Before hiring a contractor
Can someone please explain why a contractor in the state of Texas is not required to have a license or any kind of background check?
The agent that sells or helps you buy a house does?
The home inspector that inspects your house does?
The appraiser that determines the value of your house does?
All you need in the state of Texas to manage likely the largest investment a family will make is insurance and about a hundred bucks for a permit. It can be a person with no experience and no background check.
He can purchase cheap insurance and show it to the City to prove insurance, and there aren’t any checks and balances to make sure he keeps it in force.
He can refuse to give you a warranty.
He can choose to ignore defects in the home or make excuses.
He can do all this because he knows that by joining the Texas Association of Builders and the National Builders Association, he has bought credibility!
My dog could pay the fees and become a member of these associations, gaining access to their prejudicial contracts where all terms are biased for the builder, not the consumer. They are written by builders and contractors for builders and contractors and are readily accepted by banks and insurance companies and held as the industry standard just like mortgage or real estate documents.
If this isn’t enough, once you sign one of these contracts you find out they contain a mandatory arbitration clause.
This means your rights are out the window and you can’t sue the builder if you are defrauded. Instead, you must take the builder to arbitration where the excessive costs are not disclosed and you pay upfront - first a filing fee, then more to administer the case, then the arbitrator, then the experts — oh, and then your lawyers fees which can run more than just repairing the damages out of your own pocket. Plus, unlike lawsuits which are public, Arbitration is confidential and you have no way to track other disputes.
But the best one of all is that Texas is the only state that gives a builder a constitutional right to file a lien on your property if you have dispute and hold out money that is not owed. The builder does not have to prove he is owed you must spend money proving you don’t!
So the builder has you hostage - either way you must make a business decision and you lose either way. Even if you are one of the few that gets a judgement, he will just file for bankruptcy and you get zero — and then he goes down the street with a new name to do it all over again.
I have a FB page with my opinions and experiences. I also have articles on the subject that might help you or someone you know.
TABB - Texas Allows Bad Builders
Yes and we have a senator working on a bill now for licensing and background checks. This has gone on long enough. With Harvey this can’t continue.
Its a total racket the lawyer make money ,the inspectors, the experts ,the Arbitration Association and the Arbitrator. Ours will cost $175k to defend our “builders” fraud claim and lien. How nuts is that? He does not have to prove I owe - I must prove I don’t !
visit my blog on FB
TABB and you will see many articles on the screwed up laws in Texas that screws over the consumer!
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