Bill Text: NJ S3191 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Concerns reimbursements to Superstorm Sandy-impacted homeowners subjected to contractor fraud.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-11-14 - Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee [S3191 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3191-Amended.html

[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 3191

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 26, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)

Senator  BOB ANDRZEJCZAK

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Van Drew, Brown, Connors and O'Scanlon

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns reimbursements to Superstorm Sandy-impacted homeowners subjected to contractor fraud.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on November 14, 2019, with amendments.

 


An Act concerning contractor fraud following Superstorm Sandy, and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  The commissioner shall permit the distribution of fraud-response funding to an applicant if 1[the applicant demonstrates to the department that the applicant has been the subject of fraud or theft by deception, committed by a RREM or LMI program contractor,] a government agency notifies the department, in writing, that there is reasonable cause to believe that a RREM or LMI program contractor has engaged in conduct in violation of the New Jersey consumer fraud act, P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.), or regulations promulgated thereto,1 in connection with a RREM or LMI program contract to complete work on the applicant's house.  The department shall distribute fraud-response funding regardless of whether an applicant presents a charging document, so long as the 1[applicant is able to present alternative documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the fraud or theft by deception occurred] government agency has provided written notification pursuant to this subsection1.

     b.    The commissioner shall consult the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety to develop 1an1 appropriate 1[standards for determining whether fraud or theft by deception has occurred, and what documents are relevant in that determination] process for a government agency to submit written notification pursuant to subsection a. of this section1.

     c.     An applicant shall not be entitled to a fraud-response funding award if any portion of the award would amount to a duplicative benefit or would otherwise violate the "Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act," (42 U.S.C. s.5155), or another provision of federal law. 

     d.    As used in this section:

     "Applicant" means a RREM or LMI program beneficiary who applies for fraud-response funding.

     "Charging document" means a document 1[produced by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, indicating] alleging1 that the applicant's contractor has been charged with 1[a crime involving]1 fraud or theft by deception 1in connection with a RREM or LMI program contract to complete work on the applicant's house, which shall include, but not be limited to, an arrest warrant, a criminal complaint, an accusation signed by a prosecuting attorney, or an indictment1.

     "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Community Affairs.

     "Department" means the Department of Community Affairs.

     "Fraud-response funding" means funding allocated by the federal government, which may be allocated to reimburse an applicant, who has been defrauded by a RREM or LMI program contractor.

     1"Government agency" means the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, the Office of the  Attorney General, a county prosecutor's office, a State, county, or municipal law enforcement agency, a federal law enforcement agency, or any other government law enforcement authority.1

     "RREM or LMI program" means the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation Program or the Low-to-Moderate Income Homeowners Rebuilding Program, established by the department for the purpose of distributing federal funding allocated towards recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately, but shall remain inoperative until the first day of the second month next following enactment.

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