St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 19, 2014 – Jeremy DeVinney, a St. Charles, Mo., contractor who owed homeowners more than $80,000 in refunds when he filed for bankruptcy last year, is the subject of new complaints from frustrated customers who say DeVinney continues to renege on home construction projects.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises caution when dealing with DeVinney, DeVinney Enterprises, DeVinney Remodeling or A+ Builders Solutions. The business address is 433 Jungs Station Road, St. Charles.
“He always had an excuse,” said a woman from Wildwood, who said she paid DeVinney more than $13,000 for contracting jobs more than six months ago. The woman said workers disappeared after doing work she valued at $1,100.
Despite numerous promises, DeVinney has not refunded her money.
DeVinney Enterprises has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible. Seven complaints have been filed against the company with BBB since April.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said that it is unfortunate that the new complaints arose so quickly after DeVinney’s earlier financial problems. “Mr. DeVinney’s bankruptcy gave him a second chance to turn his life and his business around,” she said. “Clearly, that has not happened.”
Federal bankruptcy records in St. Louis show that DeVinney filed for voluntary personal bankruptcy in April 2013. At that time, he listed an address on Country Club Lane in Washington, Mo. In the bankruptcy petition, DeVinney reported $471 in assets and $357,000 in liabilities. Among the liabilities were several contracts for projects that DeVinney never completed, despite receiving payment.
One of those contracts involved repaving a parking lot and other remodeling work at the former Christy Park Baptist Church, 8654 Watson Road. A woman who identified herself as secretary of the now-closed church said church officials hired DeVinney shortly after the property was purchased in July 2010. She said DeVinney did not pay a subcontractor on the project, and the church had to pay twice for the work.
The secretary said she could not remember the amount of the contract, but the bankruptcy petition lists the debt owed to the church at $15,000.
Another contract listed in the bankruptcy involved a St. Louis woman who said she hired DeVinney in 2011 for several contracting projects at her home. She told BBB she paid DeVinney $22,000, and “all he did was rip the roof off and expose (the home) to the weather.” She said she tried to get a refund for two years before the bankruptcy and never collected anything. “It was awful,” she said.
More recently, the customer from Wildwood said DeVinney had taken $13,000 as a down payment to replace a roof on an investment house she owned in the city and for renovation of the basement of her home in Wildwood that had sustained water damage. She said DeVinney has been promising her for months that he would refund her money, but she has received nothing.
A couple in St. Charles said they gave DeVinney a $2,400 down payment on May 1 for replacement of a driveway, sidewalk and porch at their home, but DeVinney has done no work and has not refunded their money.
“He seemed like a nice, reputable guy,” said the husband.
“I want my money back,” his wife said.
DeVinney blamed spring rains, problems with subcontractors and suppliers, unreasonable customers and issues with an architect for work delays.
“We are not here to hurt anybody,” DeVinney said. “For some unknown reason, everybody has kind of lost their minds.
“The homeowners want everything done right now,” he said. “And I tell everybody I am not a big contractor. I am at the mercy of subcontractors. I am at the mercy of suppliers. I am at the mercy of municipalities.”
DeVinney said, “everything was going fine until this year.” Reminded of his 2013 bankruptcy, he replied, “what happened years ago isn’t something that’s going to happen again.” He promised all refunds by the end of the year.
BBB offers the following advice for homeowners looking to hire contractors:
Contacts (News Media Only): Michelle L. Corey, President and CEO, (314) 645-0606, firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), email@example.com; or Bill Smith, Investigator, (314) 584-6727, firstname.lastname@example.org
BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million businesses, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.