Mandatory Arbitration in Builders Warranty Programs Upheld by Courts
All of the Builder warranty programs offered by Residential Warranty Company, LLC, HOME of Texas or MHWC feature mandatory binding arbitration of Unresolved Warranty Issues.* RWC and its Builder members have been very successful at persuading courts to recognize and enforce the warranty’s mandatory binding arbitration provision. Courts across the country have removed cases from the courthouse and directed them to arbitration under our Limited Warranty Programs.
A good example can be found in this case study. Residential Warranty Company, LLC (RWC) had issued a warranty on a home, which was in Year 1 of coverage, and the homeowners filed a lawsuit against the Builder. The Builder was well equipped to defend himself with the home warranty book, the application for warranty and his own contract, which included language that made the RWC home warranty, including the warranty’s binding arbitration language, applicable to any alleged warranty defects in the home. Even though the homeowners argued that RWC’s warranty should not be enforced in that state, the court endorsed RWC’s warranty, and the motion brought by the Builder to compel arbitration and dismiss the homeowners’ lawsuit was granted in its entirety.
Consequently, the homeowners initiated a request for warranty performance with RWC. Prior to arbitration, the Builder’s home warranty provides for informal mediation. The parties agreed to use RWC’s mediation to try to settle the disputes about the alleged warranty defects. RWC became actively involved mediating between the homeowners and the Builder. Through this mediation, communication between the homeowners and the Builder improved and several items were amicably resolved. We were encouraged that most, if not all warranty items, would soon be resolved in the same way. At the conclusion of mediation, if any items remained unresolved, the homeowners and Builder would proceed to binding arbitration under the terms of the warranty.
This is a real case and a great example of how RWC’s mandatory binding arbitration provision is an effective tool in preventing litigation. It also supports the value of using RWC’s mediation process to resolve disputes about alleged warranty defects in the homes you build. To get more information on how to best utilize the mediation and arbitration provisions of your RWC, HOME or MHWC builder warranty, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a Warranty Training Seminar.
*Note that the mandatory arbitration provision is removed by the HUD addendum, and thus mandatory arbitration does not apply to warranties placed on FHA/VA financed homes.