Tremont/Stature/University Complaint - Homebuilder makes Homeless in Houston

Review by Lemonlady on 2006-03-23
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- It is one thing to be made homeless by an act of God like Katrinia.. but is entirely different when it is by an act of greed.

Our Builder has a list of companies they hide from responsiblity under. The city of Houston has a list of many of these companies and refuses to enter into contracts with them.

This builder's three cohorts are: Jorge Casimiro,Thomas Thibodeau, and Armad Al Banna

Jorge Casimiro sits on the Harris County Housing Authority to help the authority build for the poor and elderly a direct conflict of interest says the city council.

Tremont and friends have been thrown out of the Better Business Bureau and used on the BBB bulitin as the poster child for bad business.

Tremont and Casimiro made People Magazine's, May isssue,"under Contractors from Hell."

This same group of renegade builders were exposed in a seven page article in Mother Jones Magazine, August 2005 issue.

Same men were fired by the city of Bunkerhill attempting to build a police station. The bond company had to take over, after they were 7 months behind and had $120,000 worth of mold remediation. See Houston Chronicle 2/14/02

They have filed Judgements against them they have not paid,as well as leins and unpaid subcontractors.

They built our 44 town homes realized they were building so fast that they had been built with little supervision. The roofs were faulty, water was filling the walls, ceilings were falling out and showers were protruding from the walls and mold grew inside and outside the walls. They used my home as an example in the lawsuit, Stature v Astec Roofers. They sued the roofer hoping we wouldn't find out. ALll the while, shucking and jiving, as we were left with repairs to our new homes some as much as $150,000. SOme of us went into bankrupsey, foreclosure, financial ruin and fled to apartments or found other places to live.
We will never recopver from what they have been allowed to do to us.

We have no recourse some of us had arbitration clauses in them. Five who did not have arbitration clauses have been tied up in the courts for nearly 2 years. Their legal team is expert at denial, deflections and deception.They have had much practice defending the nidefencable see civil court under the companys names as well as the individuals. These lawyers strut and preen and refute as evidence amounds they shake off their shoes and go after any homeowner that dares to confornt the builder.

See Luke v Stature SIngle mother of two forced into bankrupsey to pay for arbitration. Arbitration which is not faster, cheaper or fairer. It does not have to abide by the rules of law and is held in secret behind closed doors,yet is upheld by the courts. Ask Keith Kidderman, he had to spend $100,000 just to get though mediation with... the Demented collection agency called the American Arbitration Ass ociation and these builders Terribly defective home,his dogs hair fell out they got sick, water poured in ... floors and ceilngs and decks were removed, mold grew. You can't ask him, he is under a gag order. That is an all to frequent occurance. I have pictures. The american Arbitratiion Association is for repeat offenders they continue to pay the fees to keep themselves out of a fair trial. The conumer after one trip thee rarely can afford or gualify for another home. Many like the kiddermans leave the state.

Forecloure rates have doubled in Houston and that is not an accurate court. Bottom feeder investors offer you no foreclousre on your record if you will sign your power of attorney over to them. They then negociate with the lenders to buy your house cheaper than you can. You have no forecloure on your credit report but you are homeless and finaciallly ruined. This was offered to us in many letters,offers we kept.

We chose not to do this because our mold reports had high contents of toxic mold even in the A/c and duck work, as well as growing up out of wet walls,ceilings and sheet rock. Mold grew behind the pictures and TVs,even in the pantry. Our Doctors told us to evqcuate immediatly. Afer 29 months of begging the builder to make things right,we were forced to evacuate because of heatlh issues, dining rooom ceiling collaps, shower protusion, buckled hardwood floors, ankle deepwater in the yard and water showing in 7 different walls, rotted studs and wall board,water running out of the windows on to carpet, floors and even catching in the tub. We battled a flooded yard, the builder and their numerous excuses... with upside down windows leaking,before their eyes.

Mr Thibodeau told me he did not buy houses back,he only sold them, and that his lawyers would be in touch and they would take care of us in arbitration. An out, that has worked numerous times before.

I protested another of their new wmpty properties and they filed on me in arbitration with in two weeks, I continued to protest every weekend alone for over 9 months. And they made sure I suffer their toments from hell becasue I would not shut up and go away.

We refused to cover up and patch our new home and dump it on someone else.It is anginst the law for a person,seller to do that to a buyer??? Yet my builder not only did it... he admitted he knew how bad our homes were they year before he sold them to us. He said this in the sworn testimony in Stature v Astec roofers in Judge McCorkle's court open records I have copies of the testimoney where they constanly refer to the condition of my house.

Our Home went into foreclosure on Jun 7,2005. This home that was apprasied at $408,000 the day we bought it fetched not one bid at auction with the opening bid of $350,000. Our home was vacant for over a year. It was sold by Centurey 21 excel listed with no known defects. It sold for $287,000. I fear an investor bought it because I went by and wnet inside and they had pinted over the black mold on the walls and sanded it off the wood work, repaired the sheet rock, and put in a new shower. Yet 7 windows, I opened had enough water in the cils I could splash it with my hand?

We are senior citizens living in an apartment, our credit is ruined and we were dismissed from arbitation. After being dismissed, we thought we would now be able to exercise our seventh amendment rights, to a trial by jury. But it was not to be.

We have now had, 4 hearings in front of District Judge Kent Sullivan. Our builder has petitioned the court to compel us back into arbitration. If the judge does not do as they wish they have said, they will appeal. They have the money to do this to us but refuse to pay judgements. We have been dragged though an unbelievable nightmare in the last three years and no one will help us. Many still do not believe it can happen to them.

Even though many in other subdivisions built by the same incompetence, hava gone to the Attorney General with u,s to AUstin, we were referred back to Houston AG. Houston office says they have neither the time or staff to look into it.

Do not say, go to the Texas Residential Construction Commision. Their laws are retrocactive on the consumer back to 1993 but they can not enforce laws on bad builders that were not in exsistance, when they commited the acts? Catch22
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-03-24
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-03-23:
This sounds like the perfect story for one of the consumer advocates at one of the local Houston TV stations - have you tried that route?
Posted by Lemonlady on 2006-03-23:
This is my post sorry for misspelled words. To continue;
Do not think you are in safe hands with All State homeowners insurance. They informed us after we filed a claim, that substandard construction and builder defects were not covered.Yet they had insured us and accepted our check for $3400 a year.

We did have an inspector, but the builder had just covered patched and repaired, there was no way for him to know, at that point without destructive testing and boring holes in the walls. The roof and flashing were improperly done but we had a 50 year warrenty on the roof and at our age we thought that would be sufficent. We had a fifty year warrenty on the tiles on the roof not the roof. We saw no reason for destrcutive testing in this new home. After a year we did do this type of testing for mositure and have pictures. As the holes were drilled water ran our of the house and rotten wood filled the drill bits.

We have been everywhere from Austin to the health department and everyone refers us to someone else til they have run out of referrals and excuses. We are not an isolated instance with this builder he is responsible for the fiaso called Tremont Tower and Knox street and many complaints in Candlelight Village.It happens here in Houston often. I have all this informatioin on them form others and I am just one grandmother imagine if the homeowners had some where to turn for help. How many are there that patch and dump there houses? One in my subdivision has had 5 owners already.
My builder continues to build, under mumerous names and reap his ill gotten gains.
It is sad state of affairs when the American dream of homeownership is allowed to be an avenue for preditors. There are good buiilders and I do not understand why they do not police their own.

Please be advised when you buy a new home it has an arbitration clause incerted. Represenative Jessica Farrar said she could not find a new home to buy in Texas without one. If you sign this document you have just given up your seventh amendment rights. You have no recourse except in Arbitration and that is not, no matter what spin they put on it a fair place. If you do not pay the astronmical charges AAA impose, you are not allowed to participate and they continue without your presence and you can be ruled on in your absence. AAA American Aribtration Ass. will ask you for your credit card information so they can just charge everything to your credit cards further taking you into financial destruction. You will never recover. We were billed for $8500. just to file a counter claim and for filing fees.You will still need an attorney even though you may be told you don't ...like the builder is going to show up with out his legal eagles. You have to pay for arbitrators and even rent on the room to have it in...you already pay for a trial by jury in your taxes.

This is our legacy to our children. I tell mine buy a much older home and redo or rent. I have no faith in this state our laws or our government. Greed and the big companies win.

We are the colleral damage of the housing boom that is so rampid in Houston. Houses being thrown up in 90 days all the eye candy making you think the construction is top quality. My house even had an elevator.

My builder operates under many names: Tremont Homes was who I signed the earnest money contract.
Stature Constructon Company says they sold it too me and Univeristy development says they are the developer. These homes will not make the historical register. They will not be homes for happy memories. These homes are as if possessed y the spirit of the vile builders who dumped them on us.
Go to hobb.org and HADD.org for consumer information with pictures. Please be an informed buyer.
Buying a new home is an emotional investment as well, it should not be gut renching disaster.

It is still difficult for us to comprehend that we live in America.

We are living as characters from some John Gresham novel, only this is not fiction.
Posted by torment towers on 2006-03-24:
FACT: Tremont and Juliet of Houston share a common interest and management team. Is Juliet a contractor from Hell too, as People Magazine named Tremont? IN MY OPINION, Juliet and Tremont are both just hell. Thanks for the post!

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