INDIANAPOLIS – Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office recently filed two lawsuits against improvement contractors for allegedly not meeting contract requirements or completing customers’ repairs.
Defendants include Patriot Restoration of New Castle, LLC, in Henry County and Reliable Home Improvements, LLC, in Lake County.
“Door-to-door salesman offering home improvement services – especially after damaging storms – may pressure homeowners into making quick decisions without fully vetting the contract or the company,” Zoeller said. “Repairs on your home can carry a hefty price, which means consumers can never do too much homework before deciding on a contractor.”
Since November of 2011, at least 27 consumers entered into home improvement contracts – totaling more than $66,000 – with Patriot Restoration for roof replacements or other work. In most cases, a company claims representative approached consumers at their homes and offered to work with insurance carriers to make storm damage repairs.
Homeowners paid the company, but contracts did not meet state requirements, work was not completed and refunds were not issued. The complaint was filed in Henry County Circuit Court and also cited the company’s owners Richard Moghadam and Jennifer Collier. Patriot Restoration is accused of violating the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Indiana Home Solicitation Sales Act and the Home Improvement Contracts Act.
A separate lawsuit filed in Lake County targets Reliable Home Improvements and its owners Eric D. Norwood and Joe Callahan. Five consumers filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office after the company helped them obtain bank financing – including filling out credit applications – totaling $45,680, and failed to fulfill contracts or provide refunds.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants acted as a credit services organization by assisting customers in obtaining credit which requires them to obtain a surety bond. The company is accused of violating the Home Improvement Contracts Act, Credit Services Organizations Act and the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.
In all cases, the Attorney General’s Office is asking for consumer restitution, injunctive relief, investigative costs and civil penalties.
For more information about home improvement scams consumers can visit www.IndianaConsumer.com.
Marion County’s Mister Quik Faces Lawsuit
An Indianapolis-based heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing company is also the target of a state lawsuit for allegedly misrepresenting the urgency of needed repairs to consumers in order to boost sales and charge unusually high prices for those services.
One complainant said after having an inspection by Mister Quik Home Services it was determined his entire electrical breaker panel needed replaced before it stopped working or caused a fire. The cost of the replacement was $2,600 which the homeowner later found out was nearly twice as much as other electrical contractors would have charged.
The second complainant said he was also told he needed a new electrical panel on his furnace or his house may burn down. The homeowner entered into a contract to pay the company $2,969.95 for the services.
According to Marion County Department of Code Enforcement, in both cases a permit was required for this type home improvement, but the Defendant did not obtain one before completing the work. Also, the contracts with customers did not meet state requirements.
According to the complaint, “By misrepresenting the urgent need for furnace repairs, thereby misleading consumers into signing contracts in which the prices are unduly excessive, Defendant committed unconscionable acts …”
The complaint alleges the company violated the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act and Indiana Home Improvement Contracts Act. The state is seeking injunctive relief, consumer restitution, investigative costs and civil penalties.
Zoeller thanked Deputy Attorney Generals Tammy Somers and Lisa Wolf for their work on filing all three lawsuits and commended their dedication to the Consumer Protection Division.