Homeowners Prevail in Contractor Dispute

In a recent unreported Appellate Division decision, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) as applied to home contractor disputes was clarified. The contractor had sued the homeowners for $5000 owed on a home improvement contract and obtained a judgment against them. The Appellate Division reversed and dismissed the contractor’s breach of contract claim.

The court based its opinion on the failure of the contractor to sign the contract between the parties, to include his contractor registration number on the contract, to attach a copy of his insurance certificate and to notify the homeowners in the contract that they could cancel the contract within three days of its receipt. These requirements are spelled out in the home improvement practices regulations of the CFA.

The court noted that “a party who has violated the CFA may not obtain damages even if the violation was innocent and committed in good faith”, and therefore refused to enforce the contract against the homeowners.

It was further decided that the contractor could pursue a claim for the reasonable value of the work, which the contractor would need to prove at trial.

Finally, the Appellate Division held that since the homeowners had successfully defended the contract claim by using the CFA, they were entitled under the CFA to recover their attorneys fees and costs from the contractor. Even though they had no ascertainable loss as a result of the contractor’s work, they had proven that the contractor had committed an unlawful practice by failing to adhere to the home improvement practices regulations in the preparation and execution of the contract.

This all goes to show that when you have a contractor dispute, experienced legal counsel is invaluable to learning and enforcing your rights under the law.

Testimonials

We selected you because you took time to talk with me at first contact. I believe it was a good 15-20 minute phone conversation involving a mix of business and personal. In fact, you were the only attorney that asked about what it is we wanted. Every other attorney merely quoted a rate for services. As I recall, you did not even mention money until I asked near the end of the conversation. You give attorneys a good name. I only wish the majority of the other attorneys on this planet had your knowledge and demeanor. Satisfied Attorney Client After years of frustration with an incompetent attorney, I had the good fortune of finding Mr. Whelan. His clear and concise communication style led me to hire him after a free consultation and enabled speedy filing of my case. The difficulties of managing a NJ rental property from CA became manageable thanks to his expertise and knowledge about the complex rental laws in NJ. You took time to talk with me at first contact. You were the only attorney that asked about what it is we wanted. Celeste B. I will never forget my attorney's dedication to obtaining a substantial recovery for me under a severe time deadline and with no cooperation from my former lawyer. Also, Mr. Whelan was very accommodating of my limited English throughout the case and my lack of understanding of the American court system. Personal Injury Client Chuck is well versed in business law, real estate law, landlord and tenant law as well as Planning, zoning and land use. Believe me we challenged his patience, creativity and legal knowledge. Chuck's intellect and ability would be enough. However, his integrity is what impresses me as much, if not more. I would highly recommend Chuck for a variety of legal services without hesitation. We are grateful to be associated with Chuck and appreciate his hard work on our behalf. Happy Small Business Client Mr. Whelan is a great lawyer. His main concern is always the client. In every matter that he has represented me, I have been very happy with the way everything worked out. I know I can trust him to protect my interests and rights. Satisfied Small Business Client Mr. Whelan provides critical services to our executive management team. He provides a very straight-forward and practical approach to our legal issues. He is timely and extremely reliable. Happy Client An extremely capable and trustworthy attorney with an excellent legal skill set. He delivers the results you want and practices his craft with a clear sense of honor and integrity. I would recommend him unequivocally to any person or business needing legal representation or counsel. Happy Client Mr. Whelan is a great lawyer. His main concern is always the client. In every matter that he has represented me, I have been very happy with the way everything worked out. I know I can trust him to protect my interests and rights. Satisfied Client Mr. Whelan is very professional and honest. He has a tremendous knowledge of all areas of law and is very practical in his approach. He is extremely effective at bringing a swift conclusion to various matters. He is well respected by his peers. I would highly recommend Mr. Whelan for any real estate, litigation, bankruptcy or contract issues. Happy Small Business Client Charles has been nothing but friendly and professional with handling my legal needs. Charles has also handled most of my family’s legal matters and real estate closings. I have known Charles for many years and whenever I have needed good advice, I turn to him. Over the years he has become a true friend that I would recommend his services to anyone. Thanks Chuck for all you have done for me! Satisfied Client I have hired Mr. Whelan for several deals over years. I know he will respond quickly and provide professional guidance through every phase of my real estate deals. He is easy to talk to and will make you feel like you're his top priority client. Satisfied Real Estate Client Charles gave me sincere and professional legal advice and even guidance how to understand the situation for free. His opinion was highly professional with deep understanding for the law. I trust him and recommend him for anyone who need a first class trustfully lawyer. John Soliman Mr. Whelan is the absolute BEST!!! He's super professional, to the point, yet very compassionate. He knows his stuff!! I found him online and he got back to me ASAP and we got the ball rolling with no holdup. I would definitely recommend his services with no hesitation. He's trustworthy and won't waste your time which everyone can appreciate. Give him a call!! Sadiyah Thompson Previous Next

New Brunswick Office

Contact Us

Charles D. Whelan III has been committed to excellence for over 30 years. With offices located centrally in New Jersey, he is able to provide businesses and individuals with excellent legal services.

Click the Button Below to Get In Touch

Schedule a Consultation

Watchung Office

Scroll to Top