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Business bankruptcy leaves customers with unfinished kitchens

10:10 PM, Dec 17, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - A Denver area remodeling business is bankrupt, leaving customers with unfinished kitchens.

One family sent 9NEWS a newstip after paying thousands of dollars for a job that still isn't complete.

We found a pattern of complaints against this company, which operates as Kitchens 4 Less and Kitchens 2 Go.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Kitchens 4 Less has 14 complaints in the last three years.

"Specifically, consumers allege the business fails to complete remodeling services in a timely manner, often continuing to work several weeks beyond the promised completion date. Consumers also allege the business provides poor quality work that fails to meet their satisfaction and doesn't always make satisfactory repairs in a timely manner, if at all," the BBB website reads.

Some complaints are classified as "serious" by the BBB because of the high dollar value at stake.

Making matters worse, the owner of Kitchens 4 Less just filed for bankruptcy, leaving customers wondering if they'll ever get the kitchens they paid for.

When Christine Marko of Westminster refinanced her house to pay for a new kitchen, she hired Kitchens 4 Less.

"The pricing, the timeline, everything seemed too good to be true," Marko said.

When she and her husband signed a contract in late July, Kitchens 4 Less had an A+ rating with the Better Business bureau.

The company now has an F.

The Markos paid $12,000 upfront, more than half of their $21,000 remodeling job.

In the middle of the project, work stopped.

"That's when we started getting a little nervous," Marko said.

Owner Herman Hinojosa promised, in writing, the Marko's kitchen would take a maximum of 6 weeks, but the work sat unfinished far longer.

"Not having a kitchen for over 3 months. The constant problems. The headaches," Marko said.

Then they got a bankruptcy notice, giving them until mid-January 2014 to submit a claim for the unfinished work.

Hinojosa says he ran a successful business for 20 years, but began losing money when they moved to a new larger location on the 1000 block of East 70th Avenue.

"Everything that I've worked for, for a number of years, is in the toilet," Hinojosa said. "We were doing so much business you just couldn't keep up with it. The overhead ate us up."

Hinojosa blames a lack of qualified labor, and says he's doing what he can to make things right for customers with unfinished kitchens.

On Tuesday afternoon, customer Sheralyn Heffner was finishing the work herself at the Kitchens 4 Less showroom.

"Learning how to build our own cabinets, is what we're doing," Heffner said. "[Hinojosa is] allowing us to come in and make the most of a tough situation. That's all I can tell you."

Marko hired another remodeling company, and says she's now out thousands of dollars.

"It hurts a lot," Marko said. "I don't want to see other people go through this."

Denver BBB spokesperson Megan Herrera provided 9NEWS with the following list of consumer tips:

- If the payment was made via credit card within the last 60 days, file a dispute with your credit card company.
- If a company files for bankruptcy, (which Kitchens 4 Less has) submit a Proof of Claim form to the Colorado Bankruptcy Court. Forms for Kitchens 4 Less must be received by Jan. 17, 2014.
- If you are owed a large amount of money, contact a private attorney and/or your county authorities.
- File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at Even if the complaint doesn't help get your money back quickly, it helps inform the public and can lead to action that may eventually produce restitution.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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