ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FILES LAWSUIT OVER HOME REPAIR SCAMS DEFRAUDING DOZENS OF ILLINOIS HOMEOWNERS
Lawsuit Alleges Companies Defrauded Homeowners in Need of Roofing Repairs
Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit today against two Kane County businesses and their owners over allegedly preying on Illinois homeowners who experienced roofing damage caused by severe weather in Chicagoland and Christian and Winnebago Counties.
Raoul filed the lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against G&M Exteriors Pros Inc. (G&M) and Illinois Adjustors Corp. (Illinois Adjustors), as well as their respective owners, Olegario Coyotl and Bryan Tlaczani. Raoul’s lawsuit alleges the businesses preyed on more than 40 homeowners in several Illinois counties.
“On top of the stress of dealing with storm damage to their homes, these homeowners were targeted by both G&M Exteriors and Illinois Adjustors, who exploited consumers for profit,” Raoul said. “I am committed to continuing to protect Illinoisans who have been victimized by these types of predatory business practices.”
According to Raoul’s lawsuit, Illinois Adjustors allegedly promised to waive its public adjusting fees for homeowners who agreed to hire G&M to perform roofing repairs. Illinois Adjustors would then allegedly act as a middleman between the homeowner and insurance company, receiving claim checks in the company’s name. However, Raoul alleges that once the checks were issued, G&M often failed to begin or complete promised repair work or would perform substandard work. When homeowners attempted to cancel their contracts, G&M often ignored complaints, leaving people with limited options and the fear that Illinois Adjustors would demand payment for the public adjusting fee that was previously waived when the homeowner selected G&M. That fee often equated to over a third of the total insurance proceeds.
Raoul’s lawsuit also alleges that when contracting for home repairs, the companies failed to provide homeowners with the Attorney General’s informational “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet and failed to inform homeowners of their cancellation rights or to provide cancellation notices as required under Illinois law. The Home Repair and Remodeling Act requires contractors to provide customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work that costs more than $1,000. A contract must be signed by both the customer and contractor. The law also requires contractors to carry at least the minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and improper home repair.
In the lawsuit, Raoul is seeking restitution for victims, a court-ordered prohibition against both companies and owners from further engaging in similar business practices, and civil penalties for violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.
Although state law does not require general contractors to be licensed, municipalities may require permits or have other local requirements. Attorney General Raoul encourages home and business owners to check with their local governments for more information about permits or other local requirements before hiring anyone. Public adjusters must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Insurance, and roofers must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Consumers who believe they have been the victim of fraud can file a complaint on the Attorney General’s website or by calling the office’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 243-0618.