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Acacia Roofing Fails To Pay Supplier, Homeowners Stuck With Liens

6:05 PM, Sep 15, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Acacia Roofing is locked up, the company's Sunbeam Road office is dark, and the owner Jimmy Garza is only taking phone messages.

"I thought we did everything right," said Kevin McGinnis, one of several homeowners who would like to hear from Jimmy Garza.

"All I get is voicemail," he said.  

Last year, Acacia Roofing installed a new roof on McGinnis' home costing $8,000. According to an invoice from the company, it was paid in full, but McGinnis later received a notice that a lien has been place on his home from SRS roofing supply company.

"For one shock, second anger. I went to Acacia to say, 'hey, what's going on with this?'," he said.

The company said it would take care of it, but McGinnis said, it hasn't.

Under Florida's construction/mechanic lien law, since Acacia roofing failed to pay SRS, the company is allowed to attach a lien to McGinnis' home. To remove the lien, McGinnis has to pay the bill again.

"They're looking for $4,000 which we already paid; we don't have it," said McGinnis. 

ON YOUR SIDE

McGinnis is not alone. Several of Acacia Roofing customers have created a Facebook page to voice their frustrations. They too  have liens on their homes.

"I believe the roofing company knew what was going on with Acacia and shouldn't do this," said customer Bill Dolsen.

Garza said he had a long working relationship with SRS Roofing Supply. He had owed the company $350,000, but had paid it down to $150,000 when their relationship soured.

"I have sold everything that I own. I just sold my truck to pay off two liens," said Garza, who said he has already paid off about 12 liens.

Clay County court records show Acacia roofing and Garza had a run of financial problems, along with an IRS tax lien on the company for $963,000. "I am still paying on that," said Garza.

Tom Stephens, president of the Better Business Bureau, said Acacia Roofing was a member in good standing until now.

"We've had a number of complaints in the last 30 days," said Stephens. 

The BBB has now lowered Acacia Roofing's rating from an A to No Rating. "Until they get this taken care of  - either get the suppliers' pay or go the other way obviously," said Stephens.

He said at his next board meeting Acacia's membership will be revoked.

But McGinnis said he has consulted legal advice and is being told he is stuck. "We're being told to pay them," said McGinnis.

Garza said after his relationship with SRS changed, his company went into a spiral. He still owes SRS about $78,000.

Florida's Construction Lien Law requires a contractor to provide customers an affidavit that suppliers have been paid, but there's no penalty for failing to do so, said attorney Robert Underwood. 

Underwood said that is a big loophole in the law.

So what consumers do to protect themselves? Get a waiver of lien and have the contractor fill it out and sign it with a notary, before making a final payment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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