HALTOM CITY, Texas — With her husband dying of cancer, a Haltom City woman put her trust in a contractor with a big heart. She said it turned out to be a big scam.
Judi Hodges has lost $30,000, and she's been forced out of her family home.
"We had so much hope and dreams,” Hodges said as she opened to the door to her family home.
Inside, the bare concrete floors are covered with buckets of paint, cabinet doors and random tools.
Hodges thought she hired a miracle worker when she wrote the first check to Ray Link and True Level Foundation Repair.
"He came and put his arm around me, just rubbing my shoulders — just so seemingly compassionate and caring, you know?" she said.
Six months later, fixtures dangle from the ceiling. The laminate flooring in the hall pops loose. Toilets are missing.
Hodges said Link cashed $30,000 in checks and disappeared.
"See, I paid them half of the money up front,” Hodges said. “And then he would keep getting more money from me."
She can't even find the photos of her husband, Keith. They're buried somewhere in the garage in the piles of mattresses, keepsakes and furniture.
Hodges said Keith cashed in some inheritance while he battled throat cancer. Her husband told her to re-do the family home, make it his dream house, so he could die at home with his daughters at his side.
Keith died in March and never saw the disaster inside.
"We lost our dad, we lost our grandpa, and now we are losing this,” Haley Hodges said.
Her mom said she knew something wasn’t right a few weeks into the project. She said Link knocked down a brick flower bed wall to rebuild the garage. It sags.
The drywall in the kitchen isn’t square.
There are cracks in the walls and ceiling.
One of the subcontractors who was hired slipped her a note with a warning: "They are trying to cheat you, work has not been done right."
The Better Business Bureau said Link has operated a home repair company under several names. Records indicate that when one business earns an "F" rating, Link changes its name.
Calls to Link’s Dallas and Plano locations were not returned. A cell phone was disconnected.
Hodges' church is paying for her to stay in a hotel, because she can't go home.
"I'm out of money," she said, fighting back tears. "I'm out of resources, and hope is fading fast."
She needs a contractor to finish the work, and attorney to help her get her money back.
The contractor took everything she has, and left her with no choice but to drive away from her husband's dying wish.