LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Kimmel & Silverman, a nationally recognized automotive lemon law and consumer advocacy firm, has opened the nation’s first ever home lemon law practice, dedicated to providing legal assistance to home owners who suffer defects related to new construction, renovation, and installation of major components. The firm has created a new website, www.HomeLemonLaw.com, to educate consumers and outline legal protections that may apply.
Using Federal law (Magnuson Moss Warranty Act), Kimmel & Silverman plans to offer contractor fraud, legal representation at no cost. Should the consumer prevail, the recovery of all attorney fees and court costs are recoverable in addition to the amount recovered for the homeowner. “For 15 years, we have applied the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act for consumer claims at no cost to clients. Many people are unaware that this help is available when going up against billion-dollar manufacturers,” says Founding Partner Craig Thor Kimmel.
Based on April 2007 figures recently released, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 981,000 homes will be sold in 2007, and many more will go through significant renovation and remodeling. Kimmel & Silverman have found that the market for home improvements has accelerated as well. They have seen a rising number of calls asking for help with these types of problems and have pledged to assist consumers in cases involving home improvement fraud, including defective materials, mold, siding, foundations, floors, windows, drywall installation, flooring, ceilings, fireplaces, roof, retaining walks, soil erosion and other claims.
In addition, home lemon law legal representation will be offered for shoddy workmanship, deception and/or fraud related to work provided by building contractors and installers. “Because many states fail to require certification for home improvement contractors, the quality of work done for a given task varies greatly. Some contractors are simply not capable of completing what they undertake, or fail to complete the work as necessary,” says Kimmel. “There is a tremendous problem when contractors fail to have insurance to cover for damage or loss of property they cause, and unfortunately, the absence of insurance is widespread.”
The Pennsylvania Legislature is currently working on passage of laws to protect consumers. Senate Bill 100 (SB 100) seeks to establish a statewide registration for home improvement contractors and recently passed on the floor by a vote of 47-1. A companion Bill, HB 507, known as the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, provides that no person may hold himself out to be a contractor, nor perform any home improvement projects without first registering with the Bureau of Consumer Protection. The Bureau would maintain a toll-free number where consumers could call and obtain information about the contractor prior to hire, and state that no home improvement contract would be valid or enforceable unless it contains required information. The Bill would also establish that a homeowner may be compensated for loss resulting from an act, omission, or violation of this act by a registered contractor.
Kimmel is anticipating passage of these protections in an ever-growing market for home improvement goods and services. “Homeownership is the single biggest expenditure we as consumers make,” says Kimmel. “Whether buying a new home from a builder, or improving an existing home through renovations and projects, mistakes can be dangerous and/or costly. That’s why we have decided that it is time to get involved in providing this cost-free legal home lemon law service.”
For more information regarding Kimmel & Silverman’s new home lemon law unit, visit www.HomeLemonLaw.com or call 1-800-LEMON-LAW.
With 20 attorneys and six full-service offices, Kimmel & Silverman provides cost-free lemon law and breach of warranty assistance to consumers throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island and Washington DC. Fore more information about the Firm, visit www.lemonlaw.com.