Entrepreneur Bankruptcy Turns Renovation of County Durham Family Home into $ 37,000 Nightmare

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DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – A County Durham couple’s decision to renovate their home turned into a nightmare and the contractor they hired to do the job left a string of broken promises after their have taken more than $ 37,000. It is money that may not be recoverable.

The Sung family love their location in Bahama, County Durham, but with a growing family, they needed more space.

However, the contractor they had hired disappeared after taking two installments and never did any of the work.

With four daughters aged 2-9 and a new baby on the way, Beth and Kai Sung have hired Zach Myers and his company Mahlen Builders.

“He’s the general contractor, so he would be in charge of the whole renovation,” said Beth Sung.

The Sungs signed a contract on May 3, making an initial deposit of $ 10,000.

The contractor asked for an additional $ 27,500 because he said the renovation involved ordering many specialty materials, such as new support trusses for the attic.

He explained that the $ 27,500 would be used to secure building materials so they are there when they need them.

He told Kai Sung, “There is a 10 week backlog due to COVID,” according to the father of four.

Sung said the entrepreneur promised, “We can get you started by September or August.”

As of September, no work had started and the Sungs said the contractor missed several meetings with them to discuss the project.

Finally, at the end of September, the Sungs had an “audio only” Zoom meeting with the entrepreneur.

“He said the farms had arrived and we were waiting for the contraction permit, and we could start,” Beth Sung said.

At the beginning of October, the Sungs were starting to worry.

Beth Sung emailed County Durham about the permits on October 18. The county told him that no permit had ever been issued or applied for.

The county also told him that there was no record of a building permit for their address.

When they asked contractor Zach Myers about it, he assured them that he would send documents to show that he had indeed applied for the permits.

They said the documentation never arrived. Instead, eight days later, the contractor dropped a bomb on them.

Kai Sung sent them “a one-line email saying that due to COVID he was going to file for Wisconsin Bankruptcy and had lost everything.”

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