Two roofing contractors who completed work as subcontractors for a New Jersey building company were fearful they would never see the remittance for their efforts after being stonewalled by the general contractor that hired them.
WABC investigative reporter Nina Pineda and her “7 On Your Side” segment featured the two roofers, separated by three states and 900 miles apart, but faced strikingly similar situations.
According to reporting by Pineda, both roofing companies were owed thousands of dollars by Dream Home Roofing, a New Jersey-based general contractor with a “user-friendly” website. Like many homeowners across America, customers hire a company like Dream Home, but the work is often farmed out to smaller concerns like Los Garcias Contracting in Henderson, Ky.
Last year, according to WABC, Dream Home hired Los Garcias Contracting to replace a residential roof. Los Garcias’ owner, Katie Tomas, fronted the materials and manpower to complete the job, but Dream Home still owed her the full amount — more than $9,700 months after completion.
"If they're doing all this, how many other subcontractors are they not paying?" Tomas told WABC.
Further north, Newark, NJ-based roofing contractor Jose Loja, who owns Tri State Enterprises LLC, said he saw Tomas' online complaints about Dream Home Roofing on Facebook. Loja said Dream Home owed him between $13,000 and $14,000.
Last fall, Loja finished nine roofing and siding jobs for Dream Home. The small businessman said he got paid for a few jobs, but Dream Home eventually stopped responding to his requests.
"We weren't hearing anything from them — we were messaging them and texting them; they never answered," a colleague of Loja’s named Sebastian told the reporter.
Pineda said the stiffed subs should have checked out the driving range Top Golf; just a day after Jose did his last job, the Dream Home Facebook page showed its sales team enjoying the high life.
"We had to pay for materials; our workers had to be paid, of course, because we just can't tell them, ‘Hey, there's no money,’" Sebastian said.
Pineda, for her “7 On Your Side” segment, called Dream Home Roofers. The CEO reportedly said his company has "cash flow problems" and still owes other contractors, putting them on payment plans.
Often, a bit of public shaming is the grease needed to open a skinflint’s checkbook. Apparently, a few days after the reporter called Dream Home, Tomas of Los Garcias Contracting was paid the full amount: $9,703.40.
And Loja finally got paid, too, receiving two checks with payment in full — for $13,704.41.