Illinois cracks down on home repair scammersThe Illinois attorney general sued five home repair companies he says took payments but did substandard work or none at all, at a cost of more than $167,000 to consumers.

The companies are:
  • C & P Development, Inc., and DM Realty & Building Inc. -- The AG's office received five complaints against these companies and its lawsuit alleges the company collected $100,000 for services either not performed or completed at a substandard level.
  • Paul Bunyon Tree Services, Inc. -- This company allegedly targeted neighborhoods hit hard by storms but never followed through on contracted services.
  • All Seasons Contracting, Inc. -- Severe storm areas were also targets of this company, which promised to do work covered by insurance, but did not follow through, the AG's office said.
  • AAA Bloomington Construction, AAA Bloomington Concrete Company and Bloomington Construction & Handyman Services -- These companies are the source of 11 complaints to the Attorney General's office for allegedly failing to perform or performing below standard when contracted for remodeling and roof repairs.
  • Rankin Backhoe & Septic System -- The lawsuit alleges Rankin in some cases failed to begin contracted work or never completed it once started. Six complaints were filed against the company.
The Attorney General is seeking to prohibit these companies from operating in the state as well as consumer restitution, a $50,000 civil fee, a $50,000 fee for each intent to defraud, and an additional $10,000 for acts committed against senior citizens.

The Federal Trade Commission suggests the following when contracting for home repairs:
  • Interview each potential candidate and ask for state registration, time estimate and a list of completed projects.
  • Check with references to make sure they would work with the contractor again.
  • Understand payment options; beware of loan scams and never pay in cash.
  • Keep a record of signed documents and have a copy of everything contracted and price of items, in writing.
For more information on home repairs, check the National Association of Home Builders.

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