Home Improvement Contractor Sidelined Until Refunds Are Paid

NEW YORK, NY (February 7, 2007)—Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that his office has entered into a Consent Order with a Buffalo-area contractor that prohibits him from operating a home improvement business until he pays $30,000 in restitution owed to consumers.

Ronald Timmerman, who operated Timmerman Roofing & Siding, required advance payments from consumers who contracted with him for home improvement services. Mr. Timmerman, however, repeatedly failed to complete the promised work and, on several occasions, provided no work at all. He also failed to deposit the advance payments he received from consumers into a trust account, as required by New York State law, and fraudulently claimed that he was licensed and insured.

The Consent Order, signed by Justice Joseph Makowski of New York State Supreme Court, requires Mr. Timmerman to pay a total of $30,000 in restitution to consumers. He must pay an initial sum of $15,000 before he can operate a home improvement business again, and he must pay $1,000 per month thereafter until he has paid the remainder of the balance. If he fails to submit any of the payments on time, he will be prohibited from providing additional home improvement services until the proper payment is made. The Order also directs Mr. Timmerman to deposit advance payments received from any future consumers into a trust account that he must maintain, and prohibits him from using these funds for purposes other than providing home improvements for his customers.

The Order further requires that Mr. Timmerman use a home improvement contract that contains a start and end date, describes the work to be done and the materials to be used, and tells consumers their rights if they make an advance payment.

Attorney General Cuomo said, “Home owners must have confidence that contractors who are paid fees in advance will do their work, and do it properly. My office will continue to work to prevent the few unscrupulous contractors from taking advantage of trusting homeowners and from damaging the reputations of honest and hard-working home improvement contractors.”

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General James Morrissey of the Buffalo Regional Office.

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