Home repair company barred from business in NC, AG Cooper says
Release date: 12/13/2016
Defendants charged Triad consumers money upfront, never completed repairs
Raleigh: A repair company that bilked Triad consumers out of cash deposits but never completed the work is now banned from business in North Carolina, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today.
“Avoid doing business with anyone who shows up at your home and asks you to pay for repair work in advance,” Cooper said. “Don’t get rushed into paying for home repairs, and never hire contractors to work on your home without checking them out thoroughly.”
At Cooper’s request, Wake County Superior Court Judge Kendra D. Hill issued a temporary restraining order Monday against Leo Joseph “Joe” Overman and Reconda Browder Worley (also known as Ricci Overman) of Midstate Quality Home Repair & Paint Co. for charging consumers cash deposits for repair work and then refusing to complete the work or return the money.
According to a complaint filed by Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division, the defendants advertised home repair services including roofing, gutter cleaning and installation, painting, pressure washing, remodeling, deck and fence restoration, and siding cleaning and repair. Midstate charged half of the repair cost upfront by cash or check, but after an initial visit to begin the work, often told victims that they needed even more money to finish the job. The defendants refused to return consumers’ money after leaving them with repairs that were only partially completed, if at all. Victims lost thousands of dollars to the scam.
As alleged in the complaint, Midstate charged one Guilford County consumer a $2,500 down payment before beginning work on a roof and vinyl siding replacement. Before completing the job, the defendants stopped working and demanded an additional $4,000. After noticing that their new roof was leaking, the consumer called Midstate to fix it, but the defendants refused to complete the repairs or give him a refund.
An investigation by the Attorney General’s Office uncovered that Midstate Quality Home Repair also operated as Midstate Quality Home Improvements and Overman Roofing. The home repair scheme targeted consumers in Alamance and Guilford Counties. A total of six consumers have filed complaints with Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division about the company, with five of those complaints filed since July, 2016.
Follow these tips to avoid problems when hiring help for home repairs:
Never pay the full cost of repair work upfront. A reasonable down payment may be required, but make sure you’re satisfied with the work before you make the final payment.
Avoid paying cash, and pay by credit card if you can. If you pay by check, make it out to the company, not an individual.
Do your research before you hire a repair company. Ask for recommendations from trusted friends, family, and neighbors, and check with the Better Business Bureau to learn about any complaints against the company.
Check for credentials. Certain jobs like general contracting, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC repair require workers to be licensed with the state.
Get a written contract listing all repairs, when the job starts, how long it will take, and the total cost.
Know your right to cancel. Under North Carolina law, transactions that take place at your home can be cancelled up to three days after you sign the contract.
To check out a home repair company or file a consumer complaint against one, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina or visit ncdoj.gov
Contact: Noelle Talley