Scammer Already Taking Advantage Of Hurricane Harvey Victims Beware

Dated: 09/07/2017

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Scammers know you'll spend money to repair and improve your home. Be sure you know how to protect yourself, and you should familiarize yourself with common home improvement scams.

Door-to-Door Sales
Be cautious when a salesperson appears at your door uninvited. Two very common sales pitches often associated with home improvement scams are:
• The salesperson "was in your neighborhood and noticed that you needed" siding, storm windows, or some other improvement.
• The salesperson "just did some work in your neighborhood and has extra" building supplies that would be just enough to repave your driveway or reshingle your roof.
Be Smart about Contracts
Most home repair and remodeling work is performed under contract. Legitimate businesses will usually insist on having a contract for their own protection, and a well written contract should protect the homeowner, too.

DO NOT sign a contract with blanks in it. It happens: the blanks get filled in later, and the new terms are not likely to be in the consumer's favor.

DO NOT sign a contract until you have carefully read and understood every word of it. Sometimes it can be difficult to get out of a signed contract.

What the Law Says
Any contract you sign for work on your homestead must contain the following warning next to the space for your signature:
"Important Notice: You and your contractor are responsible for meeting the terms and conditions of this contract. If you sign this contract and you fail to meet the terms and conditions of this contract, you may lose your legal ownership rights in your home. Know your rights and duties under the law."
When you sign a contract for home improvements on your homestead, the contractor can legally place a lien on the homestead. If you sign a contract containing the language quoted above and you fail to make the payments, the company can take away your home. Therefore, it is extremely important that you understand exactly what your obligations will be under the contract, and that you are confident you can meet those obligations. If you have any questions or doubts, consult an attorney before you sign the contract.


Published by Debora Aguirre Realty Executives Advantage

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