Ala. AG Teams with Home Building Pros, Regulators for Home Remodeling and Consumer Protection Month

May 10, 2005

Alabama Attorney General Troy King again is teaming with home building professionals and regulators and consumer advocates to commemorate May as Home Remodeling Consumer Protection Month in Alabama through a joint annual campaign to protect Alabamians from home repair and remodeling fraud.

This year’s campaign was launched in Mobile, where King was joined at a recent news conference by representatives of the Home Builders Associations of Metro Mobile and of Alabama, the Home Builder Association Remodelers Councils for Metro Mobile and for Alabama, the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board and the Better Business Bureau.

As this year’s team effort was announced at a construction site in Mobile, King noted that home repair and remodeling fraud is of particular concern in the aftermath of hurricane and storm damage that occurred in South Alabama and throughout the state.

“We stand here today, united in our commitment to protect the families of Alabama from those who would exploit them through home repair and remodeling fraud, said King. “The alliance between the Attorney General’s Office, professional builders and building regulators is strong because we all have an interest in preventing and fighting fraud. It is not just consumer victims, but legitimate, honorable businesses who are harmed. Unscrupulous trade practices on the part of a few may have a negative impact on how the public views an entire industry. Honest builders and businesses take seriously their responsibility to serve you with integrity and to work with my office to stop fraudulent acts that prey upon the elderly and other unsuspecting consumers.”

Richard Gulino Jr., president of the Home Builders Association of Metro Mobile Inc. Remodelers’ Council, also stressed the commitment of home builders and remodelers to provide honest quality service: “Remodeling businesses that are managed professionally stay around year after year to serve their clientele. I have seen statistics that show for most well-established contractors, repeat business is 80% of the business they do every year. Put your trust in a professional remodeler.”

The Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board was established by state law to license and regulate residential home builders for safety and protection of Alabama consumers. The Board has the authority to revoke or suspend the license of home builders determined by the board to have committed fraud or deceit in obtaining a license or to be guilty of gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the practice of residential homebuilding. In addition to such disciplinary actions, the board may also impose administrative fines for violations of state law or board regulations.

Last year, the Attorney General’s Office received an estimated 304 complaints related to home repair fraud, and so far this year about 142 such complaints have been made.

Most of these involve workers who accepted money for repair jobs they never finished, work they did not perform properly, or warranties they failed to honor.

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