MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Around 45 people, including children and babies, call New Life Community Fellowship their church home. Recently, they wanted to add on to their porch.
"We have saved up for two years to get this roof put on our porch," Pastor Paul Little explained.
Both Pastor Little and Contractor Bentley Parks agree that his team at BP Construction paid $10,000, or half of the projected project.
"They had the right price that they would do it for," Pastor Little said. "Number two they had a crew, foreman, ready to go to work, number three they were going to have it done before Christmas."
But, Christmas came and went, and Pastor Little said the company certainly didn't fulfill their wish list, that included not delivering the materials they paid for on time.
"A week later when the materials did not show up, and two weeks finally the materials showed up," Pastor Little explained. "In all this time, I kept calling and asking why aren't the materials there, And I got one reason after another why the materials weren't there."
A local lumber company confirms that Parks opened a line of credit. They said he owes that business more than $5,400.
"We were notified just last week that Wilson Lumber has not been paid," Pastor Little said. "They're going to put a lien on our little church building because they have not been paid for the materials that were furnished for us."
A lien is a way contractors or businesses ensure they get their money. This is one reason why one company wants to remind homeowners and landowners that you have a right to request a lien waiver from any supplier, or anyone providing materials or labor for your home or land. You must get this before you make a payment though. Having this document keeps you from ever getting a lien placed against you on that particular project.
Also, you should know you always have a right to pay the supplier directly for materials in lieu of giving the contractor a 50 percent down payment.
"We're faced with having to get an attorney to cover the proceedings for us having to have a lien and they're looking to us, the material folks, to settle that lien," Pastor Little explained.
Then, there's the framer contracted by BP Construction who needed his payment.
"He said they had no money, and that I would need to pay them the labor," Pastor Little said. "So, we as a church began to pay them direct labor."
On Friday, I went to get answers from Bentley Parks.
"It was not intentional, we did not begin his project thinking that you know, we wanted to take his money," Parks said.
Parks admitted the company found itself in hot water.
"Mr. Little and the congregation got pulled into a situation where things had tumbled on us," Parks admitted. "We really did believe that we would get out of this a little bit faster than we did and get the money that was owed to us."
Parks said during the time he took on the church's project, he had two-thirds of a $400,000 project complete. But, that project never finished paying his company.
"When you're two months without $135,000, you're not going to have money to put towards Mr. Paul Little's project, suppliers, it rolls on," Parks explained. "When you have $10 to $15, $20,000 coming out every week, that's not easy."
Bentley gave us his word that Pastor Little will not have to go to court over the lien.
"We'll have it paid off before then," Parks said.
I will stay on top of this Taking Action investigation to ensure Parks follows through on his word to Pastor Little.
Parks Construction, LLC is a business Parks is affiliated with. It does have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We also checked with the Madison County License Department. BP Construction does have a business license in Madison County.