Topic: Consumer Fraud
Contractors should recognize that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("CFA") does apply to residential construction projects. Failure to adhere to the CFA or its associated regulations can lead to treble damages and attorneys’ fee awards to affected homeowners. Many times homeowners do not even raise CFA issues with the contractor until the contractor files a collection lawsuit against the homeowner for failure to make a payment in accordance with the contract. It is unfortunate that a contractor may have done very good work on a particular project and then is unable to collect payment or has a large offset because of a CFA violation.
It is prudent for contractors to look into their CFA obligations prior to entering into a contract with a homeowner. It is also prudent for a contractor to continually review the CFA requirements throughout a project for compliance. The CFA not only applies to the initial contract, but also to change orders and/or side contracts. An attorney can assist a contractor with CFA compliance to attempt to eliminate or minimize any potential violations of the CFA. Please give us a call at the Law Office of Matthew H. Sontz, LLC to see how we can assist you.