Ill. A.G. Cites Home Repairer for Not Completing Project

May 18, 2004

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed charges against a Cook County home repair and remodeling contractor who allegedly accepted $4,000 from a consumer and then failed to complete the project to the customer’s satisfaction and refused to return the down payment.

Madigan’s suit alleges that Odell Reed, owner of Southeast Tech Construction, contracted with a Chicago resident to renovate the consumer’s basement and home exterior but failed to perform the work in a satisfactory manner. According to the complaint, not only did Reed fail to complete the work and refuse to return the deposit, he further damaged the owner’s home when he began repairs.

Madigan’s complaint charges Reed with multiple violations of both the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act.

In addition to the problems in performing the contracted work, Madigan alleges that Reed, who conducts business as Southeast Tech Construction, violated Illinois consumer protection laws by failing to obtain a license to use an assumed corporate or business name.

Madigan’s complaint also alleges Reed violated the law by failing to include the required “Notice of Cancellation” in his contract and failing to inform the consumer in person or by telephone of the right to cancel.

Additionally, Madigan’s suit charges Reed with failing to refund the down payment and to provide the consumer with a copy of the legally-required “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet.

Madigan’s suit seeks to permanently enjoin the defendant from conducting business in violation of state consumer protection laws, as well as the payment of restitution for the home owner and a $50,000 civil penalty for each violation of the law.

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