We get far too many emails about shady contractors who take money from vulnerable people and then don’t do the work. Often they rip the place apart and then stop showing up. Part of the problem is the hand to mouth way many contractors work. The money they get from new customers goes to finance previous jobs they’ve started.
So we weren’t surprised to get an email from Martha Amidano about her 87-year-old mother-in-law, Josephine.
Josephine lived in her house in Jersey City for 55 years. Now she’s wheelchair bound as she battles cancer. Her son Arthur, an attorney, wanted to renovate her house to accommodate the chair. A colleague referred him to contractor Warren Evans. Soon he was out 46-thousand-dollars, his mom’s home was ripped apart and Warren Evans was no longer showing up on the job.
Martha told me, “I said come clean. What did you do with the money? He said he needed to pay the payroll. He was behind in the payroll. He used her money to pay the payroll.”
So I went looking for Warren Evans. I got lucky right off the bat. I found him pulling out of his home. He took off. But I got him on the phone. And he seemed to understand the seriousness of the situation. He got back to work. It took a few more calls, but Warren basically finished.
“It’s a big improvement from the last time you were here,” Martha said.
It’s not perfect and needs a few touch ups. But the Amidanos are satisfied…as long as Warren does the touch ups.