Have you have had trouble with a contractor?
Imagine losing thousands, even hundreds of thousands on a bad business deal.
In continuing coverage, Charges are continuing to be filed against a Menoken contracting company. The owner of Hofland Homes LLC, Tyler Hofland has been accused of writing multiple bad checks with insufficient funds.
KX News introduces you to a Golden Valley homeowner, who was left to complete work on his brand new home, by himself, after Hofland left the family with just the basic structure of the house intact.
The video above shows Bruce and Cindy Darcy’s property before Hofland Homes began building their home last year in August.
Bruce Darcy explains, “My wife and I decided, you know, to go with him, because apparently, we’d never heard anything bad about him. That’s kind of what you’re supposed to do is trust people.”
This is what the house looked like when Tyler Hofland left them high and dry.
Darcy adds, “Nothing happened, nothing happened, we sat here for months. Then we decided to check it out, so I called these guys back and they said, ‘Well we haven’t been paid for other jobs from him, so we’re not coming back’.”
They told us Hofland never paid the carpenter, the guys who installed the concrete, and many others who contributed to building the Darcys’ home.
The couple was left to take on the project themselves, but by the time they did, they were out well over $100,000.
Darcy says, “Yeah, just never answered us, just said he’s going out of business. Just kind of like, ‘Sorry about that’.”
Darcy says he can’t blame those that worked under Hofland because at that point, he knew they weren’t getting paid.
He explains, “I’ve been in the construction business and I knew what was going on, and people weren’t getting paid, so naturally they won’t come back.”
Luckily, Bruce Darcy was a contractor himself years ago and was able to get the house completed this spring, after all the headache.
But many others weren’t so lucky. Between three closed criminal cases, five closed civil cases and two that remain open, Tyler Hofland owed close to $250,000 in damages to businesses and individuals.
Although he is paying off any debt that comes into the court system, a list of nearly 10 homeowners, tell me they haven’t heard a word from him.
In a statement, Hofland’s lawyers say they are working in good conscience to get liens against homeowners lifted.
The Darcys are working with an attorney, but have not filed charges nor have they seen any attempt by Hofland to refund them.
Darcy adds, “You know, it’d be nice if we could get some of our money back or we’d like all of it, so we could pay the people that weren’t paid.”
Hofland’s lawyers told KX News, Hofland Homes LLC has stopped all operations indefinitely.
We asked where Hofland is getting the money to repay these complaints if he didn’t have the money to pay contractors in the first place. His lawyers didn’t specify, but they say he is exhausting all resources to get out of debt.
We also sat down with a lawyer who says, there are ways to protect yourself against this sort of fraudulent behavior.
When you’re looking to hire a contractor, Attorney Jon Byers says, call the consumer protection division with the Attorney General’s Office.
They can tell you if anyone has filed a negative report against a business.
You can also check the better business bureau’s website. The best thing you can do: ask the contractor for references.
If you do fall victim to fraud, Byers says, the first thing you need to do is report it to the AG’s consumer protection division.
They can issue a cease and desist order to make sure fraudulent businesses will no longer be able to operate.
Further, you should file charges. Byers says depending on the reason the contractor left, will determine if it’s a civil or criminal case. He says, either way, you have a case and the right to fight it.
The Larson Latham and Huettl LLP Attorney says, “The thing that separates a deal gone bad (which is civil) from a criminal one, is simply proving that this guy at the outset of it, had no intention of going through with it. So if he had four deals, and then he back out and left people holding the bag, and now this is the fifth one, you know you can prove that he had no intention at the start of it, from going through with it.”
Hofland is still in good standing with the Secretary of State’s Office. Secretary of State Al Jaeger told us good standing simply means a business has filed their annual report. It doesn’t reveal anything about criminal reports or how the company is operating.
Typically when a client has a concern with a business they’ve worked with, they’ll file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. When we typed in Hofland Homes on the Better Business Bureau website, I found out no complaints have been filed yet.
That’s why you should always check multiple sources.