Bergen County Contractor Sentenced for Thefts could be sued under New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

A New York home improvement contractor, Joseph Fienga, was sentenced Friday in Hackensack to three years in prison after being convicted of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from three Bergen County homeowners. Joseph Fienga did little or no work on the contracts in Ramsey, New Milford and Fair Lawn, New Jersey despite receiving large sums of money from the homeowners, prosecutors alleged. Judge Guida also ordered Fienga to make restitution of more than $30,000.

The sue the constractor under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-2 et seq.,  and the Home Improvement Practices regulations, N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.1 et seq. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits “the act, use or employment by any person of any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with” home improvement services. The Home Improvement Practices Regulations further define specific unlawful home improvement contractor practices.

A successful New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claimant may be awarded treble (triple) damages, attorney’s fees and court costs. If you have been a victim of New Jersey Consumer Fraud by a contractor, call Gary M. Didieo, Esq. at Didieo Law Firm, LLC today to arrange a consultation to discuss the possibility of filing a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim against your contractor. Gary M. Didieo represents consumers in NJ Consumer Fraud Act lawsuits in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Hudson and Essex counties, and throughout the entire State of New Jersey.

Bergen County NJ Consumer Fraud Act plaintiff’s lawsuit against Continental dismissed

A NJ Consumer Fraud Act plaintiff, Michael Rosen or Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ, sued Continental Airlines, now known as United, after he was unable to buy a set of headphones or alcohol using cash on a flight in 2010.

He sued for breach of contract, unlawful discrimination against low-income people who don’t possess credit cards and violation of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.

A lower court judge dismissed the case and Rosen appealed. The appellate division panel upheld dismissal, concluding that federal airline deregulation law pre-empts claims under state law and that the plaintiff didn’t have standing to bring a class action on behalf of low-income people.

Attorney Gary M. Didieo represents consumers in NJ Consumer Fraud Act lawsuits in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Hudson and Essex Counties, and throughout the entire State of New Jersey.

Will I lose my home if I file for bankruptcy?

One of my clients’ major concerns in a consumer bankruptcy is the thought of losing the family home. Although that is possible in some cases, loss of the home is not very common.

If the debtor in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy is behind on his or her mortgage payments, the home could be lost. In such cases, the mortgage lender usually asks the bankruptcy court for permission to institute foreclosure proceedings despite the pending bankruptcy. When a debtor is current on his or her mortgage payments, whether the debtor will lose his or her house depends on how much equity the debtor has in the property and whether that equity is exempt under state law or federal bankruptcy law. If the amount of the debts owed on the home is less than the home’s market value, the debtor could lose the house unless the applicable exemption entitles the debtor to retain most of the equity.

In a Chapter 13 proceeding, however, even if the debtor is behind on mortgage payments, if the Chapter 13 plan includes paying back any missed mortgage payments and the mortgage is otherwise current, the debtor should not lose his or her home. If the debtor is current on his or her payments, the home will not be lost if the debtor continues to make payments when due.

If the debtor is a renter rather than a homeowner, the law is complex and the advice of an attorney important. Under most circumstances, if the landlord wins the right to evict the debtor-tenant before the bankruptcy is filed, the automatic stay will not stop the eviction proceedings. An eviction may also survive the automatic stay if the tenant is endangering the property or using illegal substances on the premises. However, these provisions may apply differently to those with public-housing leases.

Usually a residential lease can be “assumed” in bankruptcy and the debtor-tenant can continue to live there and pay rent according to the lease terms, but certain deadlines may have to be met for the lease not to be considered rejected.