Local homeowners out thousands after roofing company closes

11:25 AM, Aug 25, 2010   |    comments
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The Denver Better Business Bureau says this year alone, it has received close to 4,000 inquiries about American Shingle. They're a national company with locations in 11 states, including two in Colorado; in Loveland and Lakewood.

9NEWS has received dozens of news tips from homeowners across the state. These people say they are out thousands of dollars and still sitting under incomplete roofs.

From the looks of the Lakewood office on Tuesday, it appears the people inside may have vacated in a hurry. There was furniture tossed around inside the vacant room.

The BBB says it cannot formally determine whether or not American Shingle is officially out of business. However, the company did send out a letter to one Fort Collins homeowner who is out thousands of dollars.

The letter says American Shingle is in the process of an "orderly wind down" due to "significant financial hardship."

Don Kirkland experienced hail damage to his roof from a hail storm that hit Fort Collins in August 2008. Kirkland says the repair contract was presented as a no-lose situation.

Kirkland says he was told, "If we find that there's hail damage, then we'll help you make a claim. When the claim is paid, we're basically committing to you that well do your roof for whatever the insurance agrees to pay."

Kirkland says, at the time, he saw nothing suspicious.

In July, the insurance agreed to pay for the damage. Kirkland forwarded a $10,000 check to American Shingle. The company cashed the check and now Kirkland can't get a hold of the company holding his money.

"I have called them multiple times, and their phone is just on a loop," he said.

Tuesday morning, 9NEWS contacted Company CEO Dewayne Dunko, but he did not return our calls. He did tell our sister station in Georgia, where the company is headquartered, that the trouble began when an unexpected slump in sales caused cash flow troubles in May causing them to fall behind on bills to their credit supplier.

Dunko says the only way to pay the credit supplier would be to stop installing the roofs the following week, and take the money they collected from new accounts.

Kirkland says he questions American Shingle's business practices.

"I'm really torched. I just can't believe how people could sit there, and look you straight in the eye, and just lie to you like this," he said.

American Shingle sent out a letter to several of its Colorado customers saying they will continue to collect the money owed to them from completed work, and they will use it to refund creditors whose roofs have not yet been installed.

The BBB says it's important to do your research. American Shingle's contract stated all insurance checks must be endorsed before any work is performed. BBB says this is a huge red flag and you should never pay for a job in full, up front.

If you were scammed by American Shingle, the BBB suggests you file a complaint with the BBB in Georgia immediately. For more information, visit Atlanta.bbb.org.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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