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Beware of potential home repair scams before storms hit

Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Major warnings on potential home repair scams should the weather do a number on your home Wednesday. Now is the time, state investigators say, to keep your wits and ask questions.

It happens after every storm. Allegations of fraud trickle in, con artists swooping in with lightning speed to make a fast buck, taking advantage of the homeowner’s emotional state.

Chip Carden, head of the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board, has seen it all too often.

“Don’t get in a hurry.. folks just jump at the first repairman,” said Carden.

Just this week in Tallapoosa County authorities say they arrested Jason Davis on not one but eight outstanding warrants for violation of a home builders license and eight outstanding warrants for residential building without a permit.

“If you have roof damage that exceeds $2,500 or house damage that exceeds $10,000, a license is required by the state of Alabama,” said Carden.

The state requires that all roofing and homebuilding contractors have a state license. Only a handful of counties don’t require a county permit but Tallapoosa County does.

“State license is basically required by law and that you have to meet minimum requirements in order to hold it,” said Carden.

The hotline for the Alabama Home Builders licensure Board is: 1-800-304-0853. That’s the number people

\You can call the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board at 1-800-304-0853 to learn whether a home repairman is licensed or not.

Meantime, on the eve of threatening weather in central Alabama, things to keep in mind: investigate, ask questions, and specifically ask to see the repairman’s state certification card, which is the size of a credit card.

Carden remembers a story in which one of his investigators prevented a woman, a storm victim, from wasting $50,000 up front.

“And our investigators told her you need to think twice about that and she didn’t do it,” Carden remembered.

Easy tips to remember to prevent your own financial storm.

Alabama lawmakers are considering two proposals that would make it a felony to do unlicensed work in a declared disaster area. The crime is currently a misdemeanor.

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