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Bankruptcy of Bel-Habitat Inc.

Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR) has been contacted by consumers worried about the bankruptcy of the construction company Bel-Habitat Inc. We would like to inform you that GCR set up a specific support program for affected buyers. We know how difficult and stressful the current situation is. GCR will protect affected consumers in accordance with the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings.

How do I open a claim file at GCR?

As required by the Regulation, you must first complete GCR’s contractor complaint form. Furthermore, to speed up the process, we have provided you with the claim form that you must also fill out. These two completed forms must be sent to us at reclamation@garantiegcr.com. In compliance with the Regulation, you must also send the contractor a copy of the forms. If you have already submitted the contractor complaint form, you only need to fill out the claim form and return it to us.

No Fees to Open Files

To make the process easier, you will exceptionally not be charged the $100 fee to open a file.

What Can Be Covered

Once both forms have been received, the claim file will be officially opened, and it will be assigned to a GCR conciliator within the timeframe set out in the Regulation.

Because each file is unique, we cannot determine what decision will be made by GCR. Only a thorough analysis of the file by a conciliator based on the criteria set out in the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings will make it possible to determine whether an aspect is covered or not. However, article 9 of the Regulations states the following:

The guarantee of a plan, where the contractor fails to perform his legal or contractual obligations before the acceptance of the building, shall cover,

(1) in the case of a contract of sale,

either the partial payments by the beneficiary; or

completion of the work, where the beneficiary holds the ownership titles provided that no unjustified profit for the latter results therefrom;

 

(2) in the case of contract of enterprise,

either the partial payments by the beneficiary, provided that no unjustified profit for the latter results therefrom; or

completion of the work provided that no unjustified profit for the latter results therefrom;

In the first case (contract of sale), while the contractor still holds the titles, GCR can only order the repayment of the partial payments, depending on the situation, up to a maximum of $50,000.

In the second case (contract for enterprise), depending on the situation, GCR can order the reimbursement of the partial payment up to a maximum of $50,000 or the completion of the work.

Acquisition of property titles after the Bel-Habitat bankruptc

GCR was recently informed that some consumers who signed a preliminary contract as part of the Bel‑Habitat bankruptcy but did not hold title to the property at the time of the June 28 bankruptcy will be given the opportunity by the bankruptcy trustee to acquire the property titles. Some consumers impacted by this situation may be wondering whether, in the event of a claim, GCR would decide to refund the advance payment or to complete the work.

Because every case is unique, we cannot determine GCR’s decision in advance. Only after a conciliator conducts an exhaustive analysis of the file in accordance with the criteria set out in the Regulation Respecting the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings can we determine whether an element is covered.

However, in the interest of providing as much information as possible to the consumers involved and assisting them in their decision‑making process, we would like to inform you today that, under the Regulation, it appears that reimbursement of advance payments is the only option available for consumers who had a sales contract with a contractor and did not hold title to the property at the time of the company’s bankruptcy.

If you have any questions about this situation, we are available to assist you. Contact our customer service department at 1-855-657-2333.

Decisions made in conciliation

Analysis of the claims filed in connection with the Bel‑Habitat company’s bankruptcy is well underway. Accordingly, GCR would like to provide an update on the situation as it stands. On Septembre 13, 2021, 82 decisions, primarily ones concerning reimbursements of advance payments, were sent to the beneficiaries by email and registered mail. 4 other claims must undergo additional verifications before a decision can be made (documents not yet received from beneficiaries). 29 advance payment reimbursements to beneficiaries have been completed.

For cases involving completion, all conciliation visits required before a decision can be rendered have taken place. Decisions will be sent out in the next few weeks. Note that GCR is currently working to prepare the necessary calls for bids for completion work, in order to finish the work as quickly as possible so that buyers can take possession of their properties.

Lastly, a reminder that GCR has committed to sending out decisions no later than August 31 for claims filed about an advance payment reimbursement. It has also committed to ensuring that a conciliation visit has taken place by August 31, 2021, for all cases involving completion of work.

Free Psychological Support Line

Finally, given the stress and distress that people affected by this situation may feel, GCR has set up a free telephone line for those who may need psychological support. Those interested in availing themselves of this service must state that they are calling about Bel-Habitat Inc.’s bankruptcy. This line is now open for calls. The number to call is 1 800 661-8193.

For more information

For more information about the current situation, we invite you to contact our Customer Service Department at 1 855 657-2333 or info@garantiegcr.com

 

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