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Illinois Home Repair Fraud Explained

Updated on
November 1, 2019
Article written by
Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

When you hire a contractor to repair or remodel your home, the contractor is required by Illinois law to provide you with a consumer rights brochure.  The purpose of the brochure is both to inform you of your rights as a homeowner and provide you with tips to avoid being scammed. 

​Warning signs of fraud:

  • Door-to-door salespersons who offer to perform work for less than the market price.
  • Companies (especially out of state companies) that list only a telephone number and P.O. Box for contact info.
  • Failure to provide customer references when requested.
  • Offers to inspect your home for free.
  • Demand for cash payment.
  • Request that you make a check out to someone other than the company or its owner.

How to avoid fraud:

  • Request a written estimate.
  • Do not sign a contract with blank spaces.
  • Do not sign a contract that you do not understand.
  • If you are financing the work with a loan, do not sign the contract before your lender approves the loan.
  • Call the secretary of state to see if the contractor’s business is a corporation in good standing.
  • Make sure the contractor guarantees his work.
  • Require that the work be performed before making final payment or signing a certificate of completion.
  • Request lien waivers for all work performed by subcontractors. These state that subcontractors have been paid for their work by the general contractor and prevent them from filing a lien against your home.

You have three days to cancel after signing a contract for home repair or remodeling.  The contractor cannot deprive you of this right by beginning work within this three day period.If you think you have been defrauded by a contractor, you should speak to an attorney in addition to reporting the fraud to the attorney general.  The toll free number for the attorney general is (800)368-5438.

Illinois Home Repair Fraud Explained
Author

Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

Kevin O’Flaherty is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Chicago-Kent College of Law. He has experience in litigation, estate planning, bankruptcy, real estate, and comprehensive business representation.

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