MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rosalyn Williams has lived in her South Memphis home since her divorce in 2002. She has a lot of happy memories of raising her daughter there, but they were stunned at what they found when they returned from a trip last May.
“I said, ‘Look here! A tree done fell!’ So I ran back into the gate, I said, ‘Oh I hope it’s not in the house where I can’t get in,'” she said.
Luckily the tree wasn’t blocking the door, but it did fall onto the roof, causing damage inside and outside.
She contacted her insurance company; they agreed to pay about $5,000 to fix the damage. And then she decided to hire one of her former church members, Jerome Williams, to whom she has no relation.
“He told me he was a contractor,” she said. “Told me he’s been an adjuster for State Farm. So I was like, ‘Okay let’s see what he’s all about.'”
They never signed a contract and only went by a list submitted to her insurance company. He and his team got to work last June. But it was taking a lot longer than expected.
“He was supposed to come back and paint that after he scraped it, but he never did,” she said. “I’ve called him. I’ve texted him. He’s not answering the texts. So I said I don’t know nothing else to do.”
That’s when she called the WREG Problem Solvers.
WREG went to his Parkway Village area home and found Jerome Williams outside in his car, returning from the grocery store.
We asked him why he hadn’t done what he was paid to do.
At first, he insisted he’d completed the work. But when we pointed out it looked unfinished, he agreed to do go back and finish.
“Tree removal people was to remove the tree, but I assured them I would take the tree out,” he said.
“So you’re saying you’re going to do that?” WREG’s Stacy Jacobson asked.
“Yeah, I plan on doing that for her,” he said.
It took another month after he made that promise, but he finally returned to Rosalyn Williams’s South Memphis home to finish removing the lumber and painting inside.
Rosalyn Williams said she can finally move on.
“I was really happy with that,” she said.
But she won’t be hiring Jerome Williams again.
“I felt like he didn’t want to do the job,” she said. “I hate to say that, but that’s the way I feel about it. Once I got you guys involved he decided to come back.”
Jerome Williams said the homeowner hadn’t turned over all her insurance money to him.
He said he did more than what he got paid to do. He said he’d provide records to prove that, but we followed up multiple times, and he never did.
State records showed Jerome Williams did not have a home improvement license. In Shelby County, contractors must have this type of license to do any home improvement work valued at or above $3,000. If you want to verify a license for any Tennessee contractor, click here.