Bogus Chinese Drywall Fixes Prompt FTC Warning

Chinese drywall victims should be careful about anyone promising tests or fixes for their wallboard problem. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), such Chinese drywall “solutions” are likely scams.

So far, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 2,276 reports from residents in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico concerning Chinese drywall. Gases emitted from Chinese drywall are being blamed for significant property damage, including damage to HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, metal plumbing components, and other household appliances. These gases also produce a sulfurous odor that permeates homes, and cause metals, including air conditioning coils and even jewelry, to corrode. People living with Chinese drywall have also suffered eye, respiratory and sinus problems that may be linked to the gases.

According to the FTC, scammers are trying to take advantage of people who desperately want their Chinese drywall problem fixed. The commission said consumers should be on the alert for anyone trying to sell test kits, inspections, and quick fixes for tainted drywall. The CPSC and other federal agencies in the Federal Interagency Task Force are studying testing and remediation protocols for affected homes, but no federally-approved testing kits or remediation methods currently exist.

The FTC is just the latest entity to issue a warning about Chinese drywall fixes. Over the summer, <"">Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, the Bonita Springs law firm that filed the first Chinese drywall lawsuit in federal court, warned homeowners not to rush into Chinese drywall remediation. The firm said it had been hearing from Chinese drywall victims who had been harassed by builders into signing unfair, one-side remediation agreements. In most every case of a builder-initiated remediation agreement, homeowners are required to give up almost all of their legal rights

In a press release, the firm said builders have made empty promises and other oral representations about the scope and nature of the remediation that are simply not reflected in written agreements homeowners have signed. Many homeowners also claim they were told that permitting their builder to remediate a home is the only legal remedy available to them – something that is just not true.

According to Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, once Chinese drywall remediation is completed under one of these agreements, homeowners may be without recourse should they find that repairs were done in a way that did not conform to the remediation protocol that will eventually be established. For that reason, it is in the best interests of homeowners to delay any Chinese drywall repairs until a remediation protocol has been formulated.

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