HomeLatest NewsFeatured HomebuildersHome Buyer ResourcesBinding ArbitrationResource LinksSubmit ComplaintsView ComplaintsTake Action 101!Report Mortgage FraudMortgage Fraud NewsForeclosure NewsConstruction DefectsHome DefectsPhoto GalleryFoundation ProblemsHomeowner Website LinksHOA Reform
Main Menu
Home
Latest News
Featured Homebuilders
Home Buyer Resources
Binding Arbitration
Resource Links
Submit Complaints
View Complaints
Take Action 101!
Report Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage Fraud News
Foreclosure News
Construction Defects
Home Defects
Photo Gallery
Foundation Problems
Homeowner Website Links
HOA Reform
Featured Topics
Builder Death Spiral
Report Mortgage Fraud
Foreclosure Special Report
Mold & New Home Guide
Special News Reports
Centex & Habitability
How Fast Can They Build Them?
TRCC Editorial
Texas TRCC Scandal
Texas Watch - Tell Lawmakers
TRCC Recommendations
Sandra Bullock
People's Lawyer
Prevent Nightmare Homes
Choice Homes
Smart Money
Weekly Update Message
News
Latest News
HOBB News
Editorials
New Jersey
New Jersey & Texas
Write Letters to the Editors
TRCC in the News
Texas TRCC Scandal
Survey
Fair Use Notice
HOBB Archives
About HOBB
Contact Us
Fair Use Notice
Legislative Work
Your House

 HOBB News Alerts
and Updates

Click Here to Subscribe

Support HOBB - Become a Sustaining Member
Who's Online
ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration
One Good Hearted Builder
Thursday, 05 April 2007

Contractors come to the aid of bilked homeowners
Richard Prowse was getting ready for work one day several weeks ago when he saw a heartbreaking story in the newspaper. In the story, a local family said it lost more than $17,000 to a contractor who had disappeared after they hired him to make their house more accessible for their wheelchair-bound son. They said their home was uninhabitable because a contractor had gutted it before absconding with their money.Prowse, himself a contractor, was upset and began working the phones and printing fliers to assemble volunteers.Companies donated wallboard, kitchen cabinets, baseboards and other supplies. Contractors started showing up at Hatch and Bailey, the Stamford lumber yard where Prowse is a sales representative, to help.

Contractors come to the aid of bilked homeowners
By Chris Gosier
Staff Writer
April 1 2007

STAMFORD -- Richard Prowse was getting ready for work one day several weeks ago when he saw a heartbreaking story in the newspaper.

In the story, a local family said it lost more than $17,000 to a contractor who had disappeared after they hired him to make their house more accessible for their wheelchair-bound son. They said their home was uninhabitable because a contractor had gutted it before absconding with their money.Prowse, himself a contractor, was upset and began working the phones and printing fliers to assemble volunteers.

Companies donated wallboard, kitchen cabinets, baseboards and other supplies. Contractors started showing up at Hatch and Bailey, the Stamford lumber yard where Prowse is a sales representative, to help.

"I've called a million people. My fingers are tired from dialing," he said.

Prowse told the story yesterday amid the din of construction at a Catoona Lane home, where volunteer contractors were drilling wallboard into place and spackling them in preparation for painting. Prowse re-set the windows last weekend, and plans to order new doors tomorrow. A new plumbing system also will be installed.

"I want them to have all new stuff," Prowse said.

The house should be completely rebuilt in the next few weeks, he said. Donations of materials have poured in, along with uncounted volunteer contractors.

"It's impossible to guess at this point," he said about the number of volunteers. "They come in shifts. They come in waves."

Meanwhile, the Brown family beamed at their good fortune.

"It's what I call a miracle," said Renee Brown, mother of Eric Brown Jr., an 18-year-old Westhill High School student who has cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain.

The trouble started when the family - using money raised by donors, including through a gospel concert - hired Frank Bontempo, a contractor from East Haven, to renovate the home, Eric Brown Sr. said.

Bontempo took the money, gutted the house and disappeared last fall without finishing the job, according to Stamford police. He was arrested in February on charges of first-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief, violation of home improvement contracting laws and violation of solicitation and sales rules.

Bontempo showed them home improvement licenses and insurance papers that seemed legitimate, Brown said. Bontempo could not be located for comment yesterday.

The family has gotten none of the money back. Brown said Bontempo sent them a check for more than $8,000, but it bounced. Prowse said he's put the family in contact with a state fund that compensates victims of fraudulent contractors.

The family had tried without success to restore their house.

"We did what we could until we ran out of money," Brown said.

Since October, the family has been staying at the Stamford Suites hotel for $1,200 a week.

"I don't know how we make it," said Brown, a warehouseman for a moving company who delivers newspapers on the side.

The family longs to leave the hotel and return to the house, where they have lived since 1994.

"I can't wait. It's like a dream come true," Renee Brown said in Eric Jr.'s room yesterday after workers had installed new drywall.

Volunteers were coming and going yesterday; Renee Brown estimated that as many as 100 would show up. Area businesses - including Liz Sue Bagels, Garden Catering and Sergio's Pizza - donated food for the workers.

Prowse estimated the value of the job at $70,000. He said the work could be done in three weeks, but the pace will depend on whether they get enough materials. "It's not a lack of guys," Prowse said.

Noel McNamara, a Stamford drywall contractor, said he got a boost from helping the family.

"There but for the grace of God go you, go I," he said. "It could be any one of us, you know."
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/scn-sa-handicap.house1apr01,0,3662285.story?coll=stam-news-local-headlines
 
< Prev   Next >
Search HOBB.org

Reckless Endangerment
BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
and JOSHUA ROSNER

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
Economic Armageddon


Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 Feature
Rise and Fall of Predatory Lending and Housing

NY Times: Building Flawed American Dreams 
Read CATO Institute: 
HUD Scandals

Listen to NPR:
Reckless Endangerman
by
Gretchen Morgenson : How 'Reckless' Greed Contributed
to Financial Crisis - Fannie Mae

NPR Special Report
Part I Listen Now
Perry Home - No Warranty 
Part II Listen Now
Texas Favors Builders

Washington Post
The housing bubble, in four chapters
BusinessWeek Special Reports
Bonfire of the Builders
Homebuilders helped fuel the housing crisis
Housing: That Sinking Feeling

Texas Regulates Homebuyers
 
Texas Comptroller Condemns TRCC Builder Protection Agency
TRCC is the punishment phase of homeownership in Texas

HOBB Update Messages

Consumer Affairs Builder Complaints

IS YOUR STATE NEXT?
As Goes Texas So Goes the Nation
Knowledge and Financial Responsibility are still Optional for Texas Home Builders

OUTSTANDING FOX4 REPORT
TRCC from Bad to Worse
Case of the Crooked House

TRCC AN ARRESTING EXPERIENCE
The Pat and Bob Egert Building & TRCC Experience 

Builders Looking for Federal Handouts

Build it right the first time
An interview with Janet Ahmad

Bad Binding Arbitration Experience?
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
or call 1-210-402-6800

Drum Major Institute
for Public Policy

Tort Deform
Report Your Arbitration Experience

Homebuilding Texas Style
And the walls came
tumblin' down

 Texas Homebuilder
Bob Perry Political Contributions

  The Agency Bob Perry Built
 TRCC Connection News
Tort Reform

NPR Interview - Perry's
Political influence movement.
Click to listen 

REWARD
MOST WANTED

ARIZONA REGISTRAR OF CONTRACTORS
Have you seen any of these individuals

 Feature: Mother Jones Magazine
Are you Next?
People Magazine - Jordan Fogal fights back
Because of construction defects Jordanís Tremont Home is uninhabitable
http://www.tremonthomehorrors.com/
You could be the next victim
Interview with Award Winning Author Jordan Fogal

Special Money Report
Big Money and Shoddy Construction:Texas Home Buyers Left Out in the Cold
Read More
Read Report: Big Money…
Home Builder Money Source of Influence

Letters to the Editor
Write your letters to the Editor

Homeowner Websites

top of page

© 2022 HomeOwners for Better Building
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.