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Florida developer is subject of construction litigation

When a new subdivision is built by a developer, home purchasers envision finished houses, green lawns and sparkling new swimming pools. Contractors, subcontractors, and material providers are always glad to have the work that a new development brings. Unfortunately, for some new homeowners and contractors north of Vero Beach, their expectation has turned into disappointment. Half built homes, empty lots, and unfinished projects litter the new development. The developer's money woes and legal troubles make it unclear when, or if, the subdivision will ever be completed. To date, substantial construction litigation has been filed by contractors, subcontractors and home buyers.

In 2010, the developer purchased 51 lots in the Eagle Trace subdivision, and work on the development began to take place. However, since then, construction has been slow, and only 15 homes have been completed through final inspection. Although some homeowners have no complaint against the developer, extensive civil litigation has been filed by angry parties.

Over a hundred liens have been filed against the developer by unpaid contractors, subcontractors, and, likely, suppliers. Fifty-three of these claims have been settled, with 93 remaining. Tax obligations remain outstanding, and the developer has not made over a hundred thousand dollars in payments on legal settlements.

For subcontractors, the sluggish pace of the development has had consequences. Permits are set to expire, and at least one contractor claims that his material costs have increased, leading to no profit.

Homeowners, contractors, subcontractors, and material providers may have a claim when a housing development is delayed. These parties may wish to speak to an attorney in order to determine whether legal action is available.

Source: TC Palm, "Some residents, contractors unhappy with Eagle Trace developer," Scott Wyland, March 3, 21013

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