It happens all the time. Someone reads an advertisement online or is referred to a roofing contractor. They call the phone number and get in touch with a roofer from the company. After a roof inspection takes place, roofer states that they need a downpayment for the roof. The contractor receives the payment. And then — they are gone.
Unfortunately, this scenario is very common in Texas. And the reason why? It’s because the roofing industry is highly unregulated. This means that a con man could, with a promise and a smile, easily swipe money away from an innocent homeowner. This is because there is scant legislation in place to protect homeowners from such a scenario. Literally any person in Texas can say “I am a roofer,” and have the perceived necessary credentials to get on a roof. Hairdressers need a license to cut hair. Plumbers have a certification process. But roofers? Not even a scrap of paper. This obviously means that not only is it easy to get swindled, but bad roofing work is common as well.
Recently, it seemed like there was hope for both reputable roofing companies and consumers. Dallas lawyer Steven Badger has been a watchdog for consumer interests in the roofing industry. Badger had been working with many interested parties to help write a proposal that would have regulated the roofing industry. The bill would have required opportunistic roofers to register their name, address and phone number. This is not an unreasonable licensure, as other Gulf States have such regulations.
Steven Badger’s interest stems from his representation of insurance companies, and his experiences working with many North Texas victims of roofing scams. His ideas were networked into a bill, presented by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglioni-R-Southlake. What happened after the bill was presented on the house floor is a travesty.
Four ringleaders killed House bill 2101 — eviscerating it into a tragic loss by a notable margin of 99 against, and just 33 for. The four people are as follows:
- Carl Isett, a lobbyist for Texas Independent Roofing Contractors Association. This group does not reveal information about its membership.
- Frank Fuentes of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Reasoning? “An unintended consequence would have…