Local attorney gives advice how not to get ripped off by a contractor

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 18:46:49-04

We here at Action 10 News get numerous calls from viewers, who have complaints about contractors they hired. 

We went to the Snapka Law Firm and talked with attorney Dr. Bill Chriss and the first question we asked was: 

What does it take to be a contractor in the State of Texas?

"To be a contractor, you don’t need to do anything. There are no licensing requirements that I am aware of. It is one of the few really important, totally unregulated industries in the State of Texas."

So what should you do – so your house doesn’t end up like the ones that aren’t finished? 

"The first thing you should do, is look for recommendations from people that you trust to get an idea of 2 or 3 contractors that are reputable, who have been in business for a long time in Corpus Christi and who have good ratings from the Better Business Bureau."

But let’s say you have already been snake bit by a contractor. Your project is not finished, and you already dished out the cash let’s say under $10,000 dollars.

"You have a number of options.  One would be to go down and see your local Justice of the Peace. You do not need a lawyer to do that, and you can file a lawsuit against that contractor to either force him to finish the job or return your money. I mean you can do that in small claims court," said Chriss.

How about  those homeowners who gave the contractor their insurance check, over $10,000,and he never came back?

"If you feel like you have reason to believe he has intentionally ripped you, off you can go down to the District Court Attorney’s Office and ask them if you have any criminal remedies that might be available to you," concluded Chriss.

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