Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hi, My name is Larry ***** and with my wife Donna we purchased a home in n Fort Worth Texas in June of 2014. This house is in a very sought after neighborhood west of the downtown area but it is medium sized home with what a lot of people wanting to downsize are looking for. Here’s where the trouble begins: Near the end of the 2014 we noticed a crack in the garage floor diagonal to the corner and then a crack developed in the mortar on that corner and within a few weeks it developed to a ¾” crack that when to the back of the house. We called and called the builder and even sent him pictures of the damage but got no response from him. I then contacted the engineering firm that engineered the foundation and asked why the foundation that they stamped and signed failed, they promised me it would be address quickly. The builder did call but all he did was to notify the warranty company. We hired a foundation engineer and he did elevation surveys and found not only one but three areas of Major Structural Defects in the foundation. The warranty company will install 40 piers but yet has not determined if the damages to the rest of the house caused by the foundation failure is covered. Also hired a brick mason to evaluate the bricks and he said they are not properly installed and should be entirely removed and replaced by a competent mason. No expansion joints or ties from the house to the brick were incorporated. We hired an attorney as well and after a year and $10,000.00 later are told we cannot sue or if we did would recover nothing because he is an LLC corporation. Now from what I can learn and what our attorney tells us that home builders in the state of Texas are not required to be licensed and therefore are not required to be bonded. Currently our available options is to keep the house and allow the warranty company to repair the foundation then be hit with diminished value when we elect to sell the home. We are within 5 – 7 years of retiring and can’t afford to take this kind of loss on our home. We asked for the builder to purchase the house back because he sold us a defective laden product and now after looking deeply into it he over inflated the price. The homes in this area have appreciated approximately 30% and what he is offering is not even what we paid for it. My question is, is there anyone or any organization that you know of that could possibly be of any assistance to us. Our email address is ********@****.*** or I can be reached at ***.***.***.***
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, if he has no insurance or bond and he is an LLC, if you sue him and he files bankruptcy on the LLC then the attorney is right you could get nothing. However, legally, he is liable until the LLC files bankruptcy. I am afraid that other than possibly legal aid if you qualify, you would have no other legal recourse other than using a private attorney and suing in court and hoping the LLC has too many assets to qualify for bankruptcy. Other than that action in court, you would need to keep trying to negotiate with the builder to come in and make the repairs or sell the house for less than you owe and take the loss on taxes.I know this puts you in a bad position both financially and having this house that needs repairs, but there are no other organizations out there that can really work with you to resolve this if the contractor is not licensed and bonded.