Saturday, February 2, 2008

Indiana Home Improvement Fraud

The time is coming for home repairs, do not fall victim to. home improvement fraud. Most home improvement contracts fail to meet the requirements of Indiana’s Home Improvement Fraud Statute.

If you contact for any alteration, repair, or other modification of your residential property that costs more than $150.00, then this statute applies to that contract.

The law generally requires:

  1. The telephone numbers and names of any person for handling consumer problems.
  2. Any time limitation on the consumer's acceptance of the home improvement contract.
  3. A reasonably detailed description of the proposed home improvements.
  4. The approximate starting and ending dates.
  5. A statement of any contingencies that would materially change the approximate completion date
  6. Be in a form that each consumer who is a party to it can reasonably read and understand.
  7. The contract price.
The law has additional details required when insurance pays to repair damages to the residence.

The Home Improvements Statute falls within Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act (see my article on that statute starting here) . For a successful suit, you must also follow that statute.

The Deceptive Consumer Sales Act allows for the following remedies:
  1. The actual money damages or $500.00, whichever is greater.
  2. For willful deceptive acts, the court may increase damages to: 3 times the actual damages of the consumer suffering the loss but not more than $1,000.00.
  3. Attorney fees.
What I can do for you:
  1. Read any contracts before you sign off on them to make sure that you are not going to be a victim of home improvement fraud.
  2. If you have a contract that is bad, I can go to court for you.