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Couple complains about Castroville builder

Couple claims Justin Haby ran off before finishing house

CASTROVILLE, Texas - A Castroville area home builder is being accused of hammering a local couple and turning their dream home into a foreclosure.

Construction began on Yolanda and J.D. Beltran's 1,500 square foot home on the west side of Castroville in May of 2011. More than a year later the home is still not finished.

The couple hired J.H. Storey Construction Company to build the house and got financing through a bank.

They worked with Justin Haby, who started the project with no problems. Then things went wrong.

"It was supposed to have been finished in September and time would slip by and things weren't being done," said J.D. Beltran. His wife was also becoming concerned.

"He'd meet with us and say OK I'm going to buy the cabinets, never happened,” Yolanda Beltran said. “OK, I'm going to paint the floor, never happened." Then they began hearing from subcontractors and suppliers.

"Lumber people weren't paid, the framer wasn't paid," J.D. Beltran said. The couple said there were liens totaling more than $20,000 on the house by vendors who wanted to be paid.

The KSAT Defenders tried to get some answers by email and phone from Justin Haby, but got no response.

Now the Beltran's have filed a police report believing what happened to them was criminal.

“I think it's criminal,” Yolanda Beltran said. “We're having a lot of trouble getting other people to understand that it's criminal."

Their bank foreclosed on the Beltran home but is working with the couple to get the house finished and back in their hands.

Experts say individuals who are hiring contractors to build a house should check out the builder fully, including their finances.

They should ask for a list of projects completed and for references. People are also advised to search for lawsuits and judgments against the builder

The Beltrans are still trying to get money back from Haby on this project, but Haby has officially filed for bankruptcy protection.

Meanwhile, the Beltrans are also still hoping to turn a housing mess into their dream retirement home.

The couple hope police see this matter as a criminal theft and not as simply a civil contract dispute between a contractor and a customer.


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