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RULE §80.32Retailers' Responsibilities and Requirements

(a) A retailer shall retain as a record of each sale a file for that sale containing a completed Retail Monitoring Checklist on the prescribed form, together with copies of all completed, executed, and signed applicable documents specified therein.

(b) At the time of signing a contract for the sale of a manufactured home, the retailer must disclose to the purchaser, a notice of the existence of a Dispute Resolution Program through HUD, either on a separate document from the sales contract or it may be incorporated clearly at the top of the sales contract. Disclosure of this requirement should be acknowledged by the consumer.

(c) A retailer shall timely provide each consumer who acquires a manufactured home by sale or exchange with the applicable warranty or warranties specified in the Standards Act and any warranty regarding the home itself shall specify whether the warranty includes cosmetic items or not and, if it does include them, whether there are any limitations or special requirements, such as a walk-through punch lists, excluded items, or the like.

(d) For each manufactured home taken into a retailer's inventory, a retailer shall maintain a copy of either a completed and timely submitted application for a statement of ownership to reflect the home as inventory or, once such a statement of ownership has been issued and received, a copy of that statement of ownership.

(e) For each home altered or rebuilt from salvage a retailer shall retain the documentation required for rebuilding a manufactured home that is declared salvaged.

(f) A retailer must provide their company name, license number, contact information on any sales agreement, and proof of purchase or confirmation of sale.

(g) If a retailer relies on a third party, such as a title company or closing attorney, to file with the Department the required forms necessary to enable the Department to issue a Statement of Ownership to a consumer, the retailer must provide an instruction letter to that third party, advising them of their responsibilities to make such filings and the required timeframes therefore. This does not relieve the retailer from responsibility. The retailer must retain with their sale records a copy of that instruction letter and all documentation provided to such third party to enable them to make such filings. This optional form is available on the Department's website.

(h) On a new manufactured home and on any used manufactured home where the sale or exchange includes installation, the retailer must specify in the applicable contract or an accompanying written disclosure the intended date by which installation will be complete and a designated person to contact for the current status as to the intended date for completion of installation. For new manufactured homes, the retailer is responsible for ensuring that a licensed installer warrants the proper installation of the home and performs the required site preparation.

(i) If any goods or services being provided by a retailer in connection with the sale and/or installation of a manufactured home, the retailer must disclose, in writing, the goods and/or services to be provided and a good faith estimate as to when they will be provided.

(j) If any goods with a retail value of more than $250 are to be provided in connection with the sale of a manufactured home and they are not specified on the data plate for the home, the retailer must describe them in the retail installment contract, purchase memorandum, or other sale document in sufficient detail to enable a third party to provide them under the responsibility of the retailer's surety bond should the retailer fail to provide them as agreed.

(k) A retailer accepting a deposit must give the consumer a written statement setting forth:

  (1) the amount of such deposit;

  (2) a statement of any requirements to obtain or limitations on any such refund; and

  (3) the name and business address of the person receiving such deposit.

(l) A retailer may not represent to a consumer that is purchasing a manufactured home with interim financing that the consumer will qualify for permanent financing if the retailer has any reason to believe that the consumer will not qualify for such permanent financing.

(m) A retailer may not increase the advertised price at which a manufactured home is to be sold based on the consumer's decision to make the purchase with or without financing provided by or arranged through the retailer.

(n) A retailer may not request or accept any document that is executed in blank or allow any alteration to a completed document without the consumer's initialing and dating such changes to indicate agreement to them. Where information is not available, a statement of that fact (e.g., TBD - to be determined, not available, N/A, not applicable, or the like) may be entered in the blank. A consumer must be provided with copies of all documents they execute.

(o) A retailer may not knowingly accept or issue any check or other form of payment appearing on its face to be a bona fide payment but known not to represent good funds.

(p) In order to comply with the provisions of §1201.107(d) of the Standards Act, a retailer or broker must:

  (1) have a current, in effect surety bond issued in the most recent form promulgated by the Department; and

  (2) the applicable sales agreement must identify the surety bond that applies to the transaction and contain the following statement: "The above-described surety bond applies to this transaction in the following manner: The bond is issued to the Texas Manufactured Homeowner Consumer Claims Program (the "Claims Program"), the Claims Program described in the Texas Manufactured Housing Standards Act (Tex. Occ. Code, Chapter 1201) and administered by the Department. If the Claims Program makes a payment to a consumer, the Claims Program will seek to recover under the surety bond. The obligation of the Claims Program to compensate a consumer for damages subject to reimbursement by the Claims Program is independent of the Claims Program's right or ability to recover from the above-described surety bond, but recoveries on surety bonds are an important part of the Claims Program's ability to maintain sufficient assets to compensate consumers. There can be no assurance that the Claims Program will have sufficient assets to compensate a consumer for a covered claim. Assuming it has sufficient assets to compensate a consumer for a covered claim, the liability of the Claims Program is limited to actual damages, not to exceed $35,000."

(q) A retailer shall maintain on a current basis a separate file for each salesperson sponsored by that retailer reflecting:

  (1) that they are licensed in accordance with the Standards Act;

  (2) the date of the initial licensing class that they attended and a copy of their certificate of completion;

  (3) evidence of the successful completion of any required continuing education classes that they attended; and

  (4) a copy of any written notice to the Department that sponsorship was terminated and the effective date thereof.

(r) At each licensed location a retailer shall display their current license for that location and the current license of each salesperson who works from that location.

(s) At each licensed location a retailer shall conspicuously display the Consumer Protection Information sign as set forth on the Department's website.

(t) Auction of Manufactured Housing to Texas Consumers.

  (1) A person selling more than one home to one or more consumers through an auction in a twelve (12) month period must be licensed as a retailer, each individual acting as their agent must be licensed as a salesperson, and each specific location at which an auction is held must be licensed and bonded in accordance with the Standards Act.

  (2) Acting as an auctioneer may be subject to the Texas Auctioneer Act, Occupations Code, Chapter 1802.

  (3) The retailer must notify this Department in writing at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the auction with such notice to contain the date, time, and physical address and location of a proposed auction or, if they recur on a scheduled basis, of the schedule.

(u) A person may exercise their right of rescission of contract for sale or exchange of home pursuant to §1201.1521 of the Standards Act within three (3) business days without penalty or charge.

(v) The written warranty that the used manufactured home is habitable as per §1201.455 of the Standards Act, shall have been timely delivered if given to the homeowner at or prior to possession or at the time the applicable sales agreement is signed.

(w) The written manufacturer's new home construction warranty per §1201.351 of the Standards Act, shall be timely delivered if given to the homeowner at or prior to the time of initial installation at the consumer's home site.

Source Note: The provisions of this §80.32 adopted to be effective December 30, 2007, 32 TexReg 8790; amended to be effective June 21, 2009, 34 TexReg 3254; amended to be effective December 20, 2009, 34 TexReg 8312; amended to be effective November 6, 2011, 36 TexReg 6724; amended to be effective November 23, 2014, 39 TexReg 8386; amended to be effective May 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 2743; amended to be effective January 7, 2018, 42 TexReg 6921

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