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HIC Guaranty Fund Check Presentation Middleboro

In parts one and two of our “HIC-Easy as 1-2-3!” blog series you learned about the Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) law and how to apply for the Arbitration program. Now we’ll cover the fund that may reimburse a homeowner with an unpaid final judgment against a registered contractor. If a qualified homeowner wins their case in arbitration or in court, obtains a judgment, and the contractor fails to pay – all hope isn’t lost! The HIC Guaranty Fund may be a way to receive payment.

What is the Guaranty Fund?

The Guaranty Fund was created as a fund of last resort for homeowners who have an unpaid final judgment against a contractor. Eligible homeowners may apply for and receive up to $10,000, or the amount of their actual loss, whichever is less.

Who has access to the Guaranty Fund?

After an arbitration or court decision becomes a judgment in the homeowner’s favor, the homeowner may be eligible to access the Guaranty Fund if all reasonable efforts to collect the judgment from the contractor were exhausted.

Although contractors are sometimes eligible to apply for the Arbitration program, they are not eligible to apply to the Guaranty Fund.

How do I know if I’m eligible to apply?

In addition to meeting all eligibility criteria for the Arbitration program, a homeowner must apply within six months of receiving an arbitration award or court judgment. You may check your eligibility to apply to the HIC Guaranty Fund online.

What are registered contractors’ obligations to the Guaranty Fund?

Contractors pay a one-time fee at the time of HIC registration to fund the program. If a homeowner is granted money from the Guaranty Fund, the registered contractor who did not pay the judgment must repay the Fund within 30 days. If not repaid within that time, the contractor will be subject to revocation of their HIC registration and other penalties.

 

Last week, Undersecretary Palleschi presented two Middleborough families with checks from the HIC Guaranty Fund. SouthCoast Today attended the check presentation at Middleboro Town Hall and ran a story on the HIC program and Guaranty Fund.

Stayed tuned for part four of our “HIC– Easy as 1-2-3!” blog series next week!

 


The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry. If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.

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