Following the freak October snowstorm of 2011, as well as Hurricane Irene, tens of thousands of New Jerseyans suffered significant property damage requiring extensive repair. Backlogs of work among many reputable and well-established area contractors led many to seek out secondary or perhaps even tertiary options via word-of-mouth, telephone directories, online searches, or even flyers posted in a nearby store.
It is because of this that AARP New Jersey extends a hearty thank you to Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs for its recent crackdown on the illegal, unregistered, and in many cases, reprobate contractors who canvassed the state following Hurricane Irene. They were looking to make quick money as they waded through the state’s floodwaters swollen by the storm’s torrential rains, waters only further heightened by the sweat and tears of shaken and desperate NJ homeowners.
Many of these fraudulent contractors knew that with demand exceedingly high, many homeowners, in an effort to get their lives back in order, may not exercise due diligence in checking into their licensing, references, or backgrounds. Older New Jerseyans, who in many cases may be unable to do these home repairs themselves, and may lack a family support system to consult, are particularly vulnerable to these scammers.
We commend the Governor and the DCA for their efforts to keep the home repair marketplace safe and well-regulated to protect the interests all New Jersey homeowners, whatever their age.
The author is an AARP volunteer
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