PITTSBORO — A Pittsboro military family says they’ve reached a financial resolution with a Noblesville contractor following a WRTV Investigation into his business practices.
In February, WRTV brought you the story of Sarah and Danny Cunningham who said they paid Mark Sellers $6,500 to build a deck and stairs on their home.
The Cunninghams said Sellers never returned to finish the job and hasn’t been back to the property since November 3.
The Cunninghams said Sellers offered to pay them $2,000 if they agreed to not seek legal action against him.
The Pittsboro family decided to take the money after learning other consumers have had difficulty collecting on civil judgments from Sellers.
“We decided to take the funds after speaking with multiple people in the legal and law enforcement field,” said Sarah Cunningham in an email to WRTV. “We came to the conclusion that we would most likely never receive monetary restitution. Also, Sellers seems to be in plenty of legal trouble.”
Cunningham said they are now working with a different contractor to finish their deck.
“We also have had a contracting company offer their services/labor for free,” said Sarah Cunningham. “We are not yet sure how much they are offering or all of the details. We have been waiting for warmer weather to move forward on this project.”
WRTV Investigates reached out to Sellers through his attorney, and we are still waiting on a response.
Sellers is facing a criminal charge of home improvement fraud in Hancock County, and is scheduled for a bench trial on May 3.
WRTV Investigates first told you about Noblesville contractor Mark Sellers back in May 2018 after numerous consumers said they paid Sellers, but he didn’t finish the job.
WRTV Investigates found mounting judgments in Indiana against Mark Sellers dating back to at least 2014 totaling more than $118,400, and Sellers has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
WRTV Investigates Kara Kenney confronted Sellers in 2018 on behalf of consumers.
KENNEY: There’s a lot of people that say you owe them money. Are you taking people’s money and not doing the work promised?
KENNEY: Tina Duncan, Derek Culnan, Bryan Andrews — they all want their money back. Are you going to give people their money back sir?
SELLERS: Yeah, through the judgments we will.
KENNEY: But you didn't show up in court. Have you paid any of the judgments?
SELLERS: I’m working on that.
KENNEY: What about Colorado?
SELLERS: Working on that too.
The Boulder County District Attorney’s office in Colorado sued Sellers in 2011 for low-balling customers by underbidding construction projects, mispresenting his masonry work on his website, and for using deceptive trade practices.
They obtained a $32,084 judgment against Sellers.
In February 2019, Hamilton Superior Court Judge William Hughes granted a preliminary injunction against Sellers that prevents the contractor from soliciting or engaging in consumer transactions without a contract that follows the Indiana Home Improvement Contracts Act.
Sellers must also “complete the work as agreed,” according to the injunction.
TIPS FOR HIRING A CONTRACTOR:
- Get estimates in writing
- Check for criminal charges or civil suits here
- Check for a contractor’s license
- Ask for references and call them
- Ask to see examples of their work
- Ask about insurance: personal liability, worker’s comp, and property damage coverage
- Pay wisely, not all upfront