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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

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Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Avoiding Home Repair Fraud 2004

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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…”

  5. 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

  6. 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!!!

  7. Contractor ID Payment Schedule Cost breakdown Dates Permits Change orders Materials Warranties Clean-up Right to cancel Penalty clause Contract Basics

  8. Digging out of a Bad Situation • Get legal advice • Cancel the contract and/or financing • Report it: • Law enforcement • Consumer protection • Attorney General • Prosecutor

  9. Digging out of a Bad Situation • Notify: • Better Business Bureau • Media action line • Builders’ association

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

  11. 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

  12. Avoiding Home Repair Fraud 2004