• Ripped off by a contractor? How to get your money back

    By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax

    Updated:

    MORE: Cost of roofers breaking the law could fall back on homeowners

    It’s a problem that families across our area reach out to Action News Jax about all the time: A contractor cashes your deposit to the tune of thousands of dollars, but never completes the work.

    We’re breaking down two options for ripped-off homeowners that don’t involve lawyering up.

    “People work hard for their money, and it’s a shame that we’re putting so much out there and we’re not getting anything back in return,” said Carlson Enterprises customer Denise Daley in Oct. 2017.

    Many customers feel like they’ve tried everything to get their money back from a contractor who’s not getting the work done, and they don’t want to pay a lawyer thousands more to go after the company.

    MORE: Customers accuse Jacksonville roofer of taking money, not doing the work

    “I just want my money back. So I’m out that little over $7,000. I still need to get a new roof,” said First Coast Roofing customer Peter Gallant on March 1.

    If you’ve lost $5,000 or less, you can file in small claims court. It’s a simple form and you don’t need a lawyer.

    In Duval County, you can file a hard copy at the Clerk of Court’s office or file online here.

    Most roofing deposits are more than $5,000 ... which brings us to option No. 2.

    You may be able to get money from the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund.

    MORE: Roofer accused of grand theft has been punished 5 times by state

    It’s set up for homeowners who signed an agreement with a licensed contractor and lost money because of that contractor’s actions.

    Before you can get money from the fund, the Construction Industry Licensing Board or a judge must have already ordered that the contractor pay up.

    You can find more information about how to qualify here and the form you need here.

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