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Warranties: What happens if the company files for bankruptcy?

A wet ceiling is never a good sign.

“I was stunned. It couldn’t be happening. The roof is only a year old.”

Erin and Andy Marfongella needed a new roof after Hurricane Irma, finally getting one last year.

“The last thing I imagined was that I’d have a problem with my roof,” Marfongella said.

Because the roof is under warranty, they reached out to their roofing contractor, Larry Arrasmith.

“We tried texting and calling multiple times to get no avail,” they said.

To buy time, Andy put Flex Seal, the quick fix sealant known for its commercial, over the area.

“Finances are tough right now because my husband is battling stage four terminal colon cancer,” Erin said, and a leaky roof is just another thing on their plate.

“Some days I don’t want to get out of bed.”

THE WARRANTY

After some digging, WINK learned that Arrasmith and his dissolved company, Ascend Construction LLC, have three pending complaints with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Each complaint says he took on jobs and didn’t do the work.

Arrasmith also filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in March 2020 with business-related liabilities between a half million and a million dollars.

Bankruptcy lawyer Carmen Dellutri, who is not connected to either party, says warranties are only as good as the company that offers them.

“What happens to my warranty? The warranty is dead on arrival,” Dellutri said.

In this situation, he suggests getting the leak fixed by a different contractor, then submitting a proper damage claim to the bankruptcy court so they can be added to the list of creditors before it’s too late.

PROTECTING YOUR POCKET

Before signing with a contractor, Dellutri says to ask point-blank about their stability.

“If you don’t mind, tell me about the financial history. Are you guys going to be out of business in 10 years?”

Dellutri said you may also want to consider not spending the money on a warranty at all, or purchasing one for a lower price and a shorter amount of time.

Consumers can check for lawsuits online via their county Clerk of Court website. They can also search for license complaints via the Department of Business and Professional Regulation website. If you see a complaint or complaints listed, you can call and request copies.

The Attorney General’s office also accepts consumer complaints. Consumers can reach out and ask if there are any complaints on file, or if they’re conducting an investigation in that company.

THE RESPONSE

Arrasmith told WINK mid-May that he would take care of the warranty work they are due. In the first week of June, he sent a subcontractor to look at the issue but did not fix it.

WINK reached out again to Arrasmith for comment on his work, bankruptcy filing and complaints. He did not provide any information to include.

Reporter:Allison Gormly
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