Forged checks and forgotten repairs: Contractor and adjuster face insurance investigation
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Homeowners allege a contractor and public adjuster took their money, forged their names on checks and never repaired their roofs. Now the North Carolina Department of Insurance is investigating the two companies.
WBTV started looking into Restoration Contractors of America and United Atlantic Public Adjusters after receiving a call from a viewer concerned about the contract her mom was in.
“A tree fell on her home back in June. She was actually in the hospital when it happened,” Kindra Rush said.
In a complaint Rush filed with the South Carolina Department of Insurance, she claimed her husband contacted a repairman he had previously hired. Rush said they were surprised when he gave them two contracts to sign with RCA and UAPA but she trusted him.
Rush said she didn’t know that the contract was giving UAPA power of attorney.
“We didn’t realize that we were signing up for them to be power of attorney for this situation,” Rush said.
Rush said it was a surprise to her when she learned UAPA received a $3,500 check from Allstate for the repairs. Rush showed WBTV a copy of the check and claims that someone forged her mom’s signature and deposited it.
Someone acting as power of attorney is allowed to sign checks but is supposed to divulge on the endorsement that they are an agent acting on behalf of the client.
“If you look at the check it’s endorsed with her signature, which is misspelled,” Rush said.
Rush said it was shortly after the check was cashed that she was told RCA couldn’t repair metal roofs like her mom’s. After that it became difficult to contact anyone from RCA.
“I started calling them but I never could get anybody on the phone or if you did get somebody on the phone it was always an excuse to get off the phone,” Rush said.
Rush’s complaints aren’t the only ones. WBTV found two lawsuits against both UAPA and RCA alleging that roofing work they signed up for wasn’t completed.
One homeowner claimed in their lawsuit that their signature forged on a check that was deposited by UAPA.
Another lawsuit alleges that RCA didn’t show up to complete repairs for months and when they moved to cancel the contract RCA filed a lien against their property.
“I feel like we’ve been scammed honestly and they’re holding my mom’s money and they don’t care,” Rush said
While the North Carolina Department of Insurance says it is investigating the two companies, one of the representatives for UAPA is already facing charges brought by the department of insurance.
Eric Goden with UAPA started another public adjuster company called Claim Medix and is charged by the department of insurance with operating it without a license. His criminal case is pending in Iredell County court.
WBTV reached out to Goden several times but never received a response. But after WBTV got a hold of a representative at RCA, Rush received a call.
“He said that he wanted to meet to give us a cashiers check,” Rush said,
“How did your mom react when you told her that you got the money?” Investigative Reporter David Hodges asked.
“She was thrilled,” Rush said. “She’s elderly, on a fixed income, she didn’t really know how she was going to be able to come up with the money to do the repair.”
An RCA spokesperson provided a statement to WBTV.
“RCA apologizes and recognizes the delay was too long for the completion of the work. We are committed to worker safety and the guidelines of OSHA and are not able to move forward until safer conditions for the workers are available at this time We have refunded the remaining deposit and will happily resume repairs once the work environment is safe.”
If you have any information to share, call our WBTV investigates tip line at 704-374-3511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.