State investigates Jim Walter Homes
The state attorney general is looking into the company's history of getting homes built on schedule.
By SCOTT BARANCIK
Published April 13, 2006
The Florida Attorney General's office is investigating a well-known but troubled Tampa homebuilding company for possibly breaking the state's unfair and deceptive trade practices law.
A subpoena issued Wednesday demanded records pertaining to all homebuilding contracts that Jim Walter Homes Inc. has struck with Florida customers since Jan. 1, 2004. In particular, the Attorney General's office seeks a list of all homes that were not completed within six months of the contract date. Jim Walter, founded by its namesake in 1946, has reported operational problems for some time.
The on-your-lot homebuilder's recent annual reports show it completed nearly 6,300 homes in 2004 and 2005. Of those, an estimated 375 were built in Florida.
In a news release Thursday, parent company Walter Industries said some of its subsidiary's home completions have been delayed by factors affecting all builders, including material and labor shortages, as well as multiple hurricanes. The company added it will "fully cooperate" with the investigation.
[Last modified April 13, 2006, 14:27:02]
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