Family fights lien after unfinished plumbing job

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A plumbing job goes haywire for a West St. Louis family.  They're fighting a lien despite unfinished work. LeKeisha Sanders, her children and her grandmother shared a home in the West End.  They wanted to sell the house but a collapsed lateral had to be repaired.  They called their home warranty company expecting to get a qualified plumber.  That didn`t happen.  The home warranty company sent a guy with no credentials.  According to LaKeisha a city inspector told her the guy missed a critical step before starting the job.   'She pulled his name up and she said there had not been a permit pulled on this property, for this work. So she put a stop job order. '

A letter from the city's plumbing supervisor says Froggy's Heating and Air LLC does not carry a valid master plumber license, a valid certificate of liability insurance, nor is he bonded. The stop work order left the basement a mess.  The buyer expected to close on the house in a few weeks so the family found a licensed plumber. That cost them $2,500 dollars and  LaKeisha says, 'The other contractor came in, connected the pipes, and they finished the job.'

Two days before closing, Jeremiah Froggy files a lien on the property.  LeKeisha goes to the closing hoping his lack of credentials will be enough to fight the lien.  Not so.  $10,000 was handed over to an unlicensed, uninsured individual. LeKeisha says the title company told her she was out of time.  'If I didn`t close, it`s a possibility the buyers could have sued me.  So they said I needed to close.'

I called Froggy. He says he's entitled to file lien because LaKeisha and her grandmother failed to send him a certified letter removing him from the job.  It was breach of contract according to him.  A spokesperson for the warranty company tells me Froggy`s Heating and Air LLC has been removed from their list of contractors.  The company goes on to say 'American Home Shield is committed to working with Ms. Sanders to find a new way to address her burden.' And LaKeisha says the financial burden is more than she wanted her grandmother to have to deal with.  'Very disappointed.  It`s like nobody listened.   I tried to be the voice for my grandmother but nobody would listen.'

LaKeisha Sanders has a message for people with home warranty packages.  When the company sends a contractor under their name, you still have to check out the contractor and confirm they are qualified to do what you need done.  St. Louis city encourages homeowners to contact city hall to check credentials.  The number is 314-622-3318.

Also check case.net for criminal convictions and civil judgments.

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