Former Omaha roofer sends collection notice to customer after leaving work unfinished

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 9:09 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s been almost two months since the sudden and unexpected closing of a major roofing company. That left projects unfinished or never started in several states. But one Omaha customer hasn’t been forgotten, and he’s angry.

A collections notice that he still owes Xcel Roofing $7,000 sent Shawn Cooper through the roof.

“Why would we owe them money if they never done anything,” he said. “They should give us our money back that we already paid them?”

Cooper gave Xcel, also operating as Love Our Roof, a $5,000 check in March, then got a delay message about installation. A voicemail from an Xcel representative said, “I’m working frantically to get materials. Three’s some sort of shortages with suppliers.”

Suppliers were short on getting payments from Xcel and they sued the roofing company, which shut down in early April. Now, a collection agency working for Xcel and a bank are telling Cooper to send a $7,000 check.

“Why would we want to pay them to pay more money when they actually owe us money? The whole process is completely backwards.”

The collection agency sent a notice to 500 Xcel customers in seven states. The roofing company headquarters now has a Realtor’s lock. The owner of the collection agency said that, going through the company books, he’s trying to either account for or collect $1.4 million listed as “accounts receivable.” But he admits, when it comes to sound accounting practices, Xcel Roofing didn’t excel.

Gail Streff of Green Credit said, “I would stress about the collection notice. If it’s an honest mistake, all we’re asking for is just call us up, tell us who you are so we can look up the job.”

Jim Hegarty with the Better Business Bureau said aggrieved customers must call the help line “and be prepared to provide documentation that will support the fact that not only you don’t owe money, but perhaps money is owed to you.”

With no guarantee of a down payment refund from Xcel, Cooper hired another roofing company, which has already delivered, and not just shingles. Apple Roofing is donating $5,000 to help offset the cost of installation. Jared Williams, of Apple Roofing, said, “I don’t really know what I’d do in your shoes, but we’re going to do everything we can to come through and make sure we install a quality product in a timely manner.”

Cooper is thankful that, after one roofer folded, another stepped up. “I just want to get the job done,” he said. “Hopefully, nobody else has to go through the same thing.”

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