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  1. #1
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    Default TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    I may be shot for posting this but, OH WELL!

    P.O. Box 90745 • AUSTIN, TEXAS 78709-0745
    512/370-1977• 800/241-1977• FAX: 512/370-2702
    April 21, 2007
    Re: Legislative Alert
    HB3250/SB914
    Inspectors of Texas,
    HB3250 and its companion Bill SB914, will eliminate the TREC Inspector Committee (IC) under SECTION 52
    (Page 35 in Word version) that repeals the Texas Occupation Code 1102 (b-d).
    I am on record with the 2006 Sunset Hearings recommending for the Inspectors in Texas be placed on a separate Board and opposing the elimination of the IC. We also had public comment from Mr. Ron Walker with the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) opposing the recommendation for removal of the IC. (See Page 22 of the Sunset
    Commission Decisions 8/06) One must look at the historical significance in order to understand the potential ramifications with the elimination of
    the IC. The 1990 Sunset Review recommended the Inspectors be removed from The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and placed over to TDLR. Why would Sunset make this recommendation? The Sunset recommendation was simply due to the obvious conflicts of interest for the Consumers of real property in Texas. TREC is the only state regulated program that represents both opposing views under one licensing and regulation entity. The only non-biased advocate that the Buyers of real property in Texas have thru a transaction is the Real Estate Inspector.
    Does the Public Member appointed in the TREC Commission represent the Buyer? No. They represent the “industry” of Real Estate in Texas. Thus, the Inspector Committee is a statutorily created Advisory Committee thru TREC to deal with Enforcement and Inspection-related matters for the Commission. Without the IC, how is TREC Enforcement to deal with daily issues involving Inspection-related matters such as the Standards of Practice?
    The Texas Real Estate Inspection Standards of Practice (SoP) is regarded as one of the most esteemed set of Inspection Standards in the country. Are TREC Commissioners and/or Legal Council going to render opinion(s) on Inspection-related issues without referring to the very individuals who are licensed and operate their businesses under the SoP for the Consumers?
    The two other TREC Advisory Committees, Broker & Lawyers Committees do not represent the Consumers. They also represent “industry-related” matters for TREC. Why then, is the only Committee who represents the Consumers in Texas targeted as being eliminated? Both the Inspectors and Consumers in Texas will not be represented by TREC with the elimination of the Inspectors Committee.
    Danny South J.D. Fuller Brian Murphy Paul Roebuck, Sr Greg Lewis Mark Eberwine
    President President-Elect Vice President-Vice President-Vice President-Vice President-
    Amarillo Palestine Secretary/Treasurer Education Membership & Gov’t and Regulatory Affairs
    806/356-8703 903/727-0831 Arlington Conroe Member Services San Antonio
    972/572-4500 281-370-6803 Granbury 210/654-8833
    817/279-9953
    Allen Anderson Roy Thomas Buzz Boles Richard Craycroft Joe Gonzales, III Andrea Barnard
    Director-Place 1 Director-Place 2 Director-Place 3 Director Place 4 Immediate Past President Executive Director
    Dayton Spring Longview Austin Houston Austin
    888/439-9080 281/788-5244 903/452-1212 512/331-5470 281/376-7602 512/370-1977

    Another part of the Bill, SECTION 12 requires at least 55% passing Rate for an individual taking an exam for the first time. The problem with the passing rate is not the exam, but the individual taking the exam. TREC implemented the “Fast Track” program for Inspectors in 2001. At that time, we had approximately 1,450 practicing Inspectors in Texas. Six years later, we have over 4,400 Inspectors. That said, the individuals taking the Inspector exam did not have the educational background or construction-knowledge based experience needed to pass the exam the first time. Raising the “pass rate” is not the answer. Should these issues cause concern for your business and/or your Industry, I strongly urge you to contact Rep. Truitt’s office as soon as possible. The contact for Rep. Truitt is Mr. Dan Sutherland at 512.463.0690 or Dan.Sutherland@House.state.tx.us. Ladies and Gentlemen, time is of the essence. You must take action now.
    Sincerely,
    Daniel F. South
    TAREI President 2007-2008

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    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
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  2. #2
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    Corpus Christi, TX
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    This is an important issue that I hope all Texas inspectors will take an interest. It is not a TAREI issue.

    Eliminating the Inspector's committee from TREC is tantamount to Inspector genocide. It's bad enough now that a group of lawyers make decisions about alledged infractions committed by Inspectors, but at least there is an advisory committee that is available should the lawyers choose to seek counsel. Who, if not an Inspector Committee will be qualified to interpret current requirements of the Standards of Practice and to make suggestions for future additions, deletions and ammendments for the SOP?

    TREC can claim all it wants to that it exists for the sole purpose of consumer protection. It has repeatedly demonstrated that it is a punitive watchdog and nothing more. Among the many rediculous proposals of these two bills is the lowering of standards (again) to get Inspectors into the business. Specifically, it proposes that a training school's accreditation cannot be renewed until it demonstrates that at least 55%its graduates pass the licensing exam on the first try. (Sec12). If that's not an incentive to "teach to test" instead of teach to learn, I don't know what is.

    Texas is making it harder and harder for me to remain a proponent of licensing. On the one hand, I want the distinction of being professionally licensed. On the other is the reality that I know that I'm tugging on Superman's cape, spitting into the wind, AND pulling the mask of the Old Lone Ranger when I dare to hope that the sunset law will take effect and we will be placed where we belong; under the authority of the Texas department of Licensing and Regulation.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    I sent my email to the contact listed a few minutes ago.
    Now I need to look-up my representatives.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    Jim,
    Do you feel like a standardized letter woulod be beneficial? Since I have a hard time keeping anything short, do you mind sharing what your email said?

    To all;
    Do you have any ideas about how to get the word out to all Texas citizens to help them realize what's happening?

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    This is what I sent. I have no idea if this squares with anyone or any group's agenda. Just my personal thoughts.

    Subject: HB3250 and its companion Bill SB914

    Gentlemen,
    Please put my name on the record for supporting the separation of the inspector regulation from the Texas Real Estate Commission and opposing the abolition of the inspector committee IF inspectors remain under the regulation of TREC.
    Abolishing the Inspector committee would be a wrong decision for Texas consumers. Any change of status should be to move the inspector regulation to TDLR along with most other professionals in the state.
    Having the Realtor controlled agency regulate inspectors is akin to having the fox guarding the hen house. The time has come for inspectors to be removed from under the thumb of Realtors and the powerful real estate lobby.
    Please help Texas inspectors to protect Texas consumers.


    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    Many states ( I think around 9+) that have home inspector licensing place it under the same commission that handles real estate licensing and appraiser licensing. Having worked as a commissioner under one such board (Mississippi), I never found it to be a problem. But then our board was not an advisory board. We even had subpoena powers if needed. Each board is independent from the other. The only thing they have in common is the paid state Administrator and the commission staff.

    I think Mr. South needs to correct this in the TAREI letter, it shows that he is not familiar with the issue.

    Most if not all of the regulators from around the country will be at the ARRELO meeting next week
    http://www.arello.org/Common_Area/Ev...ear.cfm#Agenda
    This is the meeting that many of the regulators get their ideas and concepts from. They tend to follow what others are doing around the country, TX will be represented as well. I will be in attendance at this meeting, I'm participating in one of their round tables. I'll try to keep an ear open to anything I might hear about TX and let Y'all know. The major HI orgs (ASHI, NAHI, AII, CAPHI) will also have folks in attendance.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 04-22-2007 at 08:17 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    Scott, I can't speak for Mr. South's understanding of the issue, but his letter does square with my understanding of the issue in Texas.
    My understanding of inspector licensing here was that the Realtors basically pushed licensing through to "get control of these inspectors" who were blowing their deals. The Inspector committee was created and always intended to be subservient to the Realtor control of TREC. It is only an advisory committee with no real power.
    By eliminating the Inspector Committee, the small voice which inspectors have will be eliminated.
    Any knowledge you can pass along will be appreciated!
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  8. #8
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    Corpus Christi, TX
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    Thank you for your response, Jim.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    I had a chance to meet and speak with a few folks from TX over the past few days at the ARELLO Welcome to the ARELLO Web Site meeting in Banff Canada. Yes, changes are in store. From what I gathered the changes are needed and should help. Right now the home inspector advisory committee is just that, an advisory committee. They have no power, they are not paid for their time, and they can not even have a conference call (by law). In other words it is difficult for the committee to meet and to provide any assistance to TREC.
    The goal is to have some changes made to make the home inspector advisory committee more functional and to provide some relief for the expenses encored by the folks on the committee. Will it happen? The consensus from the folks from TX, was Yes it will

    The makeup of the TREC board was also a topic of discussion. Regulators from around the country were committing that the makeup of the board is not fair, but that's the way it is and change is unlikely.


    On a side note: I also learned that on an average month TREC will receive about 10 complaints on inspectors. A large percentage are from sellers. The staff attorney for TREC said that she has to drop about 2/3 of the complaints due to the lack of proof or evidence to back up the complaint.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    Thanks for the update Scott, kind of strange having someone from TN going to Canada to update us on what is going on in TX. This might be an indication that something is amiss in the communications in the TREC.
    Your understanding of the situation here in Texas mirrors mine. While I have never been involved in the politics, I have felt the yanking of the legislative chain on occasion.
    On the subject of complaints by consumers, the periodic newsletter put out by the TREC staff lists all complaints that have had action and the VAST majority are REALTORS. There are very few inspectors that get any disciplinary action.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: TAREI letter about Texas HB3250

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Thanks for the update Scott, kind of strange having someone from TN going to Canada to update us on what is going on in TX. This might be an indication that something is amiss in the communications in the TREC.
    Your understanding of the situation here in Texas mirrors mine. While I have never been involved in the politics, I have felt the yanking of the legislative chain on occasion.
    On the subject of complaints by consumers, the periodic newsletter put out by the TREC staff lists all complaints that have had action and the VAST majority are REALTORS. There are very few inspectors that get any disciplinary action.
    I'm glad that I could help, how minor it might be.

    I also learned a great deal about several other states and HI licensing (Pennsylvania, Georgia, Idaho, Florida, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Kentucky), I gained some insight about ASTM and NAHI and the Canadian licensing that will be happening in the providence of Alberta next year.

    Needless to say it should be a very interesting and active couple of years.

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

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