Sliding neighborhood residents balk at arbitration

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Several homeowners in a San Antonio neighborhood where a landslide threatened to topple and crush houses complained to a legislative committee that mandatory arbitration clauses harm them.
Charles Cervantes told the House Committee on Civil and Jurisprudence in Austin he's stuck because his home near the landslide is worthless. He urged lawmakers on Wednesday to make changes protecting new home buyers who are often forced to sign contracts agreeing to binding arbitration.
Cervantes lives in a northwest San Antonio neighborhood where several houses were at risk of collapsing after a landslide began Sunday. The developer, Centex Homes, and the city say the crumbling retaining wall designed to support the hill was built without a permit.
About two dozen homes remain evacuated.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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