Madigan filed six lawsuits in Cook, DuPage, Logan and Vermilion
County Circuit Courts, alleging contractors repeatedly took money
upfront from homeowners without completing the work, leaving some
people scrambling to complete repairs in the wake of severe storms
that recently have hit Illinois.
The lawsuits are Madigan’s latest enforcement actions to combat
unscrupulous contractors and serve to highlight the need for passage
of House Bill 5735, the Home Repair and Construction Task Force Act,
which would establish an exploratory committee to assess whether
Illinois home repair and construction contractors should face
additional regulatory requirements to do business in the state.
“Time and again, we receive complaints from people who have been
ripped off by home repair contractors who take homeowners’ money but
never follow through on the work, especially in communities
devastated by severe storms,” Attorney General Madigan said. “We
will continue to bring enforcement actions to recover money for
homeowners and put these unscrupulous contractors out of business,
but it is also time to consider additional ways to prevent these
contractors from operating in Illinois in the first place.”
Madigan filed three lawsuits in Cook County Circuit Court, and one
lawsuit each in DuPage, Logan and Vermilion County Circuit Courts
against the following contractors:
ConCasa Renovations Inc., Addison: ConCasa conducts door-to-door
solicitations for home and roof repair services for residents whose
homes have been damaged by severe weather and offers to act as a
homeowner’s public adjuster to negotiate with their insurance
company. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges the company instructed people to
sign over their insurance checks under the promise the work will be
completed. The suit alleges the company usually fails to even begin
the work and stops returning calls when homeowners demand refunds.
Cook County homeowners are owed more than $23,000 for unfinished
Construction Logisticts Inc., River Grove: Construction Logisticts
offer plumbing, roofing and electrical work without being licensed.
The lawsuit alleges that after contracting work, the company
presented residents with new costs due to unanticipated
complications. The company repeatedly failed to complete home repair
work and failed to refund Cook County homeowners more than $44,800
in upfront costs for contracts.
Rogers Roofing and Construction Inc., McHenry: Rogers operates
door-to-door, soliciting its services without a roofing license. The
lawsuit alleges the company performed shoddy work or in many cases,
no work at all. Cook and DuPage county residents who wrote checks
based on estimates from their insurance companies were denied
refunds for more than $33,000.
Streamline Professional Landscaping Design Services, Buffalo Grove:
Streamline operates as an unlicensed contractor for design, repair,
remodeling, construction and installation of home landscaping
projects. Residents from across northern Illinois, including Boone,
DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will and Winnebago counties, reported that the
company often failed to perform any work after the consumers paid
over $57,000 in upfront fees.
Teddy’s Paving & Mid-State Tar & Chip, Vermilion and Coles counties:
Teddy Girton operates the two companies, soliciting door-to-door for
driveway paving and repair work. Consumers who contracted with
Girton reported shoddy work. The lawsuit alleges Girton falsely
represented that his operation was legal and the work was guaranteed
for up to five years. Homeowners in Coles and Vermilion counties
paid more than $77,000 for work that was shoddy or never completed.
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MARTEN CONSTRUCTION, LOGAN COUNTY: Damon Marten operates
the company using a P.O. Box address, soliciting homeowners for
repair work. Consumers paid over $146,000 for work on their homes
that was shoddy or never completed. Residents in Logan and Menard
counties reported that Marten failed to show up to their homes for
days at a time and refused to provide refunds of unearned payments.
Madigan offered these tips to residents and businesses from being
targeted by dishonest home repair contractors:
- Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair
services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust
and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
- Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline and the
Better Business Bureau to check out a contractor and to learn if
any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
- Even if there is a need to act quickly, shop around for the
best deal. Get written estimates from multiple contractors, and
don’t be rushed into a deal.
- Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a
copy of the signed contract.
- Never make full payment until all the work has been
completed to your satisfaction.
- Never pay in cash.
- Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within
three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s
visit to your home.
- In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right
to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have
the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your
insurance carrier denies your coverage.
Madigan also reminded consumers that the Illinois Home Repair and
Remodeling Act requires contractors to furnish customers with
written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more
than $1,000. A contract must be signed by both the customer and the
contractor. The law also requires contractors to carry at least
minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and
improper home repair. Contractors also must provide consumers with
an informational pamphlet entitled “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer
Madigan urged Illinois residents who think they have been scammed by
a home repair contractor to contact her Consumer Fraud Bureau
hotlines to file a complaint:
1 (800) 386-5438 Chicago
1 (800) 243-0618 Springfield
1 (800) 243-0607 Carbondale
[FROM THE OFFICE OF ILLINOIS ATTORNEY
GENERAL LISA MADIGAN]