MADIGAN SUES COOK COUNTY HOME REPAIR BUSINESSES FOR DEFRAUDING HOMEOWNERS
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced lawsuits against two Cook County home repair businesses for collecting at least $70,000 from homeowners for repair work that was substandard, incomplete or never started at all.
Madigan’s office filed lawsuits against ROK Roofing & Siding Co. (ROK) and ROK’s president, Jung Soo Hwang; and Defender Steel Door Co. Inc., doing business as Defender Door and Window Company and Defender Steel Door Co., and its president, Robert Bianco. Both businesses were dissolved by the Secretary of State.
ROK Roofing was a home remodeling and repair business based in Rolling Meadows. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges ROK solicited homeowners by going door to door in the aftermath of storms and offering repair services for damaged homes. Madigan’s office and the Better Business Bureau received several complaints from homeowners in Cook, Lake and Kane counties who alleged that since June 2015, ROK Roofing collected more than $42,250 for work that was either incomplete or never started. In at least two instances, subcontractors placed liens on peoples’ homes when ROK failed to pay for supplies. In addition, Madigan alleged ROK violated state law by operating without the required roofing licenses.
Despite being dissolved by the state, Defender Steel Door continues to operate as a door, window and exterior home improvement business based in Cicero. Since 2015, Madigan’s office and the Better Business Bureau have received over 30 complaints from Cook County consumers who allege they paid Defender Steel Door more than $27,700 for work that was shoddy or never started.
“Homeowners should use my office and the Better Business Bureau as free resources to learn whether a contractor or home repair business is reputable before signing a contract or handing over any money,” Madigan said.
Attorney General Madigan is asking the court to provide restitution, void existing contracts with homeowners and ban the businesses from doing business in Illinois and impose civil penalties.
Madigan offered the following tips to help protect families and businesses from dishonest contractors:
Madigan also reminded consumers that the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act requires contractors to furnish customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more than $1,000. A contract must be signed by both the customer and the contractor. The law also requires contractors to carry at least minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and improper home repair. Contractors also must provide consumers with an informational pamphlet entitled “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights.”
Madigan urged homeowners who believe they may have been defrauded to contact her office. People may call the Attorney General’s Chicago Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438.
Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Crespo and Elizabeth Deucher are handling the cases for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.