State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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[ Introduced ][ Engrossed ][ House Amendment 001 ]
[ Senate Amendment 003 ]


HB1177 Enrolled                                LRB9103438KSgc

 1        AN ACT concerned with home repair and remodeling fraud.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  1.  Short  title.   This Act may be cited as the
 5    Home Repair and Remodeling Act.

 6        Section 5.  Policy.  It is  the  public  policy  of  this
 7    State  that in order to safeguard the life, health, property,
 8    and public welfare of its  citizens,  the  business  of  home
 9    repair  and  remodeling  is  a  matter  affecting  the public
10    interest.  The  General  Assembly  recognizes  that  improved
11    communications  and  accurate representations between persons
12    engaged in the business of making home repairs or  remodeling
13    and their consumers will increase consumer confidence, reduce
14    the  likelihood  of  disputes,  and  promote  fair and honest
15    practices in that business in this State.

16        Section 10.  Definitions.  As used in this Act:
17        "Home repair and remodeling" means the fixing, replacing,
18    altering, converting, modernizing, improving, or making of an
19    addition to any real property primarily designed or used as a
20    residence other than maintenance, service, or  repairs  under
21    $500.      "Home   repair   and   remodeling"   includes  the
22    construction, installation, replacement,  or  improvement  of
23    driveways,  swimming  pools,  porches,  kitchens,  bathrooms,
24    basements, chimneys, chimney liners, garages, fences, fallout
25    shelters, central air conditioning, central heating, boilers,
26    furnaces, electrical wiring, sewers, plumbing fixtures, storm
27    doors,  windows,  roofs,  awnings,  and other improvements to
28    structures within the residence or upon the land adjacent  to
29    the residence.  "Home repair and remodeling" does not include
30    the  sale,  installation, cleaning, or repair of carpets; the
HB1177 Enrolled            -2-                 LRB9103438KSgc
 1    repair, installation, replacement, or connection of any  home
 2    appliance   including,   but   not   limited  to,  disposals,
 3    refrigerators, ranges, garage door  openers,  televisions  or
 4    television  antennas, washing machines, telephones, hot water
 5    heaters, satellite  dishes,  or  other  appliances  when  the
 6    persons  replacing,  installing, repairing, or connecting the
 7    home appliance are employees or agents of the  merchant  that
 8    sold  the  home  appliance  or  sold new products of the same
 9    type; or landscaping.
10        "Person" means any individual, partnership,  corporation,
11    business, trust, or other legal entity.
12        "Residence"  means  a single-family home or dwelling or a
13    multiple-family  home  or  dwelling  containing  6  or  fewer
14    apartments, condominiums, town  houses,  or  dwelling  units,
15    used  or intended to be used by occupants as dwelling places.
16    This  Act  does  not  apply  to  original   construction   of
17    single-family   or  multi-family  residences  or  repairs  to
18    dwellings containing more than 6 apartments or family units.

19        Section 15.  Written contract; costs  enumerated.   Prior
20    to initiating home repair or remodeling work for over $1,000,
21    a person engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling
22    shall  furnish  to  the  customer  for  signature  a  written
23    contract  or work order that states the total cost, including
24    parts and materials listed with reasonable particularity  and
25    any  charge for an estimate.  In addition, the contract shall
26    state the business name and address of the person engaged  in
27    the  business  of  home  repair or remodeling.  If the person
28    engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling  uses  a
29    post office box or mail receiving service or agent to receive
30    home   repair  or  remodeling  business  correspondence,  the
31    contract also shall state the residence address of the person
32    engaged in the business of home repair or remodeling.
HB1177 Enrolled            -3-                 LRB9103438KSgc
 1        Section  20.  Consumer  rights  brochure.   (a)  For  any
 2    contract over $1,000, any person engaging in the business  of
 3    home  repair  and remodeling shall provide to its customers a
 4    copy of the "Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet
 5    prior to the execution of  any  home  repair  and  remodeling
 6    contract.     The   consumer   shall   sign   and   date   an
 7    acknowledgment  form entitled "Consumer Rights Acknowledgment
 8    Form" that states: "I, the homeowner, have received from  the
 9    contractor a copy of the pamphlet entitled 'Home Repair: Know
10    Your  Consumer  Rights.'"   The  contractor  or  his  or  her
11    representative  shall  also  sign and date the acknowledgment
12    form, which includes the name and address of the home  repair
13    and remodeling business.  The acknowledgment form shall be in
14    duplicate  and  incorporated into the pamphlet.  The original
15    acknowledgment form shall be retained by the  contractor  and
16    the  duplicate  copy shall be retained within the pamphlet by
17    the consumer.
18        (b)  For any contract for $1,000  or  under,  any  person
19    engaging  in the business of home repair and remodeling shall
20    provide to its customers a copy of  the  "Home  Repair:  Know
21    Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet.  No written acknowledgment of
22    receipt  of the pamphlet is required for a contract of $1,000
23    or under.
24        (c)  The pamphlet must be  a  separate  document,  in  at
25    least  12 point type, and in legible ink.  The pamphlet shall
26    read as follows:


28        As you plan for your home repair/improvement project,  it
29    is  important  to ask the right questions in order to protect
30    your investment.  The tips in this fact  sheet  should  allow
31    you  to  protect yourself and minimize the possibility that a
32    misunderstanding may occur.

33                     AVOIDING HOME REPAIR FRAUD
HB1177 Enrolled            -4-                 LRB9103438KSgc
 1    Please use extreme caution when confronted with the following
 2    warning signs of a potential scam:
 3        (1)  Door-to-door salespersons with no local  connections
 4    who  offer to do home repair work for substantially less than
 5    the market price.
 6        (2)  Solicitations for repair work from  a  company  that
 7    lists  only a telephone number or a post-office box number to
 8    contact, particularly if it is an out-of-state company.
 9        (3)  Contractors who fail to provide customers references
10    when requested.
11        (4)  Persons offering to inspect your home for free.   Do
12    not  admit anyone into your home unless he or she can present
13    authentic identification establishing  his  or  her  business
14    status.   When in doubt, do not hesitate to call the worker's
15    employer to verify his or her identity.
16        (5)  Contractors demanding cash payment for a job or  who
17    ask  you  to  make a check payable to a person other than the
18    owner or company name.
19        (6)  Offers from a contractor to drive you to the bank to
20    withdraw funds to pay for the work.

21                              CONTRACTS

22        (1)  Get all estimates in writing.
23        (2)  Do  not  be  induced  into  signing  a  contract  by
24    high-pressure sales tactics.
25        (3)  Never sign a contract with blank spaces or  one  you
26    do  not  fully  understand.   If you are taking out a loan to
27    finance the work, do not sign the contract before your lender
28    approves the loan.
29        (4)  Remember, you have 3 business days from the time you
30    sign your contract to cancel any contract if the sale is made
31    at your home.  The contractor  cannot  deprive  you  of  this
32    right  by initiating work, selling your contract to a lender,
33    or any other tactic.
HB1177 Enrolled            -5-                 LRB9103438KSgc
 1        (5)  If the contractor does business under a  name  other
 2    than  the contractor's real name, the business must either be
 3    incorporated or registered under the  Assumed  Business  Name
 4    Act.   Check  with  the  Secretary  of  State  to  see if the
 5    business is incorporated or with the county clerk to  see  if
 6    the  business  has registered under the Assumed Business Name
 7    Act.
 8        (6)  Homeowners should check with local and county  units
 9    of  government  to  determine  if  permits or inspections are
10    required.
11        (7)  Determine whether the contractor will guarantee  his
12    or her work and products.
13        (8)  Determine  whether  the  contractor  has  the proper
14    insurance.
15        (9)  Do not sign a  certificate  of  completion  or  make
16    final payment until the work is done to your satisfaction.
17        (10)  Remember,   homeowners  should  know  who  provides
18    supplies and labor for  any  work  performed  on  your  home.
19    Suppliers  and  subcontractors  have  a  right to file a lien
20    against your property if the general contractor fails to  pay
21    them.    To  protect your property, request lien waivers from
22    the general contractor.


24        (1)  Contractor's  full  name,  address,  and   telephone
25    number.   Illinois  law  requires  that  persons selling home
26    repair and improvement services provide their customers  with
27    notice  of  any change to their business name or address that
28    comes about prior  to  the  agreed  dates  for  beginning  or
29    completing the work.
30        (2)  A description of the work to be performed.
31        (3)  Starting and estimated completion dates.
32        (4)  Total cost of work to be performed.
33        (5)  Schedule  and  method  of  payment,  including  down
HB1177 Enrolled            -6-                 LRB9103438KSgc
 1    payment, subsequent payments, and final payment.
 2        (6)  A  provision  stating the grounds for termination of
 3    the contract by either party. However, the homeowner must pay
 4    the contractor for work completed.  If the  contractor  fails
 5    to  commence  or  complete  work  within  the contracted time
 6    period, the homeowner may cancel and may  be  entitled  to  a
 7    refund of any down payment or other payments made towards the
 8    work, upon written demand by certified mail.
 9        Homeowners  should  obtain  a copy of the signed contract
10    and keep it in a safe place for reference as needed.

12        If you think you have been defrauded by a  contractor  or
13    have  any questions, please bring it to the attention of your
14    State's Attorney or the Illinois Attorney General's Office.
15    Attorney General Toll-Free Numbers
16    Carbondale         (800) 243-0607
17    Springfield        (800) 243-0618
18    Chicago            (800) 386-5438".

19        Section 25.  Insurance required.  Any person  engaged  in
20    the  business  of home repair and remodeling shall obtain and
21    maintain in full force and effect during the operation of the
22    business public liability and property  damage  insurance  in
23    the amount of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence
24    of bodily injury, $50,000 per occurrence for property damage,
25    and in the amount of $10,000 per occurrence for improper home
26    repair  or  remodeling  not  in  conformance  with applicable
27    State, county, or municipal building codes, unless the person
28    has a net worth of not less than $1,000,000 as determined  on
29    the  basis  of  the person's most recent financial statement,
30    prepared within 13 months.

31        Section 30.  Unlawful  acts.   It  is  unlawful  for  any
32    person engaged in the business of home repairs and remodeling
HB1177 Enrolled            -7-                 LRB9103438KSgc
 1    to remodel or make repairs or charge for remodeling or repair
 2    work  before  obtaining  a signed contract or work order over
 3    $1,000.  This conduct is unlawful but is  not  exclusive  nor
 4    meant  to  limit  other  kinds of methods, acts, or practices
 5    that may be unfair or deceptive.

 6        Section 35.  Enforcement.
 7        (a)  The Attorney General or the State's Attorney of  any
 8    county  in  this State may bring an action in the name of the
 9    people of this State  against  any  person  to  restrain  and
10    prevent any pattern or practice violation of this Act. In the
11    enforcement  of this Act, the Attorney General or the State's
12    Attorney may accept an assurance of voluntary compliance from
13    anyone engaged in any conduct, act,  or  practice  deemed  in
14    violation  of  this  Act. Failure to perform the terms of any
15    such  assurance  constitutes  prima  facie  evidence   of   a
16    violation of this Act.
17        (b)  All  remedies,  penalties,  and authority granted to
18    the Attorney General or the State's Attorney of any county in
19    this State by  the  Consumer  Fraud  and  Deceptive  Business
20    Practices   Act   shall  be  available  to  him  or  her  for
21    enforcement of this Act, and any violation of this Act  shall
22    constitute  a  violation  of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
23    Business Practices Act.

24        Section 900. The Consumer Fraud  and  Deceptive  Business
25    Practices Act is amended by changing Section 2Z as follows:

26        (815 ILCS 505/2Z) (from Ch. 121 1/2, par. 262Z)
27        Sec.  2Z.   Violations  of  other  Acts.   Any person who
28    knowingly violates the Automotive Repair Act, the Home Repair
29    and Remodeling  Act,  the  Dance  Studio  Act,  the  Physical
30    Fitness   Services   Act,  the  Hearing  Instrument  Consumer
31    Protection  Act,  the  Illinois  Union  Label  Act,  the  Job
HB1177 Enrolled            -8-                 LRB9103438KSgc
 1    Referral and Job Listing Services  Consumer  Protection  Act,
 2    the  Travel  Promotion  Consumer  Protection  Act, the Credit
 3    Services Organizations Act, the Automatic  Telephone  Dialers
 4    Act,  the  Pay-Per-Call Services Consumer Protection Act, the
 5    Telephone Solicitations Act, the Illinois Funeral  or  Burial
 6    Funds  Act,  the  Cemetery Care Act, or the Pre-Need Cemetery
 7    Sales Act commits an unlawful practice within the meaning  of
 8    this Act.
 9    (Source:  P.A.  89-72,  eff.  12-31-95;  89-615, eff. 8-9-96;
10    90-426, eff. 1-1-98.)

11        Section 999.  Effective  date.   This  Act  takes  effect
12    January 1, 2000.

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