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  1. #1
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    Default TREC Ethically challenged

    I got this email from TAREI yesterday.
    Dear TAREI Member,

    As you all know by now, the legislative session is over and SB914 is on
    Governor Perry's desk for signature. This Bill will make liability
    insurance mandatory for all inspectors. The term "liability" is being
    reviewed by the Attorney General's office and a determination of its
    definition will be available to TREC soon. Until then, the TREC
    Commissioners have passed a motion to define "liability" as Professional
    Liability (Errors and Omissions) for inspectors. If your license renews
    between now and September 1, 2007, you will be required to show proof of E&O coverage. We will keep everyone updated on the Attorney General's response.

    Your TAREI Board of Directors has been in contact with several E&O providers
    and are negotiating rates and coverage for our members. We are hoping to
    the carrier we choose will provide payment options as well as per
    transaction options. Initial proposals look promising and we are hoping to
    choose the best proposal VERY soon. Again, we will keep everyone updated.

    If you are a member of your local chapter, an email was released last week
    regarding possible action with the Attorney General's office. The email
    indicated that there is a possible option in which TAREI would request the
    services of an attorney to communicate with the Attorney General's office.
    Upon such requests being accepted, the said attorney would ask for a
    temporary restraining order against the language regarding "liability
    insurance". We are continuing to receive feedback from our members and
    will proceed accordingly.

    We will be hosting a Roundtable Discussion at the 2007 Summer Conference.
    The topic will be "Changes in Insurance Coverage for Inspectors". If you
    have any concerns or questions, please attend! If you do not plan to attend
    the conference but would like to attend the Roundtable Discussion, please
    email me at andrea@tarei.com.

    Please understand that this amendment blindsided all parties, including
    TAREI and TREC. It was presented at the 11th hour and TAREI did everything
    to let our members know so that they may react appropriately. To clarify
    any rumors that may be circulating, our current lobbyist, Bill Siebert, did
    a tremendous job of letting us know what was going on at the Capital. It
    was our previous lobbyist who brought the amendment to Representative McCall who then brought it to Senator Shapleigh's office.

    If you have any questions regarding this update, please email
    andrea@tarei.com and I will forward to the Board of Directors.

    Regards,

    Andrea Barnard

    So what these arrogant crooks at TREC take it upon themselves to do is require any Inspector who's license renews before the effect of the law; to have the Insurance in effect before the law is in effect.

    I could see saying, "renew in July and have the insurance in effect by Sept 1." That is reasonable. What they are doing is not. What a bunch of arrogant jackasses.

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Thom Walker; 06-16-2007 at 12:06 PM. Reason: spelling
    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance
    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Got the same email and thought the same thing...

    Jackazzes.

    Rich


  3. #3
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    It is obvious someone here is not seeing the grand plan or the silver lining that comes attached to all home inspector licensing issues. Sarcasm = off!

    I'm so confused where are the "licensing solves everything" cheer leaders?


  4. #4
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    For those who cannot read or just refuse to read...

    The issue in Texas is not a licensing issue. It is an issue where we have a system in place that has been working and continues to work today. Now, along comes an ethically challenged state senator, who is working on the behalf of the insurance companies interest and introduces legislature that was hid til the 11th hour from all possible opposing views-- then ram-rods said legislature through, basically unchallenged until it was on the governor's desk (now).

    Texas licensing is not the issue. It's E&O that's being mandated by those with an interest in the future sales of the "new" insurance requirement.

    Richard

    Last edited by Richard Rushing; 06-16-2007 at 09:40 PM.

  5. #5
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Irregardless of what kind of rates TAREI is able to
    "negotiate", there will be an increased cost of doing business for Texas HIs.
    When will everyone begin raising their rates?
    Also, has anyone began publicizing this to real estate agents, local papers, etc.

    Anyone followed through with applying a little pressure to the
    "politicians" that slid this through?

    Lots of questions for sure, but I want to make sure I am applying my time correctly in how I intend to follow through with this.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    If it was me, I would go ahead and get my E&O coverage if I did not already have it. It can take a little time to get it approved.

    TAREI is not going to be able to get that big of a reduction, maybe a 10% reduction if that. Shop around. ALLEN, BRP (Business Risk Partners) are good choices. They will also insure multi-inspector firms. If you are a member of ASHI, NAHI or NACHI they have already secured programs for their members.

    Expect to pay between $2,500 to $4,000 depending on who and what you are looking for and your experience record. If it was me I would go for the highest deductible that you can afford. A policy with a $2500 or $5000 deductible will save you a good deal of money. This also allows you to settle a claim without involving your insurance and the possibility of a cancellation with too many claims.

    I do not anticipate having a claim, but I have the coverage just in case. Out of the 4500+ inspections I have done I have never had a claim on my E&O. I have taken care of my screw-ups myself. I have bought a dishwasher, a water heater, I have had a few service calls from an electrician, and I have even bought a french door. All of these were under $1000 and I took care of them myself. The door went on for a few months and I think it ended up costing me around $1500 with my attorneys fees.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 06-17-2007 at 09:31 AM. Reason: spelling
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Nowhere on the TREC website does it mention yet of requiring E&O to renew your HI license.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Scott,
    My insurance carrier requires that I let them know the first thing when I am contacted about a potential lawsuit, Granted, I may head off a complaint by taking care of something before it gets to that point, but once the summons, or even a letter from an atty. show up, I'm required to contact my carrier.

    I think a majority of complaints that may end up in court could have been taken care of for less that $5000.
    JF


  9. #9
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Nowhere on the TREC website does it mention yet of requiring E&O to renew your HI license.
    The Governor has until midnight tonight to sign or veto. If he does neither, as you know, it becomes law. I would suspect you will know TREC's directions soon.

    The portion of the Bill pertaining to us, as amended, is attached. The effective date is Sept 1. The ins requirement is unrelated to your renewal date.

    John Smith,
    Yes, I am proceeding with efforts to get someone, anyone interested in the bigger picture of this story. Frankly, at this early date, no interest has been expressed. Unfortunately, I think the days of investigative journalism are dead and gone.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  10. #10
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Not wanting to start an argument here, but the requirement of Ins. is only required when renewing your license according to the wording of the statute. I am sure there may be additional requirements imposed by the bureaucracy at TREC, but for now, I would have to think this would be a requirement phased in over a two year period. My license is not up for renewal until Oct. 2008, so I will have a year longer to comply, IF my GUESS is correct.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    A point of clarification.

    I not a lawyer and don't even want to play one of the SB's on television. My opinion of the effective date of the requirement for insurance comes as the result of talking to one of the State Reps.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  12. #12
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Somebody mentioned this earlier - What if every inspector temporarily retired as of 9/1/07? I know - there would be many that would not go along - but, maybe. Consumers would be pissed - thats where the pressure would have to come from to change the law.....

    Troublemaker


  13. #13
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Has anyone called TREC and asked the folks what is going on? From what I have seen it looks like all of this is hearsay and everyone is second guessing everything.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Has anyone called TREC and asked the folks what is going on? From what I have seen it looks like all of this is hearsay and everyone is second guessing everything.
    Scott,
    Good idea, but this is TREC. That team of scoundrels has never answered a question directly and concisely when it is already codified, much less before it is. If I had bothered to save any of the answers to questions I have asked, I would post them. But, seeing as how they were meaningless dodges, I didn't save them.

    We should all know as soon as the AG clarifies for them just how far they can shove it. It really won't matter for me for very long anyway. I'll do what I have to for maybe one more year, then focus on specialty areas they don't control.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  15. #15
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    Found this on NACHI. Im curious why TAREI doesnt have anything in the public area about this deal. Im a member of neither, was thinking of joining NACHI, but now am starting to lean towards another organization.

    Call me a little slow, but I cant tell if he actually signed it or not.



    Message - June 15, 2007

    The purpose of SB 914 is to continue and improve the functions of the Texas Real Estate Commission. A provision in the bill requires all real estate inspectors to purchase liability insurance. This mandate is a financial burden on small and independent inspectors who will be out of pocket more than $1,300 a year and will most certainly pass the cost onto consumers. The legislature did not properly consider the effects this will have on the market, and how it will make the American Dream more expensive. At the same, I couldn't justify the elimination of a vital regulatory agency despite this onerous clause.

    I encourage the Legislature to rethink this requirement and address this problem in 2009.

    IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this 15th day of June, 2007.

    RICK PERRY
    Governor of Texas

    ATTESTED BY:
    ROGER WILLIAMS
    Secretary of State

    Texas Governor Rick Perry - Message - June 15, 2007


  16. #16
    Ron Dawes's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    On the TX legislature bill tracking site it says it will become active 9/1 without the Gov's signature. If the governor does not veto, the bill becomes law. I am pretty sure that's what happened here. He did not like the provision but felt he could not veto the whole bill and had no option for a line item veto.

    Clever work by the jerk that slipped it in. I live in Plano and can't wait until he comes up for re-election so I can support whoever is his opponent.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    I think there is still a long shot chance that the Attorney General’s office will determine that this is a general liability insurance requirement and not one for professional liability insurance. TREC has asked the AG for a determination about that and should get one back before September 1st.

    Keep in mind that this bill came about as a result of the Sunset Commission’s review of TREC. One of the things that the Sunset Commission likes to do is create as much uniformity between the various state agencies as possible. That makes their work easier as they review all state agencies over their 12-15 year cycle.

    There are many state issued licenses that require general liability insurance but no others that I know of that require professional liability insurance (E&O). I hold two other state licensed beside my inspector license and both of those have a general liability insurance requirement but no E&O requirement.

    As those of you following the bill know, the wording is vague about the kind of insurance being required. I think this may have been intentional. Vague wording would serve to create some confusion when the amendment is first discovered and it did indeed do that. It also continues to serve in that capacity even now.

    This kind of vagary also leaves the politician some wiggle room if it really hits the fan about E&O and would allow a plausible "Now wait a just a minute! I meant general liability all along".

    Think about it and imagine how accepting we would all be at this point if it turned out to be just a general liability requirement. And how relieved we would all be that we dodged an E&O bullet. The fervor of complaint would all but vanish at that point after a collective sigh of relief.

    I personally am not holding my breath for this kind of outcome but I think its still within the realm of a distant possibility.


  18. #18
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Perrys statement is testimony that he signed it. His statement also signifies an invitation to an injunction against the provision by a state judge - this was mentioned as a possibility earlier. Anybody know a judge? $1300 for the insurance sounds like just general liability - no? If not, maybe he can tell us where we can get E & O for that $$.


  19. #19
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    All -

    Attached is an excerpt from a much longer message I got today from a legal contact (attorney) at TREC. They have been friends and a good honest resource for information for me for several years.

    It will answer some of the "what-ifs" we've all been having.

    Quote ================================================== ==
    Now that the Governor has signed (update confirmed today: 06-20-07) SB 914, TREC has requested that the Attorney General clarify the general vs. professional liability issue. Because it can take 180 days or more to receive a response, at its last meeting the Commission issued agency staff a policy directive to treat this bill as requiring professional liability insurance until and unless we hear otherwise from the Attorney General. (The reference to Subchapter G, which includes negligence and incorporates the Standards of Practice, strongly suggests that the legislature intended this requirement to be professional liability insurance. However, because "negligence" can occur in a number of ways, the amendment could be determined to require both professional and general liability insurance.) Once the Attorney General's Office receives and processes the request, you should be able to track it at Texas Attorney General.

    The insurance requirement will phase in over the next 2+ years as inspectors' licenses renew. Renewals on or after September 1 will have to show proof of insurance. There is only a 90-day renewal window before a license expires, so a license that expires at the end of April 2008 cannot be renewed until February. (The agency will also require inspectors who needed to show insurance to obtain or renew the license to maintain it between renewals.) The law does not require inspectors' insurance policies to extend coverage to agents, although I understand that this is a common term of these policies.

    I am not sure where the Governor's $1300 figure came from. TREC does not track insurance companies or prices, although we may begin a list of companies that offer the insurance once we start to receive that information with applications and renewals.
    Unquote ================================================== ==

    Hope this helps a tad or at least provides some more information.

    Last edited by Nolan Kienitz; 06-20-2007 at 07:56 AM. Reason: confirmed Governor's signing - his website is functioning again!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Good info Nolan, Thanks.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  21. #21
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    All -

    ================================================== ==
    "...Now that the Governor has allowed SB 914 to pass into law (without his signature), TREC has requested that the Attorney General clarify the general vs. professional liability issue. Because it can take 180 days or more to receive a response..."
    Sounds like they may not get an answer back from the AG before September 1st after all.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Thank you for your efforts, Nolan.

    According to the State's information on the attached link, the Governor did sign the bill on June 15.
    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/billloo...80R&Bill=SB914

    I have no doubt that TREC has the audacity to issue a policy to treat this as E&O before the AG can rule. Nor do I doubt that they may at some point interpret it to mean that we must also carry general Liability.

    I would suspect that the Governor's $1300 figure came from information from his staff, who had communicated with McCall's staff, who assured the Governor's staff that the costs to Inspectors would be minimal.

    You used the term "we". What is your position with TREC?

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  23. #23
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    You used the term "we". What is your position with TREC?
    I have a TREC license number and that is all. My "we" was referring to all of us inspectors who have been curious and wondering about the details.

    I updated the fundamental post as I got a message this morning that Governor Perry "did" sign SB 914. His website has been up/down this week and was just able to be confirmed late yesterday and today.

    Last edited by Nolan Kienitz; 06-20-2007 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Governor's website is running again ... confirmed he "did" sign SB 914

  24. #24
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    I have no doubt that TREC has the audacity to issue a policy to treat this as E&O before the AG can rule. Nor do I doubt that they may at some point interpret it to mean that we must also carry general Liability.
    Thom -

    Read the post I put up carefully. It is noted that TREC is waiting for the AG clarification and it is stated that it "could" (possibly) require both Professional & General Liability.

    I don't read that as TREC requiring ... rather TREC waiting on the AG review/clarification.

    This is not to say that there are some at TREC who have many varied opinions, etc.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Nolan,
    I'm not trying to be argumentative on this. It is an expression of my lack of confidence that TREC, in any way, ever considers the welfare of any license holder. I am saying that any document I have ever seen, beginning with the Texas Real Estate Act, focuses solely on punitive actions toward licensees. There seems to be an inability for legislators and TREC commissioners to separate consumer protection from unnecessarily aggressive policing actions. There simply is no balance. I give as an example, the sweeping nature of their investigations. Instead of addressing the specific complaints of consumers, when a complaint is lodged (and that is rarely) TREC initiates a review of the entire report. Why? I submit that there has never been a single inspection report written that could survive intact on of these kind of "gotcha" reviews.

    I did read your post carefully.
    "Because it can take 180 days or more to receive a response, at its last meeting the Commission issued agency staff a policy directive to treat this bill as requiring professional liability insurance until and unless we hear otherwise from the Attorney General."
    Is there another way to read this other than they will take action before the AG rules?

    I also read very carefully the Sunset Commission report concerning TREC's overall performance. It was abysmal by any standards. Had this been a corporate review, the entire Commission would have been fired.

    Although I am mature enough to understand that "it is what it is" I long ago quit acting that I must silently go along with "what is," even when I can't change a thing.

    That is why my wording was carefully chosen.
    I have no doubt that TREC has the audacity to issue a policy to treat this as E&O before the AG can rule. Nor do I doubt that they may at some point interpret it to mean that we must also carry general Liability.

    As a group, Inspectors in Texas have done a superlative job of protecting and representing the best interests of consumers over the past ten years. Every bit of data supports that. You and I obviously view TREC through different lenses. I'm not criticizing your view, I am expressing mine.

    Like all of us, I will have to wait to see if the E&O requirement is phased in over 2 1/2 years or if the phase in is accelerated.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  26. #26
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    I have requested that an agenda item be added at the Inspector Committee meeting to be held on July 6th to discuss the TREC Commissioner’s decision to require proof of E&O insurance after 09/01/07 but (potentially) prior to getting the requested opinion from the AG’s office.

    If I can get that on the agenda, I would really appreciate some of the Texas inspectors who can make that public meeting showing up to speak your mind.

    If you are interested, below is the letter TREC sent to the Attorney General’s office.

    Attached Files Attached Files

  27. #27
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    I'm interested in what happens to the $100 dollars that I paid into the fund that is supposed to pay for mistakes. Shouldnt we get reimbursed? I thought that if someone had a claim against them, TREC pays and then the guilty party has to pay back into the fund.

    Seems criminal that they could take our money they earmarked for paying for mistakes and just pocket it.

    I know, its only a hundred bucks, but its the thought of it.

    Could someone (TREC licensee) that already has the $100K coverage indicate what they charge for inspections. Given the amount of inspections I perform, I think I will have to raise my rates significantly to recoup.


  28. #28
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    I sent another letter to Governor Rick Perry's office this week (2nd letter since SB 914 came to light) expressing my concern about the amendment, etc., etc.

    I was taken aback this afternoon when one of his staffers called me to discuss the letter and share the Governor's views. The call lasted for 45-minutes and we covered many, many things regarding this amendment, bill, TREC and general politics. It was a very good and enlightening call.

    He is in agreement with our views about the 11th hour way things were handled and is not at all pleased with the Plano Representative. She (Governor's staffer) said the TDI provided the range of insurance cost that began with $1300 ... ergo the number put in his statement for signing.

    Line item veto is not available for such bills ... only those dealing with budget ... else he would have exercised that option to remove it.

    Bottom line is that we need to speak up (diplomatically) to be heard. The call I received today was a sample of that.

    We're not always going to get what we want, but if we don't vote and exercise our voice (again ... diplomatically) we won't get anything done.

    I would also suggest that we all get involved in at least some of our representative organizations and work through those channels as well as a combined resource.

    ASHI, TAREI, NACHI ... I belong to some, but not all (again we all have to watch budgets), but whatever the group it would be a combined effort that "may" help.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Stojanik View Post
    If I can get that on the agenda, I would really appreciate some of the Texas inspectors who can make that public meeting showing up to speak your mind.
    Phillip,

    When/if you learn about the agenda if you can provide some time/place scheduling information it will be most appreciated.

    It may well be worth the drive from the DFW area.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Stojanik View Post
    I have requested that an agenda item be added at the Inspector Committee meeting to be held on July 6th to discuss the TREC Commissionerís decision to require proof of E&O insurance after 09/01/07 but (potentially) prior to getting the requested opinion from the AGís office.

    If I can get that on the agenda, I would really appreciate some of the Texas inspectors who can make that public meeting showing up to speak your mind.

    If you are interested, below is the letter TREC sent to the Attorney Generalís office.
    Phillip, Thank you for your efforts. I have been so angry over the way that this was done that I sometimes lose perspective concerning what may be realistically accomplished with respect to easing the burden or reversing this shameful mess. In light of the fact that the Inspector Committee is abolished, what might this meeting accomplish? What are some of the things you suggest we speak to?

    It occurs to me that a representative from Gov Perry's office present to speak might accomplish two things. First, it would establish on the record at TREC that the Governor thinks it was underhanded and second, it could draw the press if they were notified ahead of time. Perhaps Nolan could be helpful in trying to arrange this.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  31. #31
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    If the Governor's office is serious about being displeased with the way this was done, perhaps they would send a staffer to the July 6 committee meeting to reaffirm it. It's one thing to issue a brief statement of disapproval. It's a stronger statement to send a representative to TREC to reinforce that statement.

    Bottom line (for me) is that this is now law. I fail to see how diplomacy will help in any way. Diplomacy is an art used to negotiate an outcome that makes both parties in a situation feel that they get something positive. Our current situation is beyond that. Compliance is what we are left with.

    I believe we will have far more influence in the future if we Texas inspectors grow some cajones and let TREC and the legislature know exactly how angry we are. Of course we will, to keep our licenses, follow all mandates to the letter.

    To be effective will require some actions that I am not sure is in us to do; to wit
    • Texas Inspectors have to stop acting like their competition is their mortal enemy. Competition is good for business, not bad.
    • Texas Inspectors need to join responsible organizations en masse. I prefer TAREI because I live here and feel that I should belong to an organization that is headquartered in my State; but that's just me. There is political power in numbers.
    • Texas members of any organization need to hold their organizations figurative feet to the fire when it comes to acting on our behalf. They must stop squabbling among themselves and concentrate on us.
    • Rep McCall needs to pay a price for what he did. Through publicized efforts over the long term, we need to expend energies to assure that he does not get the speaker's seat and if possible, that he loses his house seat. Those efforts, whether successful or not, would send a message to all legislators that their actions concerning us will carry a price. These were not the actions of an honorable man.
    • We need to let TREC know that every Inspector needs to be assured that he/she will be able to be insured. They need a backup system for those cases where prior claims (claims, not convictions) prevents an inspector from being insured at reasonable rates, the Inspector will be able to buy insurance through the State at prevailing rates. As it stands, it is possible that an Inspector with no TREC infraction history could be Insurance priced out of business.
    • Given the distinctly separate relationship between RE's and Inspectors, mandated insurance should not have "referring party" coverage. This is a marketing tool for Insurance companies, not a consumer protection.


    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  32. #32
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Stojanik View Post
    I have requested that an agenda item be added at the Inspector Committee meeting to be held on July 6th to discuss the TREC Commissionerís decision to require proof of E&O insurance after 09/01/07 but (potentially) prior to getting the requested opinion from the AGís office.

    If I can get that on the agenda, I would really appreciate some of the Texas inspectors who can make that public meeting showing up to speak your mind.

    If you are interested, below is the letter TREC sent to the Attorney Generalís office.
    Well I had hoped to be able to attend that meeting, show support/strength and find out more information. Unfortunately, my family and I will be travelling out of state.

    I had written a letter to Gov. Perry and rec'd a response from one of his staffers. The letter was relatively benign and I did not think much of it, so I tossed it. After seeing the responses that others rec'd, I wish I would have kept it. I am pleased that a staffer talked to Nolan for 45 minutes about the situation. Maybe they can be encouraged to send a staffer; maybe the AG can send someone as well.

    Since I will not be able to attend, is there something else I can do to help in this matter. I can write letters or make phone calls.

    Nolan, what do you think?

    I encourage everyone to get involved and go to the meeting. Regardless of the outcome, we'll all kick ourselves if we did nothing. What ifs and all...

    Bruce


  33. #33
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    The agenda for the Inspector Committee meeting should be posted on the TREC web site on Monday.

    The meeting will be on July 6th at the TREC building in Austin. The address is:

    1101 Camino La Costa, Austin, Texas

    I spoke with a TREC staff attorney yesterday and was told that the topic would be on the agenda but that the real estate Commissioners have already made their decision and its not going to change. Staff is convinced that E&O is what the bill calls for and the opinion from the AG is really to just get what we already know verified for the record.

    That being the case, there would appear to be nothing to gain by even having the discussion. Even still, if you would like to come to the meeting feel free but donít come with hopes of anything changing.

    As you may know, the same bill also eliminates the Inspector Committee as we know it when it takes affect. The TREC Commissioners do still need some kind of advisory committee of inspectors so I expect an inspector committee of some kind to continue to exist. The numbers and the member make-up may change though. We are still working on the Standards of Practice and I would sure like to see that project completed before the current Inspector Committee goes away.



  34. #34
    Wayne Whitter's Avatar
    Wayne Whitter Guest

    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    I carry E&O insurance. It's a good business practice. What are the arguments against it. As far as having to raise prices; my costs are built in to my price. I think Mr. Hannigan can fill you in on that. I haven't used his cost calculator but apparently some others need to do the calculations.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Whitter View Post
    I carry E&O insurance. It's a good business practice. What are the arguments against it. As far as having to raise prices; my costs are built in to my price. I think Mr. Hannigan can fill you in on that. I haven't used his cost calculator but apparently some others need to do the calculations.
    I don't think anyone's arguing that it can't be built into the price, the main argument here in Texas is being told that you must carry it and the sneaky way in which it was added to a recent piece of legislation.

    As far as being a good business practice, that has to be answered individually. I personally believe it has nothing to do with good business practices unless you are an insurance company; I suspect that, in Texas at least, I'm in the majority opinion.

    On another note, I did just purchase the cost calculator and have been playing with it quite a bit. It's a convenient piece of software.

    Bruce


  36. #36
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    I got a note late tonight saying that the TREC Inspector Committee meetings scheduled form tomorrow (Friday the 6th) have been cancelled at the last minute.

    If you were planning to attend, don't bother at this point!

    My guess is that we lost our quorum. I crunched my back pretty bad last weekend and am still laid up so I had to cancel myself. The meeting was supposed to go on though.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Does anyone know why they are going to require fingerprinting with license application and/or renewal starting in January 2008? What gives here. I personally think this entire real estate commission business and their new rules is beginning to get out of hand.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    Does anyone know why they are going to require fingerprinting with license application and/or renewal starting in January 2008? What gives here. I personally think this entire real estate commission business and their new rules is beginning to get out of hand.
    I've not heard about that. Where did you find that out?

    Bruce


  39. #39
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    JB--

    It's not (yet) a requirement that is going forward for inspectors... agents and brokers only.

    Rich


  40. #40
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    JB--

    It's not (yet) a requirement that is going forward for inspectors... agents and brokers only.

    Rich
    The requirement for adding a 'finger-print' and such requirement(s) for inspectors will take an action from the Texas Legislature. TREC can't just begin doing such without a legislative change. The Texas Legislature won't reconvene for two years.

    I got this from my attorney contact at TREC just this past week.

    Last edited by Nolan Kienitz; 07-19-2007 at 07:47 PM. Reason: grammer correction !!

  41. #41
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Nolan, your right, that's one of the benefits of having a legislature that only meets every two years, at least you don't have to watch out for the crooks all the time, just when the legislature is in session

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  42. #42
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Brett, I am in a similar position and opinion as you describe.
    I do however resent being taken for a ride by unscrupulous legislators that tack on amendments simply to line their own pockets (or those of their contributors).
    The way I see it is the only people to benefit from this new law are lawyers and insurance companies.
    I can find no compelling reason for the insurance requirement that was mandated.

    Unfortunately, this cannot be changed, barring a judicial injunction, for the next two years.
    Two years from now, the inspector ranks will likely be thinned by attrition due to higher cost of business and we will have an even smaller voice.

    Now, I am still undecided if it is a good thing or not for me personally.
    Much competition from part-time inspectors may be put out of business, which may be good for me (if I survive) but now all of the inspectors which remain have no choice but to have an even bigger target of "deep pockets" painted on our backs.

    I may be wrong, but for now, my temptation is to just sit back and watch how the cards fall. I might do a little complaining though.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  43. #43
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC ... information & other insurance providers

    Brett,

    I think conversation to help learn more is a very good thing. Sharing with the representative from your (inspector's) view of the situation I think would be helpful.

    I was close to a representative while living in the Houston market and have shared some information with him as well.

    As Jim indicated I don't care for the sneaky methods/procedures about how the amendment was wrangled into play. But ... it is now here, pending some answers that TREC has asked of the AG. Just have to see how it plays out.

    I'm shopping for coverage so that I can have proper coverage in place when it is right for me. It could be earlier than my renewal date and it could be at a value higher than the mandated amount. Those factors are a business decision on my part ... which is where it should be to begin with ... period! Oh well ... it is what it is.

    I just learned that State Farm is now providing E&O as are other 'traditional' insurance companies. Check yours out and you may be surprised.

    I currently use State Farm for a lot of coverage and am researching their rates/coverage, etc. for E&O as well.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: TREC ... information & other insurance providers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    I just learned that State Farm is now providing E&O as are other 'traditional' insurance companies. Check yours out and you may be surprised.

    I currently use State Farm for a lot of coverage and am researching their rates/coverage, etc. for E&O as well.
    I called two different State Farm agencies. Neither knew what I was talking about. Both said they would call back. One did; the other didn't. The one that called back said they, "did not offer that kind of insurance."

    ??? Just FYI.

    Since several have mentioned their opinions on the subject, I'll join in. Personally it galls me that the representative from Plano who is currently on the advisory board for an insurance agency (that bought out his family's agency) added this amendment at the last minute without any input from the those who it would directly affect. Therefore I am against this measure and I really believe (though I've seen no direct evidence) that it will, in fact, paint a large target on me. Only time will tell.

    Another note of interest to some: My license's expiration date is 8/31/07. I sent in my renewal and rec'd the new date of 8/31/09. I guess (?) this will buy me some time; maybe not. My separate license number for my corp. has a new date of 8/31/08. Maybe I'll have a year to find insurance.

    Lastly, I rec'd the latest TAREI magazine (I am not a member; but may join.) The president's letter on the front cover said there was a meeting on June 4th and it was lightly attended by HI's (9-10). I had no idea there was a meeting. I'll take responsibility for not being more involved; however, it proves the point that we Texas inspectors need to re-group and at least become a force. If the helmetless motorcycle riders can convince the Texas legislature of their wants, surely we can begin now to make a difference later. Whether we do it through an established group as TAREI, or something else needs to be determined. But it definitely needs to be determined or we will always be the "red-headed step kids" (no offense intended) of the real estate market.

    I appreciate those who are willing to take the time to discuss this with legislators they know. Please let us know what we can do.

    I guess my rant is over for now ,
    Bruce


  45. #45
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    Default Re: TREC ... information & other insurance providers

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    I called two different State Farm agencies. Neither knew what I was talking about. Both said they would call back. One did; the other didn't. The one that called back said they, "did not offer that kind of insurance."

    ??? Just FYI.

    Since several have mentioned their opinions on the subject, I'll join in. Personally it galls me that the representative from Plano who is currently on the advisory board for an insurance agency (that bought out his family's agency) added this amendment at the last minute without any input from the those who it would directly affect. Therefore I am against this measure and I really believe (though I've seen no direct evidence) that it will, in fact, paint a large target on me. Only time will tell.

    Another note of interest to some: My license's expiration date is 8/31/07. I sent in my renewal and rec'd the new date of 8/31/09. I guess (?) this will buy me some time; maybe not. My separate license number for my corp. has a new date of 8/31/08. Maybe I'll have a year to find insurance.

    Lastly, I rec'd the latest TAREI magazine (I am not a member; but may join.) The president's letter on the front cover said there was a meeting on June 4th and it was lightly attended by HI's (9-10). I had no idea there was a meeting. I'll take responsibility for not being more involved; however, it proves the point that we Texas inspectors need to re-group and at least become a force. If the helmetless motorcycle riders can convince the Texas legislature of their wants, surely we can begin now to make a difference later. Whether we do it through an established group as TAREI, or something else needs to be determined. But it definitely needs to be determined or we will always be the "red-headed step kids" (no offense intended) of the real estate market.

    I appreciate those who are willing to take the time to discuss this with legislators they know. Please let us know what we can do.

    I guess my rant is over for now ,
    Bruce
    Good rant and AMEN!!


  46. #46
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Nolan, did you find out anything specific from State Farm? I have had personal insurance with them for years, but my trusted agent retired so I don't have a good contact.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  47. #47
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    All -

    State Farm "does" provide E & O. I got the forms from my agent yesterday and am filling them out to find out what further details there are with respect to rates, etc.

    Top of page one for application is:

    Application
    Miscellaneous Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance Policy

    Total of 7 pages some pages just text information.

    I should get mine over to my agent sometime tomorrow (Friday) and will wait week/ten or so days and see what bubbles up.

    I also got a quote from BRP through ASHI. $2800 and change on up to $3500 and change. Depends upon coverage. They only offered $500K or $1M per occurrance and a $500K or $1M aggregate total.

    Rates go up if you do: mold, termite, lead-paint, pools, etc.

    Since my re-location this past year from Spring (Houston) to Plano (Dallas) I've not moved my State Farm Agent. He is in Spring. If anyone is interested I can provide his contact information off-line.

    Bruce -- as for your "company" TREC ID. You no longer have to deal with that. It was done away with as part of the housekeeping legislation this past session. At least there was one "good" thing to come out. Only ID we have to deal with is the personal number assigned to you. The company one dealing with LLCs, etc. is no longer in existence.

    With you being able to renew like you did ... you also have two years before you have to do something with regard to E&O ... unless you consider like many are to just get it near September for 'safety's sake'.

    Keep in mind also that Scott Patterson has shared a time or two that mandatory E&O by states did not necessarily show a trend of increased litigation in concert with the change.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: TREC Ethically challenged

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post

    Bruce -- as for your "company" TREC ID. You no longer have to deal with that. It was done away with as part of the housekeeping legislation this past session. At least there was one "good" thing to come out. Only ID we have to deal with is the personal number assigned to you. The company one dealing with LLCs, etc. is no longer in existence.
    Mmmmm...I hadn't heard about that one.

    They took my renewal fee (it was only $10) and gave me an 08 expiration?!? I guess b/c it was prior to 9/1. A phone call from them would have been nice.

    I guess I should check with them.

    Thanks for the info!
    Bruce

    PS Apparently some of the State Farm guys/girls in Tyler aren't up to speed with the company's products. I still can't believe it costs so much when compared to termite inspector's E/O.


  49. #49
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TREC Etically challenged

    Bruce,

    I can forward you some information from TREC legal that states the corp ID portion was eliminated.

    Send me your email address at: nolan@nolansinspections.com


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