HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the filing of 31 legal actions against home improvement contractors who failed to register under Pennsylvania law.
Home improvement contractors who earn more than $5,000 a year are required to register every other year under Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HICPA). The legal actions – settlement agreements known as Assurances of Voluntary Compliance – are being filed by the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Each of the contractors cited for failing to register received fines of at least $500.
“When consumers hire a contractor to work on their home, they have a right under Pennsylvania law to work with a legitimate business,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Our consumer protection bureau is taking legal action to protect homeowners and making sure you can research a contractor to find out if they are legitimate through Pennsylvania’s statewide contractor database.
In addition to the announced legal actions, consumer protection attorneys issued warning letters to 17 other contractors, advising that registration under the HICPA law is required if they continue to do business as contractors. Another dozen contractors voluntarily registered after being contacted by investigators. Registration under state law also requires contractors to carry insurance.
In announcing the legal actions, Attorney General Shapiro also provided a series of tips for consumers to follow in choosing a contractor to improve or work on their homes:
“Pennsylvanians suffered when dishonest home improvement contractors went unchecked, and our office is taking action to make the contracting process safer and more reliable for all consumers across the Commonwealth,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “As Attorney General I’ll always stand up for consumers, from taking on the big fights to making sure we do the day to day work of upholding Pennsylvania law.”
In addition to using the contractor database, Attorney General Shapiro urged homeowners to call the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-888-520-6680 or use email at firstname.lastname@example.org to report a problem contractor. “Call or email us. Let me know how we can help you,” he said.
The attorney general thanked Senior Deputy Attorney General Linda Williams, who headed up the contractor investigation and filing of the legal actions.
Settlement agreements with the following contractors have been filed in courts across the state:
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