June 16, 2024


I was recently contacted by Dolores Bryant, an Evansville resident who shared a horrifying encounter involving a Greenfield-based reconstruction firm she hired following a severe home flood after her water heater malfunctioned.

A list of recommended service providers was provided by her insurance agent, which included Greenfield’s Remodeling Services and Complete Restoration. Bryant conducted due diligence via the Better Business Bureau where she found only a single minor complaint about the contractor.

Meeting a sales representative from RSCR was the next step for Bryant. After signing a contract for $33,000, she paid half of the sum upfront. The task was picked up by the company’s workers soon after. The task included repairing her under-deck leak besides addressing the water damage.

Later, Bryant decided additional tasks were needed including floor replacement, wall painting, and renovating her bathrooms. She handed over another $8,500 via check, agreeing the balance would be properly paid upon good job completion.

Regrettably, the job was never well done. Almost a year after hiring, Bryant reports how she is left with an unfinished job and an eyesore. The painting and floor replacements are yet to get done, and her under-deck leak is now worse.

Her deck is dilapidated, with trash scattered around her property. Needless to say, Bryant is upset and frustrated. Various excuses have been offered for the protracted delays, making Bryant ponder if her age could be a manipulative factor.

Bryant’s ordeal is just one of the countless cases showing the unethical operations of RSCR’s owner, Michael A. Clark, undeniably. In 2000, a single Brownsburg mom paid $160,000 for a house Clark promised to construct but never did. As it appears, Clark continued to engage in fraudulent activities, including failure to refund a $7,000 filed by a Greenfield non-profit organization called Friends of Recovery.

Clark’s continued misdemeanors didn’t stop there. He found himself under accusations of fraud in Marco Island, Florida by illegally using the contractor license of Star Construction & Restoration president, Jim Pickens. While these cases are still under investigation, there’s a blatant pattern of Clark’s unsavory business practices.

Despite Clark’s disheartening and unethical history, people can protect themselves by applying due diligence. Make sure you undertake a thorough consideration of any potential contractor, including checking with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau for any complaint history.

Also, get multiple bids, keeping in mind cheaper isn’t always better. Be sure to get everything in writing and review the contractor’s licensure, insurance, and bonding. Include a comprehensive description of the work and a payment schedule in your contractual agreement to avoid advance full payment.

Despite the mishap, Bryant is maintaining a positive outlook, glad she didn’t lose any more money than she did. However, she’s set to hire a newer contractor to finish her project, sharing her experience to fair warn others and planning to inform her insurance company about her ordeal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you do if a contractor doesn’t finish a job?

In case a contractor fails to finish a job discuss with them your concerns while agreeing on a fixed completion date. If all fails, invoke the contract by consulting your lawyer or consider a small claims court.

What are some red flags to look out for when hiring a contractor?

Some red flags when hiring a contractor include is a lack of professionalism, shifty communication, negative reviews, lack of licensure, insisting on upfront full payments, excessively low bids, or lack of a written and detailed contract.

What legal actions can you take against a fraudulent contractor?

Legal actions could include filing a complaint with the State Licensing Board, filing a claim with Small Claims Court, or even a lawsuit. It’s paramount to keep all records related to your project for potential evidence.