N.J. website lists unregistered contractors

Posted: July 24, 2012

New Jersey state investigators want to help homeowners hire contractors who won't disappear with deposits, leave jobs unfinished, or do inadequate work.

On Monday, the Division of Consumer Affairs released the names of 44 unregistered contractors, including more than a dozen from South Jersey, who were cited and issued $195,000 in civil penalties based on consumer complaints.

"Disreputable contractors can leave consumers with costs that escalate to tens of thousands of dollars, as well as dangerous conditions that must be repaired at additional cost," Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said in a statement.

"If you perform home-improvement work in New Jersey, you must comply with our laws. Otherwise, you will be held accountable," he said.

The list was published Monday because summer is the height of the home improvement season, officials said, and efforts against unregistered contractors have been intensified.

The list posted on the attorney general's website - http://nj.gov/oag/ - includes businesses from across the state. Seven are from Camden County. Of the 44 contractors cited, the division wants $3,400 in restitution from four contractors. Dozens of other complaints have been referred to arbitration.

The website also has a searchable database of registered contractors and tips for consumers. Or homeowners can call the License Verification Line at 973-273-8090.

"The registration allows us to track and hopefully fend off bad contractors," said Eric T. Kanefsky, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.

Under New Jersey law, contractors must show proof of liability insurance and have a legitimate business address. The law also requires that contractors display their registration number, which begins with "13VH," on all contracts, advertisements, and commercial vehicles.

Contact Barbara Boyer at 856-779-3838 or bboyer@phillynews.com.

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