Madigan sues home repair companies

by Keith Loria |
Oct. 23, 2010, 10:00am


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Thursday that she has filed a lawsuit against two home repair companies and their owners for allegedly violating the state's consumer fraud and home repair laws.

The suit names Ex-Treme Con-Crete Design, Excellent Concrete Concept, as well as Thomas Ratz, the companies' head; Regeina Taylor, director of Ex-Treme Con-Crete; and Geneva Saunders, president and director of Excellent Concrete.

The suit alleges a number of instances of defrauding customers with violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and Home Repair Fraud Act. Madigan also filed an injunction against the businesses to halt their solicitation of area homeowners for repair work.

"These companies and their executives have repeatedly deceived homeowners to make a quick buck - whether performing shoddy work or never completing the promised repairs," Madigan said.

"Home repair fraud consistently ranks among the top scams consumers report to my office each year. Homeowners must be aware and protect themselves by choosing their contractors wisely."

Beginning in January 2008, the suit alleges, the defendants accepted down payments totaling $151,000 for work that was never completed as promised or never done at all. More than a dozen complaints about the company were filed with Madigan's office.

The complaints alleged work that was not compliant with city code, repairs that quickly crumbled, and damage done to homeowners' property and their neighbors' property.

The suit also alleges that the companies fraudulently claimed to be accredited members of the Better Business Bureau.

Madigan is seeking a court order to stop the defendants from engaging in the home repair trade in the state.

She is also seeking restitution for consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000, additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with the intent to defraud, and $10,000 for every violation found to have been committed against a senior 65 years or older. Madigan also seeks all money for the cost of litigation.

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