Atlanta Roofer Helps Victims Recover Losses

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Atlanta roofing contractor Rick Olson decided to step in and help over 1000 homeowners who had been victimized by roofers who took money and disappeared. Christian Brothers Contracting is installing new roofs, assisting with tax deductions, and getting some victims money returned.

Atlanta roofer Rick Olson decided to step in and help the more than 1000 homeowners who lost over $2 million following the bankruptcy of three Georgia roofing contractors last year. An Atlanta home builder and developer for more than 30 years, Mr. Olson is the owner of Christian Brothers Roofing, and is proud of his industry.

“Georgia was getting a reputation as the worst place in the country for roof contractor scams,” Mr. Olson said. “I felt like I needed to help.” What he did was convince his suppliers, local distributors and sub-contractors to provide roofing materials and labor at substantially reduced prices.

“To date,” he said, “the vast majority of those homeowners who contacted us after losing their deposits have been able to get a brand new insured roof for little or nothing more than what was left in their insurance claim, plus their deductible.”

Mr. Olson said he built his business, “by jumping in to help where others in our industry have left these folks with damaged, leaking and tarp-covered roofs, and no money to make their repairs.” He added, “The good news is that many of the executives of bankrupt companies are now sitting in jails awaiting trials, but the bad news is there was nobody helping the homeowners recover their losses until Christian Brothers stepped in.”

When Atlanta Channel 2 TV consumer reporter Jim Strickland asked why Christian Brothers decided to lend a hand, Mr. Olson replied, “Because it’s the right thing to do, and – selfishly – for every roof we lost money on, we had new work come in that more than offset the losses. We’re getting good business and staying very busy.”

Christian Brothers has absorbed the costs of sending notifications to all the victims and, most recently, informing them that their loss to a contractor that files bankruptcy before their work is performed is tax deductible. Furthermore, many of the checks that were given to these bankrupted roofers were improperly deposited without their lenders endorsement. In those cases, the roofers’ banks that accepted the checks will have to return those funds to the maker of the check (typically, the homeowner’s insurance company).

Mr. Olson advises the victims to expect nothing from the bankruptcy, as these companies are insolvent. There are ways however for victims to recover from their loss. For example, they are advised first to make sure their 2010 federal income taxes reflect the write-off amount of the loss. Anyone who has already filed can file an amended return. Page 57 of IRS Publication 500, in a reference to “Insolvency of Contractors”, states that an individual who loses deposits to contractors who became insolvent is entitled to deduct this loss on their federal taxes.

Anyone who turned a check over to a bankrupt roofer should look to see if it was made payable to both them and the lender. If so, and it was cashed without the lender’s endorsement, they may have the right to recover the lost funds.

Christian Brothers Roofing may be able to provide victimized homeowners with a new roof for little more than what was left in their claim, plus the deductible. Rick Olson can be contacted at 770-734-6700. Their website is http://christianbrotherscontractors.com.

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