October 25, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
48°F

State attorney general sues Wadsworth home builder

WADSWORTH — The state attorney general has filed suit against Stephen Kovack and his Wadsworth company, Unmistakably Premier Homes, alleging the company built shoddy houses and, in some cases, never built homes after accepting deposits.

In a suit filed Tuesday in Medina County Common Pleas Court, the attorney general’s office alleges it has received complaints filed by more than 20 customers of Unmistakably Premier Homes,.

Mike DeWine

The complaints include allegations that the company didn’t stand by warranties, often involving concrete work; failed to complete homes; and in at least three cases never started work on homes.

Deposits on homes in which construction was not begun total $27,000, Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a news release.

“For many of us, one of our biggest dreams is to own a home,” DeWine said in the release. “It’s a shame when others take advantage of that goal and turn buying a home into a nightmare.”

The phone number for Unmistakably Premier Homes, is no longer in service, and Kovack has an unlisted phone number.

A phone call to attorney John P. Malone Jr., who represented Kovack in his bankruptcy case, was not returned Tuesday afternoon.

The suit charges that Kovack and Unmistakably Premier Homes, committed five violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act:

• Failing to deliver on contracted work.

• Failing to perform in a workmanlike manner and failing to correct such work.

• Performing contract work in an incompetent, unsatisfactory and unworkmanlike manner.

• Failing to honor express warranties.

• Stalling and evading obligations, including failing to promptly deliver services for which consumers contracted.

The state is requesting civil penalties of $25,000 for each allegation found to violate the Consumer Sales Practices Act, and orders Kovack and Unmistakably Premier Homes, to reimburse customers who have been affected by the allegations. The suit does not give an exact dollar amount for the damages.

The suit also requires Premier Homes to keep all its records for the next five years, and to present any requested record to the attorney general’s office for inspection.

Kovack has been under financial strain for some time. In June, he sought protection from creditors for one of his companies, 7972 Ridge Road LLC , which owns the building that houses Unmistakably Premier Homes,

The case was dismissed Sept. 28 after a federal bankruptcy court ruled the company wasn’t eligible for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would have given Kovack time to reorganize his company.

In a motion asking the case be dismissed, Daniel M. McDermott, U.S. trustee for Region 9, said he doubted Kovack’s company had enough assets to successfully reorganize the business.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.