Dear (Potential Client):
I went through your powerpoint
presentation. Sadly, everything you have experienced I have seen
countless times before. You are at the crossroads where most people give
in and purchase the house. Legally, they retain their rights and can then
pursue Ryland or whoever builds the house under the RCLA ? Residential Construction
Liability Act. Your issues are ultimately RCLA defects if you
purchased the house. If not, then your dispute will become a combination
of contract and DTPA (Deceptive Trade Practices Act) as well as Fraud
If you proceed without closing,
their contract probably allows them to retain the earnest money. However,
if they committed DTPA violations or even Fraud, then your DTPA and fraud
claims would trump their contractual right to the money. For example, did
they represent that the home would have characteristics and qualities it did
not have? Clearly. Did they make a material representation of fact
in order to induce you into purchasing? From what you present in your powerpoint, definitely. If so, that is fraud.
I have looked at lots of Ryland
contracts and I have never seen one that does not have an arbitration
clause. This means that you will have to arbitrate this claim in front of
an arbitrator and you will never have a chance in court with a jury. If
you were to sue Ryland, you would do so for the return of the $14K earnest
money plus attorneys? fees. They in turn, could legally resist the return
of funds and if they were to win, could claim their own rights to attorneys?
fees. This is highly unlikely, but they will do it.
Keep in mind my philosophy about
home builders. Their attitude is that they built you a blankety blank home, you better blankety blank enjoy it.
I recently had a group of
homeowners of Ryland Homes in Buda and resolved all of those cases involving
very serious foundation problems without even a mediation.