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Welcome to

The HouseDefects Mission

The purpose this website is to give consumers and homeowners basic information about the law to determine if you have a Deceptive Trade Practices Act case or Fraud in a Real Estate Transaction case.  This website will help you evaluate if you have other claims as well but it is primarily designed to assist consumers and homeowners in determining if the facts of their case give rise to a lawsuit. We have provided information that our clients have looked for in the past and we have tried to put it in terms you can understand and use.  We hope you will bear with the raw and unsophisticated nature of this website, but we built it for the content not to demonstrate bells and whistles available at other websites. 

Searching for legal answers is not easy and if you have come this far, you have overcome a very typical resistance to learning about things like the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Real Estate Fraud and general consumer complaints. Bear with the old school design of this website and you will hopefully find the answers you came for.  If not, you can contact an attorney who handles consumer cases.    Again, thank you for visiting. 




New Houses Sold that Flooded Four Times in First Year Built by a Major Texas Builder


More Rights in a Loaf of Bread than A Brand New House

This scene above was not only predictable, it was expected!  And the builder built these houses anyway.  In Texas, a homebuilder has more rights than you do.  If you bought a car, a $7,000,000 computer or a loaf of bread, you could sue the seller right away if you found something wrong with your purchase.  But in Texas, if you buy a house, you have to give the home builder a written notice sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested and give them 45 days to respond.  They then have the right to inspect your home.  Then, unlike any other case in all of civil law, if the homebuilder makes you a written offer in that 45 day period, he gets to tell the jury, judge or arbitrator about it.  That would never happen in any other case.  Not the $7 million dollar computer; not a car or a loaf of bread.  The Rules of Evidence in every state in America and every Federal Court in this country prohibit telling the jury ANYTHING about ANY settlement offer between the parties. 

But not so with a newly constructed house.  If you buy a home, a homebuilder has the unique right to introduce that 45 day offer to the fact finder.  

So just because home builders have more rights than you do in Texas doesn't mean that you can't fight back and win.  In the photo above, four of the homeowners took the builder to trial and recovered a verdict in excess of $3.8 million dollars.  

Real Estate Fraud



Real Estate Fraud sounds so criminal - because it is!  But don't be fooled, real estate fraud occurs every day.  When real estate fraud does happen, some buyers just take their lumps and keep moving.  It is not because the buyer doesn't know what to do or understand how the real estate fraud occurred.  In fact, it is exactly that understanding that makes some people who are victims of real estate fraud shy away from legal action.  No one wants to be a fool or feel like one, so the idea of admitting that you were duped in a lawsuit is repulsive to everyone.  For me, the hard part of a fraud case is not presenting the facts to prove the fraud, the hard part is making the jurors understand that real estate fraud could happen to them too.  And that is just it. Jurors and everyone else for that matter likes to believe that they are smart enough to avoid fraud of any kind but especially real estate fraud.  When jurors see a fraud case, they want to believe that they are smarter than the plaintiffs or else they are just as likely to become a victim of real estate fraud.  And nobody wants to believe that they are vulnerable to real estate fraud or any other fraud.  It is much easier to dwell in our suspended disbelief and pretend that real estate fraud does not exist.  But it does.  And it's everywhere. 

Termite Damage


 Formosan Termite Damage in a House Treated by Orkin




The Deceptive Trade Practices Act Applies to Everything You Buy or Lease


In Texas, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act applies to everything you buy or sell, not just real estate. So if you believe that you bought something that was represented to have characteristics and qualities it did not have, you probably have Deceptive Trade Practices violation.  The list of what the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) applies to is endless, but here is a quick list:

  • Cars, Trucks, Automobiles                          
  • Boats                                                           
  • RVs, Trailers, Campers                                 
  • Refrigerators, freezers                                 
  • Washer, dryer                                              
  • Vacation rental                                              
  • Insurance                                                       
  • Furniture                                                              
  • Lawn and gardening, mowers                  
  • Home decorations                                       
  • Catering services, food                               
  • Wedding services, chapel rental               
  • Clothing, wedding gowns, suits                
  • Hotel,resort, conference room                   
  • Cruise ship, fishing charter                        





Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law 512.261.0044
2303 RR 620 South,   Suite 135 PMB 361,   Austin, Texas 78734
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