Unfair Chinese Drywall Remediation Agreements/ReleasesJul 20, 2009
Unfair Chinese Drywall Remediation Agreements/Releases
If you have Chinese drywall in your home, beware of any agreements or releases your builder wants you to sign! Our Chinese drywall lawyers have recently learned that some unscrupulous builders are attempting to coerce homeowners into signing away all of their legal rights in return for vague promises that the builder will remediate their homes. In many cases, the repairs done under such remediation agreements are far from adequate.
These unfair agreements benefit only the builder. By performing what in many cases turns out to be a shoddy remediation, the builder is released from all other legal responsibilities. These agreements are also written in way that makes it very difficult for a homeowner to find recourse if they are unhappy with the builder's remediation efforts.
We urge you to contact us right away if your builder has approached you with any type of remediation agreement or release, or if you are unhappy with a remediation agreement that you have signed. There are legal options available to you. Our Chinese drywall lawyers will not allow unethical builders to victimize you further.
Coercive Tactics Used by Builders
Our Chinese drywall lawyers have recently been contacted by homeowners who were strong-armed into signing one-sided remediation agreements with their builders. These homeowners have told us that they were continually contacted by their builders - to the point of harassment - about signing these agreements and releases. In many cases, the builders continued to contact an individual even though the homeowner had retained a lawyer, and requested that contact stop.
To convince homeowners to forfeit their legal rights, builders are outright lying to their customers. For example, builders are asserting that a homeowner's only legal remedy is to sign one of these agreements, and allow the builder to repair the home. This is simply not true.
Many homeowners have told us that they didn't really understand the full implications of what they were signing. Builders are making a lot of empty promises and other oral representations about the scope and nature of the remediation that are simply not reflected in written agreements homeowners have signed. Naive homeowners, anxious to have their homes made livable, are relying on verbal promises made by builders that basically mean nothing. In most cases, builders are refusing to do any type of remediation on Chinese drywall homes unless homeowners agree to their terms.
Chinese Drywall Homeowners Forced to Surrender Legal Rights
Builders are desperate to force these agreements on homeowners for one reason only - they want to limit their own Chinese drywall liability. These agreements require that homeowners release their builder from all current and future liability relating to Chinese drywall.
These agreements also assign all of the homeowner’s rights to sue other responsible parties – such as drywall manufacturers – to the builder. That means that if you sign one of these releases, your builder would be entitled to collect any compensation that results from damages you and your family suffered.
Under most of these agreements, homeowners will not be compensated for their losses including damage to personal property, reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, diminution in market value, inability to refinance, detriment to credit resulting from default and/or foreclosure, and loss of enjoyment. And while homeowners are paid a per diem to cover the cost of alternative housing while work is being done, they are not reimbursed for any mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, insurance and/or Home Owners Association fees, or other expenses that accrue during that time.
For giving up all of their legal rights, homeowners seem to be getting very little in return. Unfortunately, the “Scope of Work” in these agreements, if it exists at all, is vague and ambiguous and does not provide for an adequate remediation.
In many cases, builders are reinstalling the same cabinetry, plumbing components and electrical fixtures that were already subjected to the toxic fumes emitted from Chinese drywall. When builders do bother to replace materials and appliances, they are often cheaper, and of inferior quality.
Homeowners also tell us that builders have hired unlicensed and/or unqualified contractors to perform the remediation work since they are the lowest bidders. Many builders are taking an unreasonable amount of time to begin and complete the remediation.
When all is said and done, this shoddy work is usually backed up by only a 1 year Limited Warranty. The warranty is not transferable or assignable to subsequent purchasers and will leave the homeowner without a remedy after the expiration of the 1 year period.
Legal Help for Victims of Unfair Chinese Drywall Remediation Agreements/Releases
It is unconscionable that unscrupulous builders are taking advantage of anyone's desperation to remedy the Chinese drywall problem in their home. Our Chinese drywall lawyers will do everything legally possible to make sure these homeowners' rights are restored and protected.
Our Chinese drywall lawyers are currently offering free consultations to any homeowner who was coerced by a builder to sign a one-sided, unfair release or agreement to have their home repaired. Please fill out our online form, or call 1-800 YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case with one of our Chinese drywall lawyers right away.