Quarter 3 (July - September) 2007 News Archives
Sunday, September 30, 2007. St. Louis Post-Dispatch: New ground rules in a tight housing market Developers facing financial crunch sold denuded land and let it stand unfinished: erosion and pollution
Sunday, September 30, 2007.Green Building articles From Mother Earth News
Sunday, September 30, 2007. AZ; NM: Greer drive-by shooting leads to arrest of home builder Authorities said ballistics report confirmed bullets found inside home were discharged from gun confiscated from builder Frank "Joe" Hall.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. CA: Builder's condominium auction under wraps D.R. Horton closes "public" auction to public & press.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. US: How to escape the arbitration trap Write your congressmen about the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007; this legislation applies to consumer contracts which includes house purchases.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. US: "HOA Primer" Homeowner's info and links, book, about problems of living in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. NY: Contractor sues legislator and county Baumblit Construction claims defamation because county said his work didn't pass code, and legislator tried to help constituent who had problem with the shoddy builder.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. NJ: One year later Update on Kara Homes bankruptcy, co. now called Maplewood.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. US: Home mortgage crisis requires some serious remedies Some politicians recommending federal bailout of predatory lenders.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Sold a Nighmate series continues: "Promises upfront, deals on the side" Realty Place took bonuses from builders it vowed to fight
Sunday, September 30, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Home loans were ill-fated Unsound lending practices coupled with builders contributing to down payments. (In earlier news stories dating back to 2006 it was noted by the IRS that some down payments "gifts" are hidden fees, possibly illegal, and lead to higher foreclosures.)
Sunday, September 30, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Home buyer blames himself and others Turned down for financing at one place, buyer found willing builder/lender in Beazer Homes but it ended in foreclosure.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. NJ; Nat'l interest: Consumer advocates want law to protect buyers In wake of Kara Homes bankruptcy, proposed legislation would change common practice of builders using deposit money to fund operations. Currently, if builder goes under, buyers risk losing thousands.
Sunday, September 30, 2007. SC: Law firm Erin Brockovich works for may sue Lennar Homes More on possible benzene and/or methane contamination at Lennar development
Sunday, September 30, 2007. ABC 20/20: Contractor and Clients Wage War Online, and In Court Steve Sieber, contractor in Washington DC and MD suing Angie's List, a consumer site, as well as complaining customers.
Saturday, September 29, 2007. WA: Home defect law back in sights Task force works on effort scuttled in '07 Legislature
Saturday, September 29, 2007. SC: EPA assessment of Lennar site contamination w/benzene See article about Erin Brockovich below.
Saturday, September 29, 2007. SC: Erin Brockovich Here To Help Westcott Plantation Benzene contamination in Lennar development.
Saturday, September 29, 2007. NV: Condo-conversion ruling may spark more litigation Many condos were rushed onto market, resulting in massive amounts of defective work, according to Westpark Owners' Association v. Westpark Associates LLC and Oxbow Construction LLC, case that led to recent ruling.
Saturday, September 29, 2007. NY Law Journal: High Court Declines to Address Arbitrator Bias Standard Differing interpretations of "evident partiality"
Saturday, September 29, 2007. Canada; of interest to U.S.: Holmes on Homes TV show Tell your contractor story; home repair show
Saturday, September 29, 2007. ABC: Holmes on Homes on 20/20 Less than 20% of contractors know what they are doing and some are outright crooks.
Friday, September 28, 2007. US: Beware the Arbitration Trap Here is what you can do to stand up to this corporate bullying from credit card and other companies: (Relevant to articles posted on arbitration yesterday and today. Article has links to take action.)
Friday, September 28, 2007. US: Protect your right to go to court Arbitration in car purchase contracts--same arrangement can be found in home purchases, warranties.
Friday, September 28, 2007. CA: Residents steamed over 'fire sale' Anderson Homes' auction likely to bring down property values
Friday, September 28, 2007. US: Subprime Time Lots of blame to spread around.
Friday, September 28, 2007. PA: Builder gets up to five years for fraud UPDATE on Dennis Slayton case.
Friday, September 28, 2007. US: Pension fund sues Moody’s Corp. over ratings Accusing the credit-ratings agency of putting shareholders at risk by assigning excessively high ratings to bonds backed by risky subprime mortgages.
Friday, September 28, 2007. MSN: What homeowners' insurance doesn't cover Many exclude mold coverage.
Friday, September 28, 2007. SC: Retired engineer exposes missing hurricane clips on thousands of Pulte Homes roof trusses Engineer's site with photos.
Friday, September 28, 2007. CA: DMJ Customs, Inc., investigated Donald Juhasz, licensed contractor, owner of DMJ Customs Inc., altered documents and pocketed money intended to finance customer's homes which are now unfinished.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. US: Shareholder Class Action Filed Against Developer Tarragon Corporation Claims violations of the Securities Exchange Act
Thursday, September 27, 2007. TX: Study: Wealthy Texan group leads political donors Small handful of business tycoons control political money in Texas...incl. homebuilder Bob Perry
Thursday, September 27, 2007. PA: Out-Of-Biz Builder Said They Found Irregularities After Suicide UPDATE: Pennsylvania Home Builders Association said Shaffer and Son homebuyers should contact attorney.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. FL: ANOTHER builder ceases operation Enchanted Homes: leaving some customers with partially completed homes. Ties to ailing Coast Bank, (which is tied to failed builder CCI), which we've posted news about before.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. FL: Housing Market Crashes and Burns Today, the bankers and developers who were all over Homestead farmland like vultures on a dead python for zoning and building permits (and contributed their share of liar loan mortgages that triggered a world credit crisis) are in hiding. (Practically speaking, what that means is that they are on the phone with their Senators and Congressmen and the Bush White House, appealing for a bail-out by federal agencies or the government sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Just you watch!)
Thursday, September 27, 2007. PA: Convicted Brodheadsville builder Slayton gets 15 months in jail UPDATE: Ordered to pay more than half a million dollars to customers he never finished work for.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. SC; National interest: Is Your New House a Safe Investment? Nightmare house purchase; author hopes to warn others to avoid pitfalls.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. US: Cleaning Up the Fine Print Consumers take it on the chin every day with hidden tricks and traps in credit card agreements, home mortgages, health insurance contracts, and dozens of other purchases. [Like houses and warranties!] Will Congress listen?
Thursday, September 27, 2007. US: Consumers often don't win in mandatory arbitration Public Citizen reviewed 34,000 arbitration cases in California -- the only state that requires companies to publicly disclose details of arbitration cases -- and found the decks are stacked against consumers.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. US: PDF File: The Arbitration Trap Public Citizen's new report on the pitfalls of mandatory binding arbitration in consumer contracts. Please see our homepage for People Over Profits' link to ban these harmful clauses.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. MSN: Remodelling Stories Wanted Requires free registration to post.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. Washington Post: Markets' World of Worry Seasoned traders warn Fed's actions will have only limited effect
Thursday, September 27, 2007. US: Subprime: Big talk, little help Despite the persistent blare, there is not a whole lotta "loan modifying" going on yet.
Thursday, September 27, 2007. Canada; U.S.: Canadians for Properly Built Homes PDF document on the JD Power survey Commentary at end is relevant to both U.S. and Canadian housing market.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. US: Death Spiral Financing New Math, or Homebuilder Math?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. Bloomberg: House Panel Passes Tax Rise on Vacation-Home Sales Money to cover what would be a tax bill for people who had debt forgiven in foreclosure. Supposedly temporary.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. OH: Couple Who Won Eminent Domain Fight Must Repay Builder Article contains links to previous stories on the case.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. MT: Construction Fraud Increasing and Difficult to Prosecute Tru-Cut Builders had five complaints, was ordered to cease and desist, but homeowner still out the money: law enforcement ill equipped, too overburdened to tackle complicated economic fraud cases w/ layers of civil paperwork and assets hidden offshore.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. US: Arbitration Favors Credit Card Companies Over Card Holders, New Data Show Lawmakers and Public Citizen Hold Press Conference to Discuss Findings: arbitration firms and companies enjoy cozy, mutually beneficial relationship at expense of consumers. (Same reasons arbitration can be bad for consumers in house-related contracts. --Ed.)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. PA: Hershey home builder closes Shaffer & Son owned by John W. Yarnall and James G. O’Shea presently involved in three new home developments: Deer Run townhomes, Southpoint Meadows, Stone Hill townhomes. Home Builders Association advises customers w/homes under contract to get a lawyer.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. CA: Dunmore Homes sold Co. purchased by Michael Kane, no indication when construction will resume.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. US: House panel OKs mortgage forgiveness bill New legislation would eliminate tax bill for forgiven debt in foreclosure; also, proposed change to tax on secondary homes.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. US: A Mouse Trap for KB Home KB Home must be trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat -- or mouse ears out of somewhere else. Its newly announced partnership with Disney to offer Disney-themed decor seems to show just how desperate the homebuilder is.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. US: SEC probing ratings agencies' subprime role, mortgage backed securities From Market Watch
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. US: The Rot Within II In keeping with this week's theme, The Rot Within (week II), we've examined the rot within our legal system, Homeowners, Defective Houses and Big Builders: Justice Is Not Blind, and the intellectual hypocrisy/rot within our ruling ideology which claims to support free markets but hurries to feed at the public trough at the first signs of potential loss...
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. NJ; Nat'l interest: Bankruptcy case of Kara Homes affecting lien laws District Court Defines "Residential Construction"
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. CA: ‘Dangerous’ roving landscapers preying on Central Valley homeowners Two or more unlicensed suspects –- one of whom may be armed and dangerous -- are scamming homeowners in the Central Valley
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. TX: Man says improperly installed dryer vent caused fire Homeowner and his insurance company say fire that claimed home started in faulty dryer vent built by A&W Aluminum, AKA Windell Broussard Homes.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007. FL: House framers given probation Morgan and Kemp skirted tax responsibilities by paying phony subcontractors who employed undocumented workers.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. MN: Mortgage scam threatens 200 homes with foreclosure UPDATE on $100 million mortgage fraud alleged to have been caused by builder Parish Marketing and Development
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. MSN: Lost your home? You may owe IRS "The best advice is, don't buy a house you can't afford, and don't get an adjustable-rate mortgage."
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. Nat'l interest: Privatizing Profits, Socializing Risk: Hypocrisy and Housing Govt bailout of housing/lending industry = corporate welfare. Risk shifted to the public.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. Nat'l interest: Homeowners, Defective Houses and Big Builders: Justice Is Not Blind Severe construction defects, city compliance w/builder, and arbitration clause, leads to foreclosure in home buyer's case.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. CNBC: Realty Check Daily articles about housing by Diana Olick
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. US: America's Watchdog looking for lawyers Group says they have never seen bleaker climate for millions of consumers cheated by mortgage lender, bank, homebuilder... (Posted for info only, not endorsement.)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. Bloomberg: Lennar Reports Biggest Loss in Its 53-Year History Shares fell.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. US: More reasons arbitration is bad for consumers Securities Arbitration
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. US: Pulte-Del Webb Stucco class action lawsuit Unfortunately this case appears to be in arbitration but is still of interest to our readers. --Ed.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007. World: Risky Loans Help Build Ghost Town of New Homes, NY Times This and other current news on the Housing Crash.
Monday, September 24, 2007. NJ: New Home Lemon Law pending in state Senate bill 1890: This bill is part of a package of bills implementing the recommendations of the State Commission of Investigation in its report of March, 2005 entitled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: New-Home Construction in New Jersey.” The bill effectively creates a “lemon law” for new homes.
Monday, September 24, 2007. NJ: Home Lemon Law Legislation pending Assembly Bill Number 3203, identical to senate version 1890.
Monday, September 24, 2007. FL; CO: UPDATE: Bad loans on houses are being negotiated Norlarco, Colorado credit union made numerous construction loans, some for houses to be built by First Home, subsidiary of Hovnanian Enterprises.
Monday, September 24, 2007. FL: Family fears home deposit may be lost what will happen to their $37,700 down payment if home builder David Peter Hartley gets deported.
Monday, September 24, 2007. US: Real Estate Disaster The third aspect of greed was massive appraisal fraud on the part of homebuilders, many of whom were also mortgage lenders. (From "America's Watchdog," posted for info, not an endorsement.)
Monday, September 24, 2007. CA: Agency Finds No Long-Term Health Risk From Lennar Grading At Hunters Point “community has experienced more than its share of health problems..." Dr. Balmes said. “However, these health concerns predate Lennar’s construction activities..."
Monday, September 24, 2007. OK: Foundation for Fraud VIDEO: Couple can't build dream home due to bad concrete job by Christopher Green, who now can't be found.
Monday, September 24, 2007. World: Housing Crash News Current articles.
Monday, September 24, 2007. US: Bernanke: The anti-Robin Hood Co's that should've gone out of business for acting irresponsibly whined for and got help at govt bailout trough. Rate cut may make things worse in long run.
Sunday, September 23, 2007. NJ: Buyers finish work when builder tanks Kara Homes bankruptcy update
Sunday, September 23, 2007. OH: Ryan halts building in some areas Owners left amid sea of empty lots
Sunday, September 23, 2007. FL: Host of builders bleeding greenbacks Builders forgot basics amid booming profits
Sunday, September 23, 2007. FL; GA: Organizer of Massive Mortgage Fraud Scheme Sentenced to 28 Years in Federal Prison Phillip E. Hill was the owner and operator of "We Build Atlanta, Inc.," "The Estate Firm, Inc.," "Estate Artistians of Georgia, Inc.," "Estates Atlanta, Inc.," and numerous other...
Sunday, September 23, 2007. FL; GA: Developer sentenced 28 years for fraud Phillip E. Hill; decades of shoddy construction, theft, appraisal fraud, mortgage fraud, conspiracy, money-laundering. Also convicted: Marcus C. Alcindor; Barbara Brown; Fred Farmer; Christine Laudermill; Robert Powers; David Thomas; Leslie Rector; David Van Mersbergen; Dean Thomas...
Saturday, September 22, 2007. US: CtW Investment Group Urges Homebuilders to Address Compliance Failures 11 homebuilders received letters (from CtW re: risky mortgage practices): Beazer, Centex, D.R. Horton, Hovnanian Enterprises, KB Home, Lennar, MDC Holdings, NVR, Pulte Homes, Ryland Group and Toll Brothers. In total, the 11 firms—eight of which have been sued by shareholders or homeowners this year—have lost $23 billion in value through the first eight months of 2007.
Saturday, September 22, 2007. US: CTW Investment group letter to BEAZER over losses: PDF file Beazer Homes investors alone have lost $1.4 billion this year. Large
homebuilders, however, may not merely be casualties of the crisis; as a result of improper
business practices, particularly within their mortgage affiliates, several of the nation’s largest
homebuilders may, in fact, be complicit parties in causing the industry-wide collapse.
Saturday, September 22, 2007. MSN: Are we headed for an epic bear market? "Defaulting middle-class U.S. homeowners are blamed, but they are merely a pawn in the game," he says. "Those loans were invented so that hedge funds would have high-yield debt to buy."
Saturday, September 22, 2007. TX: Ryland employee sues homeowners Several homeowners in the new neighborhood in Live Oak had been protesting for months near the model homes
Saturday, September 22, 2007. US: Fed's irresponsible move Unintended consequence of government bailout: sets stage for even greater housing crisis
Saturday, September 22, 2007. CA: Homebuilder's Closed Office Worries New Homeowners Dunmore Homes won't return calls, has $5 million in liens.
Saturday, September 22, 2007. NJ: Monroe Township holding builder K. Hovnanian's feet to the fire on homes Town won't return bond money until builder completes work. "Lemon Law" for houses still in legislative committees.
Friday, September 21, 2007. PA: H.B 1821 Can send comments, read bill. See articles below about this legislation.
Friday, September 21, 2007. PA: Shimkus working to keep ‘American Dream’ of home ownership from becoming a nightmare New Home Construction Consumer Protection bill (H.B. 1821)
Friday, September 21, 2007. PA: Share Your Bad Builder Story in Pennsylvania State Representative Frank Andrews Shimkus sponsoring legislation to hopefully protect consumers from bad builders after criminal home builder incident, (which other articles have identified as builder Scott Binsack whom we posted news about earlier this summer/fall). Share your story on PA House of Representaties site.
Friday, September 21, 2007. US: Mortgage meltdown marks false real-estate economy Greed, fraud, mis-representation to blame on lending side. As much as 15 percent of loans performed in last few years should have never been originated. Borrowers’ abilities to qualify were extremely marginal, lending world said, “Yes,” time and time again.
Friday, September 21, 2007. US: New Home Builder Mortgage Companies Scam Home Buyers Daily Explains how builders make big profits, but you may get into a risky loan, if you use their lender. Not an endorsement for the company's site, posted for info only.
Friday, September 21, 2007. FL: UPDATE on Great Bay Homes fraud "A contractor can come up with a million legitimate excuses about why he didn't complete your house," Evans said. "The Legislature thought they were fixing the problem by requiring homebuilders to escrow a person's money and use it only for his house.
Friday, September 21, 2007. US: Economist: 'Builder Bailout' Fraud on the Rise From a mortgage broker industry website
Friday, September 21, 2007. US: PDF on mortgage fraud; Builder fraud # 7.13 is on Builder Bailouts, a type of mortgage fraud, (not to be confused with a "bailout" by the govt. of the lenders/builders w/regard to the current mortgage mess)
Friday, September 21, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Builder Bailout Schemes Major contributor to unoccupied homes and foreclosure signs; the new home builder... Builder bailouts occur when builder/developer is motivated to move property quickly in slow market. Following red flags may occur in builder bailouts: (article details essentially the way new homes are now being sold.)
Friday, September 21, 2007. MN: Three charged in multi-million dollar bank fraud scam According to prosecutors, here's how it worked: 10Spring would buy a property, find a straw buyer with good credit, mark up the value of the property, and then sell it to the straw buyer. The profits from that sale were split between the three co-conspirators in the scheme and the straw buyer.
Friday, September 21, 2007. MN: Deal too good to be true: More MN Mortgage fraud cases Scott Richard Rosenlund, and his home-building and development company, 10Spring Homes Inc., and others charged.
Friday, September 21, 2007. GA: Hill heads to federal prison in Atlanta mortgage fraud case UPDATE: Hill was owner and operator of We Build Atlanta Inc., The Estate Firm Inc., Estate Artistians of Georgia Inc., Estates Atlanta Inc., and numerous other Georgia corporations...
Friday, September 21, 2007. CA: More tests to come for Runkle Canyon UPDATE on contamination in planned KB Home development
Friday, September 21, 2007. US: Hovnanian blaming media for housing mess (again?) See article below for NAHB study that said media isn't to blame.
Friday, September 21, 2007. Realty Times: Housing Market Mess Not Media Made (even according to) National Association of Home Builders' own survey, consumers themselves say it ain't the media to blame.
Friday, September 21, 2007. CA: Builder closing down Dunmore Homes
Friday, September 21, 2007. MN; OH: Ohio woman says she lent her name to fraud UPDATE on Parish Marketing and Development Corp home builder mortgage fraud scheme
Friday, September 21, 2007. FL: Shares of Coast's holding company stock sold UPDATE on Coast Bank & builder Construction Compliance debacle
Friday, September 21, 2007. Testimony to U.S. House of Representatives: PDF: LENDERS AND INVESTMENT BANKERS BUILT IT, SOLD IT AND NOW THEY NEED TO FIX IT Subprime industry consists of trillions of dollars in mortgages, but was never about creating homeownership. It was always about generating billions of dollars in fees and huge profits.
Thursday, September 20, 2007. MD: City holding bond until developer makes upgrades Contee Crossing homeowners say Beazer Homes failed to address ongoing drainage problems. Runaround.
Thursday, September 20, 2007. IRS: Questions and Answers on Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation Home buyers facing foreclosure, short sale, may have to pay taxes on forgiven portion of loan.
Thursday, September 20, 2007. TX: Countrywide closes local subprime lending office Still in joint venture with KB Home.
Thursday, September 20, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Hard Money 21st Century Mortgage, builders, foreclosures, possible fraud: "The dirty little secret of this industry is that builders don't have to put one penny of their own money into these projects."
Thursday, September 20, 2007. American Lung Association: Health House Clean indoor air, durability, etc.
Thursday, September 20, 2007. US: Let's fix this subprime mess Here are four key reforms we need. (Good article but the "mortgage calculator" on pg. 2 still seems a bit on the optimistic/risky side. --Ed.)
Thursday, September 20, 2007. US: Fed Cut and Housing Markets For home owners trying to refinance adjustable rate mortgages into fixed, rate cut won't help.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. US: Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 This legislation to make mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts unenforceable is now before the House Judiciary Committee. You can contact members of the committee from this link, even if you are not their constituent. See also the People Over Profits link on our home pg. upper right.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. CNBC: After the Surprise Rate Cut: Are CEOs Happy Now? Still want more.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. CNN: Fed Speak And Your Mortgage Rate cut won't fix substandard lending problems
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. TX: Unfinished home leaves man out of pocket Premier Homes common theme: failure to complete homes on time and not refunding deposits.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. GA: CNN Heroes: Homeowner uncovers mortgage fraud Fulmer uncovered a scam known as illegal flipping.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. Nat'l interest: Binding Arbitration with Pulte has made home buyers virtual prisoners in home they can't sell Homeowner's site.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. US: The $500,000 Question These companies all went bankrupt for one simple reason: they issued some of the dumbest loans in the world.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. US; World: Housing Crash Nice roundup of daily news about the housing market.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. FBI: Operation Quick Flip Information on mortgage fraud and housing scams.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. US: Rate Cut May Provide Only Passing Relief honeymoon is going to be pretty short
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. US: Inspector's report on weep holes has seller in a quandary What are weep holes, why didn't the builder install them, and why did the county inspector pass the home without the weep holes?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Builder tactics under scrutiny Financing is big business for builders: state investigating numerous, unnamed builders for possible violations of lending laws. 2 pg. article mentions one consumer's experience w/Pulte.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007. OR: Arbor home builders sue Portland tax attorney Residential construction magnates sue prominent Portland tax lawyer over money-losing investment in failed horse-breeding operation.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: Beazer's House of Cards Charges of default on loan covenants, federal investigations into its mortgage lending, shredded documents, etc.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: Toll Brothers refering to Fed. Reserve chairman Bernanke as "Our Boy?" (How convenient and cozy!)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: Fed Cuts Key Rates by 50 Points Not all economists buoyed by move. ... "raises serious issues" over Fed's credibility as inflation fighter.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: Home builders offer deals to lure nervous buyers Builders again blaming media for mess housing industry helped create: "home buyers are getting spooked by the many headlines..."
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: Harvest time for Homebuilders 115% year-over-year increase in foreclosures...Expect to see same desperate maneuver from Pulte, Toll, Ryland, Centex, D.R. Horton, Lennar and rest of crew that spent past half-decade overbuilding for a world of cheap money, bad loans, greedy flippers.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. FL; International interest: Faced with extradition, Ocala builder seeks asylum David Peter Hartley, Wilcox Construction of America Inc. and Wilcox Homes of Florida...not be confused with Wilcox Construction Inc., a Belleview company owned by Richard Wilcox.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. MO: Homebuilder is charged with theft, fraud in Taney County Fredrick Hiner, Synergy Builders, faces 14 counts of stealing and fraud.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: The Rot Within Legal system: broken. Big homebuilders hide defects galore behind "binding arbitration" clauses, (and much more)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. NJ: Consumer Fraud Case Hits New Jersey Supreme Court - Appellate Division NJ Supreme Court Appellate Division recently upheld judgment against contractor under Consumer Fraud Act, Briggs v. Luisi.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. CT; Nat'l interest: Lying Home Seller Found Liable for Hiding Mold Camerone v. Phillips
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. NV: Protecting Homeowners from Unscrupulous Attorneys and Inspectors Exposing New Home Builders blog covers important information submitted by Las Vegas Lemonade about filing construction defect claims and avoiding scammers.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: A House Divided part 1 & 2 Exposing New Home Builders blog has nicely summed up CNN's videos of unstable new houses.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: Let's point fingers at subprime's real villains As early as 2003, a number of economists were warning of a housing bubble...only way to go forward is to flush it out, take the loss and move forward, not bring it back.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. MI: Picket fence fighter folds Just when you think you've heard the most ridiculous thing, here comes "the Board of Fence Arbitration."
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. MD; Nat'l interest: Reader Response Letter to Editor re: “Customer’s Web site sparks suit,” Sept 17th. (Links available in letter)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007. US: Interviewing Alan Greenspan: How 60 Minutes Blew It Worst was Stahl's inability to counter Greenspan's assertion that he failed to anticipate problems from the subprime mortgage fiasco
Monday, September 17, 2007. FL: Lobbyist testifies to death warning Testimony was part of arbitration to settle $200 million dispute between Aggregates and Lennar Corp.
Monday, September 17, 2007. WI; Nat'l interest: Arbitration clauses prompt concern: (Side article to "Mandatory arbitration not always fair fight ," posted earlier today.) If there is a problem, the builder and homeowner go before an arbitration board run by the builders association. ... The association says it's smart because builders are hard on each other in order to protect the integrity of their profession. (Laughing my posterior off at that last sentence! Article invites comments at end. --Ed.)
Monday, September 17, 2007. US: Can homeowner upset foreclosure sale to a speculator? Along same lines as "Krohn v. Sweetheart Properties (Citimortgage Inc)" article posted earlier today.
Monday, September 17, 2007. US: HALT Useful info about the legal profession.
Monday, September 17, 2007. Nat'l interest: Going to Build a House? Better Think About Contractors and Arbitration! (Arbitration) has been hijacked by the professionals (architects, contractors, etc.,) that it is supposed to keep in check. (w/Link to website of homeowner Scott Kimbell, www.ourhouseisfallingdown.com describing their experience.)
Monday, September 17, 2007. WI; Nat'l interest: Mandatory arbitration not always fair fight The case was decided by construction professionals, all of them members of the builders association. (Builder: builder, Robert Henderson.) Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) introduced (federal) legislation that would make mandatory arbitration clauses in many contracts unenforceable. (Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.)
Monday, September 17, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Krohn v. Sweetheart Properties (Citimortgage Inc) Selling foreclosed house for "grossly inadequate price". Significant because foreclosed homeowner may be sued for remainder. (This case and Lamar case below are both PDF's.)
Monday, September 17, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: More on the Lamar Homes case in TX What contractor's insurance covers. See previous articles on Lamar case.
Monday, September 17, 2007. AK: Workers Helped on Senator's Home; 2 pg. article Senator Ted Stevens, who's under investigation for corruption, has remodeling job go horribly wrong.
Monday, September 17, 2007. National Association of Home Builders: PDF File: Legislative and Regulatory Policy Large PDF outlining the building industry's agenda for laws concerning housing. Thanks to our TN HADD rep for providing this. She cautions that it may be upsetting for some viewers. --Ed.
Monday, September 17, 2007. CANADA: Canadians for Properly Built Homes New material added.
Monday, September 17, 2007. MD; Nat'l interest: "Beware of Gemcraft" Homeowner's site; see article below, re: builder suing customer.
Monday, September 17, 2007. MD; Nat'l interest: Customer’s Web site sparks suit Gemcraft Homes Inc., along with its CEO, vice president and several employees, filed a complaint in Baltimore City Circuit Court seeking $8 million in compensatory damages and $24 million in punitive damages against customer Erik G. Levy. (homeowner's site is: www.bewareofgemcraft.com If a homeowner asked for these type damages they'd be called "sue-happy," and accused of filing frivolous actions. --Ed.)
Monday, September 17, 2007. CO; FL: Norlarco regulators negotiating with Florida homebuilder UPDATE on credit union case from earlier in Sep. involving First Homes/K. Hovnanian.
Monday, September 17, 2007. US: Hovnanian's Fire Sale, and more... Realty Check w/Diana Olick CNBC
Monday, September 17, 2007. US: What Will the Anticipated Rate Cut Really Change? A rate cut can’t save the housing market ... if saving the housing market means returning us to 2005, how is that a good thing, if housing prices and the factors driving them up were unsustainable?
Monday, September 17, 2007. US: If you overborrowed for a house, you can blame yourself Greed, risk-taking, was on all sides.
Monday, September 17, 2007. US: Beazer Homes Reduces Credit Facility Mortgage subsidiary of homebuilder reduced amount it can borrow under mortgage warehouse line of credit, according to Securities and Exchange Commission.
Monday, September 17, 2007. US: Fund sues home builder Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund filed suit against Beazer Homes, claiming it breached its fiduciary duties by wasting assets and damaging its reputation.
Saturday, September 15, 2007. PA: Contractor filed for bankruptcy six times Joe Salvatico update
Saturday, September 15, 2007. OH: Akron man accused of participating in mortgage fraud scheme Mortgage brokers, loan officers and builders worked together to defraud lenders. They submitted bogus documents to inflate the value of homes in order to get loans and cash (Click on PRINTER version to read if article is not showing up properly.)
Saturday, September 15, 2007. FL; NJ: UPDATE: on missing real estate broker w/ties to builder D'Alessandro is named in numerous lawsuits in Florida accusing his brokerage firm, Gates, D'Alessandro & Woodyard of engaging in real estate fraud in the sale of properties in two housing developments in the Fort Myers area. The lawsuits name other defendants, including the developer of the homes, First Home Builders, a subsidiary of K. Hovnanian Inc.
Saturday, September 15, 2007. Los Angeles Times: Buyer Be Where? Builders find interest low despite hefty incentives
Friday, September 14, 2007. CNN: Act Now! Builders Launch Promotional Gimmicks To Boost Sales With desperation mounting, some builders launching gimmicks that almost resemble Crazy Eddie's days of hawking cheap stereos.
Friday, September 14, 2007. FL: Epicenter of the Housing Bust and of Public Corruption For the public interest what is left from the building boom are massive deficits, degraded wetlands, bad water quality, and a trail of public corruption that seems to have no end.
Friday, September 14, 2007. NJ; FL: UPDATE: Real estate broker reported missing Missing R.E. Broker Frank D'Alessandro among defendants in dozens of lawsuits, at least one involving First Home Builders, (which was covered approx. Aug 28-Sep. 7, on our news pg., re: Colorado credit union being taken down by First Homes case. First Homes is affiliated w/K. Hovnanian.)
Friday, September 14, 2007. TX: Home builder wins case against insurer More on Lamar Homes v. Mid-Continent Casualty
Friday, September 14, 2007. MSN: Why you can't afford a home "We had an artificial economy," said Brad Geisen, founder of Foreclosure.com
Thursday, September 13, 2007. MD: Residents oppose Contee Road annexation, Beazer development Residents blame developer, Beazer Homes, for water and structural problems.
Thursday, September 13, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes bankruptcy Fishman and Plainfield Specialty Holdings II Inc., a Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund, will take control. New name of Kara to be Maplewood.
Thursday, September 13, 2007. US: Home builders fight back New ads will say market isn't as bad as portrayed
Thursday, September 13, 2007. Builder Online: Minnesota Builder Under Investigation For Mortgage Fraud More coverage of the Parish Marketing and Development Corp. case.
Thursday, September 13, 2007. US: Hovnanian's Talk Rings Hollow 4 page article: When your own company is in trouble, why not say the entire country is having economic problems?
Thursday, September 13, 2007. US: Orleans Homebuilders suffering a tough year Orleans Homebuilders lost $66.9 million this year as customers cancelled contracts and the company abandoned planned communities.
Thursday, September 13, 2007. NJ/PA: Development residents worried about depth of wells Orleans Homebuilders drilled wells to 100 feet, instead of 300 feet
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. CS Monitor: Govt regulation makes a comeback Capitalism is partly based on the thesis that the self-interest of entrepreneurs, managers, and workers combine to produce the most good for a nation. But when thinking shifts into the extreme "greed is good" mode, the impact can be damaging.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. MI: War of Words Builders, residents, officials in skirmish over zoning
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. International: Mold News Current articles
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: What if we could stop some foreclosure nightmares? Robert J. Wright founder of msfraud.org ... “many foreclosures could have been avoided had borrowers been aware of accounting errors and fraud going on with their loan servicing.”
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Mortgage Liability Issue to Hit Congress Banks that package mortgage securities - and institutional investors who buy them - fearful that lawmakers could in future make them legally responsible for fraud committed by lenders.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. MI: Sixth suit against BayView is filed UPDATE: Defendants: Suttons Pointe Development, Marcus W. Yono, Livingston Building Company.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. Realty Times: Best Foundation for Your Home? Foundation problems can be serious and costly concerns
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. NY: Suspension for Hempstead building inspector Will be suspended for 30 days without pay, after town officials said they found second Merrick home where he approved shoddy work.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. FL: Homicide victim linked to failed Punta Gorda builders Fort Myers man who was shot and killed early Tuesday was licensed contractor connected to two failed Punta Gorda builders whose companies are under investigation in a series of construction fraud complaints. Clifford C. Joyner (was linked to) builders Gary Oben and Dean Rossey, the principals in Floridian Gulf Coast Homes, Ideal Homes and G C Construction.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. PA: Contractors Arrested For Fraud "I never ever expected I would be conned out like this. I thought I was a smart lady. I always did my homework," said Dr. Stella Ebo. It's a story that's being told again and again. Investigators say the Salvatico brothers ripped off 13 homeowners in Bucks and Philadelphia counties, cheating them out of a half-million dollars.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. CNBC: Realty Check Articles by Diana Olick on real estate situation
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. TX: Saddlebrook chief: Rumors aren't true Builder denies rumors of bankruptcy, and blames the media for the whole housing market downturn.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes Bankruptcy: Judge approves reorganization Kara Homes will be renamed Maplewood Homebuilders
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Tarragon falls, faces lawsuit Shares of Tarragon Corp. down after homebuilder and real estate developer accused of violating federal securities laws
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Arbitration: How arbitrators are pressured to do what big business wants JAMS, a large national arbitration provider, announced it would not necessarily enforce bans on class actions that are common in arbitration clauses. At least 2 credit card companies, Chase and Discover, have now amended cardholder agreements to remove JAMS from list of arbitration providers they will use. As other companies follow, this will put enormous pressure on JAMS to its change position.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: American Home Mortgage Company's Bankruptcy May Threaten Thousands of Homeowners American Home quit making payments to tax authorities and insurance companies Aug. 24.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: FTC Warns Mortgage Advertisers and Media That Ads May Be Deceptive Ads may violate federal law.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Housing Crash Today's news
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Mike Morgan's real estate site, relevant to Lennar article below FYI
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. Nat'l interest: Lennar, real estate broker Mike Morgan settle suit out of court Confidential settlement: As result of settlement, Lennar now has control over Morgan’s former site, www.defective-homes.net. (We posted earlier about this when the site's "take over" was noticed. --Ed.) Morgan: Financially impossible to continue fighting nationwide giant.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Beazer turns to court to keep creditors at bay Beazer appears to be caught in ever-tightening spiral of secrecy and denial that has hammered creditors' faith. ... Court's intervention could have far-reaching effects, allowing other troubled companies to withhold potentially damaging internal data from investors.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Home Builders' Downward Spiral Drags On Belly-up builders?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Did Americans really want McMansions? It may have been that McMansions were a structural necessity brought on by the economics of the housing bubble.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Building Sandcastles: The Subprime Adventure Dizzying escalation in home prices masked shaky underpinnings...As for bailing out hedge funds, whose executives earned million-dollar bonuses, government, eager to bolster economy, must be leery of rescuing Wild West investor/risk-takers.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Building Sandcastles: The Subprime Adventure Dizzying escalation in home prices masked shaky underpinnings...As for bailing out hedge funds, whose executives earned million-dollar bonuses, government, eager to bolster economy, must be leery of rescuing Wild West investor/risk-takers.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Class action storm brewing for builders with affiliated finance companies NON-PDF version of REED SMITH article below.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: CLASS ACTION STORM BREWING FOR BUILDERS WITH AFFILIATED FINANCE COMPANIES PDF file; From law firm of Reed Smith
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: Ryan Homes and NVR face RESPA suit Builders with mortgage affiliates in the crosshairs. (Title Insurance industry problems discussed in blog; coverage of the NVR RESPA violations lawsuit.)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: NVR Mortgage (Ryan Homes) Hit with Restricted Credit Line The unit which handles in-house mortgage operations for a variety of NVR home building companies received the line of credit on the basis that it couldn’t be used to finance risky home loans.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007. US: NVR, Ryan Homes face RESPA suit, mortgage questions From RESPAnews.com: Ryan Homes is on the proverbial hot seat in light of a RESPA lawsuit accusing NVR Mortgage Finance Inc., its mortgage subsidiary, of illegally coercing homebuyers into using its services. This case comes on the heels of an altercation over NVR’s mortgage practices that drew national ...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007. US: Law firm article on Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 Corporations have figured out that simply by inserting an arbitration clause in contracts for everyday consumer goods and services or employment, they can usually evade accountability for any harm they cause or laws they break
Tuesday, September 11, 2007. US: Solar house to shine at Lawrence Tech Southfield House is example of how simple it can be to use the sun to generate power
Tuesday, September 11, 2007. US: 9 Reasons to ban mandatory arbitration Mandatory binding arbitration is great for businesses to use in dealing with one another, but it sucks for consumers. Here's 9 ways you get screwed in arbitration...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007. US: The Disinformation Society American media was mesmerized by amazing, supernatural rise of nominal house prices, and fantastic flow of paychecks from production home-builder's payroll offices
Tuesday, September 11, 2007. Mortgage 101: Barry Stone column No one should ever buy a new home without hiring a professional home inspector because all new homes have construction defects
Tuesday, September 11, 2007. Builder Online: Beazer Homes Receives Sixth Default Notice UPDATE w/related links.
Monday, September 10, 2007. Washington Post: Mortgage Mess Unleashes Chain Of Lawsuits Consortium of investors going after collapsed Bear Stearns hedge funds. Home buyers, shareholders, investment banks have filed suits against mortgage lenders. A working group at Securities and Exchange Commission examining accounting and disclosure issues...
Monday, September 10, 2007. US: Bush, Bernanke and a bad bailout The president and the Fed chief want to appear to be capitalists while acting like socialists.
Monday, September 10, 2007. US: Home Builders Beware One reason the Fed is reluctant to cut rates is because lower rates spur inflation.
Monday, September 10, 2007. US: Beazer gets another default notice Investor concern that Beazer may be bankruptcy candidate
Monday, September 10, 2007. FL: "D.R. Horton Fraud" Homeowner's site with many scanned documents.
Monday, September 10, 2007. International: Mortgage debacle the result of criminal action, not mistakes At its heart is old-fashioned fraud.
Monday, September 10, 2007. US: Homebuilders Urged by Pension Funds to Boost Legal Oversight Particularly within their mortgage affiliates the builders helped cause the industrywide collapse
Monday, September 10, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Current news articles
Monday, September 10, 2007. Patrick.Net: Housing Crash News Up to date news.
Monday, September 10, 2007. US: Realty Check w/ Diana Olick Bankruptcy firms adding staff (lawyers), gearing up for big corporate restructuring, from builders to banks
Monday, September 10, 2007. NV: Lawyer for failed mortgage firm now works for state's Mortgage Lending Division Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said she was "in total disbelief" at the appointment.
"This company is a poster child for what not to do in mortgage lending. And now the appointee is supposed to watch out for consumers? Unbelievable," Buckley said.
Monday, September 10, 2007. IL: IL attorney general's real estate fraud suit John Popp and Christopher Smith, developers through Lord & Essex, accused of defrauding home buyers.
Monday, September 10, 2007. Forbes: The Rise And Fall Of Subprime Paper Market is byproduct of the market of six years ago.
Monday, September 10, 2007. Forbes: Homebuilders Blown Down By Moody's housing slump to get even worse
Monday, September 10, 2007. NC: Insurance Commissioner Hammers Regulators for Tougher Coastal Building Codes “Homebuilders and developers balk at adding any codes that require them to do more or spend more during construction, but that’s shortsighted and greedy,” he said. "If stricter measures are not taken to protect our coastal homes, lives and property are put at unnecessary risk, and insurance companies
Monday, September 10, 2007. CNN: A HOUSE DIVIDED Part 2 See Part 1 below, too.
Monday, September 10, 2007. CNN: A HOUSE DIVIDED Part 1 If this video link doesn't work for you, use the story posted earlier today to view the videos of Part 1 and 2 of this story about bad builders, sinking houses, in AZ.
Monday, September 10, 2007. Wall Street Journal: Congress and Recession (Whether interest rate reduction, if it comes, will be) response to general economic conditions, rather than to the pleading of Wall Street and homebuilders to rescue them from their bad lending decisions.
Monday, September 10, 2007. US; Inman blog, real estate news: Pressing the Red Button The National Association of Home Builders trade group, in a statement released today, called for govt to put the housing market and economy back together again. (Wonder why they didn't want the govt around when consumer advocates predicted the current housing mess as a result of industry practices??? --Ed.)
Monday, September 10, 2007. AZ; National interest: 2 VIDEOS from CNN: A House Divided Scroll through videos for "A House Divided," Parts 1 and 2, from Sep. 9th.
Sunday, September 09, 2007. FL: Condo Conversions Gone Bad Aging buildings gussied up with paint and fancy trimmings, but never truly renovated; sold as luxury condos
Sunday, September 09, 2007. NY: Daily News probe finds WTC contractors with mob ties, fraud Contractors cited for everything from mob ties to tax fraud to fatal accidents are getting slice of $16 billion reconstruction at Ground Zero.
Sunday, September 09, 2007. MN: UPDATE: Home builder Parish Marketing and Development case Inflated appraisals, faked documents, vanished payments: Dozens of people caught in what state regulators believe is largest case of mortgage fraud in Minnesota history.
Sunday, September 09, 2007. Nat'l interest: Straw Bale Building Idea far from new. Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, an adobe-constructed village built by Taos Indians nearly 1,000 years ago still being lived in today
Sunday, September 09, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes Bankruptcy Creditors eye Kara makeover: proposed name change to "Maplewood Homebuilders." Some home buyers may only get back pennies on the dollar, of deposits.
Saturday, September 08, 2007. WA: Homeowners sue developer Suit against Premier Communities: [Article indicates arbitration clause in warranty allows them "other options" if not successful; we question that, since most such clauses are "binding." --HADD Ed.]
Saturday, September 08, 2007. PA: Developer pleads guilty to corruption Construction contractor James F. Campenella gave $20,000 bribe to city real estate assessor
Saturday, September 08, 2007. Builder Online: Builders Meet With Fed to Discuss Mortgage Crisis Same builders (who) created excess inventory that helped push housing industry into downturn (met) behind closed doors with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. ... Actual agenda of meeting not clear, as NAHB and spokespeople for several large builders declined to answer questions. Builder Online confirmed CEOs from KB Home, Pulte, Hovnanian are among builders at meeting. NAHB refused to provide full attendee list. [Builders' in house lenders also got in on risky loans. Don't be fooled by "bailout for homeowners" that will really bail out the industry. --HADD Ed.]
Saturday, September 08, 2007. MN: UPDATE: Government investigation of homes by Parish Marketing Closing agent pleads guilty in home fraud: $50 million in losses. Robbins, closing agent and licensed notary public, admitted he participated in scores of fraudulent real estate transactions on behalf of home builder described in court records only as "Company A."
Saturday, September 08, 2007. US: Big Houses Are Not Green America's McMansion Problem: Very few houses now being built are as energy-efficient as they could be...
Saturday, September 08, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes bankruptcy Founder of Kara balks at makeover
Saturday, September 08, 2007. Realty Check: Foreclosure Bailouts? Don't Mail Out Checks Yet By Diana Olick
Saturday, September 08, 2007. NV: Unnecessary home repairs for seniors? [Possible "inspection and repair" scam; homeowners should go to builder first, then the Nevada State Contractors Board for its free services instead, according to Las Vegas Lemonade http://lasvegaslemonade.org which supplied the link to this article. -ED.]
Saturday, September 08, 2007. US: Unsafe at Any Rate It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house. But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street–and the mortgage won’t even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner.
Friday, September 07, 2007. BuilderOnline.com: Mold-Free Model Home Two primary issues: keeping water away from house and removing mold's potential food sources.
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: Foreclosure Bailout Proposals Raise Questions Differing sympathies with respect to bailout proposals.
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: Bush offers a way out of the foreclosure mess, for some Remedy would give the very lenders who have stuck borrowers with loans they couldn't afford a chance to profit again by refinancing those loans - this time underwritten by government insurance. Lenders who bear so much of the responsibility for creating the problem shouldn't benefit from the solution.
Friday, September 07, 2007. Realty Times: Mortgage Loans: Know What You are Signing That same lender who wants you to take a payment option arm to cut your payments in half also runs another ad telling you what an idiot you are if you have an adjustable rate mortgage
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: UPDATE: Beazer's Default Dilemma 3 possible outcomes: Beazer files 10-Q within 60 day period, U.S. District Court rules against Beazer saying default has occurred because earnings report wasn't filed, or court rules in Beazer's favor and Beazer has unlimited time to file 10-Q. "The last outcome would set an unfortunate precedent, and may have significant ramifications for all investors ... Investing without critical and promised material information is investing in the dark."
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: Beazer In Legal Showdown As Bondholders Allege Default Beazer's woes similar to BearingPoint (case) a management and technology consulting company that lost a legal spat with bondholders about whether it was in default after missing filings. New York State Supreme Court judge sided with bondholders, saying defendants were liable for breach of contract.
Friday, September 07, 2007. US; National Association of Home Builders press release: Home Builders Issue Call For Action On Economy OR, in our opinion, Home Builders Issue Giant Whine for Nanny Government to Bail it Out. --Ed.
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: Investors seek scrutiny of builders' mortgage lending Calling Beazer "the poster child of why their peer companies need to take steps," Michael Garland, CtW's director of value strategies, noted that other builders, including KB Home and Ryland, also have been hit with accusations of questionable lending practices.
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: Beazer Not A Pleaser More on this morning's Beazer articles.
Friday, September 07, 2007. CO; Nat'l interest: My Title Insurance Rating site.
Friday, September 07, 2007. CO: Title insurance comparison Web site draws fire (www.MyTitleIns.com link in article.) Industry bribes and kick backs to agents and homebuilders were the driving force behind the Real Estate Settlement and Protection Act
Friday, September 07, 2007. CO; FL; MI: UPDATE on First Homes lawsuits Credit unions face lawsuits by people who say they were defrauded by First Home, Hovnanian and a variety of lenders and real-estate agencies.
Friday, September 07, 2007. Business Week: SEC Wants More Answers Fraud investigation into hedge funds, complicated investment pools filled with mortgage-backed securities, (Some problem loans were originated at homebuilders' in-house lenders.)
Friday, September 07, 2007. PA: Criminal charges against Karoly dismissed UPDATE: Slayton, a homebuilder charged with stealing $500,000 in customers deposits, remained fugitive for a month, with prosecutors alleging Karoly gave him money and aid before his capture.
Friday, September 07, 2007. MI: Court ruling may save Michiganders money on energy Publication of housing code was halted at eleventh hour when Michigan Association of Home Builders filed suit in 2005, despite extensive rulemaking process that took more than two years.
Friday, September 07, 2007. PA; Nat'l interest: Customer complaints finally nail contractor Ed Ross Number of consumer complaints finally added up to disciplinary action.
Friday, September 07, 2007. LA: Louisiana Attorney General sues insurers over Katrina flood exemptions Attorney General Charles Foti filed bold and broad class-action lawsuit against nearly every private insurance company in region, claiming they misused flood exemptions in homeowners policies to deny claims for about 150,000 hurricane victims, shifting burden to Road Home program.
Friday, September 07, 2007. Boston Business Journal : Payton Construction closing its doors Residential projects may be affected.
Friday, September 07, 2007. FL; TX; Nat'l interest: "Builders/Developers & Campaign Contributions" (2 articles) Today's entries have statistics from Federal Election Commission, www.fec.gov on FL and TX so far.
Friday, September 07, 2007. World: Housing Crash Current news articles from all over, about housing market
Friday, September 07, 2007. Real Estate Q & A column: Scroll down to: "RISKS OF HAVING A NEW HOME BUILT" QUESTION: What are the risks of buying a brand-new house or having one built by a builder who might be in financial trouble? What happens if the builder goes bankrupt...We are concerned because the builder has had some bad publicity with its mortgages and its stock price is way down. --- ANSWER: Home builders are notorious for filing bankruptcy and leaving their home buyers without any recourse...
A favorite trick...is to form a separate corporation for each new subdivision, and after the development is completed dissolve the corporation to avoid future liability.
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: Beazer Shares Fall After Receiving Default Notices The FBI is investigating Beazer for potential fraud and the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe of the company. (UPDATES to articles posted since about March 2007, particularly the Charlotte Observer series "Sold a Nightmare" www.charlotte.com/523/index.html --Ed.)
Friday, September 07, 2007. US: Beazer served with notices alleging default The U.S. Bank National Association sent default notices to Beazer Homes USA Inc. on Sept. 6, the Atlanta home builder reported Friday.
Thursday, September 06, 2007. TN; Nat'l interest: Warranty Woes With American Home Shield Although the company is a member of the BBB with a satisfactory record, it has racked up 2,268 complaints in the last three years.
Thursday, September 06, 2007. WA; Nat'l interest: Failure to Raise "Timely" Challenge to Arbitrator's Alleged Bias is "Fatal" to Defense Seattle arbitrator Don Logerwell ruled in favor of contractor. In seeking to vacate award, owner claimed Logerwell was biased because of close relationship with contractor's counsel. (Hudson Company v. King)
Thursday, September 06, 2007. CA: 'Shelter In Place’ Developers Boost Profits with Risky, Experimental Tactic of Building Homes in Remote, High Fire Severity Zones Without Being Required to Provide Roads for Evacuation
Thursday, September 06, 2007. TX: SAHA Task Force Members Walk Out They say mold problems and shoddy construction can't be fixed. (More on the Mirasol project built by KB Home)
Thursday, September 06, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Insurers to bear brunt of home construction defects Court decision re: contractor liability insurance. (Relevant to case posted earlier: Lamar Homes Inc. vs. Mid-Continent Casualty Co.)
Thursday, September 06, 2007. PA: UPDATE on Poconos Real Estate Fraud case (Deputy Attorney General) contends Peterson deliberately fudged numbers so loans would be approved, and parties including property seller and home builder would get paid. (Sidebar links to related past articles.)
Thursday, September 06, 2007. MN: Alleged mortgage conspiracy led to $50 million in losses A plan using "straw buyers" and falsified loan data resulted in a rash of foreclosures in southern suburbs. (More on Eagan builder Parish Marketing and Development)
Thursday, September 06, 2007. MN: Feds: `Straw buyers' plan led to suburban home foreclosures Alleged mortgage fraud conspiracy involving about 200 houses has led to estimated losses of more than $50 million, federal authorities revealed...foreclosures rooted in sale of homes by Eagan builder Parish Marketing and Development
Thursday, September 06, 2007. FL: Bomb jitters spur visits to attorneys Murcury, old bombs, and toxic chemicals; Lennar development.
Thursday, September 06, 2007. TX: Mirasol homeowners walk out of meeting Update on development built by KB Home
Thursday, September 06, 2007. MI: New houses out of most families' reach "A surprise to builders." Reader comments at end of article are interesting.
Thursday, September 06, 2007. US: Government Sponsored Mortgage Placebos Why did stock market react positively to what is effectively an attempt to put out a forest fire with a shot glass? Isn’t that a clue the market is still out of touch with reality and/or is basically looking for anything that hints at return to “good times” of real estate boom, as opposed to attempting to build sustainable financial model for future?
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. US: Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 There is no bill pending in Congress that scares Corporate America more than this one. There is no bill pending in Congress that could more help the American people than this one.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. TX: Texas Supreme Court Weighs in on Defective Construction as Occurrence Follow up: International Risk Management Institute discusses "Lamar Homes v. Mid-Continent"
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. CO: Test-Drive Your New Home UPDATE: About 17% of new homes constructed last year had significant construction problems, up from 15% in 2003, according to Criterium Engineers
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. US: Home Builders: How About A Little More Talk? The builders were asked very strongly by the Fed not to speak with the media about today’s meeting
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. FL: Angry owners target builder after leaks, mold plague PBC townhouses Estancia residents oppose Oliver Bibas' plan for Vivendi Homes development. Some scared to stay in townhouses where rain seeps in behind fuse boxes.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. IL: Illinois Attorney General sues home developers Lawsuit names John J. Popp Jr., Christopher Smith, Lord & Essex of Aurora, and Pembrooke Homes and Estates. Madigan encouraged other Lord & Essex customers with similar experiences to file complaint with consumer protection division: www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers (or) call attorney general's consumer fraud hotline, (800) 386-5438.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. TX: Houston Real Estate Agent Guilty of Bank Fraud John Turner, Jr. (also) owned First Class Construction; never performed repairs or remodeling to the purchased home.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. US: Housing recovery getting further away Housing now has three strikes against it:
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. AR: Fayetteville Builder Foreclosure Bank filed petition of foreclosure against Charles H. Calloway, James Patton and Charles "Bubba" Carpenter, doing business as Gatorback Investments LLC
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. US: Critical Lending Coverage Needed During Boom Where were these stories (about bad loans, homebuilders), when those loans were being made?
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. Builder Online: Builders Meet With Fed Some of the same builders whose companies created the excess inventory that helped push the housing industry into its current downturn are reportedly meeting today behind closed doors with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke...NAHB - which arranged meeting through its High-Production Homebuilders Council - and spokespeople for several large home builders declined to answer questions... (Is this is the part where the industry, which wanted the govt out of its business, is now asking the nanny govt to bail it out? Don't be fooled that this bailout is for anything BUT the industry. --Ed.)
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes bankruptcy Some creditors likely to OK plan, others not so much: "it's very pathetic that a company can take a deposit, give you 9 cents on the dollar, and then go back into business like nothing happens." Kara may change name to Maplewood.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. KS: UPDATE ON MILLER CASE A jury trial is set for Oct. 30 in the $25 million bank fraud and money-laundering case against Kansas City area home builder F. Jeffrey Miller and six co-defendants.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. US: The Moral Argument Against All Bailouts Who else do you think will be left holding the bag when the government borrows money to bail out insolvent borrowers and lenders? Just to refresh our memory: we as a nation are $8 trillion in the hole. Any "bailout" will be borrowed from the Chinese and Saudis and added to our already unconscionably burdensome National Debt
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. US: White House Has It all WRONG On Subprime By Diana Olick, Realty Check
Wednesday, September 05, 2007. US: Countrywide's message of confidence turned to crisis Delinquency and foreclosure rates have soared on many Countrywide loans
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. PA: Binsack hearing heated UPDATE: Bank of America executive Michael McCarty testified that when he met Mr. Binsack in May, he thought the new banking client would be lucrative. (This is the builder whose criminal record was not reported by the builders association or BBB.)
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. PA: Preate won’t defend builder Binsack , (owner of Mansions & Estates International LLC) UPDATE: Scott Binsack in search of new attorney
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. MS: Homeowner Says Builder Botched Job Builder Billy Todd Homes hasn't fixed home's problems, even though arbitrator has ordered the builder to make repairs.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. US: Home insurance woes mount in coastal states Builders oppose stricter codes that could lower insurance.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. CO: City to look at new HOA concept City considering forcing everyone into mandatory HOA's
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. US: Commentary: Subprime Loans Some homebuilders have gone into the mortgage business themselves, which could be considered a conflict of interest. There were those who, eager to collect the financing and get the dirt flying probably were tempted to misrepresent their customer's credit situation. The builders would be paid, whether the lenders were or not.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. US: Staying ignorant in 5 easy steps Author dissects some typical canned consumer advice on mortgages.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. CA: Stop RunkleDyne KB Home; contaminated development site in Simi Valley
Tuesday, September 04, 2007. Bloomberg: No Fed Bailout, Please -- Wall Street Will Survive Housing was due for a comeuppance after years of fast building, soaring prices -- not to mention risky mortgages.
Monday, September 03, 2007. YOU TUBE VIDEO: Don Morissette Realty, Inc. Builder Poor Workmanship Oregon 3 year old custom home leaking
Monday, September 03, 2007. YOU TUBE VIDEO: KB Home's Bombs "Housing Developer Manipulates the System and builds on top of a bombing range."
Monday, September 03, 2007. MI: Nightmare at dream house Builder Christopher Sorenson, and Daniel Hogan, mechanical contractor: Basement wet, walls sagging, sinks don't drain, windows don't fit, heating and cooling system barely functions, floor needs to be replaced, and roof could collapse. Those are handful of home's 104 major building code violations state inspectors should have caught. State inspector admitted house was never inspected...relied on word of builder that work was properly done.
Monday, September 03, 2007. US: Backer of Swift Boat ads has tie to law firm pushing vote change Lawyers behind California ballot proposal that could benefit 2008 Republican presidential nominee have ties to Texas homebuilder (Bob Perry) who financed attacks on Democrat John Kerry's Vietnam War record in 2004 presidential campaign. (As well as other smear ads, etc...)
Monday, September 03, 2007. US: Data look fine, but Fed will probably cut anyway [M]eetings between Fed officials and groups such as bankers, home builders and manufacturers. Most of this information never published, but does go into decisions made in inner councils of Fed.
Monday, September 03, 2007. CA: Just when you think you've heard it all regarding builders' "incentives" to buy... New Home Builder Offers Free Houseboy to Buyer of Los Angeles Loft House
Monday, September 03, 2007. Nat'l interest: UPDATE: Lee loans doom Colorado credit union Norlarco and Hovnanian (a.k.a. First Home) are defendants
Monday, September 03, 2007. US: Home Solutions says short seller's charges aren't true According to Mr. Left and his Web site, Home Solutions is a "house of cards" that will soon collapse, its revenues aren't to be trusted, and its executives issued false reports of new work to rally the stock price so they could sell millions of their own shares.
Monday, September 03, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Beazer's Auction Beazer home in foreclosure on auction block
Monday, September 03, 2007. CA: Community leaders skeptical of Newsom comments UPDATE on contaminated Lennar development, Bay View Hunters Point
Monday, September 03, 2007. MO; Nat'l interest: Attack on judiciary is power grab How judges are appointed or elected; comments include notes about homebuilder Bob Perry's influence.
Sunday, September 02, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Those cashing in on growth must pay for it Home builders are, indeed, hurting, along with tradespeople who earn modest salaries. It's because their greedy bosses overbuilt the market and now illogically demand relief. (Article allows commentary at end.)
Sunday, September 02, 2007. FL: Controversial renovator charged with grand theft Civil and criminal charges not new for Frank Donofrio.
Sunday, September 02, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Foreclosure wave slams Southland Homeowners facing foreclosure can call Home Ownership Preservation Foundation 888-995-HOPE, or ACORN foreclosure hotline 800-324-3697, Ext. 212.
Sunday, September 02, 2007. ME: Bankruptcy court petition targets builder Oxford Homes, recently sold to Boston LLC Eco-Building Systems.
Sunday, September 02, 2007. US: Can the Mortgage Crisis Swallow a Town? TAMMI and Charles Eggleston never took out a risky mortgage, never borrowed more than they could afford and never missed a monthly payment on their neat, three-bedroom colonial in the Cleveland suburbs. But that hasn’t prevented them from getting caught in the undertow of the subprime mortgage mess...
Sunday, September 02, 2007. US: Subprime Time The absence of scrutiny on Wall Street had a profound effect on mortgage origination. As mortgage bankers discovered that investors would buy virtually any loan whatsoever, they naturally lowered their standards. What difference whether a loan was sound if you could flip it in 48 hours?
Saturday, September 01, 2007. US: The New Money Pit It started with subprime mortgages. Now owners of McMansions are defaulting
Friday, August 31, 2007. US: Columbia Law School info and links on Predatory Lending States' attorney generals, etc.
Friday, August 31, 2007. International: Are you suffering from brain mold? Article about study linking mold exposure and depression has gathered many reader comments.
Friday, August 31, 2007. US Dept of Housing & Urban Development: FHA to allow families with good credit/payment histories, facing foreclosure, to qualify for refinancing. To qualify for FHASecure, eligible homeowners must meet the following five criteria:
Friday, August 31, 2007. US: President Bush Addresses Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud Bush’s statement...is his first related to real estate and mortgage fraud that I could recall
Friday, August 31, 2007. US: Lennar Homes In Sheep’s Clothing www.defective-homes.net/ has been overrun by Lennar Homes
Friday, August 31, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud in the news Indictments, convictions, current news.
Friday, August 31, 2007. TX: Lamar Homes v. Mid-Continent Casualty Certified Questions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit re: when a builder's insurance carrier must pay claim.
Friday, August 31, 2007. US: Text of Fed Chairman Bernanke's Address to Jackson Hole Meeting When most loans are securitized and originators have little financial or reputational capital at risk, the danger exists that the originators of loans will be less diligent.
Friday, August 31, 2007. CO; FL; MI: UPDATE on First American Builders and First Home Builders: Nonprofit affiliation led to loans Norlarco's portfolio of delinquent real estate loans soared to $70 million
Friday, August 31, 2007. US: Putting Lipstick On Pigs Large builders established mortgage-writing subsidiaries, built more houses than market could absorb...subsidiaries exaggerated incomes and qualifications of buyers on loan applications, exaggerated appraisals of properties. Operated on lines of credit and resold the loans to investment banks, which bundled them into bonds. Both builders and investment bankers had incentive to put lipstick on pigs.
Friday, August 31, 2007. FL: Angry owners target builder after leaks, mold plague townhouses "Affordable" homes with defects owners can't afford to fix; water leaking into fuse boxes, etc. Buyers hope to stop Oliver Bibas' & Isaac Kodsi's next Vivendi Homes development.
Friday, August 31, 2007. US: Abel Homes at Naranja Villas, LLC v. Hernandez Builder's failure to elect arbitration within time period in contract constitutes waiver of the right to compel arbitration.
Friday, August 31, 2007. FL: What Do 3,000 Inmates and New Home Builders Have In Common? They are both being given permission to continue taking advantage of the good citizens of Florida; complete with Governor Charlie Crists' blessing!
Thursday, August 30, 2007. VA: Judge starts to untangle complicated finances of CM Development McEntee testified Thursday that as CM Development was crumbling, he had tried to start a new construction company, New Vision Homes & Development Inc. That business is already defunct.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. Wall Street Journal: Investors Default On Outsize Share Of Home Loans Walking away from homes bought not to live in, but as "investments," big part of foreclosures.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: Federal Reserve should resist tinkering Fed played a part in igniting the conflagration it's now trying to smother.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. Mother Jones: Windfall: How Conservatives, Contractors, and Developers Cashed In on Katrina [W]iping certain neighborhoods off the map while enriching developers and corporate contractors.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. MI: Wexford retrenches during receivership prompted by homebuilding lull Housing lull, co-owners suing each other, etc, Buyer Beware!
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: D.C. commissions $235,000 analysis of local subprime lending Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking recently awarded a $234,750 contract to the Center for Responsible Lending for an analysis of local subprime lending
Thursday, August 30, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Vulture Investors: Huge home deal carries huge 'if' Joseph L. Long, New Jersey-based real estate investor, negotiating with about 60 area developers and builders to buy 1,500 homes and condos at a 30 percent discount.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. PA: Abbottstown builder charged with fraud, theft Police charged Steven Douglas Gebhart, with operating corrupt organization, fraudulent business practices, insurance fraud, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities and theft by deception. Gebhart's businesses include Gebhart Pole Buildings, Abbottstown Pole Buildings, Route 30 Supply Inc., Gebhart Construction, K&G Inc. and Old West Pitstop.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. MI; FL: MORE: Fraud suit names HRACU Real Estate Fraud Scam: More on Norlarco, Construction Loan Company, etc
Thursday, August 30, 2007. FL: Palm Beach County commissioner to keep board seat on builders group Conflict of interest
Thursday, August 30, 2007. International interest: Brown University Study Finds Link Between Depression & Mold From Brown University website
Thursday, August 30, 2007. International interest: Producer, Medical News, looking for "mold stories." CNN article about recent study by Brown University saying mold can affect mood. See also article posted earlier today on same topic.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. AR: Accounting For The Lost Homes In The Region (New) homes slipped off radar, not included in reported MLS inventory
Thursday, August 30, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Suit offers inside look at Coast's meltdown Coast and Miller approached Jesse Battle III, owner of Construction Compliance Inc.,, a struggling home builder from St. Petersburg.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. TX: Another TRiCC on the Texas Homebuyers Homebuyers with a new home defect will find little, if any help from modified Commission
Thursday, August 30, 2007. FL: Home Builder Searching For Underground Bombs Lennar Homes said it was caught off guard by the news that the subdivision sits on a former Army bombing range.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. CO; FL; MI: Developer linked to Norlarco dropped insurance "H. Kovnanian" (Could the reporter have actually meant K. Hovnanian?) Incident another in string of dealings between Norlarco and Florida homebuilders that led federal regulators to take over credit union.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. AZ: Flowing washes alarm homeowners in Troon area Life in a flood-prone desert...residents wonder how plans were ever approved.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: No Tax Relief for Housing Woes Businesses, like builders, can write off loss on their taxes, but homeowners may have to pay tax on portion of unpaid loan in foreclosure.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: Bernanke Is Under Pressure To Signal Rate Cut Fed watchers say Bernanke is leery of rushing down the path of his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, who has been criticized for running to Wall Street's aid with interest-rate cuts.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: Contact the Federal Reserve Board about the Mortgage Mess Do you feel builders, lenders, and investors deserve to have the government bail them out at taxpayer expense? Online submission form, or send letter by snail mail to: Federal Reserve Board, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551
Thursday, August 30, 2007. Business Week: Defaults on investor properties rising Investors and speculators walking away from mortgages
Thursday, August 30, 2007. FL: Hole swallowing Apopka home could be sinkhole Two year old house.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: Lennar, Centex spreads risk junk ratings Ratings downgrade may potentially send some builders into junk territory.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: As Foreclosure Rates Rise, So Does Fraud Ways sellers and home builders contribute to fraud in today's market; cash back at closing, etc.
Thursday, August 30, 2007. OH: 2 Indicted for Money Laundering, Theft & Corrupt Activity Forged loan documents...Larry Corna, Alan Csipke, associated with Merchants Financial, Mortgage Services Inc., and Unique Construction
Thursday, August 30, 2007. International: Mold and Moods A new study out this week in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that damp, moldy homes are associated with an increased incidence of depression. Why? “Some molds are toxins, and exposure to these toxins may hypoactivate parts of the brain that deal with emotions,”
Thursday, August 30, 2007. US: Home builder sounds recession alarm, calls for rate cut Hovnanian said that a group of home-builder CEOs were scheduled to meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke next week. (As predicted, builders call for Nanny Govt to come bail them out, packaged as being good for the economy, after years of wanting "goverment out of our business." --Ed.)
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. International interest: Book Offers Help and Hope to Victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and Flooding MOLD: The War Within, by Kurt and Lee Ann Billings: Could be of intersest to anyone with mold, flooding, or a leaky house.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. TN: Scroll to: "Helpful Guide" Homebuilders get what they want in stormwater ordinance incl. lower fines, etc.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. US: Mortgage Lender Implode-o-meter News articles on lending mess.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. US: Lawyers Learn From HomeBanc's Demise In addition to the large number of loans it sold, HomeBanc had other ways of leveraging its influence. HomeBanc had one of the most extensive networks of marketing agreements, also known as affiliated business arrangements, or AfBAs, with builders or real estate agents
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. US: Housing Crash Today's news
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Title firm settles over kickbacks Illegal rebate schemes damage trust of consumers and drive up cost of purchasing home...Stewart Title accused of making illicit payments to Lennar.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. NJ: Real Estate Appraiser Pleads Guilty in $50 Million Real Estate Investor Fraud William Page & John Morris, NJ Affordable Homes Corp, others...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Current news, indictments, etc.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: In foreclosure, lender should go on record City councilman wants loan originator's documents examined for fraud, too.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. NV: Homeowners Deal With Faulty Plumbing In Pulte Homes systems were installed in 5,300 homes built by Pulte between 2002 and 2006
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. CityBeat.com, OH; Nat'l interest: Aggressive business reporter gets canned Excellent reporter Jim McNair fired from the Cincinnati Enquirer after poking his investigative nose into industries like banking and homebuilding. HADD has posted or saved many of Mr. McNair's articles over the years.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. Nat'l interest: Defective-Homes.net no longer owned by Real Estate Agent Mike Morgan? The site, which WAS a consumer complaint site before, now appears to be owned by Lennar Homes and is more or less advertising for the builder now.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Don't be a victim of faulty roof installation Description of really bad roofing job in real estate advice column.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. CA: Stewart Title settles Calif 'kickback' allegations agreed to pay $1 million in penalties and stop paying illegal "kickbacks" to builders, lenders and title agents
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. MI: Mold infiltrates homeowners' new house Randlett, et al. v. Direct TV of Michigan, et al., (Builder "G & M Home Builder" was also a defendant: improper satellite TV install plus improper window flashing by builder. (This is what we feel is a rare example of a homeowner winning in arbitration. Helpful in that it names some experts, attorneys involved, too.)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD): PDF file: Countrywide Home Loans Pennsylvania HUD Audit found Countrywide loan office "generally complied" but failed to exercise due diligence
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. Nat'l interest: Arbitration has no jury and no appeal Overuse (of arbitration clauses) in consumer and employment matters has quietly eroded the rights of the American people, according to U.S. District Judge William G. Young of Massachusetts, who spoke at The Florida Bar's Annual Convention in June. (Most new home purchses and warranty policies have arbitration clauses.)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. US: Survey Shows Americans Against Subprime Bail Out U.S. tax payers don't want repeat of S & L bailout, country's largest white collar crime scandal that "cost every man, woman and child an estimated $10,000 at the time."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. Nat'l interest: Bill of Right Bill is a bad home inspector—one of those incorrigible uppity ones who won’t soften up his reports to help the builders and real estate agents move their deals along. (by Walter Jowers, one of our favorite home-inspector-authors.)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. US: Beazer Homes continues slide For first time since company's mounting legal problems began, share price for Beazer Homes on Monday closed below $10 in disappointing day for homebuilders on Wall Street.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. FL; CO; Nat'l interest: Florida buyers' ties to Norlarco unclear First Home Builders, now called K. Hovnanian First Homes: Documents show Norlarco and First Home Builders provided financing for dozens, if not hundreds, of homes...now delinquent
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. WA & ID: Woman seeks money, accountability from bankrupt contractor Myck Beard, owner of Lake City Builders, skipped town.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. NJ: Former Ocean Twp. mayor gets nearly 5 years in jail Corruption between mayor, developer, others. Judge says voters stuck electing more ""thugs" who violate the public trust."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. Barry Stone column: Newly built home riddled with problems "I've notified the builder of these problems, but he shows no interest or concern...by the way, the builder is also carrying the note on the property."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. Business Week: Builders' Role In The Housing Crisis Readers' letters in response to early Aug. series "Bonfire of the Builders" and related stories, incl. from president of the Nat'l Assoc. of Home Builders, as well as consumers and HADD.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007. CT: Collins Hell Pictures and other documentation of 40+ building code violations in house built by David Fugge of Modern Restoration, LLC
Monday, August 27, 2007. FL: State Finishes Investigation on Builder and Homes With Major Flaws Drees Homes problems. (Another homeowner gets a letter from the DBPR saying, basically, he may have a valid complaint but the state can't do squat, not even enforce building codes.)
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: Homeowner nightmares: Mortgage crunch impact spreading far and wide Exotic mortgages, once hailed for helping to increase U.S. homeownership to its highest level at 68.9 percent, have become the undoing of many.
Monday, August 27, 2007. TX: Mirasol owners face tough choices UPDATE on problems with KB Home-built development
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: Inside the Countrywide Lending Spree Former employees: borrowers often led to high-cost, unfavorable loans that resulted in richer commissions for Countrywide’s smooth-talking sales force, outsize fees to company affiliates providing services on the loans, and roaring stock price that made Countrywide executives among highest paid in America.
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: The Fed’s Subprime Solution Capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich. (p.2)
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: How regulators fed the credit mess Ones clamoring loudest (for bailout) are very same folks who behaved the most irresponsibly.
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: Housing Crash Many new news articles today.
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: BEWARE BAILOUTS There is something unseemly about watching avatars of free-market capitalism rely on government to pay for their bad bets. And there is something scary about contemplating even bigger bets they’ll make in future if they know the Fed is there to bail them out.
Monday, August 27, 2007. MA: Neighborhood abandoned after developer forecloses Crystal Farms
Monday, August 27, 2007. Nat'l interest: Builder falls behind on military housing projects American Eagle Communities, LLC failed to pay some Little Rock-area contractors and suppliers, fell far behind schedule for construction and refurbishing of 1,200 base homes and work stopped May 7, leaving the Air Force scrambling for answers and solutions.
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: First Amendment Protections Nonapplicable in Community Associations Court affirmed ... a government -- whether Federal, State or local -- must be the one attempting to curtail the protections afforded by the First Amendment.
Monday, August 27, 2007. US: How homeowners can escape a mortgage mess Troubled homeowners may want to run and hide, and lenders may seem unresponsive, but "the longer you wait, the fewer options you have for a workout," (pg. 2)
Monday, August 27, 2007. International interest: Why is Greece on fire? Many of the fires, government and forestry experts say, have been set by arsonists, hoping to clear land for development.
Monday, August 27, 2007. FL: Background stories re: I-Team 10 follow-up: Eagle Construction owner arrested Links to more.
Monday, August 27, 2007. NY: I-Team 10 follow up: Eagle Construction Attorney General sued Eagle Construction on behalf of 35 customers who had unsatisfactory or no work done. Fraud, false advertising. Lawsuit represents over $280,000 losses.
Sunday, August 26, 2007.Consumer Affairs Builder Complaints This site had picked up more of these types of complaints.
Sunday, August 26, 2007. US: Builders Gone Bad Yet another builder rating site, posted for informational purposes not an endorsement.
Sunday, August 26, 2007. US: Another new builder rating site: Rate-a-builder.com As with all such resources, it is just ONE more place to do research, with no endorsement given by HADD. --Ed.
Sunday, August 26, 2007. OH; Nat'l interest: Benjamin J. Marrison commentary: Loan crisis shows value of our work Dominion Homes...had used questionable practices to sell and finance homes to people who would undoubtedly default on their loans.
Sunday, August 26, 2007. MS: Madison County angling for $2M in unpaid taxes More than 25 percent of the properties belong to builders and developers.
Sunday, August 26, 2007. US: Interest deduction cap weighed for McMansions Proposed cutoff of mortgage-interest tax deductions on houses over 3,000 sf.
Sunday, August 26, 2007. FL: WHO CHECKS TO SEE IF HOMES ARE FLAWED? A 2002 law lets the builder decide, and the builder doesn't have to inform the potential buyer. (Fox Guarding the Henhouse...it's not working. --Ed.)
Sunday, August 26, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Port St. Lucie builder charged with grand theft Former VP of Great Bay Homes Christopher Berkman and wife Marcie charged.
Sunday, August 26, 2007. NJ: When failure is an option Loopholes in law allow builders, insurance companies, to escape paying for unfinished, shoddy work that new law was supposed to hold them accountable for.
Saturday, August 25, 2007. FL: State Reviews Title Insurance Practices Cozy relationships between title insurance companies and real estate agents, builders and lenders, at heart of public hearing
Saturday, August 25, 2007. US: Michigan credit union collapses from loans like Norlarco's following hundreds of questionable loans to people buying First Home Builder houses in FL
Saturday, August 25, 2007. US: Condo Troubles Rising foreclosures and bankruptcies of entire condo projects.
Saturday, August 25, 2007. TX: Consumer Group calls changes to Texas Residential Construction Commission "worthless" The enforcement powers, provided to the Commission, has a very high threshold, one that will continue to hinder the Commission from taking action against a builder. And the $7.5 million additional funds will also do little for the consumer. “The additional funds anoints the TRCC as the most expensive worthless Commission in Texas”
Friday, August 24, 2007. Washington Post: Why We Need a Housing Rescue William H. Gross wants a bailout; (is this the industry bailout-disguised-as-consumer-protection we figured was coming? Comments at end of article suggest we're not alone in that thought. --Ed.
Friday, August 24, 2007. US: Subprime Mortgage Advertising Still At Full Throttle Plus, More articles for consumers at Consumer Law Blog: http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/
Friday, August 24, 2007. FL: Florida's Homeowners Construction Recovery Fund To Be Eliminated Article has contact info for the FL Governor, etc.
Friday, August 24, 2007. FL: Florida Hometown Democracy – Let the People Vote! Don’t be fooled by the home building industries counter group, Floridians for Smarter Growth
Friday, August 24, 2007. MI: Ex-Inspections Department head files suit against the county Lawsuit contends County Administrator David Gill violated state law when he fired VanDyke for reporting Michigan Mechanical Code violations and substandard work performed by county mechanical inspector.
Friday, August 24, 2007. TX: Tremont Homes and Jordan Fogal As someone who at first was very skeptical of mold contamination stories, I toured her home for about 15 minutes before having to leave. Her house was beautiful, but whatever was in the air bothered the hell out of me. It made me short of breath. My chest heart. And I felt sick. Now I know how the Governor, the Attorney General, and State Representative Joe Nixon felt when they had their homes/offices remediated for mold.
Thursday, August 23, 2007. US: Foreclosure’s building problem Jordan Fogal's construction defect & arbitration horror story picked up by MSNBC.
Thursday, August 23, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Excellent Dissent to Pro-Arbitration Clause Court Decision Case presents “a wealth of procedural and substantive unconscionability issues” including the misleading way in which an arbitration provision was presented as a warranty.
Thursday, August 23, 2007. 5th Cir. Court (FL): PDF of Case: Mercedes Homes v. Luis R. Colon Dissenting opinion of Judge Griffin is very interesting re: arbitration in Home Buyers Warranty (HBW)company's policy.
Thursday, August 23, 2007. US: 3 more lenders shutter operations Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., and HSBC
Thursday, August 23, 2007. US: Builder may be going Bust Home Solutions of America, a construction company that has caught the eye of federal regulators, could be running out of money.
Thursday, August 23, 2007. TX: Buyer beware John Cobarruvias, HADD TX Director, Opinion piece in Austin Statesman re: TRCC, the agency dubbed a "bad builder protection agency."
Thursday, August 23, 2007. US: Beazer, creditors at odds Beazer Homes appears to be struggling to avert bankruptcy.
Thursday, August 23, 2007. US: Blowing the Whistle on Sarbox In Collins v. Beazer Homes USA, federal district court judge found complaints about violations of internal accounting controls were protected under Sarbannes Oxley--the whistleblower law, because they stated violation of securities laws which require companies "devise and maintain system of internal accounting controls."
Thursday, August 23, 2007. US: Beazer seeks to avoid default Company sued U.S. Bank National Association in bid to stop bank from putting Beazer into default on $1.4 billion in loans...delayed filing third-quarter 10-Q with SEC as it continues internal investigation into accounting issues
Thursday, August 23, 2007. US: Moody's Examines Homebuilders Ratings agency worried builders might have difficulty meeting obligations
Thursday, August 23, 2007. OK: When contractors file frivolous lawsuits Contractor (Garage Storage Cabinets LLC) filed suit on competitor-contractor just to put them out of business; Court ruled it frivolous and in bad faith.
Thursday, August 23, 2007. TX: Arbitration bites Trendmaker Homeowners This is clearly an abuse not only by Trendmaker Homes, but by the American Arbi-traitors Association. If the AAA had any decency or common sense, they would not enforce this arbitration clause. But this won't happen. This arbitration would be a money making case for the AAA and their arbitrators. The arbitration would require at least 3 arbitrators, each being paid $1000 a day and the filing fee would be in the tens of thousands of dollars. It is truly a money making scam.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. US: Good decision on the arbitration front Appeals Court Shreds AT&T Arbitration Clause
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. US: Beazer tries to block creditors Part of "Sold a Nightmare" series on Beazer foreclosures, investigations.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. OH; US: Foreclosure rate soars in Ohio and nationwide Rising interest rates on adjustable mortgages and homebuilders' promotional loan rates that "bought down" the interest rate for the first year or two contributed to the increase
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. Charlotte Observer: UPDATE: Beazer files suit against 'opportunistic investors' Beazer also is burdened by a federal criminal investigation...
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. US: Tremont Homes Sells Rotten Lemon Houses Jordan Fogal's Tremont Homes horror story picked up by Digg.com. Comments from readers at end are always interesting.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. FL: UPDATE: Builder, wife to serve time in prison John and Deanna Barrington tricked would-be homeowners and investors with homes that were never built.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. Consumer Law Blog: Lose Your Home and Pay More Taxes People who lose their home to foreclosure or short sales may get big tax bills from IRS.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. Business Week: Subprime Profiteers Go Belly Up Nearly overnight, mortgage company execs saw their personal wealth evaporate. Some will find it hard to adapt to a less lavish lifestyle
Wednesday, August 22, 2007. US: San Francisco Cronicle writer Jon Carroll What's safer than real estate?" they would say. "They're not making any more land." It's a seductive line, but it's just another line, much like "I'll call you in the morning."
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. US: Beazer Homes asks court to rule it not in default Beazer Homes USA Inc said on Tuesday it sued U.S. Bank National Association in federal court in Atlanta, asking the court to rule that a delay in filing its quarterly report did not constitute a default on $1.3 billion of its outstanding notes.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. US: NAHB Works to Address Undue Tightening of Mortgage Credit See the effort the building industry is putting into lobbying to get the feds to help them out now that the housing market's tanking. Several article links on page.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. Indiana?: TK Home Sucks Homeowner's site.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. Indiana?: TK Home complaint site Homeowner's experience.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. TIME Magazine: Ground Zero of the Real Estate Bust Lending arms of builders come with conflicts of interest, pressure from shareholders to get people into houses and book profits.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. MS: Contractor complaints to be heard The Mississippi State Board of Contractors will hold a "special call" public hearing in Gulfport today beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing through midafternoon. Details: 896-7646.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. US: Jordan Fogal Responds To Your Comments Re: two articles posted earlier today (Aug. 21) about Jordan's uninhabitable defective house that went into foreclosure for lack of any better option for her. Jordan's case was also severely hampered by an arbitration clause.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. NY: Legislator backs away from accusations against builder Baumblit Construction threatens elected official who spoke against the company.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. FL; US, from Counter Punch: Sand Houses and Missing Beaches Housing boom, now in cinders, was not built on your desire for a new home, a bigger home, or any kind of home. It was manufactured by builders and developers and Wall Street.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. CNN: Countrywide (home loan co.) tries to contain fallout At least two Wall Street analysts said company could end up in bankruptcy.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. Forbes: Burnt Fingers, Red Faces And Bernanke Home builders did it to themselves. Many bought back stock in the good times. You don't do this in a capital-intensive business. They abetted starter home buyers to find no-money-down mortgages too. Why shouldn't they be punished?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. US: Seeing Through The Veil of Staging "Staging" can conceal defects, so Buyer Beware!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. US: Tremont Homes Sells Rotten Lemon-- Provokes Victimized Homebuyer Into Five-Year Consumer Crusade: (Jordan Fogal's case from Business Week article posted below, today.)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. TX: 5th Circuit Certifies Major Insurance Questions to Texas High Court OneBeacon Insurance Co. v. Don's Building Supply Inc.: construction-defect case with potentially far-reaching implications re: determining time which property damage occurred for purposes of occurrence-based general liability policy.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. Business Week: Foreclosure's Building Problem She wasn't an investor. She didn't have a subprime mortgage. But when Jordan Fogal's house became uninhabitable, the 62-year-old grandmother says foreclosure became her best alternative.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. US; World: How 4% of Mortgages Have Brought Down the Entire Market All those billions lost are in Hedge Fund Heaven. Loosening credit so speculators can borrow more money on easy terms is not going to bring those losses back.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. US: The Plan to Protect Homeowners, Not Hedge Funds Basically, author feels businesses partly responsible for mortgage mess should not be let off the hook while consumers bear entire burden.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007. Ca: 9th Circuit Court: Arbitration Ruled Unconscionable AT&T's response is comical, much like the American Arb-traitors Associations response to the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007, and Comcast's comments: "This opinion is based on our old arbitration clause. We have significantly improved that clause to make it even more consumer friendly. We believe arbitration is the best course of resolution for our customers,” said AT&T in a statement.
Monday, August 20, 2007. US: Save Subprime Borrowers, Not Bloated Bankers Author proposes a way to let people who fell for predatory or fraudulent lending practices to RENT their houses back, under some circumstances.
Monday, August 20, 2007. MO: Attorney General's News Release Missouri Attorney General sues Dogwood Homes for fraudulent business practices--ongoing case
Monday, August 20, 2007. US: Won't get fooled again: negotiating with liars From lawyer's blog on Mediation and Negotiation tactics.
Monday, August 20, 2007. US: Protect Yourself from Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud BOOK, By Rachel Dollar and Ralph Roberts. This book is being added to HADD's Recommended Reading list.
Monday, August 20, 2007. US: Housing Crash Current news articles.
Monday, August 20, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Code enforcement officers join efforts to crack down on human trafficking Human trafficking involves forcing people from other countries, other states or even other parts of the Metroplex into servitude, often to repay a debt. The work includes prostitution, housekeeping or construction.
Monday, August 20, 2007. US: After the Pain of Foreclosure, a Big Tax Bill Homeowner received bill from Internal Revenue Service for $34,603 in back taxes. Letter explained that debt canceled by lender upon foreclosure was subject to income taxes, as well as penalties and late fees.
Monday, August 20, 2007. NJ: Marlboro developer fights penalties in court Developer Edward Kay ordered to pay penalties for two homes in Rosemont Estates age-restricted development. ... The 12-count indictment accused Kay and the Meitermans of scheming with former WMUA executive director, Frank G. Abate, to defraud the WMUA, and of committing mail fraud. It also accuses the Meiterman brothers of obstructing a grand jury investigation...
Monday, August 20, 2007. NY: BLAZE-SITE DEVELOPER UNSCARRED BY PENALTIES "If someone doesn't pay tickets for running red lights... they lose their driving rights, so why is he being allowed to build when he owes so much in fines and has a long history of cutting corners and endangering lives with shoddy workmanship?" Thies said.
Monday, August 20, 2007. US: Big Players Call On OFHEO to Rethink GSE Decision (Is the Housing Industry looking for the Nanny Gov't to come bail them out of the mess they created?)
Monday, August 20, 2007. US: Fasten your financial seat belt The problem, in case you’ve been in a cave or deep in denial lately, is fallout from America’s bursting real estate bubble (about which Examiner readers were warned a year ago...
Sunday, August 19, 2007. NJ: Commerce Bancorp has too much power Despite the serious construction problems that are noted in their files of Cherry Hill building inspector Anthony Saccamano, Philip Norcross intervened on behalf of D.R. Horton to get Saccamano to pull his stop construction order.
Sunday, August 19, 2007. PA: Legislation would regulate home builders Expert estimated estimated it would cost the Hoopers nearly $30,500 to fix all the problems (in house built by Michael Manning and Associates).
Sunday, August 19, 2007. US: Panic on Wall Street Wall Street rigged the system so (housing market crash/subprime meltdown) was inevitable. same games that Wall Street played with subprime are likely being played in every sector of the economy. Subprime ripped a window open into the way business as usual is being conducted.
Sunday, August 19, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Overbuilding, bad home loans feed foreclosure crisis Builders said they could qualify anybody for a house
Sunday, August 19, 2007. AZ: East Valley Trib UPDATE on builder Jim Rhodes/Rhodes Homes Part of the series, "New Land Baron has Checkered Past," (link to series on right side of article).
Sunday, August 19, 2007. NY Times: The Unforgivingness of Forgetfulness Understanding how subprime mortgages led to the current market meltdown is a bit like figuring out a card trick.
Saturday, August 18, 2007. SC: Beazer shuts Columbia office, cuts jobs Builder also embroiled in investigations into its lending practices.
Saturday, August 18, 2007. Nat'l interest: Is his 'Dream' house turning into nightmare? Short answer, YES. UPDATE on the "Metro Dream Home" ponzi scheme, ongoing stories.
Saturday, August 18, 2007. NY: UPDATE: Problem house certified Prior owner has doubts home is capable of meeting code. "We were told the foundation was all wrong...Who knows what else got swept under the rug." (Builder is Dave Roberts.)
Saturday, August 18, 2007. US: States take stand on immigration issues Description of state lawss recently passed. Prof. Roofing Mag.
Saturday, August 18, 2007. Professional Roofing Magazine: Readers disagree with NRCA recommendation Several roofers write letters saying minimum overlap of roof edge metal needs to be much more than industry recommends.
Saturday, August 18, 2007. Nat'l interest: Home builder fights back in ongoing dispute UPDATE: Lennar's attempts to silence real estate agent Mike Morgan for website describing construction defect issues.
Saturday, August 18, 2007. TX: The TRCC. The most expensive worthless Commission in Texas. The TRCC was created in 2003 and after 4 years of absolute failure, the original authors, State Representative Ritter (see A Jackass of a Democrat) and Senator Fraser (see Homebuilder bills gets a free ride by Senator Fraser), modified the law with HB1038 in 2007. One of the major changes to the Commission was the addition of $7.9 million to their budget to hire more lawyers and administrators. Now the TRCC is the most expensive worthless Commission in Texas.
Friday, August 17, 2007. OK: VIDEO: Contractor cons senior citizen Shoddy unfinished work, light switch in a shower stall, unlicensed plumbing & electrical work by contractor Danny Pryor of Shawnee.
Friday, August 17, 2007. Nat'l interest: Before Metro Dream, A 2001 Ponzi Accusation More on articles posted earlier.
Friday, August 17, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: The soul of a homebuilder Columnist prints letter from what appears to be a good builder, who doesn't like what he's seen the industry become.
Friday, August 17, 2007. KS: Loan Officer Indicted for $25M Missouri Fraud Scheme UPDATE to MILLER ENTERPRISES/F. Jeffrey Miller case w/link to indictment dated Aug 07
Friday, August 17, 2007. Nat'l interest: UPDATE: Is this dream deal for real? Fredericksburg Dream Homes, Metropolitan Grapevine, POS Dream Homes... "There is great risk of the loss of investors' money where there is no demonstrated source of income except other investors," Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said... (i.e., a Ponzi Scheme. --Ed.)
Friday, August 17, 2007. TX: Watchdog's Bite and Range to Increase? Changes to TX Residential Construction Commission touted as being good for home buyers but only time will tell. --Ed.
Friday, August 17, 2007. FL: Friends call jailed contractor 'good guy' Seventy-five percent of Bleyl's customers are facing foreclosure on the properties, and many have no homes on them, even though they gave Bleyl deposits of up to $100,000
Friday, August 17, 2007. CO: First mold, now an HOA lawsuit More on moldy, uninhabitable new home built by Ryland.
Friday, August 17, 2007. National: The American Arbi-traitors Association deceives again. This sounds familiar. In March of 2003 (or 2002) when arbitration was under fire by the Texas House and Senate, the AAA announced revised rules for construction defects. Imagine that. The rules "allowed" the use of small claims court, a revised pricing schedule, and more. And much like the 2007 press release the AAA refused to address the fact that they continue to use, and abuse mandatory binding clauses.
Friday, August 17, 2007. US: Contract "Loopholes": Mortgage Approval Problems using the builder's lender. We would disagree with the author's remark that he thought the home buyer used as an example was an "isolated incident," but otherwise the article serves as a good explanation and warning.
Friday, August 17, 2007. US & Canada: New Message Board to discuss builders, etc "Rate Your Builder" has revamped their website and added a message board.
Thursday, August 16, 2007. TIME Magazine: Real Estate's Fault Line [Brokers] make more money with higher-rate loans, even if buyers qualify for better deal. And that doesn't even touch the lending arms of home builders, which come with their own special conflicts of interest once you consider pressure from shareholders to get people into houses and book profits.
Thursday, August 16, 2007. US: Mortgage crisis stoked by ‘incredible greed’ As a cascade of mortgage companies go under, “the upside,” he said, is “the destruction of an industry that never should have happened in the first place.” The house of cards...
Thursday, August 16, 2007. US: Builder Tarragon Corp recieved default notices Lenders have reserved rights with respect to builder's indebtedness
Thursday, August 16, 2007. PA: UPDATE: Builder Scott Binsack, owner of Mansions & Estates case “A lot of people were afraid to come forward,” Detective Kosch said.
Thursday, August 16, 2007. US: Who's Watching the Store? Whistleblower reports mortgage fraud to lender. Incredibly, lender has no interest or mechanism to deal with it and says "call the Better Business Bureau." (This editor laughed heartily at that proposed solution.)
Thursday, August 16, 2007. KY: Builder is again indicted Brian Hockensmith, Hockensmith Custom Homes, accused in May of ripping off a person for whom he was building a house has been indicted again on a similar charge. Home buyer will probably be sued by the bank for the mortgage, says the article's author.
Thursday, August 16, 2007. US: Dominion's shares lose a third of their value Builder failed to meet certain financial benchmarks with its two new creditors.
Thursday, August 16, 2007. US: UPDATE: Beazer Homes Faces Problem After Problem Uncertainty surrounding the investigations...
Thursday, August 16, 2007. US: "KB Home Warning" New: Another homeowner's complaint site.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. TX: Things looking up for Mirasol owners? UPDATE on KB Home built development with defects.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. Wall Street Journal: Fannie, Freddie, & the Housing Bust Borrowers who were unwitting and took on too much debt must learn that there are consequences for their actions. Homebuilders that built too many homes or overpaid for land need to face the consequences. Wall Street firms that provided credit to all of these activities with too much laxity must also pay a price. This is all part of a healthy correction.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. National interest: Green Building Resources Lots of links for people planning to build "green."
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. US/Canada: Petition: Mold and Science Re: Risk from Inhaled Mycotoxins from Mold.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. Charlotte Observer; Nat'l interest: UPDATE: Beazer reveals lending lapses Builder's mortgage operation violated federal lending rules: Beazer is the subject of a federal criminal investigation and a formal inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission, along with lawsuits filed by shareholders, customers and employees.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. MD: Complaints mount against homebuilder McDaniels Homes
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. CO: HOA suing homeowners for living in RV in driveway Uninhabitable moldy home built by Ryland; family's doctor told them not to live in the house. Family has been unable to live in the home for years, finally resorted the the RV after many motels and living with relatives.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. The Pitch--Kansas City: Now Not Hiring City Hall hands out tax breaks to developers who promise lots of good jobs. But the payrolls are looking mighty slim.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. GA; National Interest: Arbitration and Sue Campbell Properties Complaint Homeowner's horror story of arbitrator who ignored evidence and ruled in favor of builder. Other homeowners privately confided in homeowner that they, too, had had problems but were afraid to speak up. Anyone buying a house or signing a contract should read this story of what arbitration can do to consumers. --HADD Editor
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. US: Government Shouldn't Bail Out Failing Homeowners Most people with even a cursory knowledge of free market economics understand that governmental interference doesn't alleviate problems; it simply makes them more severe and longer lasting.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. US: Outsourcing Justice; Binding Mandatory Abritration Reminder: Legislation in congress now could end mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts that have been so devastating to owners of defective new homes.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. US: Mold Remediation Gives You A Tax Deduction Article says it qualifies as repair that has to be done to protect investment.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. KS: UPDATE ON MILLER ENTERPRISES CASE Dederal grand jury has greatly expanded charges against associates of indicted homebuilder F. JEFFREY MILLER in a $25 million bank fraud and money laundering case.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. TX: September 1 deadline looming for Texas home builders Time will tell if new law is enforced.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. FL: Man Upset Over Home Builder Taking Years To Complete House Builder (Vallery Homes) uses one of the oldest and most widely used excuses we hear: said he was 'never told of problem.' Somehow, we doubt that! --Ed.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. US: Reader’s letter cautions buyers of manufactured homes Problem lies with home often shoddy installation and warranty that may start running out before home is delivered.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007. US: Myths about the market Myth #2 Fed chairman is God: Greenspan created permissive climate, no-doc, no-money-down, no-common-sense mortgages. Failed to slam on brakes when giddy lenders and home builders catered to house-flipping speculators and homeowners borrowing beyond means.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. National: Mandatory Binding Arbitration. A scam. Homebuilders and other industries have long defended the used of mandatory arbitration clauses, claiming arbitration is good for the consumer, but the evidence proves otherwise. The abuse of arbitration will stop only when it is truly an option, not a mandate, to our current court system. Until then consumers should carefully read their contracts and rethink their purchases if there is a mandatory, binding arbitration clause.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. MI: House Dems plan would punish companies hiring illegal immigrants Companies that hire workers from Michigan would be moved to head of list re: tax breaks and other economic development tools.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. NJ: Code violation calls flood in on new homes
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. US: D.R. Horton sued for forcing buyers to use Horton's lender The lawsuit charges the homebuilder with violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. SC: How to Take Offensive Action When a Mechanic’s Lien is Filed Against Your Property Statutory and non-statutory methods
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. US: The Mother of All Bail-Outs? First they try to pass it off as "helping the little man"...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. US: American Dream Financing Opened Pandora's Box Housing bubble only part of it; across the board, people began acting as if risk had disappeared
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. NJ: UPDATE on Kara Homes Bankruptcy Buyers could lose their deposits
Tuesday, August 14, 2007. US: Tax breaks go toward inland luxury condos With large swaths of Gulf Coast still in ruins from Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors buying up luxury condos
Monday, August 13, 2007. US: Too big for feds to fix Wall Street is hoping for a bailout of the reckless mortgage sector that violates the whole concept of capitalism. It won't work, because there's too much mess to clean up.
Monday, August 13, 2007. GA; Nat'l interest: Homeowner's horror story Sue Campbell--builder. Arbitration hampered homeowner's rights.
Monday, August 13, 2007. AZ: Residents near wash distrust drainage plans Retired engineer rakes city plan; city, builder say it's ok. Water too close for comfort.
Monday, August 13, 2007.Mortgage Fraud Current news, indictments, etc.
Monday, August 13, 2007. TX: The American Arbi-traitors Association The abuse of mandatory binding arbitration has continued to be exposed in articles throughout the United States. One in particular caught my attention. Richard Naimark, Senior Vice President of the American Arbitration Association was quoted in the Charlotte Observer:
Richard Naimark, a senior vice president of the American Arbitration Association, said his forum has safeguards to keep the arbitration process fair. "In our process, we require really stringent disclosure from arbitrators," he said.
Uhh...I don't think so.
Sunday, August 12, 2007. US: How Wall Street got into this mess Continuing meltdown that we'll all pay for.
Sunday, August 12, 2007. US: Arbitration clauses under microscope Get a credit card, buy a car, (or a house) or sign up for a cell phone plan, and chances are, if you're unhappy with your transaction, you won't be telling your story to a judge.
Sunday, August 12, 2007. US: Exposing New Home Builders News blog, commentary
Sunday, August 12, 2007. Irony: Construction company's lawyer finds out Arbitration Sucks Lost 80% of his stock investment; found out arbitration with stock broker was biased in broker's favor.
Sunday, August 12, 2007. US: Housing and real estate news is normally reported too positively National Association of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Home Builders all destroyed their credibility with out and out cheerleading as difficulties were obvious.
Sunday, August 12, 2007. PA: Easy Realty company's loan no solution for mother of 6 James C. Platts, former home builder, convicted con-artist, had no license to deal in loans.
Sunday, August 12, 2007. US: Foreclosure's Toll Still Rising Loose lending by builders, lenders, and depreciation in house values has caused many owners to have to rent out their expesive houses. Some owners, behind on hefty mortgage payments for houses worth $500,000 and up, seeking Section 8 status to get govt to pay portion of tenant's rent.
Saturday, August 11, 2007. NV: Unstable soils are the No. 1 problem for construction in the region Problems can be avoided if contractor executes minimal care and inspectors make sure work is done properly.
Saturday, August 11, 2007. Nat'l interest: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Zurn Pex Relating to Failure of PEX Plumbing Systems in Homes
Saturday, August 11, 2007. FL: Federal grand jury investigates Coast Bank Update on Construction Compliance Inc/Coast bank case.
Saturday, August 11, 2007. US: Who's to blame for the housing meltdown Situation the result of naivety, herd mentality, irrational exuberance, faulty extrapolations of trends, and greed.
Saturday, August 11, 2007. Charlotte Observer UPDATE to Beazer foreclosures series: Beazer: Mistakes possible in filings Could face new lawsuits from shareholders alleging they were misled by company's past filings.
Saturday, August 11, 2007. US: Beazer Shares Drop Sharply Likely precipitated by failure to file quarterly report with securities regulators by deadline.
Saturday, August 11, 2007. CO: Former Windsor home builder sentenced to 15 years probation in felony theft Richard Browning of Siena Homes
Friday, August 10, 2007. TX: At Mirasol, red ink flowing like water UPDATE on KB Home built development plagued with problems.
Friday, August 10, 2007. US: 'Unfamiliar terms' defined Contractors contract may absolve him of liability if you don't know what it means.
Friday, August 10, 2007. US: Insider Trading Likely At American Home Mortgage, Tarragon Corp. You have to wonder: have they ever heard of a woman by the name of Martha Stewart?
Friday, August 10, 2007. CO: Group cracks down on fraud Area bankers and District Attorney's Office: some mortgage brokers, builders, and lenders "could be in big trouble in the coming months."
Friday, August 10, 2007. US: Beazer Delays Quarterly Report Over Accounting Questions Troubles continue to mount
Friday, August 10, 2007. WI: Homebuilder D.R. Horton takes spotlight after homeowner complaints Water coming in, floors peeling up, granite cracking, mold,
Friday, August 10, 2007. GA: Georgia Duo guilty of fraud Haskell used their Heritage Lending Group mortgage company and Superior Home Builders Inc. to play a shell game with the banks. (This article is older but a newer update to it was not free online. Watch for updates. --Ed.)
Friday, August 10, 2007. TX: Builders, house flippers face more accountability Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC)'s changes may still not result in any authority to force bad builders to make things right.
Friday, August 10, 2007. NJ: Just one Kara makeover plan — for now UPDATE on Kara Homes Bankruptcy
Friday, August 10, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: 3-story home's building code problems increase List of building code violations grows: stalled 3,500-square-foot construction project quickly becoming plywood-sheathed monument to listless government oversight, secretive public process and crafty homebuilders who profit by begging forgiveness rather than asking permission.
Friday, August 10, 2007. US: Attorney groups keeping tabs on ethics in mandatory arbitration Testifying before a congressional committee considering the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007, Paul Bland spoke for many attorneys when he explained the problems created by mandatory arbitration clauses that seemingly come with everything from phone service to a new car. (And a new house! --Ed.)
Thursday, August 09, 2007. KS: UPDATE: MILLER case: Grand jury adds defendant to $25M mortgage fraud case Indictment alleges Judy Brumble acted as real estate agent for Miller, who owned and operated Miller Enterprises and Star Land Development, to help facilitate alleged $25 million mortgage and loan fraud scheme Miller and others were charged with in 2006.
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: D.R. Horton Sued for Lending Practices RESPA violation re: required us of their lender.
Thursday, August 09, 2007. National: Defects dull dream home's luster Not the best written article. Lots of inaccuracies and over simplification such as: " In Texas, the state's Residential Construction Commission launched the Star Builder Program, which is designed to recognize the state's best builders." In reality, out of over 24,000 builders in Texas, only 18 applied for this program. 18.
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: Mortgage Servicing Fraud Message Board Sent by a homeowner in OK.
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Current news & indictments, etc
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: Justice not always about right and wrong Jury could not find scammer to be technically guilty of fraud under the law but found defendant's (Loren Williams) business practices to be "deplorable, unethical and unscrupulous."
Thursday, August 09, 2007. Nat'l interest: Something For Nothing Home Deals Article compares Metro Dream Homes/Metropolitan Grapevine to possible Ponzi Scheme; some builders looking into it to unload unsold houses. Buyer Beware!
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: Sublime Subprime: Beyond The Credit Implosion Construction defects, mortgage defaults, etc
Thursday, August 09, 2007. TX: Fugitive Found In Kuwait Kuwaiti officials alerted to construction contractor Richard Gene Guy who was wanted in TX; was allegedly trying to take money from people working as low-profile contractor in Kuwait.
Thursday, August 09, 2007. PA: UPDATE: Scott Binsack case Accused builder's hearing postponed
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: Mortgage implosion: National disaster strikes home Employee of closed American Home Mortgage company calls it "the Enron of the mortgage biz."
Thursday, August 09, 2007. PA: Lawyers make progress in Big Ridge tangle Middle Smithfield officials contend they never authorized what they call an illegal, separate home development (by Toll Brothers).
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: Praying for a Rate Cut and Missing the Point Lowering interest rates (created) bubble in the first place. Lowering them again (will) only make things worse and lead us towards even greater calamity.
Thursday, August 09, 2007. US: Still more housing bull Smoke and mirrors from the Nat'l Association of Realtors needs to be exposed
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. US: UPDATE on Lennar lawsuit against real estate agent Mike Morgan Legal costs have Morgan close to bankruptcy
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. Warranty Week: New Home Warranties While sales are declining, warranty accruals are declining even faster. Is it because of warranty cost cutting? Could it be better quality construction? Or are they simply putting less aside and hoping that nobody notices?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. FL: Housing officials are ousted Melted fixtures and outlets, red hot electric boxes and apartments where switching on the stove also turned on the lights.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Zero energy home debuts According to Schroeders, the technology has been around since the 1970s and has just recently become cost-effective.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. FL: Broward Sheriff Jenne aided builder Philip Procacci, prominent South Florida developer who poured nearly $1 million into a failed business venture received nearly all his money back with help of Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne, according to witness who testified before federal grand jury.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. CA; Nat'l interest: Defects dull dream home's luster Lack of public records makes it tough to determine a builder's track record of quality, customer service...Arbitration clauses in many housing contracts prevent unhappy home buyers from suing in open court, further shielding builders from public scrutiny.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. AR: Base Builder Bankrupt Eagle Communities’ stalled $127-million contract to provide housing...subcontractors, suppliers left holding the bag for hundreds of thousands of dollars of work and materials and still the failed developer collects about $9 million a year in rents from LRAFB airmen in privatized base housing.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. US: Attack Ads You'll Be Seeing A "new low" in dishonest political attack ads. Kind of reminds us of the dishonest tactics of a certain builders' lobbyist in CO earlier this year, see CO HOME Alliance, wwww.cohomealliance.org for details on that one.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. INMAN.com: MLS rule cloaks sales price at request of buyer or seller Real Estate news site, articles only available free day of publication.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. US: Hiding the sales price NAR, others, approve paying a fee to keep sales prices of properties out of the MLS
Wednesday, August 08, 2007. US: Arbitration First-Hand Article is about credit card company arbitration but is relevant to all consumer arbitration, incl. that in home builder and warranty contracts. Feature to leave comments at bottom.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Lennar Homes lawsuit Update on Mike Morgan's defective-homes.net website.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. NE: Contractor Leaves Jobs Unfinished Jaime checked out Barton Home Improvement before paying the $6,000 in May but there were no indications of trouble at that time.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. PA: Crumbling Wall Turns Dream Home Into Nightmare Defective Retaining Wall Could Send Homeowner Into Bankruptcy; builder out of business, city going after homeowner.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Survey Shows Americans Against Subprime Bail Out U.S. tax payers paid billions of dollars to bail out savings and loans in the 1990’s, largest white collar scandal in nation’s history. It cost every man, woman and child an estimated $10,000 at the time.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Mrtgage Company went belly up, builder threatening to sue [Message board post--we don't usually put these on our news page but it shows the fallout of this problem. Incidentally this is not the fist post like this we've seen TODAY alone. --Ed.]
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Mortgage Maze May Increase Foreclosures “Why should people who have been funding these bad loans get a free pass?”
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Exposing New Home Builders Blog; new material recently
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Why The Market is Rejecting FHA Reform W/links to other articles incl. questionable down payment assistance programs, etc.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. FL: Feds taking control of Miami-Dade housing agency Three developers arrested...audits convinced HUD that Miami-Dade had lost or misspent millions of dollars
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. TX: Residents Oppose SAHA Buyback Program Mirasol resident not willing to release SAHA from medical claims: still suffering from health problems caused by contaminated home.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. TX: HUD offers to buy back defective SAHA homes Built by KB Home
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Will rate cuts save the economy? Author says No.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Housing crash Current news
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Home Depot Nightmares Special investigation; thanks to HADD Director S.S.L. for this archived link, worth repeating.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. NM: Albuquerque City Council, Mayor's Office in "green" building codes spat "Naming the members of the mayor's green builders task force as being `(just) home builders' is, in my humble estimation, bad faith," Perlman said.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Builders beg banks to ease interest covenants builders aim to evade default by tweaking credit terms (of their loans)
Tuesday, August 07, 2007.Mortgage Fraud New articles again today
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter News of the lending industry's problems, a site that is being sued by the Loan Center of CA.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Homebuilders: Hell Fights Back Builders build until they go bust. It's the same every cycle. They keep plowing all earnings into more and more land at artificially inflated prices until the Ponzi scheme finally blows up.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Bad Call From a Wall Street King "Investors in the sub-prime market, to be perfectly honest, deserve everything they get," he says. "If they couldn't see that these loans were abusive, that the risk cover was pathetic, then they deserve to take a bath."
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Researchers Reap Data to Brace Homes against wind damage Workmanship matters.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. IL: Foreclosure shakeout Real-estate agent performed market analysis on property for local bank, and every comparable home he turned up was foreclosure property....part of nationwide trend.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Housing scene in turmoil HUD needs to (close) down one-stop-shop entities known as Affiliated Business Arrangements. These entities between builders, title companies, Realtors and mortgage giants tend to mislead borrowers who end up paying in the end.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: What's happening in your state re: infrastructure? American Society of Civil Engineers; report card by state
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. MI: Michigan has no new housing energy code because of dispute Could it be that the homebuilding industry's lawsuit to block requirements for better energy efficiency in homes is driving up costs, and not the newer codes themselves?
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Zero Down: The Loan Comes Due German bank had to be rescued by other banks because it speculated in securities backed by American mortgages. (Article contains links to more of the report.)
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Arbitration clauses "We have allowed corporations to decide what part of the constitution we have access to." (Home purchase contracts have these clauses in most instances. --Ed.)
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Can feds step in to stop mortgage broker greed? Borrowers would need to be able to identify law violations and have practical means to enforce them.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US: Is mortgage market veering toward meltdown? Author says no, but fantasy that home prices only rise has been punctured & price of risky loans has gone up.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. AZ: Foreclosures leaving neighbors stuck with cleanup City seeing spate of weeds and green pools in places they never used to: newer neighborhoods with higher-priced homes.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. FL: Major Flaws Found in Home Now Part of State Investigation UPDATE: Drees Homes complaints, concrete foundation doesn't meed code: State law changed four years ago allowing builders to hire private inspectors rather than city inspectors. Norman believes law change played role in problem.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. US; Canada: House Building Aug. 2007 Newsletter New Home & Builder Warranties; you can sign up for this newsletter by email.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007. Business Week: Angry Homeowners Vent Online Part of the "Bonfire of the Builders" series posted last week, links to more are at right side of article.
Saturday, August 04, 2007. TX: Comcast arbitration and the Arbitration Fairness Act 2007 Consumer activist John Cobarruvias is not even a Comcast cable customer but he's hopping mad about the arbitration notice. "It's amazing. We have allowed corporations to decide what part of the constitution we have access to," Cobarruvias told FOX 26 News.
Saturday, August 04, 2007. Salt Lake Trib: Homebuilder settles sexual harassment claims Hamlet group of companies includes Hamlet Development, Hamlet Homes, Stirling Mortgage, Diversified Habitats
Saturday, August 04, 2007. BUSINESS WEEK: Podcast: series "Bonfire of the Builders" Part of series posted Friday Aug. 3rd.
Saturday, August 04, 2007. US: House plans can bring joy or heartbreak Q&A column w/two new house contract issues.
Saturday, August 04, 2007. US: Where's Cavuto's Outrage About a Possible Government Bailout of Mortgage Lenders? Government possibly stepping in to help lenders who are losing their butts because they bought or made loans that can't be repaid
Saturday, August 04, 2007. US: Home Myths Meet Reality Concern mounting about balance sheets of growing number of (home building) companies.
Saturday, August 04, 2007. PA: New Charges Against Home Builder UPDATE: Scott Binsack case. Binsack wrote $10,000 check to American Cancer Society in fund raiser; it bounced. Already in jail for failing to build homes he took money for, etc.
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: Finding Home despite the New World Order - The Mortgage Crisis. Opinion piece: a little extrme even for this HADD editor's taste, but makes some very good points, particularly about housing that is built to fall apart, riskly loans, etc.
Friday, August 03, 2007. AZ: Appeals Court sides with AZ contractors Homeowners who are unhappy with a contractor's work can't simply stop paying
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: Make a Bad Mortgage: Take the Hit In effect, taxpayers, including many of modest incomes who chose to live within their means and rent, would be subsidizing their more profligate compatriots and some of the nation's wealthiest financiers.
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: New Home Builders News Blog New material added.
Friday, August 03, 2007. REMINDER: Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 Tell Congress to Ban Binding Mandatory Arbitration
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: Foreclosures hit title insurer First American posts second-quarter loss: Many claims arising in connection with sub-prime loans, fraud, forgery...
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: American Home Mortgage ceases operations Also owned Waterfield Mortgage.
Friday, August 03, 2007. TX: UPDATE: SAHA offers buyback to Mirasol homeowners Development built by KB Home. Buy back deal comes w/some restrictions
Friday, August 03, 2007. FL: UPDATE from yesterday: Builder charged with stealing $700,000 Investigators say the amount that Gregory Bleyl of Osprey Custom Home Builders is accused of taking is expected to rise, possibly as high as $1.5 million
Friday, August 03, 2007. CO: Reports disclose council's 2006 gifts Denver elected officials enjoyed gifts from builders, others...
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: Crap Construction crapconstruction.com is a site shown along with HADD and others in one of the BUSINESS WEEK special report slide shows titled "Online Extra: Slide Show: Angriest Real Estate Gripe Sites"
Friday, August 03, 2007. BUSINESS WEEK: You Call This A Home? (Part of SPECIAL REPORT) "The next boom for builders may be complaints from angry homeowners." See links at right side of stories from Business Week report for much more.
Friday, August 03, 2007. BUSINESS WEEK REPORT: Bonfire Of The Builders "By rushing into the mortgage business big-time, homebuilders helped fuel the housing crisis." Article says as much as 90% of big builder's sales are also financed by builder's in-house lenders. Pulte, KB Home, Beazer, Lennar, Centex, Dominion, others... the loans are sold. Now, numerous homes in foreclosure. There is a feature to leave comments at end of article.
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: Housing Is Among `Biggest Bubbles,' "This is only time in world history when people were able to buy houses with no money down and in fact, in some cases, builders gave them money for down payment,'' Rogers said. ``So this bubble is the worst we've had in housing..."
Friday, August 03, 2007. US: Immigrants’ home-buying dreams lift slumping market, prospects for rebound Patricia Ortiz and husband took out adjustable-rate mortgage to buy...figuring risk of seeing $3,000 monthly payments rise is offset by value of having place they can call home. ("Lift the slumping market?" Or, add to the growing foreclosures?)
Friday, August 03, 2007. FL: Abel Homes at Naranja Villas, LLC v. Hernandez "Failure to Elect Arbitration Within a Time Period Clearly Expressed in an Arbitration Provision Constitutes a Waiver of the Right to Compel (arbitration)"
Friday, August 03, 2007. MO: Illegal workers reported at O'Fallon, Mo., site City Administrator Robert Lowery Jr. is pressing the state and the St. Charles County prosecutor to bring charges against Hennessey Development Inc. of Clayton, the lead contractor on the Southernside apartment complex. The project, aimed at providing affordable housing, is supported by millions in tax credits and tax-exempt bonds. (Article goes on to say the illegal workers used stolen identities, and that this is common.)
Thursday, August 02, 2007. Nat'l: Network Earth Articles about green type building
Thursday, August 02, 2007. Nat'l: Natural Building Network Non profit org promotes sustainable building techniques.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. FL: Contractor accused of bilking 'customers' of $700,000 Gregory Still Bleyl, Osprey Custom Home Builders, arrested on charges of grand theft in excess of $700,000 and six counts of forgery
Thursday, August 02, 2007. US: Bankruptcy Rumor Crashes Beazer FBI investigation into possible mortgage fraud, SEC investigation, etc...New Century Mortgage swore that things were fine there too, just months before they went belly up.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. US: Corporate America: Declining Quality, Fraud as Policy (Including "disposable houses.")
Thursday, August 02, 2007. NY: A draining experience Racketeering (RICO)lawsuit alleges Hempstead building inspectors ignored repeated requests to examine shoddy plumbing...advised her to bring complaint to town examination board, member of which owns company that held plumbing permit for the renovations.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. AZ: D. Olson General Contractors takes the money, doesn't do the work Won't refund the money. Registrar of Contractors has five open investigations.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. US: Home warranties may not be good idea Article is about warranties on existing homes, but new home warranties have similar multiple exclusions.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. FL: City officials stand behind background check of builder Surprises possible even when "doing your homework."
Thursday, August 02, 2007. CA: DarkHorse a tired pony Facing foreclosure, developer Ed Fralick leaves scantly populated development, homeowners in limbo. Some lived without utilities in "luxury" development.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. VA: Contractor pleaded guilty to hiring homeless to remove asbestos without proper gear John Edward Callahan...prior convictions hit and run, obtaining property under false pretenses, drunken driving, bad checks and construction fraud.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Beazer: Bankruptcy rumor `unfounded' Part of series "Sold a Nightmare" re: numerous foreclosures of homes by Beazer w/ Beazer Mortgage.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. "Florida Trend": Cutting Corners Part of August series incl. "Left in the Lurch" etc, concerning construction defects and more. Posted earlier but worth repeating.
Thursday, August 02, 2007. TX: Mirasol report expands on problems UPDATE. Built by KB Home
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. Realty Times; Broderick Perkins: Market Mess Not Media Made Market factors are responsible and those responsible for market factors need to start taking responsibility.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. CA: Supervisors throw caution to the wind UPDATE: Asbestos in dust raised from Lennar construction.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. CA: Dust devils UPDATE on Lennar project, contaminated dust
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. Charlotte Observer: Matthews mortgage broker loses license Three Charlotte-area builders who held the second mortgages arranged by Hall agreed to forgive nearly $2 million in loans to settle allegations they violated state mortgage laws.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. "Mortgage Fraud Blog": New York Developers Arrested on $78M Mortgage Fraud Charges Michael Hershkowitz, 51, and Ivy Woolf-Turk, 51, both developers with the Kingsland Group
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. US: Investors Question Viability of Beazer Homes Beazer denies rumor of bankruptcy but market analyst says the builder carries too much debt, too little cash, and is among the weakest.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. US; "Motley Fool" investing site: More Housing Bull I'm surprised that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) can get away with keeping that dot-org Web address, since every bit of information it puts out is aimed at funneling money into the pockets of America's struggling real estate clerks....Meanwhile, homebuilders like Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM), Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH), and Lennar (NYSE: LEN) continue to pour more inventory onto an already slacking market.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes bankruptcy May change name to Maplewood.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. PA: UPDATE: Homebuilder Scott Binsack, Mansions & Estates case Bad checks, insurance fraud, in jail...
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. US: Beazer Shares Plunge; Bankruptcy Speculation Denied homebuilder facing investigations by the FBI and securities regulators
Wednesday, August 01, 2007. FL: Owner Says New Home Passed Inspection With Major Flaws Morse Glen subdivision, built by Drees Homes. Walls unsupported by foundation. Law change four years ago put "inspections" under control of the builders.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. US: Free Speech and Blogging Future Hangs in Balance Site "Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter" under fire in SLAPP lawsuit
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. US: American Home Can't Fund Mortgages Shares plunged 90 percent; lender doesn't have cash to fund new loans, stranding thousands of home buyers, putting company on brink of failure.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. PA: Confusion reigns in murky house sale Easy Realty Solutions owner James Platts had history of fraud in homebuilding, now involved in shady mortgage deals.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. NC: Discussion on news site's message board about builder CP Morgan complaints, comments Recent posts.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. US: Consumer contracts reviewed Mandatory arbitration could be dropped
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Smart Money: 10 Things your Exterminator won't tell you "You can't sue me — my contract's ironclad." (Arbitration clause. Smart Money has also had articles in past years on 10 things your builder won't tell you, etc. --Ed.)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. US: Feingold defends consumer rights Americans are under constant assault by corporations that seek to get consumers to sign away their rights. The worst abuse involves mandatory arbitration agreements (common in home purchase and warranty contracts)...
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. US: Taxpayers and the Mortgage Meltdown Bailing out homeowners facing foreclosure as result of mortgage mess, "a bighearted response but not a good idea. ...simply adds taxpayers to sucker list and bails out lenders who should be left to fry."
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. FL: UPDATE on Great Bay Homes case Homeowners can't collect judgments won against builder; want state to pay from construction recovery fund.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. PA: City assessor, builder charged with a $20,000 bribery Developer James F. Campenella, and assessor, James F. Lynch, criminally charged
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Nat'l interest: Home appraisers pressured to fudge the numbers Buyers may find they paid too much. (Read articles about mortgage fraud at www.MortgageFraudBlog.com which is where we found this one. --Ed.)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. PA: Follow up: lawyer John P. Karoly facing charges for helping builder client during arrest warrant 40 comments at end of article that weren't there yesterday...interesting reading!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Part of E. Valley Trib series: Judge reopens Rhodes investigation UPDATE on builder Jim Rhodes corruption
Tuesday, July 31, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes bankruptcy UPDATE Kara creditors to vote on revival plan
Monday, July 30, 2007. Nat'l interest: Couple find it's easy building 'green' Rebuilding after hurricane
Monday, July 30, 2007. PA: Charges against attorney John Karoly re-filed (UPDATE...been going on for years) Charges include conspiracy and hindering apprehension for allegedly helping homebuilder client Dennis Slayton after bench warrant...
Monday, July 30, 2007. MSNBC: Let the Blame Begin Lenders, Wall Street firms, Bond ratings agencies, hedge funds, and consumers...pointing fingers of blame for subprime mess
Monday, July 30, 2007. FL: Contractor accuses screen enclosure builder of stealing Hundreds of customers, many seniors, left in lurch with unfinished enclosures after Barson absconded with their deposits, Whitehill alleges.
Monday, July 30, 2007. TX; Nat'l interest: Day workers plagued by wage theft Largest case so far took place in June--20 workers cheated by subcontractor for Houston home builder.
Monday, July 30, 2007. U.S.; REMINDER: Ban Mandatory Arbitration in consumer contracts Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007. US: Home Sales Slump Points To Bigger Market Troubles Main factor in housing collapse is meltdown of "creative" mortgage products. Houses lost value due to overbuilding. Can't be easily resold.
Monday, July 30, 2007. IL: Hard times hit home for housing developer Prime Development Inc: phone disconnected, office closed, partly completed homes and subdivisions and a host of unpaid lenders and subcontractors, construction defects...police filed seven misdemeanor charges of criminal housing management
Monday, July 30, 2007. FL: Home Building series August 07 issue of Florida Trend covers problems in building industry such as shoddy work, lost money, etc.
Monday, July 30, 2007. FL: SERIES: HOME BUILDING: Cutting Corners Some owners are paying the price for homes built in a hurry during the boom years. (Couple of other FL Articles below too)
Monday, July 30, 2007. FL: Left in the Lurch Florida has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. But the downturn in the residential housing market has left plenty of other problems in its wake, including increasing numbers of construction defects.
Monday, July 30, 2007. US: Losing Your Home Ultimately, those who make foolish decisions have to live with them. But I'm disgusted that, at a time when families face being put out on the street, the men and women who pushed those nutty loans face no penalties at all.
Monday, July 30, 2007. FL: Banks latest to feel housing market's malaise UPDATE: Nearly 20 percent of (problems loans in area) because of one bank, Coast Financial. Most of hit at Coast came from Construction Compliance, a builder now bankrupt.
Monday, July 30, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Is the Bank at Fault? Some banks release borrowers' money to contractors with little proof that the home under mortgage is actually being built. (UPDATE on the Coast Bank-Construction Compliance Inc debacle.)
Monday, July 30, 2007.Fungal disease site Potentially useful info for those who have, or wish to avoid, mold.
Sunday, July 29, 2007. WA; Nat'l interest: Stanwood homeowners' dream cracked by warped siding Maxi Plank, a type of fiber cement siding, only lasted 9 months on new house; numerous homeowners say it doesn't hold up. Class action in CA may extend to WA.
Sunday, July 29, 2007. San Antonio, TX: LULAC national office enters Mirasol controversy Defects in homes owned by San Antonio Housing Authority, built by Mirasol Joint Venture Team headed by Magi Realty, and constructed by KB Home.
Sunday, July 29, 2007. US: LIVING THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE Aggressive mortgage brokers, voracious lenders and naive consumers combined to create an unstable situation.
Sunday, July 29, 2007. US: Consumer Law Center Free consumer info, some on predatory lending etc.
Sunday, July 29, 2007. US: Consumer Law Center publication on ARBITRATION This is not free but we've heard from one homeowner that it was helpful in their case. Perhaps lawyers would find it worth the cost, too. --Ed.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Building Justice Workers demanding safe working conditions, etc, from Pulte Homes
Saturday, July 28, 2007.Building inspections important What could be wrong with a new house? The answer: plenty.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. US: Mandatory Arbitration--Denying access to justice Center for Responsible Lending also supporting the Consumer Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. Commentary; US: Construction Defects, Housing Market, etc Charles Hugh Smith's blog; many articles here, plus commentary, on housing and construction, updated often.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. MA; Nat'l interest: Why is it important whether the builder/contractor is incorporated? MA construction lawyer article on her blog.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. OH: Building arbitration in limbo Going to court just to get out of arbitration can be a separate case from the construction defect dispute: Two cases, different outcomes. --Ed.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. Australia: Dreams laid waste Home warranty programs not working down under, either.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. FL: UPDATE on CCI case Bank offers to buy out builder's ripped off customers but there's a catch--the buyers will have to pay income tax on waived portion of debt. Lawyer for the 140 or so homeowners says loans are fraudulent.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. FL: Scroll down to Letter titled "Disregarded" by Al Olsen Reader questions why state disregarded consumers' complaints on bad builder who was breaking state laws.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. FL: DR Horton and Lennar in separate lawsuits w/developers Trying to get court to force D.R. Horton and Lennar to follow through with contracts to build new homes.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. PA; NY: Broken Homes Series w/links to ongoing case of criminal builder Scott Binsack.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. PA: Scroll down to letter titled "Complaints rare," by HBA president Joseph O'Connor Builders association president defends their sheilding of criminal builder Scott Binsack with canned rhetoric.
Saturday, July 28, 2007. PA: Jailed builder Scott Binsack hired former state Attorney General Ernest Preate to defend him As attorney general, his office prosecuted several builders for fraud and shoddy work. Now as a private defense attorney, he defends homebuilders, in some cases the same builders his office prosecuted. (Ongoing series--HADD started posting news about Binsack problems at least as long ago as Dec. 05. Meanwhile BBB and HBA assured consumers he was reliable.)
Saturday, July 28, 2007. PA: Scroll down to cartoon titled "More than one way to skin a little pig" Cartoon about ongoing case against builder Scott Binsack, Mansions & Estates, who was arrested last week, and who was shielded by the BBB and home builders association.
Friday, July 27, 2007. US: WCI can't find a buyer Florida homebuilder that put itself up for sale has been unable to find buyer, will explore options including selling assets.
Friday, July 27, 2007. US: Protecting Consumers from Binding Arbitration Clauses Big business loves arbitration clauses...New law would make pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, franchise, and civil rights contracts invalid and unenforceable.
Friday, July 27, 2007. US: People Over Profits REMINDER: what you can do to support the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007: signatures, letters, etc.
Friday, July 27, 2007. US: Why you should support the Arbitration Fairness Act REMINDER
Friday, July 27, 2007. CO; National: Real estate appraisers face mounting pressure Increased demand to meet stated or implied “loan targets” has mushroomed, largely because 70 percent of residential loans originated by third party companies, not lenders.
Friday, July 27, 2007. NH: Manchester man’s mission is to take on lending industry Michael Dillon takes on mortgage fraudsters
Friday, July 27, 2007. Realty Times Q & A: Construction Defects leading to loss of value, foreclosures Question: We are in a home with a construction defect and a poorly-managed homeowners association to boot. At any rate, the value of our home has dropped over $100,000. A handful of homeowner's have been short selling or foreclosing... (Not much of an answer given, but Question is indication of growing problem. --Ed.)
Friday, July 27, 2007. PA: UPDATE: Builder Scott Binsack arrest From Pocono Record
Friday, July 27, 2007. FL: Experts at the attack UPDATE on news posted last year re: Builders group behind untrue smear ads.
Friday, July 27, 2007. FL: Who will buy the empty homes? Glut of new but vacant homes, "for rent" signs; "Some of the homes are sitting out there with weeds, without air-conditioning, maybe even growing some mold," McCabe said.
Friday, July 27, 2007. US: Beazer reports $123 million loss amid federal investigations, UPDATE, Charlotte Observer series "Sold a Nightmare"
Friday, July 27, 2007. CA; US: California's Real-Estate Tailspin Buyers with good credit also affected; not limited to subprime; Exotic loans; Foreclosures up over 700% to 900% in some areas; Property experts still trying to put a positive spin to it.
Friday, July 27, 2007. NM: Building a case (Longford Homes) 150 homeowners suing Longford Homes, alleging builder cut corners, shoddy construction.
Friday, July 27, 2007. NM; FL: HUD settles illegal kickback cases re: Longford Homes (NM) and Fidelity National Title (FL) From US Dept of Housing & Urban Development (HUD): relevant to newer article above.
Friday, July 27, 2007. US: Who's really surprised the housing market collapsed? Buyers repeatedly told home values were headed up so if they didn't buy, they risked being priced out forever...harder to show pity for those in the industry who seem shocked by what's going on.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. US: REMINDER Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007: petition to support legislation that would make mandatory binding arbitration clauses in consumer contracts unenforceable. Let arbitration be a choice, after disputes arise, if parties agree; not a violation of our 7th Amendment rights.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. NY: Borough builders face fraud charges Five men, including engineers, contractors, arrested for filing hundreds of fraudulent documents that could have led to structures' collapse.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. CO: Parade of Groans Luxury homebuilder Paul Lambert's dispute with customers results in arrest on felony theft charge. (d/b/a Dorian Homes)
Thursday, July 26, 2007. TX: Who's looking after your roof job? Nobody’s officially checking their work.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes bankruptcy update Banks look to finish Kara Homes projects
Thursday, July 26, 2007. US: Worst is yet to come Subprime fallout just a warning of bigger meltdown coming.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. PA: Homebuilder’s clients say watchdogs asleep BBB and builders association shielded Binsack from consumers finding out about his criminal past.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. PA: BACKGROUND: 2005 article on Binsack Scott Binsack, criminal record: BBB and home builders association claimed they could not find out about it or could not report it. And yet, consumers are expected to rely on these sources to "do their homework." Relevant to articles posted yesterday and earlier in the week on Binsack arrest, and BBB and builders association sheilding him for years.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. PA: Binsack files seized by DA UPDATE
Thursday, July 26, 2007. PA: Problems spur legislation BINSACK UPDATE: Pennsylvania Builders Association opposes recent attempt to regulate homebuilders
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. PA: Castle fades into fairy tale Scott Binsack, of Mansions & Estates International LLC, told the widowed mother on his live radio program that he was going to build a house for her and her infant daughter, Gianna.
But the “Keys to Your Castle” contest, she said, turned out to be another false promise from the controversial homebuilder. The Internet message boards were just full of jealous contractors and unreasonable customers, (Binsack) said. (Article directly below is also on Binsack)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. PA: Clients in Limbo Bad checks, unfinished houses, unpaid bills, and home buyers money tied up
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. PA: Advertorials boosted Binsack’s image More on builder Scott Binsack's arrest: Binsack had a weekend radio show on WILK, “Building and Remodeling in the Millennium....Printed articles were mostly “advertorials” — paid, written advertisements designed to look like legitimate independent news stories.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. TX: Builder arrested on arson charges David R. Rathbone arrested on two counts of arson with intent to defraud, and one count of arson.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. PA: Contractor Scott Binsack's headquarters searched More on stories posted Sunday thru today on "Mansion and Estates" owner's arrest.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. TX: Dream home becomes legal nightmare Bob and Jane Cull of Mansfield have been battling Perry Homes for 10 years, claiming their Perry-built house has fundamental flaws. (Relevant to newer article below)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. TX: Complaint filed against state court justice Questions about impartiality of TX Supreme Court and their ability to rule in a fair and unbiased way. (Article related to the Cull case where Perry Homes lost in arbitration and court and was forcing the case to go to the TX Supreme Court after donating money to one of the judges.)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. US: Surface Water Exclusions in the Homeowners Policy Homeowners property policies often contain exclusions for loss caused by surface water runoff.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. PA: UPDATE on arrest of contractor Scott Binsack As he tried to deflect attention from his criminal history and rumblings about his business practices, homebuilder Scott Binsack used two powerful shields: the Lackawanna Home Builders Association and the Better Business Bureau. (HOW MANY TIMES HADD HAS HEARD THIS SAME PROBLEM FROM EVERY STATE! --Ed.)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. US: Written testimony of Jordan Fogal on mandatory arbitration clauses From www.judiciary.house.gov Ms. Fogal is a homeowner who used her horrific experience with a builder and arbitration to speak in support of the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007, (see articles directly below). --Ed.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. US: Are arbitrators biased? According to study by Christian Science Monitor, top 10 most used arbitrators ruled for consumers only 1.6% of the time, as opposed to 38% for those not dependent on arbitration fees. (HADD opposes arbitration clauses which are common in builder and warranty contracts as well. --Ed.)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. US: Congress eyes mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007, recently introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives, proposes making the clauses unenforceable. (Links to more info are in article.--Ed.)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. US: SEC formalizes Beazer investigation Update.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. US: Big Homebuilder CEO's pay still in millions annually U.S. Homebuilding Chiefs' Pay Follows the Slump
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. AZ: Former Calif. contractor arrested at job site Timothy Vernon Laughton
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. MI: Bay View faces 2 new suits filed against Suttons Pointe Development, L.C.C., headed by Marcus Yono
Wednesday, July 25, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: Home inspector aggressively markets service Real estate agents who don't like inspectors to kill a deal call him the Home Inspector from Hell: “I don’t care if you buy the house or not. I don’t sell houses, I inspect them.” (This is the kind of inspector home buyers should hire, including on NEW homes; one who's a deal-killer. Do not hire an inspector based on the recommendation of someone who's got a vested interest in making sure the sale closes. --Ed.)
Tuesday, July 24, 2007. US: Federal Bailouts for High-Risk Homeowners? NY senator interviewed on topic of govt becoming involved in cleaning up predatory lending mess.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007. US: Hidden Clauses Leave Consumers Without Court Time Drawbacks of signing contracts with arbitration clauses.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007. US: Other Shoe Drops at Countrywide loans Wall Street cringes: bad mortgage loans aren't contained to subprime.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007. NJ: Kara Homes Founder bids for his own bankrupt company UPDATE, ongoing case. Many home buyers and subcontractors lost their money, may or may not get any back. Kara changing name to Maplewood.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007. US: Charlotte Observer Series update on Beazer Homes Part of "Sold a Nightmare" re: federal investigations; SEC now formally investigating builder.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007. US: Charlotte Observer series on Beazer Homes investigations Part of "Sold a Nightmare" series; SEC now formally investigating Beazer, on top of other federal investigations.
Monday, July 23, 2007. MD: Flush and forget? That's not an option Septic system not working; has never met Maryland Department of the Environment standards: NVR, Villas at Cattail Creek, (aka BRS Developers)
Monday, July 23, 2007. MD: Former senator, wife to plead guilty in public corruption case Plead guilty to taking bribes from a construction company
Monday, July 23, 2007. TN; MS; LA: Contractor Arrested on Fraud Charges Authorities learned Robert Shannon Johnson moved his company, Expert Foundation Co., to Louisiana...when threatened w/arrest Johnson hid in a crawl space and claimed he was "looking for a level."
Monday, July 23, 2007. FL: 3 Mortgage Brokers and 2 Argent Employees Arrested in Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Case Individuals arrested include Scott Almeida, Orson Benn, Adrienne White, Frank Giffone, and Samuel Green. Company names include Hillsborough County mortgage broker companies Advanced Mortgage Solutions, Consumer Lending Resources, Premier Quality Renovations and Florida Beautiful Construction.
Monday, July 23, 2007. US: Ryland Gets Heat for Director Loan Under fire from shareholder who claims builder provided mortgage financing to board member at below-market rates
Monday, July 23, 2007. US: Wall Street can't cage its mortgage monster Investors burned by loan debacle
Monday, July 23, 2007. KS: Two Kansas Contractors Indicted for Bank Fraud Mortgage Fraud site, coverage of new MILLER case indictment we've posted about over the past few years. Ongoing case(s).
Monday, July 23, 2007. US: More on Beazer Homes being investigated by the SEC Additional new info.
Monday, July 23, 2007. US: Beazer gets notice of formal SEC investigation Formal federal investigation: violations of U.S. securities laws. (Already under investigation for mortgage fraud.)
Monday, July 23, 2007. Realty Times: Should you Litigate or Arbitrate? By Benny L. Kass Author says he used to be a proponent of arbitration but has changed his mind.
Monday, July 23, 2007. BuilderOnline.com: Drees Handles Buyer Objections "If a buyer does not sell their old home at the time of closing, Drees will set up an escrow account and pay the mortgage on the existing home for up to 12 months." (Buyer Beware--we've read of investors buying homes in a similar manner then not making payments. If the homeowner is still responsible for the loan and the builder is late on payments, this will hurt the home buyer's credit. Consumers planning on doing this should plan on getting competent legal advice BEFORE agreeing to these deals to make sure they are protected. --Ed.)
Monday, July 23, 2007. FL: Curb Repel Sons of builder (Majestic Homes & Realty) keep home a pigsty, irritating neighbors.
Monday, July 23, 2007. US: Housing Crash Current news posted again today.
Monday, July 23, 2007.Indoor Air Quality Creating Healthy Indoor Environments
Monday, July 23, 2007. US: American Dream Is Overbought and Overbuilt and is increasingly being foreclosed upon:
Sunday, July 22, 2007. CA: Families Fight Builder Over Moldy Homes Homeowners said Ryland has turned last two years into nightmare...family noticed hardwood floors lifting and a musty smell. They cut open the floor and found mold growing underneath.
Sunday, July 22, 2007. FL: Widow's suit against Lennar goes to Lake County She says the builder is at fault in the electrocution of her husband at a new home in Clermont.
Sunday, July 22, 2007. CA: Residents Blame Health Issues on Mold RYLAND HOMES: common denominator: They all have mold growing in their homes.
Sunday, July 22, 2007. MI: Law no longer protects buyers Last month the court majority continued its assault on the Consumer Protection Act in holding that a home builder is exempt from coverage under the act because builders are otherwise "regulated."
Sunday, July 22, 2007. US: From Web to Court, Real-Estate Broker Battles Builder Lennar Homes Lennar still trying to shut down Mike Morgan's complaint site, defective-homes.net.
Sunday, July 22, 2007. PA: Builder Scott Binsack Charged with Writing Bad Checks Police now want to know if he issued a bad check to anyone else. (see older background article below)
Sunday, July 22, 2007. PA: Older article on Scott Binsack, Mansions & Estates International LLC, relevant to above Detractors, growing debt dog local builder
Sunday, July 22, 2007. US: Another gem from author/home inspector Walter Jowers! Don't let your real estate agent pick your home inspector--Fox in the Henhouse! Jowers has written many good articles about problems in new home construction, e.g. "Code Red," "Caulk is Cheap," etc.
Friday, July 20, 2007. NV; AZ: Nevada politico with ties to East Valley developer sentenced to prison Payments from developer/builder Jim Rhodes continued even after Kenny was busted in May 2003 by federal investigators, and admitted to taking bribes. (This story is an update to E.V. Trib's series on Rhodes and corruption.)
Friday, July 20, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: William G. Young Speech, Judicial Luncheon, Florida Bar Used to be...to give up right to trial by jury required knowing, intelligent, voluntary, case-by-case waiver. Not when arbitration is in play.
Friday, July 20, 2007. FL: 5 indicted in Florida mortgage fraud allegations Mortgage and renovation companies involved
Friday, July 20, 2007. CO: Legislators respond to concerns UPDATE: Reactions to Homeowner Protection Act of 2007 which was supported by consumer advocates, and which passed this year.
Friday, July 20, 2007. FL: Ideal Homes inquiry is back to Charlotte UPDATE: FL Dept. of Law Enforcement says Ideal Homes may have broken law but state agency cannot prosecute because action took place in Charlotte County.
Friday, July 20, 2007. UT: Draper residents try to keep home from sliding away Builder and city allowed house to be built on natural drainage wash.
Friday, July 20, 2007. GA: Builder Meyer-Sutton bankruptcy Converted from Chapter 11 Reorganization to Chapter 7 Liquidation.
Friday, July 20, 2007. NJ: Kara founder fighting reorganization plan UPDATE on Kara Homes Bankruptcy case. Reader comments included.
Friday, July 20, 2007. US: Real estate appraisers face mounting pressure Increased intensity of demand to meet stated or implied “loan targets” has mushroomed
Friday, July 20, 2007. FL: Miami Condo Glut Pushes Florida's Economy to Brink of Recession Despite glut of condos, Miami developers keep on building. Oversupply will force prices down as much as 30 percent.
Friday, July 20, 2007. AZ; Nat'l interest: Bottom line often trumps environmental concerns Green building. Article has some interesting reader-comments at end.
Thursday, July 19, 2007.National Association of Consumer Advocates "Ban Mandatory Binding Arbitration"
Thursday, July 19, 2007. KS: UPDATE: New indictment in MILLER case Dept of Justice press release re: builder Steve Middleton, charged w/bank fraud.
Thursday, July 19, 2007. KS: UPDATE: MILLER CASE: Contractor indicted on bank fraud charges Indictment comes after (Steve) Middleton was charged in federal court May 18, 2006, forrole in alleged $25 million fraud scheme involving other Kansas City-area builders, (one being F. Jeffrey Miller).
Thursday, July 19, 2007. US: Disaster Victims Deserve Better Congress Investigates Dangerous Levels of Formaldehyde in FEMA Trailers
Thursday, July 19, 2007. US: Housing slump, lawsuits hammer Beazer Homes Facing lawsuits from customers, employees and stockholders, federal inquiries into its mortgage lending and other corporate practices and the abrupt departures of three of its top executives...
Thursday, July 19, 2007. CT: Would-Be Preston Developer Faces Suits Tarragon Corp.
Thursday, July 19, 2007. TX: The Affordable Housing Shell Game Politically connected developers milking the system
Thursday, July 19, 2007. TX: CASE OF THE CROOKED HOUSE $300,000 house built by Steve Ely valued at minus $20,000 because of cost to tear down the home. Slab foundation was out of level by 14 inches. TRCC still a builder protection agency.
Thursday, July 19, 2007. US: Fannie and Freddie Drop the Bomb Regulators decided it would be a good idea for underwriters to actually consider a borrowers' ability to repay the loan beyond the first year. What a concept. But despite that common sense approach, guidelines have gone largely ignored by Freddie and Fannie-- even though both of them were ordered to comply with new rules.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. US: Contact your congressmen/women about Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 Testimony was heard on this topic by a Judiciary Sub-Committee, so that is a topic from the pull down menu you could choose. Also Business, Consumer Affairs, etc, possible topics. Please tell your elected officials what you think of mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts that strip consumers of their legal rights and put businesses at an advantage in disputes. See articles/bills below on this legislation. --Ed.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. US: S. 1782: A bill to amend chapter 1 of title 9 of United States Code with respect to arbitration (Senate Version) Federal legislation would make mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts unenforceable.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. US: H.R. 3010: To amend chapter 1 of title 9 of United States Code with respect to arbitration (House version) Federal legislation would make mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts unenforceable.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007.Law Memo Arbitration Info May need to subscribe but info is useful if you are involved in arbitration issues
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. US: The Insurance Claim Game The objective of the insured consumer is to have their property returned to a pre-damaged condition.
The objective of the insurance adjuster is to minimize the claim payout.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. NY: Peekskill sues affordable housing developer CPC Resources; shoddy, unfinished work
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. NY: ARCHITECT BLASTED Robert Scarano
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. MA: Ex-chief of union sentenced Matthew B. Campagnari, a builder, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, tax fraud and witness intimidation charges.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. WA: The Renovation Trap Electrified bathtubs, bogus "inspections" by code officials, and trouble with realty agency
Wednesday, July 18, 2007. US: K. Hovnanian sued under RESPA for affiliated business practices Class action lawsuit filed against Hovnanian Enterprises and K. Hovnanian American Mortgage alleging they required consumers to use their affiliated companies in order to qualify for certain incentives in violation of RESPA.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US: Legislation will ensure Americans are not forced into mandatory arbitration More on Arbitration Fairness Act: Link to listen to testimony from press conference.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US: More about the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 Do-it-yourself Court Reform Becomes Do-it-yourself Tort Reform
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. AZ: Selling Out their Dream Homes D.R. Horton was selling home lots while negotiating with the state dept of transportation to put a freeway on the same land. Checks are supposed to be returned but when one customer went to pick up his check during business hours the office was closed.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US: Pulte Homes Expects Hefty 2Q Loss New orders down 20%
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. FL: Homebuyers seek to regain deposits Sullivan Homes; builder took money but didn't build houses.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US: Subprime Bait and Switch Under guise of extending home ownership, predatory lenders undermine community reinvestment
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US: Arbitration is an Atrocity High foreclosure rates may reflect some problems w/bad builders and arbitration clauses: By Jordan Fogal
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. ADRworld.com: Bills to Limit Pre-Dispute Arbitration Under FAA Before Congress The twin bills, S. 1782 and H.R. 3010, the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007, also would prohibit enforcement of pre-dispute agreements that would mandate arbitration of disputes arising under laws meant to protect civil rights or regulate contracts between parties of unequal bargaining power. (Articles require subscription which may be accomplished w/free trial subscription. This is a pro-arbitraton website operated by the American Arbitration Association so keep that in mind when reading articles here. HADD opposes mandatory arbitration in consumer contracts and supports the two bills named. --Ed.)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US; Consumer Law and Policy; a Public Citizen website: It is all about spin and PR. Consumer advocates have a hard time competing with the high dollar spin and PR that industries use to influence legislation to benefit their industry. This article is partially about how little press is being given to pending federal legislation to ban mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. --Ed.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. TX: A Retaining Wall That's Ruining Homes? Erosion and foundation failure problems with Ryland Homes development.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. FL: UPDATE on Construction Compliance Inc/Coast Bank debacle Coast Bank files suit against mortgage company
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. CA: Law Firm Files Lawsuit against Reddick Real Estate Network and Others Fraudulent Home Sale Investment Enterprise
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US: Loan Spree to Come Back Against Small Banks There are likely more builders in distress...bankruptcies will be "primary driver" of rise in loans that banks classify as nonperforming.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007. US: Why is construction supervisor angry at home inspectors? Builder Question answered by home inspector columnist Barry Stone.
Monday, July 16, 2007. WI: Kinsey v. Temo Inc, and Thermo Tech Defective sunroom; court feels for the Kinseys but lets the builder go.
Monday, July 16, 2007. MSN Money Central: Arbitration ties consumers' hands If you've bought a cell phone, computer, home or car, you may have forfeited rights to sue, as cited in your contract's fine print. Consumer advocates say that's not good for buyers. ... Binding arbitration weighted in favor of business.
Monday, July 16, 2007. US: Home appraisal fraud is costing you money From illegal artificially inflated appraisals to flipping scams to builders 'incentives,' over valued property costs us all, even if we have not bought or sold a house.
Monday, July 16, 2007. US: SEN. FEINGOLD, REP. JOHNSON INTRODUCE MEASURE TO PRESERVE CONSUMER JUSTICE Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007, if passed, would amend Federal Arbitration Act to make pre-dispute agreements to arbitrate employment, consumer, franchise, or civil rights disputes unenforceable. If you are new to HADD, arbitration in home and warranty contracts are common and can put consumers at a disadvantage and keep complaints secret. --Ed.
Monday, July 16, 2007. US: Consumer advocates slam credit-card arbitration Sen. Russ Feingold (D) of Wisconsin and Rep. Hank Johnson (D) of Georgia unveiled legislation that would prohibit predispute mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer agreements... (including contracts for a HOUSE.--Ed.)
Monday, July 16, 2007. Gulf Coast: In Lawless Post-Katrina Cleanup, Construction Companies Preying on Workers After Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast, construction companies have squeezed billions out of federal contracts with few labor regulations and almost no oversight, allowing outrageous worker abuses to occur.
Monday, July 16, 2007. CO: Foreclosures keep tight grip For every two existing homes sold in the metro area during the first half of the year, another went into foreclosure.
Monday, July 16, 2007. FL: http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070713/BREAKING01/70713030 Merit Homes taking years to complete jobs and not paying subcontractors, while company’s owners spend millions...Sub's have filed millions in liens.
Monday, July 16, 2007. MO: MO Governor appoints foxes to guard henhouse Title Insurance "reform" pannel made up mostly of title insurance insiders, most of the remainder from real estate industry. ONE token consumer advocate.
Monday, July 16, 2007. US: What is Predatory Lending? Predatory lending practices can leave victims homeless and defeated, stripped of self-respect and hope, their credit ruined.
Sunday, July 15, 2007. US: Homebuyer Arbitration Stories Tell Congress to Ban Mandatory Binding Arbitration! From the People Over Profits/American Association for Justice website.
Sunday, July 15, 2007. US: Watch video, sign away your rights.. Blog article about ways consumers can be duped into agreeing to mandatory arbitration provisions with companies.
Sunday, July 15, 2007. US: From builders' perspective: Arbitration Beats Going to Court - in Most Cases A contractor once said to me, "You're always pushing arbitration. I listened to you and instead of suing, I went to arbitration. It cost me thousands of dollars and took months to get a decision. (So much for the argument that arbitration is cheaper... Article is not free but may be worth buying for some readers. --Ed.)
Sunday, July 15, 2007. US: Understanding the Terms of Your Mortgage Did you understand what you signed?
Sunday, July 15, 2007. US: Direct Plea to the Mortgage Industry Self-regulation and current laws not working; industry becoming more irresponsible and misleading.
Sunday, July 15, 2007. TX: Drainage woes ongoing for some local residents Developers protest ordinance
Sunday, July 15, 2007. US: Suit claims home builder violated mortgage law Ryland Homes required buyers to either use Ryland Mortgage for financing or pay additional several thousand dollars.
Sunday, July 15, 2007. CA: Sales slow, building grows Despite sluggish housing market, there are more building projects than ever in the county
Sunday, July 15, 2007. US: Housing market data might make things seem sunnier than they are "Incentives" skew what houses are really selling for.
Sunday, July 15, 2007. Mohave Daily News: Laughlin Ranch files bankruptcy Bankruptcy was filed “in order to implement a planned acquisition of Laughlin Ranch by The Lewis Group of Companies,”
Saturday, July 14, 2007. FL: No home, no escrow, no refund Kevin Sullivan has not constructed a single townhouse he took deposits for, says the money is gone.
Saturday, July 14, 2007. TX: Blitz on builders Going public with complaints has worked for some when builders refuse to make repairs. Ryland, Centex, others...
Saturday, July 14, 2007. NJ: New law to crack down on tax cheating home builders Will increase penalties on home builders who misclassify construction workers in an attempt to circumvent New Jersey tax laws
Friday, July 13, 2007. U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG): Consumer fairness and justice bill introduced Arbitration Fairness Act bill amends the Federal Arbitration Act to make mandatory, binding pre-dispute agreements to arbitrate employment, consumer, franchise, or civil rights disputes unenforceable.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: More on Federal Arbitration Legislation Tell Congress to support the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007...
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: Consumer rights bill introduced in Congress A bill backed by consumer groups to protect homeowners, employees and investors from mandatory arbitration agreements was introduced Thursday in the House and Senate. (HADD had two people at press conference and supports the legislation which would ban mandatory arbitration in consumer contracts. --Ed.)
Friday, July 13, 2007. NY: Updated Building Code Is Tough On Developers Although it doesn’t go into effect for two years, the city’s updated building code targets questionable developers like Flushing’s Thomas Huang.
Friday, July 13, 2007. TX: Residents Complain of Sloppy Homebuilding Builder: Carefree Homes.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: Buffett rumors lift Hovnanian, home-builder shares Shares of Hovnanian rose as rumors swirled that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway would buy an interest in the struggling builder.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: Public Citizen Urges Support for the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 Banning mandatory binding arbitration clauses in all consumer contracts.
Friday, July 13, 2007. WA; Nat'l interest: Overcharging suit against Cingular goes forward Good news for consumers in general re arbitration in consumer contracts: see case document (PDF) in article posted below, too.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: Good court decision for consumers Public Citizen attorney Paul Bland won an important case recently regarding class actions and arbitration...
Friday, July 13, 2007. MA; Nat'l interest: How to Approach Your Home Contractor Problem MA attorney gives excellent advice on what you can do to document your complaint and save time and money with the lawyer. HADD has found thru its volunteers' and other homeowners' experiences over the years that the tips given here are exactly what had to be done, to get the most out of a lawyer consultation and start a good paper trail. --Ed.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: ADR newsletters Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) includes arbitration which is in nearly all builder/warranty contracts as well as an incresasing number of other consumer contracts. These newsletters are from the perspective of the industry, which is valuable info to know if you are facing, or trying to avoid, arbitration.
Friday, July 13, 2007. FL: A hot spot for foreclosures may get hotter The problem: a combination of 100 percent mortgages and falling home values.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: Housing Crash news Current news on housing market woes posted daily.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: Today's Mortgage Fraud news Current news posted almost daily on attorney's blog.
Friday, July 13, 2007. US: When you hear ‘foreclosure,’ think of families in misery Self-enforcement in the underworld of mortgage lending and real estate industries is a joke.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. US: Surprise! You've got a homeowners association This is what happens when the wolf guards the hen house.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. INMAN.com: Stewart Title accused of captive reinsurance scheme California seeking $41.6 million in fines and penalties from Stewart Title Guaranty Corp. for alleged captive reinsurance schemes with builders, lenders and title agency. Lennar, Wells Fargo, others...
Thursday, July 12, 2007. IMPORTANT FEDERAL LEGISLATION: Public Citizen Urges Support for the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 Corporations have figured out that simply by inserting an arbitration clause in contracts for everyday consumer goods and services or employment, they can usually evade accountability...arbitration companies are beholden to big corporate players for repeat business, which creates a bias.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. CO: Colorado HOME Alliance News The organization that was instrumental in passage of consumer protection law re new construction. News pg. w/current articles.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. The Pitch, Kansas City: Empty Nests How Kansas City companies helped kill the American Dream.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. US: Lawyers eye raters, underwriters in subprime cases U.S. class-action lawyers who have sued subprime mortgage lenders are now scrutinizing Wall Street banks that sold packages of risky loans to investors and credit analysts that served up top ratings on the securities.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. CA: Madera Co. bests developer in lawsuit Developer Ernest Merrill broke the law, sued the county when he was arrested for it, and lost.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. WA; Nat'l interest: Moldy house dubbed 'Devil's House' leaves family fighting foreclosure It could cost them more than $100,000 dollars to clean up the waste in their own backyard. You can find a list of contaminated properties on the state Department of Ecology web site. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/olga/olg_faq_pg.htm
Thursday, July 12, 2007. TX: Local developer facing suit about improper drainage The petition for damages and declaratory relief states, "RSBP Developers, Inc., failed to obtain the permits and approvals that are required under federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to drainage, flood control and control of the quality and quantity of storm water discharges and runoff from the construction site."
Thursday, July 12, 2007. OK: Flooded property ignites old fight Norman resident Pam Jennings told everyone who would listen that properties in her area would flood if an adjancent development occurred as proposed. And now she says it’s happening.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. OK: Woman fighting black mold from flood in 10 Mile Flats Neighbors believe Sassan Moghadam of Precision Builders contributes to problem.
Thursday, July 12, 2007. US: U.S. Foreclosures Increase 87 Percent as Prices Fall Amid a glut of properties
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. US: Should home sale prices stay secret? Secrecy might be good for real-estate agents but might hurt consumers and taxpayers.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. US: Real Estate Industry news Court cases, legislation, current headlines. Requires subscription to read full article but 'teasers' provide enough info to research companies involved.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. US: Housing Crash Current News.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. US: NAHB news article Building industry may challenge state laws passed in effort to control illegal immigration.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Current News
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. PA: Contractor heads to court for renovations scam Contractors John William Sherwood and John William Sherwood who claim to have been "sent by God" scammed elderly couple on renovation.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. US: Toxic buildup in slumping housing market Home builders are fighting the shrinking demand ... by adding more supply
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. US: Home builders drowning in losses, subprime fallout Profits negated by charges as ratings agencies warn on mortgage bonds
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. IN; Nat'l interest: KB Home is leaving Indianapolis market laying off an unspecified number of workers
Wednesday, July 11, 2007. MI: Developer agrees to fines, accessibility fixes to settle lawsuit Palazzolo and Lombardo LLC
Tuesday, July 10, 2007. OR: Proposal would toughen ban on fake stucco Oregon Senators unanimously voted to ban use of synthetic stucco on Oregon homes. Illnesses from mold, leaks, etc.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007. IN: Trinity Homes/Beazer Homes/Crossman Communities/Deluxe Homes vs. Ohio Casualty Insurance... Court case from this year where builder sued insurance co after construction defect case.
Monday, July 09, 2007. SC: EPA Investigates North Charleston Neighborhood EPA officials looking for explosive levels of methane in some Westcott Plantation homes built by Lennar.
Monday, July 09, 2007. OR: County avoids getting pulled into lawsuit Lawsuit over problems with six sinking townhomes: some homeowners paying for two residences and facing foreclosure.
Monday, July 09, 2007. US: UPDATE on Beazer Hedge fund Moore Capital takes Beazer Home stake; Ongoing federal investigations into Beazer...
Monday, July 09, 2007. US: Hedge Fund Takes Stake in Beazer Homes Mentions federal investigations of Beazer too
Monday, July 09, 2007. TN: Governor vetoes contractor bill Good for Gov. Phil Bredesen! Gov vetoed contractor sponsored legislation that would've required licensing board to be appointed from contractors, (i.e. the fox guarding the henhouse. --Ed.)
Monday, July 09, 2007. AL: Strictly enforce new code Stricter standards only work if they are enforced ... An industry study concluded that damages in Florida from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 would have been up to 55 percent less had counties strictly enforced codes.
Monday, July 09, 2007. TX: Nonprofit housing agency in bankruptcy Texas Housing and Economic Resources: also in lawsuit with KB Home.
Monday, July 09, 2007.Housing Crash Current news about the housing market's decline
Monday, July 09, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes Tries to Rebuild Itself (after bankruptcy) Kara’s revised reorganization plan calls for the ouster of founder Zudi Karagjozi. Assuming ownership of the company would be Maplewood Homebuilders LLC, a new enterprise made up of hedge fund Plainfield Specialty Holdings II Inc. and Lakewood developer Glen Fishman.
Monday, July 09, 2007. TX: Neighbor vs Neighbor in Northeast Side Protest Cracked foundations and flooded homes in Ryland development. Those who claim they have no problems turning against those who do.
Monday, July 09, 2007. OR; Nat'l interest: Landlords, renters often wind up sparring about spores Mold needs to be addressed better as a violation of habitability
Sunday, July 08, 2007. FL: UPDATE to earlier stories: scroll down to: "Builders group retreats" Builders association's threat was removed from their web site after criticism from Senate President Ken Pruitt, among others.
Sunday, July 08, 2007. PA: Monroe home foreclosures through the roof By David Pierce, who has covered ongoing Poconos real estate fraud for years. Despite action by state attorney general, builders who were engaged in inflated appraisals, falsified documents, etc, are still allowed to build, and no compensation for the ripped off home buyers.
Sunday, July 08, 2007. NC; Nat'l interest: `No closing costs' add up fast More from the Charlotte Observer series re: problems with builders' mortgage co's, e.g. Beazer
Sunday, July 08, 2007. NJ: Shoddy repairs raise homeowners' concern D & M and Monet among other companies.
Sunday, July 08, 2007. NJ; Nat'l interest: Savvy scammers Monet Builders and others scamming homeowners with "repairs" and risky financing. Very hard to hold them accountable.
Sunday, July 08, 2007. NJ: More on Kara Homes Bankruptcy Bank will foreclose on Kara project; home buyers may have to try to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits in bankruptcy court.
Saturday, July 07, 2007. AZ: Ryland Homes' bad loans US Dept of Housing & Urban Development audit of Ryland Mortgage turns up bad loans, inflated prices, bogus fees.
Saturday, July 07, 2007. US: The Warning Next Door In Subdivisions, Neighbors' Homes Are Bellwethers of Repairs; builders use the lowest-grade
Saturday, July 07, 2007. International: U.S. Home Builders: Is China The New Suburbia? Toll Brothers plan to jump to China
Saturday, July 07, 2007. US: MLS a tool for fraud ...and other current news of the housing industry, mortgage fraud, housing bubble...
Saturday, July 07, 2007. US: REMINDER Call for ARBITRATION STORIES!
Saturday, July 07, 2007. NJ: Prompt Payment Act Recent law re: payment of subcontractors by general contractor
Saturday, July 07, 2007. Nat'l interest: Tax Shelter-Funded Affordable Housing Big govt tax breaks to developers not resulting in much benefit to consumers.
Saturday, July 07, 2007. FL: Area builder all dried up AZ-based Meritage Homes said sales in Naples-Fort Myers area dropped 70 percent since last year.
Saturday, July 07, 2007. NJ: Hovnanian ordered to pay homeowners' court costs Homebuilder J.S. Hovnanian & Sons must pay legal fees for a group of homeowners who went to court with complaints about their houses
Saturday, July 07, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: 'Great deals' were really snow jobs Jim Metts, a handyman/thespian whose greatest skill seems to be separating people from their money, using the aisles of Home Depot and Lowe's as his stage.
Saturday, July 07, 2007. NY: Contractor evades taxes on illegal labor Jay Kuhn, the head of Kuhn Brothers Construction just the start of federal investigation into illegal practices in construction industry that cheat government out of tax revenue
Saturday, July 07, 2007. NC: More Beazer buyers sue over loan terms MORE on the ongoing problems with Beazer Homes mortgage co.
Saturday, July 07, 2007. NV: High-rise project entangled in bankruptcy, lawsuits Troubles for Spanish View Towers. Swirling legal and financial problems could ultimately leave many people out in the cold.
Friday, July 06, 2007. US: When Building Green Ain't so Green Reasons why many new homes--even if they are claimed to be "green"--are just marketing hype and not actually more friendly to the environment.
Friday, July 06, 2007. CA: City, KB Home obtain water, soil samples from Runkle Canyon sites UPDATE on Runkle Canyon, joint partnership of KB and Lennar, possibly contaminated site, (see articles posted here from earlier this year).
Friday, July 06, 2007. MN; WI: Builder facing foreclosure suits Heritage Development Inc., a/k/a Argus Homes
Friday, July 06, 2007. FL: Campaign to kill wetlands protection has hidden attacker Developer Stephen Dibbs waged campaign to sack Hillsborough County's local wetlands protection.
Friday, July 06, 2007. US: Meritage & Other Home Builders: You Didn't See This Coming? Realty Check by Diana Olick
Friday, July 06, 2007. FL; Nat'l interest: Homebuilders merge Taylor Woodrow and Morrison Homes, have joined in a move that makes the new company one of the largest homebuilders in the country
Friday, July 06, 2007. KS: Local builder arrested on arson charges David R. Rathbone arrested.
Friday, July 06, 2007. US: The Contagion is Spreading Absolute rot of sub-prime lending not just failing lenders like New Century and others, it was much further up the ladder.
Friday, July 06, 2007. NC: Charlotte-area Homeowners Sue Beazer Homes for Fraudulent Tactics Fraudulent tactics were so pervasive in a Beazer Homes housing development in Charlotte that corporate management must have participated or condoned the approach, according to a lawsuit filed against the Atlanta-based company.
Friday, July 06, 2007. NC: UPDATE: Beazer facing new suit Beazer sales agent, Roderick D. Williams, falsified documents to help buyers get loans for Beazer homes. (Article has link to series by Charlotte Observer on Beazer mortgage fraud investigation)
Friday, July 06, 2007. US: Real estate law column Builder sold you one bag of goods and delivered another
Friday, July 06, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud in the news Lawyer's news blog, updated almost daily
Friday, July 06, 2007. CO; National interest: Colorado Court Overturns Intertwining Arbitration Doctrine If the link does not work go to ADRworld.com. You may have to register to read the article which is about courts allowing disputes to go to trial or not.
Friday, July 06, 2007. US: Green Building Legislation From School Mold site
Friday, July 06, 2007. TX: UPDATE on Ryland complaints No buybacks of Bridlewood Park homes
Friday, July 06, 2007. US: Another Walter Jowers article (Home Inspector) "Do You Feel Lucky?" New Home problems. This is an author HADD has posted several articles from as they've been published. You can also see his own website at: www.housesenseinc.com
Friday, July 06, 2007. International: Construction Woes Add to Fears at Embassy in Iraq Poor quality construction . . . life safety issues . . . left [the embassy] with no recourse but to shut the camp down
Tuesday, July 03, 2007.Contractors group builds consensus CORRECTED LINK to article posted below: Biggest challenge to licensed contractors livelihood is rapidly increasing number of contractors operating without licenses.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. FL: Florida Home Builders Association removes Web statement on political contributions The Florida Home Builders Association today removed from its Web site a statement linking political contributions to sponsorship of legislation limiting impact fees, which the group supports.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. FL: Builders PAC ties contributions to fee cap The Florida Home Builders Association threatened on its Web site Monday to withhold contributions to incumbent legislative candidates who do not sponsor legislation it wants on impact fees.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. CA: Contractors group builds consensus Biggest challenge to licensed contractors livelihood is rapidly increasing number of contractors operating without licenses.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. CA: Investigators boot 90 percent of contractors contacted in burn area Deficiencies in workers comp insurance, business license or contractors license, investigators said.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud Attorney's blog on latest mortgage fraud news
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. AZ: Governor signs employer sanctions bill, business groups denounce action Builders, others, object to new law that requires employers verify workers' legal status. State has obligation to protect honest employers, go after illegal employers.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. US: Housing data may mask crisis' scope Many of the incentives that sellers are using to lure buyers -- including cash rebates -- aren't being included. That suggests prices may be falling faster in many markets than is now being reported.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. CA: County group tests Runkle Canyon toxicity Future KB Home site may be contaminated. Comments at end interesting.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. AZ: Construction Industry Reacts To New Immigration Bill A new state law is punishing businesses who hire illegal immigrant workers.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007. FL: CCI's plan to pay off its debts is shaky UPDATE, ongoing builder bankruptcy case: Buyers find themselves indebted to Coast Bank for houses that never got started.
Monday, July 02, 2007.Toxic mold video You Tube
Monday, July 02, 2007. IL: City kept mum on potential home defects The structural defects first surfaced at a 115-home luxury development in the Bridgeport neighborhood known as Bridgeport Village. A subcontractor alerted city officials, who commissioned an engineering study that found the plans for the houses did not meet the building code.
Monday, July 02, 2007. FL: CCI-Coast Bank debacle In depth; links to the history of this builder-bank case
Monday, July 02, 2007. Canada: Riverbend developer loses licence CB Development (2000) Ltd., developer of the troubled Riverbend housing project.
Monday, July 02, 2007. WA: Lobbying is big business State's builders spent more than $100,000 lobbying lawmakers this year to help stave off a bill that would have given homeowners more ability to sue if their new house had defects.
Monday, July 02, 2007. FL: Appraiser unveils study of market in North Port "There is vacant home after vacant home, all of them built on spec with no buyer,"
Monday, July 02, 2007. US: Subprime Loans: Buyer's Remorse Hitting Home? Greed got us all into this housing boom, and greed, as it always does, will inevitably take us down.
Monday, July 02, 2007. US: Builders have further to fall Homebuilder stocks continue to be slammed
Monday, July 02, 2007. US: Construction Defects: The Flood to Come? An older article worth repeating, also from Charles Hugh Smith, see below...Smith was one of the writers predicting current problems.
Monday, July 02, 2007. US: July 2nd entry: The Shifting Sands of Lies: An Economy and a Stock Market Built on Lies Allow me to summarize: the entire credit/lending bubble which has long powered the housing, bond and stock markets is in danger of collapsing--unless the lies are maintained. --Charles Hugh Smith
Sunday, July 01, 2007. FL: Owners sue over money pit house 5 yr old $11 million house that doesn't meet code.
Sunday, July 01, 2007. US: Mortgage Fraud and Predatory Lending Information Center for Responsible Lending
Sunday, July 01, 2007. CA: Lodi homeowners find dream neighborhood not so charming Home buyers bought at worst time; were also told by KB Home that the builder was not selling to investors: 60 of the 80 homes in his subdivision are now either for sale, in foreclosure or for rent.
Sunday, July 01, 2007. NJ: UPDATE: Kara Homes Bankruptcy Kara sells property to satisfy bank debt
Sunday, July 01, 2007. PA: Judge delays sentencing for former builder Slayton Ongoing coverage by David Pierce of the Pocono Record on homebuilding and real estate fraud cases from the area.