Home-repair firm scammed $276K from homeowners: attorney general
BY LEEANN SHELTON Staff Reporter May 9, 2013 11:50PM
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is suing a north suburban home repair firm accused of scamming about $276,000 from homeowners, some of whom were forced to pay off liens against their homes because of the alleged misconduct.
The suit was filed Thursday in Lake County Circuit Court against Antioch-based Perfect Restorations and owners James Novack, James Hauser and Bruce Faber.
The firm allegedly marketed itself to homeowners after severe storms but allegedly refused to refund consumers when contractors turned out incomplete or shoddy work, according to a release from Madigan’s office.
Homeowners in Cook, Lake and McHenry counties claim they lost from $4,000 to $41,000 each in upfront payments, the release said.
Madigan’s office further alleges that Perfect Restorations negotiated damage claims with insurance companies, even though it wasn’t licensed to act as an insurance adjuster.
Some consumers were stuck with expensive liens even after they paid Perfect Restorations, because the company allegedly failed to pay for supplies, the release said.
“Not only did homeowners pay for incomplete and shoddy work, they were forced to make a second payment to remove the lien on their homes for supplies that the company failed to pay off,” Madigan said in the release. “This scheme is among the more flagrant we’ve seen in my office in recent years.”
Complaints filed with Madigan’s office and the Chicago Better Business Bureau show homeowners paid a total of at least $276,000 in repairs and liens, the release said.
The suit asks the court to ban the company and its owners from working in the home-repair business in Illinois, cancel its pending contracts and make restitution for affected customers, the release said.
The suit is also seeking penalties under state consumer-protection laws.
In the meantime, the attorney general’s office is urging residents to be wary of door-to-door contractors, obtain written estimates and contracts and never make full payment until work is complete.
Anyone victimized by a home repair scheme can call the Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 386-5438.