Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Six months after the demise of Sears Home Services, contractors in B.C. and elsewhere still looking for fair treatment – and money

Canadian Contractor Business Liability

Sears Home Services had been sold by Sears in February 2013 to a third-party company. That company went into receivership 9 months later.

Last December, the company that was running Sears Home Services went into receivership. Many contractors were owed money and the company was holding $3-million in customer deposits. Over the past six months, Sears has been hit by negative media reports from contractors looking for their money and customers looking to get their contracted-for home improvement jobs completed.

The problems are made worse by the fact that Sears had, in fact, sold Sears Home Services to a third-party company in February 2013. By the end of last year, that company, operating as SHS Services Management Inc., had managed to lose $14-million in 9 months, for a total liability of $17-million.  Sears defended itself against the bad press that ensued, saying that it had sold the business – but would try to work with aggrieved parties in various ways. The third-party company, meanwhile, like all companies in receivership, was obligated to secured creditors first. Many contractors – unsecured – were left holding the bag.

Some contractors, expecting no relief from Sears or the company it had sold the business to, took action against customers via liens. Roofco, a BC roofing company, liened five houses for a total of $42,004, the CBC reported in March. And Cedar Grove Building Services, another B.C. firm, placed liens in the amount of $272,515.

Last week, Global TV reported on another development. Sears is taking legal action against “Sears Carpet Cleaning,” a company operating out of Coquitlam, B.C., for continuing to use the Sears name. The company’s owner, Chris Ravello, told Global that he is still owed $364,000. See the video from Global TV here.

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