A North Texas woman paid more than $54,000 for a job that was essentially abandoned.
Yvette Turner said the owner of Poolscapes NTX told her the backyard pool, spa, fire pit and retaining wall would be finished by February and she was looking forward to enjoying them with her family.
But after starting, Turner said the workers stopped showing up and the owner said they weren't coming back.
"Now it's just a pond," she said. "An unsafe pond at that."
The Turners met with the owner Poolscapes NTX owner Chris Michaels in November to discuss their vision and talk numbers.
"Everything seemed fantastic," Turner said. "He showed up when he said he was going to show up. He answered your texts, your phone calls. He drew up exactly what we wanted."
The Rowlett family got a loan from the bank, signed on the dotted line and paid the owner in installments totaling more than $54,000. The fourth installment would be paid toward the end of the project.
The backyard project was starting to come along, but Turner said the subcontractors stopped showing up in February. They called Michaels to find out why.
"That's when he told us that, he was sorry that he would not be able to finish our project," she said.
Turner said Michaels told them he had to use their money on other customers' projects whose financing fell through. They wouldn't be able to get a refund and he was filing for bankruptcy. She said his last words were, "I'm sorry."
"I don't want to hear you're sorry, I want my project finished," she said. "We're out $50,000 and our pool is not finished."
We reached out to Michaels to learn more about his involvement with their project. He told NBC 5 Responds his company was "out of business, closed forever," but wouldn't comment any further.
Our team couldn't find any documents that prove he filed for bankruptcy under Poolscapes NTX but he has filed in the past under another business name.
The bank told the Turners there's nothing they can do and that they'd still have to pay back the loan.
Turner regrets paying so much money up front but hopes the owner can find a way to pay them back.
"The only thing i want from him is my refund so i can finish my project. I don't want him to come by and do anything else," she said. "That is definitely a lot of money for my family."
The Turners have brought in other companies to see if their project is salvageable. They've been told it would cost them at least another $30,000 to have it completed.
If this ever happens to you, here are my solutions:
- If a company has filed for bankruptcy you can file a bankruptcy claim. You won't get very far with a lawsuit.
- On a project like this, you should never pay tens of thousands of dollars up front.