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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.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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