After a series of lawsuits regarding fraudulent home repairs and remodeling, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is putting his foot down. In July, 2010, he signed two bills into law—Senate Bill 3545 and Senate Bill 2540—to protect disabled homeowners from falling prey to the unethical practices of so-called professionals.
Under Senate Bill 3645, individuals can now be charged with aggravated home repair fraud if the project was completed to assist a person with a disability, i.e. installing a wheelchair ramp. The penalty for projects under $500 has increased from a Class 4 felony to a Class 3 felony, which means a penalty of 2 to 5 years in prison along with a fine of up to $25,000. For second offenses, the charge changes from a Class 3 felony to a Class 2 felony, which could mean a 3- to 7-year prison stint and maximum fine of $25,000.
Senate Bill 2540 was created to extend the protection offered by the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, which stipulates that any victim of fraudulent home repairs can take legal action. This addresses remodeling transactions greater than $1,000.
Both laws passed with unanimous approval. Many thanks to Governor Quinn and the state legislature.