Attorney Trey Wilson - RL Wilson Law

25 August 2008

Sunset Commission Targets TRCC

This article appeared in the San Antonio Express News on August 19, 2008

AUSTIN — An agency created to resolve disputes between homeowners and builders is “fundamentally flawed” and should be abolished, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff said today.

“It’s really doing more harm to homeowners than good,” said Joey Longley, executive director of the commission. “It’s not something that we felt could be fixed without some massive overhaul. We think Texas is really better served without it.”

The Texas Residential Construction Commission will be up for reauthorization by the Legislature next year as part of the state’s sunset review process. This is the agency’s first review since it was created in 2003 with support of home builders who wanted a system to resolve disputes before homeowners could go to court.

Since its inception, consumers have griped about costs and delays in trying to resolve complaints through the agency process.

A state audit last year faulted the construction commission for sloppy record-keeping that made it difficult to determine how well complaints were being handled.

The staff review found problems with regulatory processes, including the requirements to register as a builder, the way bad builders are handled and the difficulties for homeowners trying to resolve disputes before filing a lawsuit.

“No other regulatory agency has a program with such a potentially devastating effect on consumers’ ability to seek their own remedies,” the report states.

Duane Waddill, executive director of the construction commission, said he “ardently disagreed” with the recommendation to abolish the agency.

He said 250 homeowners were able to resolve disputes in the past year without having to hire attorneys.

“They didn’t have to spend any money, didn’t have to hire a lawyer. We were able to help them,” Waddill said.

He said some inspections take too long but the board that governs the construction commission is taking steps to speed up that process.

Longley said it would cost the state $300,000 to abolish the commission because revenue from fees it charges builders exceeds the cost of running the agency, which has about 80 employees.

The report will be considered next month by the full commission.

Home builders, a powerful source of campaign donations to legislative candidates, are likely to fight to retain the agency. One of its main backers was Houston builder Bob Perry, who has given about $2.3 million to Texas candidates and causes in the past year.

If you are having trouble with the TRCC Complaint process, contact attorney Trey Wilson. San Antonio Attorney Trey Wilson and the staff of R L Wilson, P.C. Law Firm are intimately familiar with Residential Construction disputes in Texas. We regularly serve as attorneys for both owners and small builders in a variety of residential construction concerns, such as:

Negligent Inspections
Construction Loans
Deficient or defective construction
Builders' Risk Insurance policies
Residential Construction Contract Drafting
Construction Contract Disputes
TRCC complaints
TRCC Registration and Enforcement
Mechanics Liens
Materialman’s Liens
Payment issues
Unpaid subcontractors and suppliers
Defective design
Defective engineering
Foundation defects
Violations of the Texas Trust Act by Builders who fail to pay Subcontractors
Affidavits of Completion
State-Sponsored Inspection and Dispute Resolution Process (SIRP).

Trey Wilson --Named By Scene in SA Magazine As One of San Antonio's Best Real Estate Litigation Attorneys -- September 2008 -- As voted on by peers