Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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Attorney General Announces the Filing of a Court Action Against an Unlicensed Portland Construction Contractor

February 12, 2001

Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the filing of a court action against an unlicensed Portland construction contractor and warned consumers about construction fraud. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed today in Multnomah County Circuit Court is James H. Feild, IV.

"Many contractors run legitimate businesses but complaints against construction contractors continue to appear on our Top 10 Consumer Complaint List," Myers said. "Oregonians contemplating building or remodeling a home should take extra care to choose a contractor so they don't end up having to file complaints with law enforcement."

Referred to the Department of Justice by the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) Special Investigation Unit, the case focused on Feild misrepresenting his credentials to a consumer and accepting a $24,800 down payment on a construction job. Feild's construction contractors license was revoked June 29, 2000 by the CCB because he was unable to obtain a bond. The work was never done and Feild told the consumer that he could not repay the money.

Under the settlement, Feild agrees to pay $24,800 to Richard S. Pope and Elaine L. Orr of Portland and will not work as a construction contractor without being licensed through the CCB. Feild also will pay $3,000 to the Department of Justice consumer protection and education fund to cover investigation costs.

Attorney General Myers suggests the following when looking for a construction contractor:

  • Be leery of anyone offering home repair services door-to-door. Most legitimate construction contractors do not go door-to-door. Half a dozen checks should be made on a company before signing a contract or paying any money.
  • Be wary of telephone solicitations by contractors offering free inspections. Ask for the company's CCB license number and references and check them out with the State of Oregon.
  • Ask friends for referrals and develop a list of potential contractors.
  • Call the CCB 24-hour, toll-free, automated contractor inquiry line at 1-888-366-5635 to see if the contractor is licensed. Remember that licensing does not guarantee the quality of work. It offers some financial protection if problems arise with the service.
  • Call the Attorney General's consumer hotline and the Better Business Bureau to check on complaints against the company.
  • Call the courthouse in the same county in which the business is located and check on any current litigation or past civil actions brought against the company.
  • Check on the company's membership in any trade associations. Many associations have sets of standards that its members pledge to uphold.

Consumers wanting written information on "avoiding construction fraud" and "choosing a licensed contractor" may contact the CCB at (503) 378-4621, ext. 4974 or online at www.ccb.state.or.us, the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392 or the Better Business Bureau at (503) 226-3981. The Department of Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.

Suspicious construction activities may be reported by calling the Attorney General's hotline as listed above or CCB at (503) 378-4621, ext. 4026.


Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
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