Hail damaged homes yet to be repaired

A McAllen man says a construction company stole $18,000 from him.

"I'm 83 years old; I TMm retired and on a limited income, said Rolando Vallejo.

Vallejo and his wife may be in their 80's but they have had a lot of hurdles to jump over in attempting to get their roof fixed after the McAllen hail storm last March.

Vallejo was able to secure $18,000 from his insurance company to make the repairs.

When Mike Norris with SC and C Construction knocked on his door Vallejo thought he could trust him and endorsed the check to the company, expecting him to do the job.

"I felt like, my god these people don't think Ii trust them. How foolish I was, Vallejo said. I shouldn't have trusted them. Because after that everything changed. Mr. Norris was no longer a nice guy."

Vallejo hasn't seen Norris since he gave him the money.

Tired of months of waiting, Rolando decided to begin repairs with his own money paying $800 to fix one of his front windows.

Vallejo has since hired an attorney who has written several letters to the company's lawyer.

They have yet to hear back.

When Action Four tried to contact SC and C, they did not answer and their office was closed.

Vallejo isn't the only one having trouble getting their home repaired.

"We are talking 7 to 8 months after the storm and we have blue tarps all over this town, McAllen attorney Michael Moore said. We see a lot of frustrated people who are just desperate because they don TMt have enough money for their roof."

Since the storm, the vast majority of cases attorney's Robert Flores and Michael Moore have handled stem from hail damage claims.

"It's just now getting busy, now they have reached the frustration point, Flores said. Now the roofers are gone and the insurance companies have just taken way to long and now they are starting to look for help."

Many of their clients have received money for their claims only to find it's not enough to repair the damage.

"The insurance company can be held liable for three times worth the damages that the insurance didn TMt pay for plus an 18 percent interest penalty."

As for folks like Vallejo who have received the money but put it in the wrong hands there is little to do but file a lawsuit.

The lesson to learn, go with someone you know.

"It TMs all about trust when you have someone working on your house, Moore said.

And don't pay everything upfront.

Vallejo has filed a police report and would like to take his business elsewhere but with the money out of his hands he isn't sure what he will do.

"They are really crooks when you do something like that."

While many insurance policies allow up to four years to file a claim Moore and Flores say to file your claim now because you don't know what road bumps you might run into.