Howard helping 3 with home hunting and home improvement

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It’s time to check in with some people we’ve been trying to help to see how things are going.

In June we told you about Dr. Jillian Broutman and her husband who wanted to buy an old decrepit mansion in New Rochelle and turn it into a beautiful home again. We couldn’t find the owner. And the debt servicer – Reverse Mortgage Solutions (a subsidiary of DiTech) – wasn’t responding.

After our story a local realtor made some contact with RMS. We thought there might be some progress, but now things have taken a negative turn.

Dr. Broutman got a phone call from a broker who apparently represents a woman handling the estate of the previous owners. He left a clear message.

“You will not be buying this property under no circumstances.”

That doesn’t sound promising for Jillian.


Ibrahim Ndao runs BNI Supply in Brooklyn. He’s become known for not finishing jobs he starts. All he has to do to Ester Aron’s Long Island home are a bunch of little things like installing handles.

But Ibrahim is taking his sweet time. Ester tells us he says he’s been feeling down.

Hey Ibrahim! How about finishing the job? How about that? That may make you feel better. Give it a try.


And then there was the case of Janice Artope who wanted a new awning on her Brooklyn home. She contracted with Right Way Co. to do the work. She gave them a $1,500 deposit. Then she checked them out online and found an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The contract gave her three days to cancel for a refund. She canceled the day after she signed. But no refund.

We went looking for the company at two addresses listed on the contract. One was a Wonton factory and the other a Hasidic-run fruit company.

When I got the guy who signed Janice’s contract on the phone, a guy named “Steven," he gave me a song and dance. But he ultimately said he could pay her $300 a week until the $1,500 was repaid. I must admit I didn’t think he was sincere. But “Steven” surprised me. He gave Janice a MoneyGram for $350. Well done. Now we’ll see if he follows through.

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