Troubleshooter: Homeowner flooded by Hurricane Florence owed thousands from contractor

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Six months after Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina, many homeowners are still trying to pick up the pieces.

But some homeowners have faced obstacles because the contractor they hired to fix their homes didn't do the work or took off with their money.

"We lost everything down here," Milton Matthews said as he walked through the first floor of his Fayetteville home.

The floor was completely washed out after floodwaters from the hurricane surrounded his home.

After things dried out, Milton and his wife hired Chela Campbell of Finishing Touches in Fayetteville. They paid her $9,000 to get started and her crew began the work.

"Put the installation and drywall. When they started putting the drywall in, I started seeing problems. Everything was wavy, and there were dents everywhere," Milton said.
He said he tried to be patient and let her crew get the work done right, but said it didn't happen.

"I said 'I will give you 48 hours. Is that fair?' And she said 'that's fair.'"

But the sheetrock didn't get done, and Milton was frustrated, so he said he told Campbell he no longer wanted her company moving forward with the job.

"She sent text messages saying 'I'm going to give you a full refund, just give me a little time,'" Milton said.

Time went on, and Milton never got a refund. In the meantime, Milton had to hire a new contractor to do the job.

"The new contractor charged us. They had to fix her work so that even cost us more money."

I reached out to Campbell, and she admitted she owes the Matthews money and it's her number one priority. We gave her time, but Milton said they have not seen a dime of their $9,000 back.
Just this week, Chela Campbell told me she's still planning on refunding the Matthews their money so we will keep you updated.

The Troubleshooter takeaway here is if you are looking to hire someone, don't give a large payment up front before any work starts.

Get everything in writing before paying and of course, check their references, and if the job is over $30,000, make sure they are licensed.

Do not take their word, get their license number and check for yourself.
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