Honolulu, HI (PRWEB) October 12, 2009
A lawsuit (Civil No 08-1-0865-04) was filed by the law firm of Hempey & Meyers LLP on behalf of Cindy Marcus in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District in Hawaii against the developer, Centex Homes, a national company headquartered in Texas. The lawsuit alleges that Centex devised a variety of revolving schemes to deceive buyers and then hired agents who allegedly used these deceptive tactics to coerce people into buying property based on false promises. The plaintiff has asserted claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, unfair or deceptive business practices, negligence and intentional misrepresentation.
According to court records and the Centex contract, the builder did not allow buyers to be represented by independent agents, nor did they list their properties in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), forcing buyers to rely on its in-house agents exclusively.
Hempey states in the Complaint filed in the 1st Circuit Court, "Marcus was fraudulently induced into entering a contract to purchase a condominium from defendant Centex Homes. After a major earthquake in Hawaii, Marcus lawfully and rightfully cancelled the contract to purchase the condominium. However, to date, she has not received her deposit back as required by the contract and state law. Centex caused escrow to disburse Marcus' deposit money to Centex without notice to Marcus. Marcus did not learn that the money had been disbursed to Centex until approximately 18 months after the money had been disbursed."
In addition, after the earthquake in Hawaii, the lawsuit alleges that Centex failed to make the proper disclosures. Since the area was declared a federal disaster area, according to court records, lenders required engineering reports and certification that there was no damage to the property. Also in court records, although Centex did admit there were cracks in the new buildings after the earthquake, they also claimed that the cracks were cosmetic, raising more concerns of nondisclosure.
According to court records, when people tried to cancel their contracts, many people said that they were coerced into closing against their will because Centex told them they would lose their deposits. Witnesses named in the court records have stated that Centex eventually sold the units of those people whose deposits they kept and they enriched their pockets with money gained from other unsuspecting victims. They allegedly kept many people's deposits which sometimes represented people's entire retirement and bankrupted those who had worked hard all their lives for a piece of the American Dream.
Sheri Hess, one purchaser of a Centex home in Hawaii, said, "Centex agents, using misrepresentation and harassing phone calls, enticed us into purchasing a condo in Hawaii and then forced us to close on it which forced us into bankruptcy and to lose our own personal home." Hempey has the names of other witnesses and their files as they, too, would like their money back.
According to complaints received by Home Owners for Better Builders (HOBB) and the court records, Centex' defense in lawsuits is covered by insurance which serves the developer well by enabling them to settle claims for nominal amounts of money and put gag orders on people to hide Centex' misdeeds. According to Marcus who has spoken to many of the people who lost money to Centex, many people were either intimidated or did not have the time or the money to hire an attorney or needed to move on with their lives.
Janet Ahmad, the president of HOBB, said, "Too many people have unjustly lost their money to Centex. It is time that this issue gains public attention so potential buyers are made aware of the tactics used by developers to enrich themselves at the expense of unsuspecting consumers."
For more information go to Home Owners for Better Builders http://www.hobb.org.
Real Estate Investments Del Sol, Inc