Judge Orders Mo. Home Repair Contractor to Pay Up Following Scam

February 5, 2006

A St. Francois County, Missouri judge has dropped the hammer on the owner of a home-repair company for reportedly collecting thousands of dollars from homeowners and never delivering on promises.

Associate Circuit Judge Thomas Ray has ordered Mike Mullery to pay $22,308 in refunds to consumers who made down payments as high as $7,200 for home-repair projects. In most cases, Mullery reportedly never even began the work.

Last year, Attorney General Jay Nixon sued Mullery, who did business under several different company names in Annapolis, Mo. The lawsuit claimed Mullery never performed services he’d been paid for and was unavailable to consumers who tried to contact him to resolve problems.

In addition to the refunds to consumers, Mullery must pay $15,800 in penalties to the state and may not own, manage or operate a construction business.

Nixon says this case is a good reminder that spring is coming, a time when many Missourians have work done on their homes. “Consumers need to be careful about the companies they choose and avoid paying large amounts of money until work is complete,” he said.

To avoid home-repair disputes, Nixon advises not paying more than 25 percent up front; hire companies that are known or recommended; get all agreements in writing; and pay by credit card if possible.

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