INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indiana Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit today against a central Indiana home improvement contractor accused of collecting thousands and not performing the work.
The state filed the lawsuit in the Marion County Circuit Court against Exterior Home Concepts, Donald R. Mayes and Carrie A. Holmes seeking $90,500 in restitution for 10 victims, civil penalties and attorney fees.
"Seniors who live alone and victims of weather-related disasters are common targets of home improvement scams," Zoeller said. "This case serves as a reminder for homeowners to do their homework by checking out the legitimacy of the contractor, obtaining a written contract, inquiring about the contractor's bond and not paying for the entire cost of a project prior to its completion. Our office will continue to pursue home improvement contractors who break the law and prey on innocent homeowners."
According to the complaint, the company allegedly solicited consumers in their homes to contract the repair of their hail damaged roofs, collected payment and then avoided contact with the customers.. The Attorney General's Office received 10 complaints over a five month period in 2011. In November, the company began notifying its customers that it had closed its doors for financial reasons.
Exterior Home Concepts is accused of violating the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Indiana Home Solicitation Sales Act and the Indiana Home Improvement Contracts Act.
Any consumers who contracted with Exterior Home Concepts and no work was completed are asked to complete and file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office by visiting www.indianaconsumer.com or by calling 1-317-232-6330.
The Attorney General's Office offers several tips for avoiding similar home improvement scams:
- Get a written contract before any work is performed or payment is made. Indiana law requires home improvement contracts exceeding $150 to be in writing;
- Before signing the contract, make certain it includes the cost, payment schedule, description of work, estimated start and completion dates, contractor's contact information and contractor's signature; and
- Do not pay more than one-third of the total cost of the project as a down payment. Remaining payments should be tied to completion of specified amounts of work.
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