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State investigates local contractor

January 23, 2012 4:03:52 PM PST
The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors is looking into claims that a local contractor accepted contracts for home repairs valued at more than $30,000 despite not being licensed.

North Carolina law requires contractors be licensed before accepting jobs for $30,000 or more.

Click here to check if a contractor is licensed

Several homeowners told ABC11 that Bob Ryan with Impact Home Solutions signed repair contracts and took money from them, yet he didn't finish - or in some cases - didn't do any work at all. Some of the homeowners were tornado victims who were looking to rebuild after storms damaged their homes last spring.

Diane and James Rowlett said they paid Impact Home Solutions more than $130,000 to rebuild and add an extension after the April tornadoes hit their Fayetteville home. Diane said Ryan's crews actually did work on her property but didn't finish She said a lot of it had to be redone. Plus, she now has three liens on her property and said Ryan's sub-contractors keep showing up looking for money,

"Mr. Ryan and his crew did not finish the work," she said. "The HVAC guy didn't get paid. The window guy didn't get paid, the brick mason, the landscaper, the installation guy."

Master Sgt Eric Feliciano is looking for Bob Ryan too, despite being stationed in Hawaii right now. The Army veteran of Desert Storm - who's served our country for 26 years - home was destroyed by the same twister. He said he gave Ryan $20,000 down on a $120,000 contract to rebuild. But the only work Ryan has done far is demolishing it and disappearing.

While the attorney for The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors told ABC11 it's investigating Impact Home Solutions, she said they're also investigating Creative Constructors, Inc, as they are also on the two contracts for more than $30,000.

That contractor told me Bob Ryan hired him to be the general contractor on those two jobs, and he had to stop working for Ryan when he stopped paying.

When contacted by ABC11, Ryan admitted to me he's not licensed to do any work over $30,000 and that's why he paid the licensed general contractor to be on the job.

When I talked with Bob Ryan about these two homeowners complaints - along with the others we got where he did not need a license for - he did apologize and said he never meant for this to happen.

"I never intended to receive down payments from anyone and not do the work. The intention was to build a very strong, very good, very high quality home improvement company and not only am I disappointed, but I'm devastated that this situation has occurred," he said in a November phone interview.

Ryan blamed the demise of his company on late insurance payments from his tornado customers. He said his goal would be to eventually pay the homeowners back.

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