LAS VEGAS, NV (KTNV) — A local contractor 13 Investigates exposed for being quick to file lawsuits against his own customers just lost his license.
13 Investigates has this major update on the man who left people fearing they'd lose their home.
"Basically, my whole house has been torn up two bathrooms, the kitchen," said a homeowner. "It's been pretty much a nightmare."
A similar nightmare many homeowners shared with 13 Investigates about Rooter-Man Plumbing and Bolmer Restoration. Both companies are owned by Eduardo Arredondo.
He was a no-show Friday morning at the Nevada State Board of Contractors' hearing where he faced more than 100 violations including fraudulent or deceitful acts, failure to comply with contract, bidding beyond scope of license and abandonment.
"We are recommending, first and foremost, that all of these licenses in this matter, all four of the licenses," said Board attorney Louis Ling. "That they'd be revoked immediately. That is, as of today."
The Contractors Board issued the following fines totaling $852,015:
- Bolmer Fine: $663,550;
- Rooterman Fine: $112,750;
- Board Investigative Costs: $75,715
Arredondo and other principal employees are prohibited from applying for a new contractor's license until those fines are paid in full.
Administrative Judge Philip Pro made it official.
"So your motion is granted Mr. Ling, for the default judgment," said Pro. "I would ask that you prepare the necessary form of order for my signature and I will execute that upon receipt."
Mr. Ling also stated in the hearing that cases like this are exactly what the disciplinary process is designed for.
However, the homeowners we spoke to feel like the system failed by not preventing so much damage to so many homeowners. Several homeowners tell us they filed complaints against Bolmer but felt like those complaints were not take seriously.
M. Ling provided the following response to those concerns:
“Due process and thorough investigations take time. Each consumer’s complaint must be and is investigated on its own merits. Where multiple complaints are received against a single contractor, they can be aggregated for prosecutorial purposes, but this necessarily means that all complaints must be thoroughly and fairly investigated before the charging document can be prepared. An additional complication in this matter is that once a bankruptcy has been filed, aspects of the administrative prosecution become subject to the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court, which necessarily adds time to the eventual hearing. The outcome to a consumer is always better if a consumer uses a licensed contractor even if the Board’s processes take the time necessary to make sure that we do our job fairly, completely, and within the confines of the law.”
The default judgment means the homeowners can move forward with claims from the Board of Contractor's Residential Recovery Fund (RRF).
It's important to note, money for the RRF comes from all of the licensed contractors in Nevada. So even though Arredondo filed for bankruptcy under his parent company and may not be able to pay those fines, there's still, possibly, help for the homeowners.
The Board tells us they will attempt to process the claims as fast as possible and they want to make sure they receive all possible complaints as there is a statutory cap on the RRF. Any homeowner who believes they were financially harmed may file a claim. Click here for more information about the Residential Recovery Funds. Or call (702) 486-1100.
The Board also says each claim will be investigated individually to determine eligibility and financial harm. And they point to the following state law:
Per NRS 624.510 (3)(a) “If the Board or its designee determines that an injured person is eligible for recovery from the account pursuant to this section or NRS 624.490, the Board or its designee may pay out of the account: the amount of actual damages suffered, but not to exceed $40,000”. Per NRS 624.510 (7) “the amount of recovery from the account based upon claims made against any single contractor must not exceed $750,000 or 20% of the account balance, as determined on the date the Board approves payment of all the claims, whichever is less.” [Note: It should be noted that if the Board investigations validate awards that have a combined award amount greater than the statutory limit (NRS 624.510(7), the award issued may be reduced to be compliant with the statutory cap.]