BELTON, Texas (KWTX) – At least a dozen Central Texan homeowners who contracted with a local company to build pools in their backyards say they are out thousands of dollars.
Several of the homeowners told KWTX that after signing construction contracts with Belton pool company Ocean Quest Pools by Lew Akins, the company stopped responding, leaving them with unfinished projects in their backyards.
Tara and Keith Moore said they stopped hearing from Ocean Quest after after a couple of weeks of quick progress on their pool.
“I reached out trying to get an update from the owner and I could never gain a response,” Tara Moore, an Ocean Quest customer, told KWTX. “Only to find out that they were pursuing plans to file for bankruptcy and have left myself and several other community members in a bind with unfinished pools.”
This was the case for Shana Brader and her fiancé David Roberson, too.
“Delayed communication, or no communication at all,” Roberson, another Ocean Quest customer, said of the company’s service. “And that’s when we started to see the changes in the armor and worried there might be some financial duress with OQP.”
Ocean Quest Pools filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on November 22nd.
The attorney representing the company, Stephen Sather, told KWTX in a statement that, ”Ocean Quest Pools filed for bankruptcy because it ran out of money and was unable to complete its pending jobs. An independent bankruptcy trustee will the have opportunity to investigate the assets and liabilities of the company and take any steps necessary to recover funds for the benefit of the creditors.”
The first step in investigating the bankruptcy came during the first meeting of creditors on Dec. 28.
Through a call, a judge allowed some of the victims to ask questions to one of Ocean Quest Pools’ former partners, Ronnie Potts.
But with more than 20 participants on the call, the meeting was adjourned and rescheduled for January 12, 2023.
Until then, this has left families like the Moore’s worried about what this might mean for them in the long term.
“We have subcontractors who have hired attorneys and have sent us a threat and intent to place a lien on our home,” Moore said. “It’s gonna cost us more to get the pool finished so we’ve had to secure other pool companies who are very reluctant to even finish the job.”
And for others, like Shana Brader, they’re taking legal action.
“There is a property code and it’s called the Texas Construction Trust Fund Act and that’s kind of the direction we’re heading with all that’s transpired,” she said. “They’re required to put our money into a trust fund and actually show us an accounting of that from time to time. And none of that was ever done, and obviously our funds were never used for our pool, or the pergola people would’ve been paid.”
A new pool company currently operates from the former Ocean Quest storefront.
This is a developing story that KWTX will continue investigating.
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