NJ Authorities Cracking Down on Dishonest Home Improvement Contactors
Whether you are looking to repair something at home or make improvements, it’s certainly not uncommon to call a handymen and home improvement contractor. They show up, give you an estimate and, hopefully, get the job done right – on time and on budget.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go that way.
New Jersey authorities recently cited 62 contractors for ripping off customers on a massive scale. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is seeking more than $1 million in civil penalties and consumer restitution from the alleged offenders who either walked away before completing the job or provided sub-standard work, in just the third quarter of this year!
Call a Qualified Consumer Protection Lawyer If You’ve Been Ripped Off
If you have been ripped off by a home improvement contractor, you may be able to hold them liable for the fraud. A knowledgeable consumer protection lawyer in South Jersey will review your case and fight tirelessly to get you the damages you deserve for shoddy workmanship and more.
The offending contractors are located throughout South Jersey, including Cinnaminson, Maple Shade, Marlton, Camden, Cherry Hill, Chesilhurst, Gloucester City and Oaklyn. “Unfortunately, consumers often trust contractors to do the work and provide the materials that have been specified in their contract.” Dan Posternock, Managing Shareholder, Posternock Apell, PC said, “While there are a lot of great contractors in our area, I frequently help clients who don’t realize until after the contractor as left that the project isn’t right.”
State government officials issued the notices of liability as part of a major effort to protect New Jersey consumers against dishonest contractors. The $1 million in fines and penalties noted above is added to more than $1 million the agency has already hit noncompliant home improvement contractors with in 2015.
In a press release, Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee assured NJ residents that the agency “is doing its part to discover and penalize unregistered contractors and those who cheat consumers with unfinished or substandard work.”
Meanwhile, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said that “Complaints about home improvement contracts are consistently among the top grievances of consumers in the state.”
Use Registered Contractors
Many of the recently cited contractors reportedly performed services without legally registering with the state. The registration process requires contractors to provide proof of their business’ physical location and proof of at least $500K in liability insurance. Contractors who fail to register with the state officials can incur significant fines.
So far in 2015, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has cited 182 contractors for various violations, including failure to register. Always ask contractors for their registration information. These regulations are in place to protect consumers.
Consumers are protected against fraudulent business practices. If you believe that you have been a victim of consumer fraud in New Jersey, the experienced and aggressive lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC can help you notify authorities, as well as explore your legal options for getting restitution and other compensation.