Precautions for Homeowners to Avoid Hurricane Repair Scams
Published on 09-13-2018
Hopefully, the majority of our members will get through Hurricane Florence without significant damages. However, we know two things: hurricanes always cause some damage, and fraudsters are quick to follow the path of the storm.
We want to help you avoid falling victim to repair scams. Our Mortgage Servicing Manager, Kevin Hall, has prepared this quick list of tips to help you:
- File a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Document the destruction. Take detailed, exterior and interior photos of your home. If possible, do so both prior to and following a natural disaster.
- Don't hire just any contractor or adjuster. Avoid the impulse to hire the first contractor who comes along. Always ask for proof of identity
- Pay via credit card or check to create a paper trail. Never use cash to pay for repairs.
- Pay for repairs incrementally. Never pay for all work upfront before work begins
- Do your homework. Research consumer-review sites. Consult with trustworthy people — family, friends, neighbors — before hiring a contractor.
- Obtain several estimates on the cost of damages.
- Continue to pay your mortgage. Paying your mortgage protects your credit score and helps you avoid defaulting on a loan.
- Try to limit further damage. Protect or repair what you can, but keep all receipts for materials to provide to your adjuster