Help STHBRA Protect Homeowners

Homeowners Being Victimized by Fraudulent Contractors

Help STHBRA Protect Homeowners Like You

 

The Southern Tier Homebuilders and Remodelers Association (STHBRA) receives on average 3 calls per week from homeowners who have been conned. They fall victim to fraudulent contractors skilled at taking advantage of New York State Laws and sales pitches that convince homeowners they are getting a “great deal.” But often, it ends up with homeowners losing thousands of dollars or more to resolve the problem. STHBRA believes this is a hidden epidemic that must be exposed. We want to work with community leaders on solutions to protect homeowners like you.

RISKS TO HOMEOWNERS
  • The most common homeowner complaint is that they gave full payment or a sizeable down payment to the contractor, but the contractor never started or completed the job. Now they can’t be found. The homeowner has lost that money and now must pay another to complete the work.
  • The other biggest problem is defective work performed by unqualified labor. Homeowners cannot get these dishonest contactors to fix bad work so they must hire a legitimate contractor to complete, or in some cases, completely replace the defective work.
  • If the contractor does not have workers compensation insurance, the homeowner could be liable for enormous lost wages and medical bills for any worker injured on the job.
HOW BAD CONTRACTORS CHEAT
  • Unlike many states, NY does not require contractors to be licensed. Lacking state licensing, many communities have adopted local supervision of contractors through county laws. Broome county has no such regulation. Therefore, anyone can call themselves a contractor.
  • They price services cheaper than a legitimate contractor because they typically work only with cash.
    • This allows them to pay themselves and any workers “under the table.” It also means a loss of both state and federal income tax and a major way to avoid child support payments.
    • They can skirt paying required benefits such as workers compensation, unemployment, social security and business insurance.
    • Since there is no reporting of wages, workers can double-dip collecting unemployment, disability and welfare payments.
    • All of the above results in lost tax revenue and additional expense to taxpaying homeowners.
  • These dishonest contractors typically do not use land line phone numbers but use “burner” type cell phones which makes it easy for them to disappear.
  • They typically do not have a business address which adds to difficulty locating them.

 

HOW TO PROTECT HOMEOWNERS

Visit the STHBRA “Finding a Qualified Contractor” page on our website https://sthbra.com/dont-get-scammed-find-a-qualified-contractor/

Report Fraudulent Contractors by visiting this link. https://sthbra.com/survey/

STHBRA wants to expose the problem by documenting the types of rip-offs and frequency it’s occurring in our community. Reporting is a resource that can help reduce the chance of others being scammed. Often, we hear people feel embarrassed they were taken advantage of and don’t know where to turn. Through the website you can provide information anonymously.

Support legitimate contractors who pay their taxes and hire qualified labor with all required benefits and insurance protections.

Help us encourage Broome County to provide common sense protections

Let your Broome County Legislators know that you want a public database of legitimate contractors who meet basic requirements with proof they pay all required business taxes and insurances. If you agree that this is a problem that needs attention, please sign your name to this petition. (https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopbadcontractorsBroome)

 

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