NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559
Welcome to HouseDefects.com
The HouseDefects Mission
My mission for 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. I have provided information that my clients have looked for in the past and I have tried to put it in terms you can understand and use. I hope you will bear with the raw and unsophisticated nature of this website, but I built it for the content not to demonstrate bells and whistles available at other websites.
I know that 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 me at the numbers or email below. Again, thank you for visiting.
Until working with Evin, my husband and I truly thought we were going to have permanently lost the earnest money on a house that we never even purchased. You have listened to our situation and provide detailed and practical advice in how to proceed. Many other attorneys and even our realtor seemed to think this was a lost cause and told us to basically give up on trying to get our money back. I appreicate your kindness and understanding of what it feels like to be "the little man" standing up to the giant. I would recomend you & your firm to anyone looking for honest and fair legal advice
Ashley H. W., May 2 2013
New Houses Sold that Flooded Four Times in First Year Built by a Major Texas Builder
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.
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.
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
- RVs, Trailers, Campers
- Refrigerators, freezers
- Washer, dryer
- Vacation rental
- 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
- ANYTHING YOU BUY OR PURCHASE!
Contact me to discuss. Consultation is free!
Evin G. Dugas
A Litigation Firm
2303 RR 620 South
Suite 135 PMB 361
Austin, Texas 78734
Evin G. Dugas has practiced law since 1988 and has defended pest control companies, realtors and contractors in consumer or Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) claims since 1990. He has represented consumers in DTPA cases since 1995. His unique experience defending the industries he now pursues provides you, the homeowner, with real leverage for your case. He has tried over 145 jury trial cases throughout Texas in over 23 counties. He has represented clients in over 30 counties throughout Texas. He hasn't seen it all, but he has seen more than almost any other lawyer in the entire state of Texasa involving post purchase real estate disputes involving non-disclosure and misrepresentations. He won't have to go to school on your case - he can hit the ground running.
He has chosen to focus his practice on residential real estate AFTER the purchase. He has represented realtors, sellers, home inspectors and termite inspectors. He has tried over 145 civil jury cases including over 35 post purchase residential real estate cases. To put that in perspective, most attorneys with 20 years or less of practice have less than 30 civil jury trials that they tried and were first chair (the one in control) for their entire careers. Very few attorneys have 50 or more civil jury trials. And even fewer have dedicated their practice to real estate fraud and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Mr. Dugas is Board Certified in Consumer & Commercial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Board Certification is granted to attorneys who have met strict criterion required by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization including a substantial amount of time trying cases and litigating cases in the area of specialization as well as passing a written examination on the details of the specialization category. There are less than 70 attorneys in the entire state of Texas who are Board Certified in Commercial & Consumer Law. (For more information about Board Specialization visit www.tbls.org.)
State Wide Leadership
Evin Dugas has served as the Chairman of the Consumer and Commercial Law Section of the State Bar of Texas from 2009-2010. Every attorney in the state of Texas is eligible to join the Consumer and Commercial Law Section and the Chairman is voted on by the members of the section.