Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

Experienced New Jersey Home Repair Fraud Attorney

AN EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR FRAUD LAWYER
Disputes involving home renovations are commonplace today.   Don’t be another victim of contractor fraud or a contractor’s failure to honor promises to you.   Did your home improvement project turn into a nightmare?  Does your home improvement contract or home repair contract look like it doesn’t comply with the law?  Let an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud lawyer review your home improvement contract to see if it complies with the law and if not, to tell you what you can do about it.   Is your home renovation incomplete but your contractor is asking for the final payment?   Did your contractor fail to get permits for your home renovation?  Are you dissatisfied with the work that a home improvement contractor or home repair contractor performed at your business?  Did a home improvement contractor or home repair contractor charge you for work without first getting you to sign a contract or a change order?   Did you pay a home improvement contractor a deposit and they never returned to complete your home improvement job?  Let an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud lawyer review the facts of your dispute and give you sound advice on your options under the law.  Why guess about your legal rights when you can have an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud lawyer explain the law about home improvements and your rights.  Did a home improvement contractor get you to sign a fraudulent contract?   The contractor can’t dictate all the contents of a renovation contract.  Instead, a home improvement contract must contain certain mandatory disclosures about prices and the materials to be used in the home repair job.  Let an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud lawyer tell you about the legal requirements for home improvement contracts.   Did a home improvement contractor overcharge you for work at your home?  Did a home improvement contractor or bill you for materials or supplies that they never delivered to the job site?   The law requires mandatory disclosures about materials to be used during a home renovation project.   Did you receive substandard work from a contractor?  Did a contractor perform work that proved defective?  Did a home repair contractor perform work for you without giving you a warranty for the work or a guarantee for the work?  The law requires mandatory disclosures about warranties and guarantees in home improvement contracts.  Why settle for wondering what your rights are when a no obligation legal consultation is a phone call away?   Did a Home improvement contractor lie to you about their services?  Did a Home improvement contractor commit consumer fraud against you?   Let an experienced New Jersey home repair attorney help you with your contractor dispute.  Did a handyman fail to honor a warranty that they issued you?  Did a contractor charge you for defective work?    Is a handyman failing to return your calls about problems with their work or problems with their bill?    Did a home repair contractor improperly put a mechanic’s lien on your home?   Let an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud lawyer help you with your home renovation lawsuit or dispute.  Paul DePetris has handled many home repair fraud cases, prosecuting such lawsuits for homeowners.  Paul DePetris is also a published legal author on the subject.   Use the services of an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud lawyer to help you sort out your rights and to take the next step in your dispute.  


AN EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR FRAUD LAWYER FOR HANDLING NEW JERSEY CONSUMER LAWSUITS AND DISPUTES FOR BOTH INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES
Let an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud lawyer represent you or your business in your New Jersey consumer lawsuit.   Paul DePetris has represented consumers, home buyers, home sellers, home repair customers, home repair contractors, home inspectors, real estate brokers, real estate agents, junk yard dealers, automobile purchasers and owners, new and used car dealers, banks and automotive lenders, boat purchasers and owners, watercraft purchasers and owners and marinas in consumer fraud lawsuits and other consumer lawsuits and consumer disputes.  Mr. DePetris appeared in court in lawsuits involving consumer fraud lawsuits and other types of consumer lawsuits. As an experienced New Jersey home repair attorney, Mr. DePetris has mediated, arbitrated and tried consumer fraud lawsuits and other types of consumer lawsuits.  In addition to representing consumers in a variety of consumer lawsuits and defending businesses in a variety of consumer lawsuits, Paul DePetris provides consulting services to law firms handing consumer lawsuits and defending consumer lawsuits.  Paul DePetris has represented the following persons and businesses in New Jersey consumer lawsuits.  Mr. DePetris has also taught hundreds of lawyers and nonlawyers about consumer law in consumer fraud classes.  Mr. DePetris is also the author of the following publications about consumer fraud:  New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act & Forms (New Jersey Law Journal Books); Learned Professionals, Licensed Semiprofessionals and the Consumer Fraud Act:  The Origins of the Licensed Professionals’ Doctrine (New Jersey Lawyer, Oct. 2008); Liability For Consumer Fraud In Real Estate Transactions (New Jersey Law Journal, March 18, 2009).   Don’t give up your rights or take a chance in ruining your New Jersey home repair rip off case!  Let an experienced New Jersey home repair attorney help you understand your rights under the law.   


WHAT ARE NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR RIP OFFS?
New Jersey home repair rip offs is a very serious problem, causing many Homeowners financial losses and inconvenience when they fall victim to fraudulent schemes in home repairs.   For most people, a home is the greatest single investment.  It is reckless to endanger your most important investment by hiring an incompetent Home repair contractor.   The State of New Jersey does not have the resources to fight all New Jersey Consumer Fraud but the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act allows private New Jersey attorneys to represent homeowners and to fight for their rights against fraudulent New Jersey repair contractors.  New Jersey home repair rip offs occurs when a Home repair contractor commits certain misconduct when doing one of the following:
False advertising in New Jersey home repair services or false advertising in New Jersey home repair services.
Misrepresentations in the sale of New Jersey home repairs or the sale of New Jersey home repairs
Misrepresentations in the performance of New Jersey home repair contracts or misrepresentations in the performance of New Jersey home repair contracts


THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR RIP OFFS
Every New Jersey home repair rip off case essentially consists of one party obtaining an unfair advantage by some act or omission that is unconscientious or a violation of good faith.  There are different types of New Jersey home repair rip offs:  (1) New Jersey common law legal fraud in New Jersey home repairs; (2) New Jersey equitable fraud in New Jersey home repairs; and (3) New Jersey consumer fraud in New Jersey home repairs.  Use the services of an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud attorney to help you sort out your rights and to take the next step in your dispute.  


WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR RIP OFF CASES?
In one New Jersey home repair rip off case, a home improvement customer plaintiff appealed from the part of an order entered on April 13, 2007 that dismissed her claims under the Consumer Fraud Act  against defendant Brent Stephens.   Finding that the Gloucester County Superior Court erroneously ruled in the case, the Appellate Division Court reversed the Gloucester County Superior Court.  Defendant Secret Gardens Landscaping, Inc. was a corporation that performed various landscaping and remodeling services. Stephens was the president and chief executive officer of Secret Gardens. On September 27, 2004, Secret Gardens submitted a proposal to plaintiff for remodeling and landscaping work on her property. The total price of this work quoted to plaintiff was $35,000. Plaintiff signed the proposal, and Secret Gardens performed the work. After completion of performance, plaintiff filed suit against Secret Gardens and Stephens. In addition to asserting claims for breach of contract and negligence, plaintiff's complaint asserted various claims under the Act. Those claims included an allegation that Secret Gardens had represented on its website that it was "EP Henry Certified," which was untrue, had failed to submit a contract that contained a start and end date for performance or a description of the work and principal products and materials to be used, and had failed to obtain all change orders to the contract in writing.   After completion of discovery, the case was brought before the Gloucester County Superior Court on cross-motions for summary judgment. In their motion, defendants argued that Stephens had no personal liability for any acts of Secret Gardens, including its alleged violations of the Act.  The Gloucester County Superior Court granted the part of defendants' motion that sought the dismissal of all claims against Stephens, including plaintiff's consumer fraud claims. In so ruling, the Gloucester County Superior Court stated:  “[T]he New Jersey Limited Liability Act does entitle members and managers of New Jersey Corporations to take advantage of that corporate structure that's afforded according to the statute, 42:2B-1. There is also ample case law that shows this court that the Gloucester County Superior Courts do not generally pierce the corporate veil absent fraud or injustice[.] . . . . Upon my review of the instant matter before the Gloucester County Superior Court, it appears to this court that at all times, Brent Stevens [sic] acted as the CEO and president of Secret Gardens. At no time did I see an allegation that he was acting beyond the scope of his employment as the president and CEO with respect to the work that was being done.  Therefore, it is this court's determination that the corporate veil cannot be pierced.”  Before the scheduled trial date, Secret Gardens notified the Gloucester County Superior Court that it had filed a bankruptcy petition. The Gloucester County Superior Court subsequently entered an order dismissing plaintiff's claims against Secret Gardens based on the bankruptcy petition.  New Jersey case law has long recognized that a corporate officer or employee who participates personally in a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act or its implementing regulations may be held individually liable for the violation.  The record before the Gloucester County Superior Court on defendants' motion for summary judgment contained undisputed evidence that Stephens had participated personally in the alleged violations of the Consumer Fraud Act committed in connection with the execution and performance of the home improvement contract between plaintiff and Secret Gardens. Stephens himself testified at his deposition that he was the one who prepared the contract submitted to plaintiff, inspected the work as it was being performed, and discussed the change orders with plaintiff. These actions by Stephens constitute the primary grounds for plaintiff's CONSUMER FRAUD ACT claims. Therefore, Stephens would be liable for any violations of the Consumer Fraud Act in which he participated personally.  Accordingly, the Appellate Division Court reversed part of the April 13, 2007 order that dismissed plaintiff's Consumer Fraud Act claims and remanded the case to the Gloucester County Superior Court. 


In one New Jersey home repair rip off case involving a Camden County business involved in a Burlington County lawsuit, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. was the owner of a Servpro cleaning and restoration franchise.   Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. was "an international franchiser which specializes in mitigating damage after a fire or flood has occurred." Specifically, its trademarked motto was "clean up and restoration," and it is "often asked to work on an emergency basis to remove water and damaged materials as quickly as possible to alleviate further damage."     On October 10, 2005, the sump pump in defendants' home failed, causing their 1,700 square-foot finished basement to flood. Defendants telephoned Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. inquiring about its cleaning services. The discussion that ensued among defendants and Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.'s representative, Elisabeth Adams, pertaining to Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.'s pricing structure, is in dispute.   Adams contends she explained to defendants that: "there are several ways customers are charged depending on the type of tasks to be performed and the equipment needed to perform those tasks"; "some work, like extractions and chemical sprays, is charged by the square foot, while other work is charged by the amount of time spent"; the "use of equipment is charged by the day for each piece used"; "simple manual labor, like removing furniture before cleaning a stained carpet, would cost the then[-]going rate of $33.50 per hour during normal business hours"; and that "costs will be [a]ffected by the time of day the work is done, in that work done on evenings or [weekends] is charged at a higher rate." In addition, Adams asserts that, because defendants were unsure whether their homeowner's insurance policy would cover the services, they said they "would look into that," and at defendants' request, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. faxed them the Authorization to Perform Services and Direction of Payment (the agreement).   Conversely, defendants contend "that they were told the price for [p]laintiff's services would be $33.50 per hour, nothing more." Based on that representation, defendants entered into the agreement for Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. "to perform any and all necessary cleaning and/or restoration services" at their residence. The agreement was silent as to the amount the services would cost defendants, either in the total amount charged or on a time-and-material basis. However, the agreement authorized First Trenton Insurance Company, defendants' homeowners' insurance carrier, to pay Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. for any services performed at defendants' residence. As to defendants' obligation to pay for services rendered, the agreement provided: "It is fully understood that [defendants] . . . are personally responsible for any and all . . . costs not covered by insurance. Any and all charges for services not reimbursed by the [i]nsurance [c]ompany are the responsibility of the [defendants] and are to be paid upon the completion of work."  Beginning on the evening of October 11, 2005, and for several days thereafter, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. performed the requested services at defendants' residence. Specifically, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. properly cleaned defendants' exercise room, family room, piano room, and laundry room. After its completion of services, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. submitted an invoice to First Trenton, but after "several weeks," Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. was informed that defendants "had never turned in a claim for this loss and thus [it] needed to bill [defendants] directly." Accordingly, on December 5, 2005, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. forwarded defendants an invoice in the amount of $8,242.72. Although the invoice indicated the nature of the services rendered, it did not provide an itemized charge for each service. On January 3, 2006, based on defendants' request for a more detailed invoice, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. faxed defendants an itemized bill that included a charge for each service performed. The invoice evidences that Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. charged defendants in excess of $33.50 per hour.   Defendants refused to pay the amount requested. On May 8, 2006, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. filed a complaint in the Special Civil Part, alleging that defendants breached the agreement by failing to pay for the services performed. Defendants counterclaimed, asserting that Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. had violated the Consumer Fraud Act by making affirmative misrepresentations and by charging in excess of the agreed-upon price of $33.50 per hour.   After the matter was transferred to the Law Division, defendants moved for partial summary judgment, seeking dismissal of Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.'s complaint, contending that the agreement was unenforceable because Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc., as a home improvement contractor, failed to disclose the amount charged for its services in the agreement. Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. countered that its cleaning services did not qualify as a home improvement contract under the Home Improvement Practices.   Prior to the return date of the motion, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. filed a motion seeking leave to file an amended complaint to assert claims of unjust enrichment, and negligent and intentional misrepresentation. On October 23, 2006, supported by an oral opinion of October 6, 2006, the Burlington County Superior Court entered an order granting defendants' motion for partial summary judgment.  The court reasoned that "[t]he services provided by the [p]laintiff to the [d]efendants constitute[d] a home improvement” and that the agreement "is void for [p]laintiff's failure to comply with the price disclosure requirements…."   The court also granted Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. leave to file its amended complaint. On March 23, 2007, defendants filed a second motion for partial summary judgment, seeking dismissal of Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.'s amended complaint, asserting that if a party is found to have violated the Consumer Fraud Act, that party is prohibited from recovering damages for services rendered, regardless of the cause of action asserted. On April 27, 2007, the court entered an order granting the motion ("summary judgment II").  Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. moved for reconsideration of the order of April 27, 2007 that dismissed its amended complaint. The court denied the motion on August 24, 2007. In the interim, on June 25, 2007, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. filed a second motion for reconsideration, that time of the October 23, 2006 order dismissing its original complaint. The court denied the second motion on September 28, 2007.   On July 27, 2007, defendants moved to amend their counterclaim, asserting that Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. violated the HIP regulations and the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act. The court granted defendants' motion on August 24, 2007. On September 7, 2007, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint; on September 20, 2007, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on their amended counterclaim. On October 19, 2007, as the court had previously determined that Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. violated the price disclosure requirements, and thus the Consumer Fraud Act, it denied Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.'s motion and granted defendants' partial summary judgment on Counts One and Four of their counterclaim. The court set a proof hearing on the counterclaim for December 7, 2007. At the proof hearing, the Burlington County Superior Court determined:  “to the extent that the law was violated, . . . [Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.] has no right of action against [defendants]. [Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.] violated the statute. [Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. is] barred by the statute from seeking any remedy for quantum meruit or any other cognizable action to be compensated for [its] actions.  [Defendants] are asking this [c]ourt to use that same statute to provide them a means to pay their attorneys and to have [Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.], who already provided [defendants] a great benefit, to now pay their legal fee because of the violation of this law. Before the [c]ourt gets to that juncture, it must first determine whether or not there was any ascertainable loss at [defendants']. The [c]ourt has no hesitation in declaring that there was no ascertainable loss. That -- to the contrary . . . the defendant[s] received an enormous benefit[.]  Because issues pertaining to defendants' damage claim remained unresolved at the hearing, the court reserved decision pending receipt of additional documents from the parties.  Before the parties could again be heard on the issue of damages, the matter was transferred to a second judge, the first judge having been transferred to a different division of the Burlington County Superior Court. At the continued proof hearing of February 1, 2008, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. acknowledged that "defendants are entitled to attorneys' fees," but argued that the fees should be limited to "a dollar" because defendants' conduct exacerbated the litigation. The court disagreed, determining that defendants were entitled to a $100 penalty from Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.. In addition, the judge accepted defendants' affidavit as to the amount of attorneys' fees incurred by them, noting that Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. was the party filing the numerous motions and "[t]hose motions had to be fought or resisted in court, and [defendants] . . . came out the winner in all of the motions." Accordingly, the court awarded defendants a total of $41,348: $39,535 in attorney's fees, $1,713 in costs, and the $100 penalty.    "Unlawful practices [under the Consumer Fraud Act] fall into three general categories: affirmative acts, knowing omissions, and regulation violations."   When the unlawful act consists of a violation of a regulation promulgated under the Consumer Fraud Act, "intent is not an element of the unlawful practice, and the regulations impose strict liability for such violations."   A private party may bring a cause of action under the Consumer Fraud Act.   On proving an ascertainable loss caused by a merchant’s unlawful practices, the consumer is entitled to treble damages and to an "award [of] reasonable attorneys' fees, filing fees and reasonable costs of suit."   Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. argud that, because "defendants 'received an enormous benefit' and used the [CFA] as a 'weapon,' not a shield," it should have been permitted to recover for its services under the theories of unjust enrichment and misrepresentation. Not so.  Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. contends that the Burlington County Superior Court's grant of partial summary judgment II should be reversed because it found that defendants "received a tremendous benefit" and "use[d] the law as a weapon rather than a shield." However, while the Burlington County Superior Court did make that statement in discussing the issues, it held that, based on the law as previously described, it was "constrained" to grant defendants' motion for partial summary judgment.   Defendants telephoned Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. to inquire about its pricing for mitigation services, and Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. responded with a contract that violated the Consumer Fraud Act by failing to include pricing for its services. Defendants signed the contract; the work was performed; and this dispute ensued. At no time did defendants decline to include a price in the contract or refuse to sign an agreement acknowledging Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc.'s prices.   Moreover, the "shield" versus "sword" concept was not intended to apply to this situation.   Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. contends that it is unfair for defendants to have received the benefit of a dry basement without having to pay for it. That may or may not be so. However, it is only when a consumer's conduct is "so egregious" that he or she can be estopped "from claiming the Act's protection." Here, as noted by the Burlington County Superior Court, Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. did not present evidence that defendants' conduct was so egregious as to invoke the doctrine of equitable estoppel. As such, the Burlington County Superior Court properly granted defendants' summary judgment II motion, precluding Mitigation Services, Inc. doing business as Servpro of Cherry Hill, Inc. from recovering under the voided agreement.  


If you were a victim of home improvement fraud, don’t take chances with your case.   Consult with an experienced New Jersey home repair attorney.


The following are additional examples of New Jersey home repair rip off cases:
A contractor committed various per se violations, including the failure to include the requisite notice of decision to terminate the right to rescind the contract within three days of signing.
The contractor didn’t secure a written contract from a homeowner for home improvement services.
In addition to performing shoddy work, the contractor failed to provide the customer with invoices and receipts for the expenses associated with the project even after the customer asked for them but instead merely provided a copy of the contractor’s check register. After reviewing it, the customer expressed concern that a number of the listed payments in the register did not appear to be related to his property. Later, when he received invoices from the contractor, the customer noted that although he had paid $235,000 to the contractor, he had only been provided with $51,000 in invoices and the checks the customer had been given did not indicate if they were for expenses solely for the subject property. When the contractor failed to meet the original completion date, the contractor requested more money from the customer and ultimately filed a construction lien against the property.
The contractor, suing to recover on a home repair contract, “violated certain regulations adopted pursuant to the Contractor’s Registration Act.  The contractor did not display its registration number on the contract, most invoices, or change orders.   The contractor also failed to display the Division of Consumer Affairs’ toll-free number on its documents.  Also, the contractor failed to reduce every change order to writing.
Attorney’s fees awarded against Home repair contractor for failing to include start and completion dates in contract – A Home repair contractor’s contract with Homeowners for the renovation of a Victorian home failed to set forth the work start and completion dates.   The New Jersey home repair job that began in late summer could not be finished before winter set in, and a small portion of the work had to be carried over to the following year.   The New Jersey court found that failure to set forth starting and completion dates was a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud regulations.  Even though the New Jersey court found that the Homeowners suffered no damages as a result of the information missing in the New Jersey home repair contract, the New Jersey court allowed the Homeowners to recover an award of reasonable attorneys' fees, filing fees, and reasonable costs of suit.
The contractor started work before obtaining all of the necessary permits, failing to specify in the contract the start and completion dates for the work, allowing for plumbing work to be performed by someone without a plumber’s license and attempting to collect final payment prior to the final inspection being performed and without furnishing inspection certificates.
Installer of kitchen cabinets in new home can be held responsible for New Jersey Consumer Fraud – Homeowners hired a general contractor to construct a new home and contracted with a second contractor (the Home repair contractor) who was not acting as a subcontractor of the general contractor, to install custom kitchen cabinets, interior doors, a front door, and certain moldings at the home.  After a dispute arose between the Homeowners and the Home repair contractor regarding payment and timing of work, each filed complaints against the other.  The New Jersey court concluded that the Home repair contractor was indeed a “seller” of a “home repair” as defined in home repair regulations and thus, subject to the regulations and to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. 
Home repair contractor suing Homeowners faces countersuit and court finds contractor committed New Jersey Consumer Fraud – A Home repair contractor sued Homeowners for the balance due on a New Jersey home repair contract and they counterclaimed alleging a New Jersey Consumer Fraud claim.  The Home repair contractor’s complaint for money due for the New Jersey home repairs was dismissed and the New Jersey court found that the Home repair contractor committed New Jersey Consumer Fraud and awarded the Homeowners $22,146.14 in treble damages, attorney's fees.
The contractor didn’t provide the Homeowner a description of the work to be done and the principal products and materials to be used or installed in performance of the contract.
A contractor: (1) failed to obtain a homeowner’s written consent to a $250 extra to which she had agreed; and (2) failed to acquire plumbing permits for some of the work for which they were likely required.
The contractor used a contract that failed to  include: (1) the company’s registration number; (2) the company’s commercial general liability insurance policy; (3) a start or end date for the construction work;  (4) identification of the products and materials that would be used in the project; and (5) product guarantees and warranties.
Landscape irrigation contractor commits New Jersey Consumer Fraud – A landscape irrigation contractor brought a lawsuit against its Homeowner, seeking the balance due on sprinkler installation contract and the New Jersey home repair Homeowner counterclaimed, alleging violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.   The New Jersey court ruled that the Home repair contractor violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, was not entitled to enforce the New Jersey home repair contract and had to pay the New Jersey home repair Homeowner a refund and attorney’s fees.
The contractor didn’t clearly and accurately set forth in legible form and in understandable language all terms and conditions of the contract.
The contractor didn’t give the Homeowner a copy of an inspection certificate before the final payment is due and requested that the customer to sign a certificate of completion form before the work was complete.
The contractor failed to specify starting and completion dates in the contract. 
The contractor made the customer agree to changes to the terms of a home improvement contract where the contractor underbid the job.
The contractor didn’t include contractor’s address and phone number on contract.
The contractor didn’t include notice of the warranties applicable to the home repairs and/or the materials used in the home repairs.
A contractor: (1) failed to supply the homeowners with an adequate description of the work to be performed and the materials to be used; (2) failed to timely complete the work and failed to give  the homeowners timely written notice of reasons beyond the contractor’s control for the delays; and (3) wrongfully requested the homeowners make final payment before completion of the home improvement and before procuring the final inspection certificates.
Unlicensed home repair contractor had no commercial general liability insurance and falsely advertised he had it, performed the work without licenses and construction permits, used a contract that failed to provide a beginning and end date for the project, and provided shoddy and inadequate workmanship.
Contractor failed to list with specificity in the contract the actual products or materials to be used and also by performing additional work not set forth in the written agreement; by misrepresenting to the Homeowners that he was able to perform the renovations in a workmanlike fashion; and by commencing work before all required permits were issued.


WHO CAN COMMIT NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR RIP OFFS?
The following types of contractors could be liable in New Jersey home repair rip off cases:
landscaping services.
cleaning & restoration services, such as fire or flood mitigation work.
manager of real estate investment & management companies who: (1) located properties for companies to purchase; (2) oversaw renovations; (3) hired subcontractors; & (4) managed the company’s rental properties.
contractor other than home builder in direct privity with homeowner.
contractor claiming homeowners acted as their own general contractor, when the contractor: (1) prepared the contract between the parties; (2) agreed to perform New Jersey home repairs at the homeowners’ residence; (3) was listed as “Contractor” & indicated that contractor would “furnish all materials & necessary equipment & perform all labor necessary to complete the ... work;” & (4) “precluded ‘any alteration or deviation from the plans & specification’ without written orders for same.”
unoccupied property having both residential & commercial uses.
Homeowner contracting directly with building contractor to perform a New Jersey home repair, without engaging the services of a general contractor. 


WHAT IS HOME IMPROVEMENT FRAUD?
Home improvement fraud occurs when a Home improvement contractor - a person or business making or selling home improvements – commits certain types of misconduct against their customers.  For most Homeowners, a home is the greatest single investment and many   Homeowners hire Home improvement contractors to renovate or repair or improve the Homeowners’ home.   Many Homeowners become the victims home repair fraud.  There are many types of Home improvement fraud cases.  Some Home improvement fraud cases involve specific violations of Home improvement regulations or Home improvement laws, while others involve less obvious types of misconduct.  For example, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is a powerful law that regulates Home improvement contractors that sell Home improvement services to Homeowners.  New Jersey Consumer Fraud in Home improvement contracts is a very serious problem, causing many Homeowners financial losses and inconvenience.


HOME IMPROVEMENT UNCONSCIONABLE COMMERCIAL PRACTICES
Home improvement fraud may involve an unconscionable commercial practice -- an activity in the public marketplace, which is basically unfair or unjust, which materially departs from standards of good faith, honesty in fact and fair dealing.


HOME IMPROVEMENT DECEPTION
Home improvement fraud may involve conduct or an advertisement which is misleading to an average Homeowner to the extent that it is capable of and likely to mislead an average Homeowner.  It does not matter that, at a later time, it could have been explained to a more knowledgeable and inquisitive Homeowner, nor need the conduct or advertisement actually have misled the Homeowner.  It is not important that the Home improvement contractor  may have acted in good faith.  Instead, it is the capacity to mislead that is important.


HOME IMPROVEMENT FRAUDULENT CONDUCT
Home improvement fraud may involve the commission of fraudulent conduct -- a perversion of the truth, a misstatement or a falsehood communicated to another person and creating the possibility that that other person will be cheated.


HOME IMPROVEMENT FALSE PRETENSE 
Home improvement fraud may involve a false pretense -- an untruth knowingly expressed by a Home improvement contractor.  


HOME IMPROVEMENT FALSE PROMISE
Home improvement fraud may involve a false promise -- an untrue commitment or pledge, communicated to a Homeowner to create the possibility that the Homeowner will be misled.


HOME IMPROVEMENT MISREPRESENTATION
Home improvement fraud may involve a misrepresentation -- a statement made to deceive or mislead.  In this type of Home improvement fraud, a Home improvement contractor makes an untrue statement to the Homeowner about a fact which is important or significant to a Home improvement sale or advertisement and which is communicated to the Homeowner to create the possibility that the Homeowner will be misled.  


NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD HOME REPAIR KNOWING OMISSION VIOLATIONS
Home improvement fraud may involve an omission –  a Home repair contractor, Home improvement contractor or New Jersey seller of Home improvements’ failure to do something that the law requires be done.  Omissions that violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act consist of any of the following:
knowing concealment of any material fact from the Homeowner.
suppression of any material fact from the Homeowner.
omission of any material fact from the Homeowner.


NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD PER SE HOME REPAIR VIOLATONS
Home improvement fraud may involve the violation of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Home Improvement Regulations or violations of the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MAKING MODEL HOME MISREPRESENTATIONS 
Under the Home improvement regulations, the Home improvement contractor cannot misrepresent or falsely state to a prospective buyer that the buyer's residential or noncommercial property is to serve as a "model" or "advertising job", or use any other prospective buyer lure to mislead the Homeowner into believing that a price reduction or other compensation will be received by reason of such representations.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MAKING PRODUCT AND MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATIONS
Under the Home improvement regulations, the Home improvement contractor cannot misrepresent directly or by implication that products or materials to be used in the home improvement: 
i. Need no periodic repainting, finishing, maintenance or other service;
ii. Are of a specific or well-known brand name, or are produced by a specific manufacturer
or exclusively distributed by the seller;
iii. Are of a specific size, weight, grade or quality, or possess any other distinguishing characteristics
or features;
iv. Perform certain functions or substitute for, or are equal in performance to, other products
or materials;
v. Meet or exceed municipal, state, federal, or other applicable standards or requirements;
vi. Are approved or recommended by any governmental agency, person, firm or organization,
or that they are the users of such products or materials;
vii. Are of sufficient size, capacity, character or nature to do the job expected or represented;
viii. Are or will be custom-built or specially designed for the needs of the Homeowner; or
ix. May be serviced or repaired within the Homeowner's immediate trade area, or be maintained with replacement and repair parts which are readily available.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S ENGAGING IN BAIT SELLING
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot offer or represent specific products or materials as being for sale, where the purpose or
effect of the offer or representation is not to sell as represented but to bait or entice the
buyer into the purchase of other or higher priced substitute products or materials.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MAKING DISPARAGING, DEGRADING OR OTHERWISE DISCOURAGING REMARKS ABOUT THE PURCHASE OF PRODUCTS OR MATERIALS OFFERED OR REPRESENTED BY THE SELLER AS BEING FOR SALE BY THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot disparage, degrade or otherwise discourage the purchase of products or materials offered
or represented by the seller as being for sale to induce the Homeowner to purchase
other or higher priced substitute products or materials.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S REFUSAL TO SHOW, DEMONSTRATE OR SELL PRODUCTS OR MATERIALS
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot refuse to show, demonstrate or sell products or materials as advertised, offered, or represented
as being for sale.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MAKING A SUBSTITUTION OF PRODUCTS OR MATERIALS
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot substitute products or materials for those specified in the home improvement contract,
or otherwise represented or sold for use in the making of home improvements by sample,
illustration or model, without the knowledge or consent of the Homeowner.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S FAILURE TO HAVE PRODUCT MEET DEMANDS
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot Fail to have available a quantity of the advertised product sufficient to meet reasonably
anticipated demands or misrepresent that certain products or materials are unavailable or that there will be a long delay in their manufacture, delivery, service or installation in order to induce a
buyer to purchase other or higher priced substitute products or materials from the seller.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S DECEPTIVELY GAINING ENTRY INTO A HOME 
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot deceptively gain entry into the prospective buyer's home or onto the Homeowner's property under the guise of any governmental or public utility inspection, or otherwise misrepresent
that the seller has any official right, duty or authority to conduct an inspection.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MISREPRESENTATIONS THAT OTHERS WILL ASSUME OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot misrepresent that the seller is an employee, office or representative of a manufacturer,
importer or any other person, firm or organization, or a member of any trade association, or that such person, firm or organization will assume some obligation in fulfilling the terms of the Home improvement contract.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MISREPRESENTATIONS AS TO STATUS AUTHORITY OR POSITION IN AN ORGANIZATION
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot misrepresent the status, authority or position of the sales representative in the organization
he represents.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MISREPRESENTATIONS AS TO RELATIONSHIP TO PARTICULAR SELLER
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot misrepresent that the sales representative is an employee or representative of or works
exclusively for a particular seller.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MISREPRESENTATIONS AS TO AFFILIATION WITH GOVERNMENT OR PUBLIC AGENCY
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot misrepresent that the seller is part of any governmental or public agency in any printed
or oral communication including but not limited to leaflets, tracts or other printed material,
or that any licensing denotes approval by the governmental agency.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MISREPRESENTATIONS AS TO GIFT OFFERS
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot offer or advertise any gift, free item or bonus without fully disclosing the terms or conditions
of the offer, including expiration date of the offer and when the gift, free item or bonus will be given or
fail to comply with the terms of such offer.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S PRICE AND FINANCING MISREPRESENTATIONS
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot:
 i. Misrepresent to a prospective buyer that an introductory, confidential, close-out, going
out of business, factory, wholesale, or any other special price or discount is being given,
or that any other concession is made because of a market survey or test, use of materials
left over from another job, or any other reason; 
ii. Misrepresent that any person, firm or organization, whether or not connected with the
seller, is especially interested in seeing that the prospective buyer gets a bargain, special
price, discount or any other benefit or concession;
iii. Misrepresent or mislead the prospective buyer into believing that insurance or some
other form of protection will be furnished to relieve the Homeowner from obligations under the
contract if the Homeowner becomes ill, dies or is unable to make payments;
iv. Misrepresent or mislead the Homeowner into believing that no obligation will be incurred because of the signing of any document, or that the Homeowner will be relieved of some or all obligations under the Home improvement contract by the signing of any documents;
v. Request the Homeowner to sign a certificate of completion, or make final payment on the Home improvement contract before the home improvement is completed in accordance with the terms of the
contract;
vi. Misrepresent or fail to disclose that the offered or contract price does not include delivery
or installation, or that other requirements must be fulfilled by the Homeowner as a condition
to the performance of labor, services, or the furnishing of products or materials at
the offered or contract price;
vii. Mislead the prospective buyer into believing that the down payment or any other sum
constitutes the full amount the Homeowner will be obligated to pay;
viii. Misrepresent or fail to disclose that the offered or contract price does not include all financing
charges, interest service charges, credit investigation costs, building or installation
permit fees, or other obligations, charges, cost or fees to be paid by the Homeowner;
ix. Advise or induce the Homeowner to inflate the value of the Homeowner's property or assets, or to misrepresent or falsify the Homeowner's true financial position in order to obtain credit; or x. Increase or falsify the Home improvement contract price, or induce the Homeowner by any means to misrepresent or falsify the Home improvement contract price or value of the home improvement for financing purposes or to obtain additional credit.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S NONPERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot: 
i. Deliver materials, begin work, or use any similar tactic to unduly pressure the Homeowner into a home improvement contract, or make any claim or assertion that a binding contract
has been agreed upon where no final agreement or understanding exists;
ii. Fail to begin or complete work on the date or within the time period specified in the
home improvement contract, or as otherwise represented, unless the delay is for reason
of labor stoppage; unavailability of supplies or materials, unavoidable casualties, or any
other cause beyond the seller's control. Any changes in the dates or time periods stated
in a written contract shall be agreed to in writing; or
iii. Fail to give timely written notice to the Homeowner of reasons beyond the seller's control for any delay in performance, and when the work will begin or be completed.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S DISPARAGEMENT OF COMPETITORS
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot: 
i. Misrepresent that the work of a competitor was performed by the seller;
ii. Misrepresent that the seller's products, materials or workmanship are equal to or better
than those of a competitor; or
iii. Use or imitate the trademarks, trade names, labels or other distinctive marks of a competitor.
9. Sales representations:
i. Misrepresent or mislead the Homeowner into believing that a purchase will aid or help some
public, charitable, religious, welfare or veterans' organization, or misrepresent the extent
of such aid or assistance;
ii. Knowingly fail to make any material statement of fact, qualification or explanation if the
omission of such statement, qualification or explanation causes an advertisement, announcement,
statement or representation to be false, deceptive or misleading; or
iii. Misrepresent that the customer's present equipment, material, product, home or a part
thereof is dangerous or defective, or in need of repair or replacement.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S OBLIGATIONS PERTAINING TO PERMITS
Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement contractor cannot: 
i. commence work until he is sure that all applicable state or local building and construction permits have been issued as required under state laws or local ordinances; or
ii. Where midpoint or final inspections are required under state laws or local ordinances,
copies of inspection certificates shall be furnished to the Homeowner by the seller when construction is completed and before final payment is due or the signing of a completion slip
is requested of the Homeowner.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MANDATORY WARRANTY DISCLOSURES Under the Home improvement regulations, a Home improvement seller shall furnish the Homeowner a written copy of all guarantees or warranties made
with respect to labor services, products or materials furnished in connection with home
improvements. Such guarantees or warranties shall be specific, clear and definite and
shall include any exclusions or limitations as to their scope or duration. Copies of all
guarantees or warranties shall be furnished to the Homeowner at the time the seller presents
his bid as well as at the time of execution of the Home improvement contract, except that separate guarantees or warranties of the manufacturer of products or materials may be furnished at the
time such products or materials are installed.


REQUIREMENT THAT CERTAIN HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTS BE IN WRITING
Under the Home improvement regulations, all home improvement contracts for a purchase price in excess of $500.00, and all changes in the terms and conditions thereof shall be in writing. Home improvement contracts which are required by this subsection to be in writing, and all changes in the terms and conditions thereof, shall be signed by all parties thereto, and shall clearly and accurately set forth in legible form and in understandable language all terms and conditions of the Home improvement contract, including, but not limited to, the following: 
i. The legal name and business address of the seller, including the legal name and business
address of the sales representative or agent who solicited or negotiated the Home improvement contract
for the seller;
ii. A description of the work to be done and the principal products and materials to be used
or installed in performance of the Home improvement contract. The description shall include, where applicable,
the name, make, size, capacity, model, and model year of principal products or fixtures
to be installed, and the type, grade, quality, size or quantity of principal building or
construction materials to be used. Where specific representations are made that certain
types of products or materials will be used, or the Homeowner has specified that certain types
of products are to be used, a description of such products or materials shall be clearly
set forth in the Home improvement contract;
iii. The total price or other consideration to be paid by the Homeowner, including all finance
charges. If the Home improvement contract is one for time and materials, the hourly rate for labor and all
other terms and conditions of the Home improvement contract affecting price shall be clearly stated;
 iv. The dates or time period on or within which the work is to begin and be completed by
the seller;
v. A description of any mortgage or security interest to be taken in connection with the financing
or sale of the home improvement; and
vi. A statement of any guarantee or warranty with respect to any products, materials, labor
or services made by the seller.
Don’t give up your rights or take a chance in ruining your case!  Let an experienced New Jersey home repair attorney help you understand your rights under the law.   


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S MAKING MANDATORY DISCLOSURES AND OBLIGATIONS CONCERNING PRESERVATION OF BUYERS' CLAIMS AND DEFENSES
Under the Home improvement regulations, If a person other than the Home improvement seller is to act as the general contractor or assume responsibility for performance of the Home improvement contract, the name and address of such person shall be disclosed in the oral or written contract, except as otherwise agreed, and the Home improvement contract shall not be sold or assigned without the written consent of the Homeowner.  No Home improvement contract shall require or entail the execution of any note, unless such note shall have conspicuously printed thereon the disclosures required by either State law (N.J.S.A. 17:16C-64.2 (consumer note)) or Federal law (16 C.F.R. section 433.2) concerning the preservation of buyers' claims and defenses.


A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S REGISTRATION WITH THE NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
On or after December 31, 2005, no person shall offer to perform, or engage, or attempt to engage in the business of making or selling Home improvements unless registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act.  Every Home improvement contractor shall annually register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Application for registration shall be on a form provided by the division and shall be accompanied by a reasonable fee, set by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs in an amount sufficient to defray the division's expenses incurred in administering and enforcing the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act.  Every Home improvement contractor required to register under the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act shall file an amended registration within 20 days after any change in the information required to be included thereon. No fee shall be required for the filing of an amendment.


THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S DISCLOSURE OF CRIMINAL HISTORY AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR REGISTRATION
In addition to any other procedure, condition or information required by the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act:


a. Every Home improvement Contractor applicant shall file a disclosure statement with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs stating whether the Home improvement Contractor applicant has been convicted of any crime, which for the purposes of the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act shall mean a violation of any of the following provisions of the "New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice," Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or the equivalent under the laws of any other jurisdiction:


(1) Any crime of the first degree;


(2) Any crime which is a second or third degree crime and is a violation of chapter 20 or 21 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; or


(3) Any other crime which is a violation of N.J.S.2C:5-1, 2C:5-2, 2C:11-2 through 2C:11-4, 2C:12-1, 2C:12-3, 2C:13-1, 2C:14-2, 2C:15-1, subsection a. or b. of 2C:17-1, subsection a. or b. of 2C:17-2, 2C:18-2, 2C:20-4, 2C:20-5, 2C:20-7, 2C:20-9, 2C:21-2 through 2C:21-4, 2C:21-6, 2C:21-7, 2C:21-12, 2C:21-14, 2C:21-15, or 2C:21-19, chapter 27 or 28 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, N.J.S.2C:30-2, 2C:30-3, 2C:35-5, 2C:35-10, 2C:37-1 through 2C:37-4.


b. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs may refuse to issue or may suspend or revoke any registration issued by him upon proof that the Home improvement Contractor applicant or holder of the registration:


(1) Has obtained a registration through fraud, deception or misrepresentation;


(2) Has engaged in the use or employment of dishonesty, fraud, deception, misrepresentation, false promise or false pretense;


(3) Has engaged in gross negligence, gross malpractice or gross incompetence;


(4) Has engaged in repeated acts of negligence, malpractice or incompetence;


(5) Has engaged in professional or occupational misconduct as may be determined by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;


(6) Has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude or any crime relating adversely to the activity regulated by the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act. For the purpose of this subsection a plea of guilty, non vult, nolo contendere or any other such disposition of alleged criminal activity shall be deemed a conviction;


(7) Has had his authority to engage in the activity regulated by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs revoked or suspended by any other state, agency or authority for reasons consistent with this section;


(8) Has violated or failed to comply with the provisions of any act or regulation administered by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;


(9) Is incapable, for medical or any other good cause, of discharging the functions of a licensee in a manner consistent with the public's health, safety and welfare.


c. An Home improvement Contractor applicant whose registration is denied, suspended, or revoked pursuant to this section shall, upon a written request transmitted to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs within 30 calendar days of that action, be afforded an opportunity for a hearing in a manner provided for contested cases pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).


d. An Home improvement Contractor applicant shall have the continuing duty to provide any assistance or information requested by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and to cooperate in any inquiry, investigation, or hearing conducted by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.


e. If any of the information required to be included in the disclosure statement changes, or if additional information should be added after the filing of the statement, the Home improvement Contractor applicant shall provide that information to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, in writing, within 30 calendar days of the change or addition.


f. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (6) of subsection b. of this section, no individual shall be disqualified from registration or shall have registration revoked on the basis of any conviction disclosed if the individual has affirmatively demonstrated to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs clear and convincing evidence of the individual's rehabilitation. In determining whether an individual has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation, the following factors shall be considered:


(1) The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted individual would hold;


(2) The nature and seriousness of the offense;


(3) The circumstances under which the offense occurred;


(4) The date of the offense;


(5) The age of the individual when the offense was committed;


(6) Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;


(7) Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and


(8) Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work-release programs, or the recommendation of persons who have had the individual under their supervision.


THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS 
On or after December 31, 2005, every Home improvement Contractor registered under the Home improvement Contract Law who is engaged in home improvements shall secure, maintain and file with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs proof of a certificate of commercial general liability insurance in a minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence.  Every Home improvement Contractor registered under the Home improvement Contract Law engaged in home improvements whose commercial general liability insurance policy is cancelled or nonrenewed shall submit to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs a copy of the certificate of commercial general liability insurance for a new or replacement policy which meets the requirements of subsection a. of this section before the former policy is no longer effective.


THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S OBLIGATION TO DISPLAY THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR LAW REGISTRATION NUMBER AT CERTAIN PLACES AND ON CERTAIN HOME IMPROVEMENT DOCUMENTS AND HOME IMPROVEMENT ADVERTISEMENTS
All Home improvement Contractor registrants shall prominently display their registration numbers within their places of business, in all advertisements distributed within this State, on business documents, contracts and correspondence with consumers of home improvement services in this State, and on all commercial vehicles registered in this State and leased or owned by Home improvement Contractor registrants and used by Home improvement Contractor registrants for the purpose of providing home improvements, except for vehicles leased or rented to customers of Home improvement Contractor registrants by a registrant or any agent or representative therof.  Any invoice, contract or correspondence given by a registrant to a consumer shall prominently contain the toll-free telephone number provided pursuant to section 14 of the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act.


FAILURE TO INCLUDE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT MANDATORY DISCLOSURES
On or after December 31, 2005, every Home improvement contract for a purchase price in excess of $500, and all changes in the terms and conditions of the contract, shall be in writing. The contract shall be signed by all parties thereto, and shall clearly and accurately set forth in legible form and in understandable language all terms and conditions of the contract, including but not limited to:


(1) The legal name, business address, and registration number of the Home improvement contractor;


(2) A copy of the certificate of commercial general liability insurance required of a contractor pursuant to section 7 of the Home improvement Contractor Law, also known as the New Jersey Contractor’s Registration Act and the telephone number of the insurance company issuing the certificate; and


(3) The total price or other consideration to be paid by the owner, including the finance charges.


(4) The contract shall contain a conspicuous notice printed in at least 10-point bold-faced type as follows:


"NOTICE TO CONSUMER


YOU MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT AT ANY TIME BEFORE MIDNIGHT OF THE THIRD BUSINESS DAY AFTER RECEIVING A COPY OF THIS CONTRACT. IF YOU WISH TO CANCEL THIS CONTRACT, YOU MUST EITHER:


1. SEND A SIGNED AND DATED WRITTEN NOTICE OF CANCELLATION BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED; OR


2. PERSONALLY DELIVER A SIGNED AND DATED WRITTEN NOTICE OF CANCELLATION TO:


(Name of Contractor)


(Address of Contractor)


(Phone Number of Contractor)


If you cancel this contract within the three-day period, you are entitled to a full refund of your money. Refunds must be made within 30 days of the Home improvement contractor's receipt of the cancellation notice."


THE HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR’S OBLIGATION TO CANCEL HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACT IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
On or after December 31, 2005, a home improvement contract may be cancelled by a consumer for any reason at any time before midnight of the third business day after the consumer receives a copy of it. In order to cancel a contract the consumer shall notify the Home improvement contractor of the cancellation in writing, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal delivery, to the address specified in the contract. All moneys paid pursuant to the cancelled contract shall be fully refunded within 30 days of receipt of the notice of cancellation. If the consumer has executed any credit or loan agreement through the Home improvement contractor to pay all or part of the contract, the agreement or note shall be cancelled without penalty to the consumer and written notice of that cancellation shall be mailed to the consumer within 30 days of receipt of the notice of cancellation. Don’t take a chance trying to cancel your contract incorrectly!  Let an experienced New Jersey home repair attorney help you understand your rights under the law.   


WHAT PENALTIES DO HOME REPAIR CONTRACTORS FACE IF THEY VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
If a Homeowner is a victim home repair fraud which also constitutes a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation, the Homeowner may be entitled to the following types of relief:
Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by contractors to collect a fraudulent debt.
Refund of money lost due to the Home improvement contractor’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.


HOW DO I RECOVER DAMAGES UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT FOR NEW JERSEY HOME REPAIR FRAUD?
A Homeowner or customer who is able to prove that a Home repair contractor, Home improvement contractor or the seller of Home improvement services committed a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act which directly cause of the victim to suffer an ascertainable loss of money or property is entitled to receive an award of triple damages, attorney’s fees and litigation costs.  In certain situations, a New Jersey consumer fraud victim may also be entitled to a refund or to cancel a New Jersey fraudulent debt.  However, under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, a Fraud victim is not entitled to recover pain and suffering damages.  


WHAT HAPPENS IF A NEW JEREY HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR TRIES TO COLLECT A FRAUDUENT HOME REPAIR BILL?
If a Homeowner is a victim of New Jersey Consumer Fraud, the New Jersey home repair bill may be uncollectible or void.   Consult with an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud attorney to find out if you qualify for that type of relief against a Home repair contractor.  The following are a few examples home repair fraud cases in which New Jersey courts refused to allow New Jersey home repair bills to be collected or in which New Jersey courts cancelled the New Jersey home repair bills:
An unlicensed landscape irrigation Home repair contractor sued a Homeowner to collect an unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill for a sprinkling system and the Homeowner countersued the Home repair contractor, alleging that the New Jersey home repair contract was not enforceable because the Home repair contractor violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. 
An owner of a cleaning and restoration franchise specializing in mitigating damage following a fire or flood filed a New Jersey collection lawsuit against Homeowners and they countersued the Home repair contractor.  The New Jersey court found that the Home repair contractor caused the dispute and therefore that the Home repair contractor was not allowed to collect the unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill.
A Home repair contractor sued a Homeowner to collect an unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill.   But because the Home improvement contractor failed to display its Home improvement contractor registration number on the New Jersey home repair contract, on most invoices and change orders, failed to display the Division of Consumer Affairs’ toll-free number on its documents and failed to put every change order in writing, the New Jersey home repair contract bill was uncollectible.
A Home repair contractor sued a Homeowner to collect an unpaid New Jersey home repair contract bill and the Homeowner countersued the Home repair contractor because the work was shoddy.  Thereafter, the New Jersey court found that not only was the Home repair contractor’s work shoddy but that the Home repair contractor violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.   The Home repair contractor was prevented from recovering the unpaid bill
Use the services of an experienced New Jersey home repair fraud attorney to help you sort out your rights and to take the next step in your dispute.  


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