Missouri sues home repair companies

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri Attorney General’s office is suing several home-repair businesses for allegedly defrauding Missouri customers after storms.

Attorney General Chris Koster said in a release Tuesday that the lawsuit names 16 home-repair businesses. He says complaints about home repair and remodeling businesses are common and that there’ve been more than 330 such complaints so far in 2014. Many of the complaints involve so-called storm chasers, who follow severe storms, stay long enough to collect initial payments and rarely finish the repairs.

Koster says the lawsuit affects at least 80 Missouri homeowners who lost about $360,000.

He says consumers should check the references of contractors before signing a contract or providing any partial payment and should be wary of crews that appear unexpectedly after heavy storms.