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>>

  • Better Call Harry: A really bad deal

    Better Call Harry: A really bad deal

    Thursday, July 12 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-07-13 03:27:35 GMT
    (Source: WGCL)(Source: WGCL)
    (Source: WGCL)(Source: WGCL)

    Better Call Harry receives more complaints about used car dealers than almost anything else. 

    More >

    Better Call Harry receives more complaints about used car dealers than almost anything else. 

    More >
  • Better Call Harry: Countertop Controversy

    Better Call Harry: Countertop Controversy

    Tuesday, July 10 2018 5:16 PM EDT2018-07-10 21:16:09 GMT
    Source: WGCLSource: WGCL
    Source: WGCLSource: WGCL

    A Suwanee homeowner pays a company $1700 to put in a couple of granite countertops in his man cave bar. 

    More >

    A Suwanee homeowner pays a company $1700 to put in a couple of granite countertops in his man cave bar. 

    More >
  • Free Bikini Or No Bikini

    Free Bikini Or No Bikini

    Monday, July 9 2018 11:13 AM EDT2018-07-09 15:13:49 GMT
    Source: WGCLSource: WGCL
    Source: WGCLSource: WGCL

    An e-tailer with eye-catching social media pages had an offer of free bikinis if shoppers paid shipping and handling. But people complained about not getting the swimsuits. Better Call Harry has this report.

    More >

    An e-tailer with eye-catching social media pages had an offer of free bikinis if shoppers paid shipping and handling. But people complained about not getting the swimsuits. Better Call Harry has this report.

    More >