Friday, April 11, 2003. Minnesota:

stick up for stucco

ÊBrian Nutter of Elysian, Minn., who
is about to start building a house outside Waterville, Minn., said he and
his wife were debating whether to build with stucco or brick but soured
on stucco when they saw major problems with stucco homes in Winsted, Minn.
In addition, Nutter said, they saw cracks in stucco houses at this spring's
Parade of Homes.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003. Arizona: href="
watchdog faulted - Audit says consumers need more protection
state agency charged with watching over construction in Arizona isn't doing
enough to protect consumers, according to a report from the Auditor General's

Friday, April 04, 2003. New Jersey: href="">Former
Mayor of Asbury Park accused of bribery
Former Mayor of Asbury
Park accused of bribery

Friday, April 04, 2003. Texas : href="">Gas

leak leaves Tomball couple fuming. Pair ask home's developer to buy the
property back. They found out in September when city of Tomball
crews digging on an easement near their home told the couple the city discovered
gas was leaking from an abandoned gas well some 5,000 feet below their
driveway. The couple says the developer, Norwood Homes, should have told
them of the well before they bought the home.

Friday, April 04, 2003. Texas :

leak leaves Tomball couple fuming. Pair ask home's developer to buy the
property back.

They found out in September when city of Tomball
crews digging on an easement near their home told the couple the city discovered
gas was leaking from an abandoned gas well some 5,000 feet below their
driveway. The couple says the developer, Norwood Homes, should have told
them of the well before they bought the home.

Thursday, April 03, 2003. Texas :

Release: Homebuyer consumer group claims tort reform is the problem, not
the answer.

Tort reform has not limited construction defects, lowered
home prices, or insurance rates. Instead it has limited consumerâs
access to the court system, limited their rights to recourse without the
need of an attorney, and devastated the financial well being of


April 02, 2003.
New Jersey: href=",21133,716438,00.html">County
widens permit probe
WALL -- Monmouth County authorities have issued
a new subpoena as part of a probe into the performance of township building
inspectors in granting permits for two housing developments where owners

have complaints about poor workmanship.


April 02, 2003.
Texas: href="">AVOID
THIS CRASH. Tort reform would protect negligent doctors, businesses
a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution and an omnibus legal reform

bill are approved in this session of the Legislature and become law, the
entire state will be subjected to a crash of gigantic proportions causing
incalculable harm.


April 01, 2003.
National: Tonight
on Dateline Tuesday: Homeowner Beware!
Plus, if you're planning

some spring home renovations remember the rule: homeowner beware. A survey
of state agencies shows that problems with home improvement contractors
were at the top of the list of consumer complaints last 20 year. We took
our cameras undercover to find out why the home renovation process can
be such a nightmare. We found houses that had been left with no walls,
no floors, kitchens and baths with no running water. And we even found
a contractor with some missing pages from his past. What until you see
what chief consumer correspondent Lea Thompson uncovered in a Dateline
Hidden Camera Investigation.


April 01, 2003.
Georgia: href="">Pro
legislation would regulate contractors
Georgia doesn't license
builders. It's one of 21 states that require nothing of contractors beyond

the fee for a building permit. The Georgia House of Representatives is
considering a bill that would require licensing for residential contractors
and create an oversight board to test applicants and possibly set minimum
levels of experience.


April 01, 2003.

Senate should rewrite sham insurance reform bill

Gov. Rick Perry
declared the need for insurance reform to be an emergency, and today the
Texas Senate is expected to vote on what should have been a reform bill.
If the bill becomes law in its current form, the insurance industry will
be pleased, and Perry and other leaders in Austin will have betrayed their
promise to Texans.