Family calls Harry after contractor allegedly rips them off - CBS46 News

Family calls Harry after contractor allegedly rips them off

Posted: Updated:
(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
PEACHTREE CITY, GA (CBS46) -

Better Call Harry has the story of a Peachtree City family who lost tens of thousands of dollars after they paid their contractor cash for a renovation and he allegedly walked off the job.

The family took their case to court but they're still fighting for justice 

Chris King is an unlicensed contractor. He was a no show in Fayette County court. It's no a surprise to Mary Beth and Michael Byrnes. The Byrnes are suing King after he was a no show for their basement renovation.

The judge ruled in their favor.

"I'm going to go ahead and sign a default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $15,000," said the judge.

$15,000 is the maximum allowed in small claims. It's a lot money, but not enough to finish their unfinished basement. 

It was supposed to be an in-law suite for Mary Beth's mom. Her mom sold her house and moved in, and for the past year, she's been living in the upstairs bedroom. The Byrnes found King on a neighborhood Facebook page. He completed some of the work, but eventually walked off the job. The Byrnes say they gave him $32,000 in cash. 

CBS46 tried to work out a resolution with King back in March, but he claimed the Byrnes owed him money, A demand from a contractor not even licensed in Georgia.

The Byrnes admit they didn't do their homework, but they were optimistic after their court victory.

Even after the judgment, King did not pay. So the Byrnes went back to court where a judge issued a warrant for King's arrest. King was caught and jailed in Fayette County.

He bonded out and still hasn't paid.

None of this helps Mary Beth's mom unless the family can find another $25,000 to finish the job. This retiree's dreams are gone. This story is the perfect example of why you never pay a contractor up front. 

Because the Byrnes have been through so much we want to help. They've started a YouCaring page called 'Please Help Grandma Ann.' 

If you're having an issue with someone, give us a call at 404-327-3030 or email us at bettercallharry@cbs46.com.

If you would like to help the Byrne family, you can donate here.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Connect with CBS46

  • Better Call HarryMore>>

  • Driver ticketed over 3 ft. stop sign; Can Better Call Harry raise it?

    Driver ticketed over 3 ft. stop sign; Can Better Call Harry raise it?

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 10:12 PM EST2017-11-22 03:12:16 GMT
    (Source: WGCL)(Source: WGCL)

    Better Call Harry is trying to help a man who just got his first traffic citation. The ticket is for running a stop sign, but there is something about this stop, and many others that got him thinking he'd Better Call Harry.

    More >

    Better Call Harry is trying to help a man who just got his first traffic citation. The ticket is for running a stop sign, but there is something about this stop, and many others that got him thinking he'd Better Call Harry.

    More >
  • BBB: Pet scam may have victimized tens of thousands of people

    BBB: Pet scam may have victimized tens of thousands of people

    Monday, October 30 2017 9:38 PM EDT2017-10-31 01:38:23 GMT

    The Better Business Bureau wants you to know about an international scam to sell pets online. There are no pets, but the BBB believes there may be tens of thousands of victims in the U.S. and around the world.

    More >

    The Better Business Bureau wants you to know about an international scam to sell pets online. There are no pets, but the BBB believes there may be tens of thousands of victims in the U.S. and around the world.

    More >
  • Be sure that used car is not a flood-damaged car

    Be sure that used car is not a flood-damaged car

    Monday, October 23 2017 10:58 PM EDT2017-10-24 02:58:57 GMT

    Hurricane Harvey damaged up to one million cars and trucks, according to industry estimates. Many of those cars are being repaired and some are already on used car lots, with more on the way. Better Call Harry has advice on how to tell if that car you're thinking about buying has been through a flood.

    More >

    Hurricane Harvey damaged up to one million cars and trucks, according to industry estimates. Many of those cars are being repaired and some are already on used car lots, with more on the way. Better Call Harry has advice on how to tell if that car you're thinking about buying has been through a flood.

    More >