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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud. 2004. Avoiding Home Repair Fraud. How it happens The warning signs How to arrange for home improvements The basics of the home improvement contract What to do if you suspect you’ve been ripped off. How Home Repair Fraud Happens. Older homeowners:

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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

2004


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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

  • How it happens

  • The warning signs

  • How to arrange for home improvements

  • The basics of the home improvement contract

  • What to do if you suspect you’ve been ripped off


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How Home Repair Fraud Happens

  • Older homeowners:

    • More likely to live in older homes where repairs are needed

    • More likely to need help with repairs

    • More likely to be at home, have cash on hand, and are LESS likely to complain


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How Home Repair Fraud Happens

  • “Mrs. Jones, I was in the neighborhood…”

  • “Your roof is in bad shape and you need to get it fixed right away…”

  • “I have some extra materials…”

  • “I can give you a good price if you pay cash, but it has to be today…”

  • “You need to let me know right now…”


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Door-to-door solicitation

Calls you by name

Working “in the neighborhood”

Pointing out flaws

Sense of urgency

Materials “left over”

Cash-only

“One day only”

Talking fast

Pressure for immediate decision

Not listed in phone book

Warning Signs of Fraud


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How to Arrange for Home Improvements

  • Do you need work done?

  • What work do you need done?

  • Who do you want to do it?

  • What is the best price?

    TAKE YOUR TIME!!!


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Contractor ID

Payment Schedule

Cost breakdown

Dates

Permits

Change orders

Materials

Warranties

Clean-up

Right to cancel

Penalty clause

Contract Basics


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Digging out of a Bad Situation

  • Get legal advice

  • Cancel the contract and/or financing

  • Report it:

    • Law enforcement

    • Consumer protection

    • Attorney General

    • Prosecutor


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Digging out of a Bad Situation

  • Notify:

    • Better Business Bureau

    • Media action line

    • Builders’ association


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Local Resources

  • If you think you might need them, please write down these phone numbers or web sites.


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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

  • How it happens

  • The warning signs

  • How to arrange for home improvements

  • The basics of the home improvement contract

  • What to do if you suspect you’ve been ripped off


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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

2004


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