Ill. AG files suit against home improvement firm

Bryan Cohen Jun. 15, 2012, 8:01am


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a defunct south suburban home improvement supply company that allegedly bilked consumers out of $90,000 in down payments for unfulfilled orders.

The Alsip-based Family Security Doors & Windows Inc. allegedly failed to refund homeowners in Cook County who made payments for orders that were never fulfilled after the company went out of business.

Also named in the lawsuit were company principals Robert E. Starr, Michael Starr, Thomas J. Abbott and Gordon Jackson.

"While the company's operators were actively preparing to shut down, they continued to take customers' down payments even though it was evident that the company couldn't fulfill the orders already on its books," Madigan said. "Now, hundreds of consumers who'd been waiting months for their orders are out thousands of dollars for nothing in return."

Family Security fabricated, sold, redistributed and installed household fixtures since 1989, including window coverings, windows, screen doors, security doors and replacement doors. The company sold directly to Cook County businesses and homeowners.

Family Security allegedly solicited and accepted down payments from consumers for new business during the summer of 2011, despite the fact that previous orders faced lengthy installation and delivery delays as the company got ready to close its doors. The company allegedly continued to accept new business as it prepared to liquidate to meet operation and debt costs in April 2011.

Upon closing in September, Family Security allegedly accepted $90,000 worth of down payments from more than 150 consumers that it failed to fulfill. Customers who reached the company were allegedly told that services and refunds would not be provided. Unfulfilled orders allegedly totaled as much as $1,000 per person.

The lawsuit requests that the court ban the defendants from operating or owning a home repair business in Illinois, impose civil penalties on the defendants and grant refunds to consumers who were impacted by the closure.

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