If someone who purchases a home believes their home was improperly constructed, they may file a claim against the Homebuilder Guarantee Fund to recover any monetary losses they suffer. In order to recover from the Homebuilder Guarantee Fund, the purchaser must prove that their home was not completed, a warrantee was breached, or the builder failed to comply with building standards. Any claim against the Homebuilder Guarantee Fund is limited to Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) for each home purchaser, and cannot exceed Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000) against any builder.
The purchaser has many advantages when they pursue a claim with the Homebuilder Guarantee Fund, as opposed to formal court proceedings. The Homebuilder Guarantee Fund proceedings are held at the Office of Administrative Hearings. In the Office of Administrative Hearings, the Rules of Evidence are not strictly applied and most forms of evidence will be admitted. There is also no right to a jury trial, which streamlines the proceedings.
While there are many advantages for the consumer in Homebuilder Guarantee Fund claims, homebuilders who are more familiar with formal court proceedings may be at a disadvantage. Typical defense tactics may not work in the Office of Administrative Hearings due to the lack of formal evidentiary rules. Discovery is also severely limited, which may put a homebuilder who is used to extensive discovery at a distinct disadvantage.
If a Homebuilder Guarantee Fund claim is filed against a builder it is important that they contact an attorney immediately, so that all appropriate steps can be taken to defend the claim.
Aidan Smith is an attorney at Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law). Aidan focuses his practice on general litigation, criminal defense and family law matters. His ability to listen to his clients, assess their issues and concerns and use his knowledge and experience of the criminal and civil judicial systems to help them resolve their situations has been recognized and praised by many of his clients. Aidan can be reached by phone at 410-339-6764 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org