N.J. AG announces actions against 44 contractors

Bryan Cohen Jul. 25, 2012, 5:17am


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced the issuance of notices of violation against 44 contractors on Monday seeking a total of $195,000 in civil penalties.

Forty of the contractors allegedly failed to register with the Division of Consumer Affairs and have been cited for allegedly soliciting or performing home improvement work without registration in violation of the Contractors' Registration Act. Two or more were registered at one time and allegedly let the registrations expire. The remaining two are registered but allegedly failed to include required information on their contracts, accepted payments from consumers and failed to perform the work.

The division is also seeking a total of $3,400 in consumer restitution from four of the contractors who allegedly did not perform work after accepting deposits from consumers.

Dozens of additional complaints against contractors have been sent to the division's Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit for arbitration.

"Complaints about home improvement contractors were the number one complaint category the DCA received last year," Chiesa said. "Disreputable contractors can leave consumers with costs that escalate to tens of thousands of dollars, as well as dangerous conditions that must be repaired at additional cost. If you perform home improvement work in New Jersey, you must comply with our laws. Otherwise, you will be held accountable."

The notices represent continued enforcement efforts against non-compliant and unregistered home improvement contractors and were based on referrals and complaints from consumers throughout New Jersey.

Each of the contractors receiving notices has a chance to contest the assertion or the opportunity to correct the violation. Contractors may pay a civil penalty and consumer restitution if required and can submit an application for registration if unregistered. Contractors in violation of the Contractors' Registration Act may be subject to civil penalties of as much as $10,000 for the first violation and as much as $20,000 for second and subsequent violations.

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