Contractor fraud can be defined as an illegal act committed independently by a contractor or as a firm. Homeowners in Monroe and Ouachita Parish are constantly dragging contractors to court, whether the contractor is at fault or not. Some homeowners just cannot be made happy and enjoy starting trouble. Cases of contractor fraud in Monroe and Ouachita Parish are usually taken seriously by state prosecutors.
Contractor fraud consists of a wide range of offenses. A contractor can be charged for contractor fraud if he does any of the following:
A contractor can be charged to court if he fails to attend to work after 45 days that payment has been made. A contractor who fails to begin work as agreed in a residential space can be charged for fraud. A grace of 45 days is usually given, unless if a longer period is agreed in the contract. If otherwise, they can be charged for contractor fraud.
It is not uncommon to see that some contractors intentionally damage properties to get the homeowner into a contract for improvement or reconstruction, meanwhile looking to enrich their pocket. Some contractors damage properties more so that they can recommend a reconstruction contract to earn them more.
A contractor who brings in nonprofessional subcontractors to do a job can be charged for contractor fraud. Some contractors, after demanding professional fees, would go ahead and bring in nonprofessional to handle a job. This ultimately leads to poorly built structures that may incur more bills on the homeowner in the long run.
A contractor who uses substandard products even after collecting payment for original and licensed products is charged for contractor fraud; this is one of the most common contractor frauds. They collect a large amount of money for original products only to come in with substandard and low-quality products that would fail within a short time.
Contractors have a host of techniques through which they defraud people. Some of the most common contractor frauds in both residential and commercial construction including
· Demanding full upfront payment. A contractor that demands full upfront payment is most probably planning to run with your money or deal you in some shady work. You shouldn't pay more than 10% or $1000 upfront for a construction job.
· Excluding verbal agreements or other important parts of the agreement from the written contract. Before signing a contract with a contractor, you should be sure that every agreement is included in the contract. You are expected to read carefully through it and point out what is missing.
· Not having the permit or license for the work to be done I.e. unrelated permit. It is important to always request a contractor’s permit. This will protect you from contractor fraud.
· Misquoting project quotes intentionally. Some contractors intentionally add more figures or change some figures in the quote to extort homeowners.
· Offering you materials at a cheaper price than the market price. Many people fall into this trap. This may appear as a fair deal, but you should take time to research the product you are offered.
Contractor fraud is not an uncommon case. As a constructor, if you fail to fulfill your promise on construction or if you obtain money in advance with fraudulent intent after promising to construct, remove, repair any structure or building, you are deemed guilty and charged for contractor fraud. And for such a case you need a strong defense. You need to hire an attorney who is skilled in contractor fraud law.
Contacting a contractor fraud lawyer in Monroe can help you get the best possible result. You need to work with a competent later who has experience in contractor fraud law. A competent lawyer knows to strategize and plan defense strategies to get you a favorable result.
The penalties of contractor fraud depend on the amount taken or the value of the damage that happened as a result of substandard work.
If the contractor takes an amount valued at less than $500 the offender shall be jailed for not more than 6 months and made to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 or serve both.
If the amount taken is valued at $500 but less than $1,500, the offender is incarcerated with or without hard labor for not more than 5 years. The offender may also pay a fine of not more than $2,000 or made to serve both penalties.
If the amount taken values up to $1,500 or more, the offender is imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than 10 years. The offender may also pay a fine of not more than $3,000 or made to serve both.
The most important step to take upon a contractor fraud charge is to talk to Carl Barkemeyer, a competent criminal defense attorney who has lengthy experience in defending contractor fraud cases in Monroe and Ouachita Parish. Carl Barkemeyer uses his effort to defend his clients to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contractor fraud is a serious case, your contractor fraud lawyer must also take your case seriously and that's why you should talk to attorney Carl. Contact Carl Barkemeyer to hire a contractor defense attorney in Monroe.