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Jacobs bill will protect homeowners from "Storm Chasers"

jacobs-75x75SPRINGFIELD, IL –Legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline) has been signed into law by Governor Quinn putting further protections in place for homeowners against "storm chasers".

"Storm Chasers are fly-by-night contractors that show up in a community after a tornado or other natural disaster to repair homes by offering quick and convenient repairs," stated Senator Jacobs. "The problem is that they perform shoddy work or don’t actually do the work after they have been paid. Other concerns are these contractors inflate their fees because people are in need of the work when there is a shortage of labor."

This new law will increase the penalties for deceptive practices by contractors. This refers to contractors offering repairs following a "catastrophe," which is defined as a natural occurrence, including, but not limited to flood, drought, earthquake, tornado, windstorm, or hailstorm, which damages or destroys more than one residence.

Specifically, the bill provides that a contractor offering home repair or remodeling services are not allowed to advertise or promise to pay or rebate any portion of any insurance deductable as an incentive and they may not accept any form of compensation in exchange for allowing an out of area contractor to use its business name or license.

"Our goal it to protect homeowners and businesses when they are most vulnerable," stated Jacobs. "This year alone communities throughout Illinois have endured tornados and floods damaging if not destroying homes and businesses. This new law will ensure there are penalties in place for unscrupulous contractors trying to take advantage of local communities after a natural disaster."

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