State DOJ Investigating Local Contractor, Exploring "Potential For Criminal Investigation"

NC DOJ Investigating Local Contractor

GREENSBORO, NC -- More victims have come forwarrd in the case of a local contractor, Joe Overman, who, they say, took thousands of dollars from them and then either did shoddy work or no work at all.

2 Wants 2 Know has heard of at least a dozen homeowners who hired Overman.
Their stories, almost identical.
The only difference?
The homes and the owners who trusted the local contractor.

“This is the worst workmanship that I've seen on anything in my life that I've ever had done,” Michael Watkins, a homeowner who hired Overman in August 2015 said.


“I don't know how he sleeps at night. I'd be so embarrassed.”

For the better part of a year, Watkins says he’s been praying that his roof won't cave in on him.

“You've got leaks that start there,” Watkins said, pointing to light brown waters spot on his ceiling.

Looking up, you can trace the leak from one end of the ceiling to the other. The worst visible damage is around a ceiling fan in the room. There are leak spots in two other rooms in the home.

“When it rains, I get out four big pots and all the towels I've got and leave them on the floor,” Watkins said, pointing to the floor under the leaks.

The homeowner blames Overman for the damage. 
He says his roof wasn't leaking before Overman started the job. He just wanted the contractor to replace the old shingles.

“Everything that was done on the roof was done improperly which causes leaks,” John Vernon said. Vernon owns Piedmont Property Solution.
He’s the new contractor trying to help Watkins. He previously helped another Overman customer, fixing her damaged closet for free. 

“I'm just trying to help these customers,” Vernon said.

While Vernon assess the damage, Waktkins says he wishes he never hired Overman.

“I'd rather have my 30-year-old roof back on, than what he put up there,” Watkins said about Overman.

Just one county over, another Overman customer in Guilford County.

“I could've just taken $2,000 and put it in the trash can for the work I got from Mr. Overman,” Debra Burton, who was sitting at her kitchen table looking at pictures of the work Overman did, said.  

In her case, Overman was supposed to remove mold under her kitchen sink and install a shower for her sick husband.

“He just nailed boards over the mold that was there. The quality of the work is horrendous,” she said. “The shower that [was] installed, it wasn't attached to a drain. If my husband had gotten into that, it would have just fallen apart.”


Burton says she ended up firing Overman when the quality of the work looked increasingly worse.

She took her case to court but a judge ruled against her saying she should allow Overman to complete the job before determining if he didn’t honor the contract.
But Burton says she had had enough and didn’t want Overman in her house anymore.

2 Wants 2 Know reached out to Overman's attorney.
He had no comment, saying he now only represents the contractor in a personal injury case.
Back in August, 2 Wants 2 Know reporter Faith Abubey went to Overman’s house, asking for answers about three other homeowners. He admitted he worked on their homes and got paid for them but denies the quality is as bad as homeowners claim or that he had given up on the jobs.

“Right now I don't have any money. So, when I get it, I'll fix it,” he said.
Reporter Faith Abubey responded, “The money [Whitman] gave you, you already spent it? But not on his job?
Overman agreed.

“That would be correct. I lived. I tried to survive,” he said.
 
The State Department of Justice is also keeping tabs on Overman as they receive formal complaints from homeowners.

"Four troubling complaints about a contractor in less than four months is a definite cause for concern and we've opened an investigation,” a spokesperson with the attorney general’s office said in an email about complaints they have received since the summer. “Our Consumer Protection Division also plans to reach out to local law enforcement about the potential for a criminal investigation."
 
Meanwhile, some victory for two other homeowners who took Joe Overman to court and a judge ruled in their favor, one because he didn’t show up.
The other is Suzette Reva, who we featured in the first story 2WTK did on the contractor. 

“The judge awarded me my money back,” He said ruling, and I held my breath. I held back the tears and he said, ‘The ruling is for Suzette Reva: $6000,” Reva said, getting emotional.  “If it wasn't for WFMY News 2 and your help, I wouldn't have won.”

While Reva celebrates her win, she knows all too well she might not actually see any of the money. Overman has maintained he doesn’t have any.


 If you hired Overman and he didn't honor the contract, the state attorney general's office wants to hear from you.

You can call the consumer hotline toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (1-877-566-7226) or (919) 716-6000 or you can file a formal complaint online.

 

RELATED STORIES:

Triad Homeowners Lose Thousands, Warn About Local Contractor 

Homeowner Loses $7,000 To Triad Contractor

Triad Contractors Help Homeowners Who Lost Thousands

 

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