Dozens of people pay thousands of dollars for pool installations that never got done
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tens of thousands of dollars were paid by people for pool installations that were never finished. Some orders were over a $100,000.
Davenport Extreme Pools and Spas filed for bankruptcy in December, which means dozens upon dozens of people might not get their pools, or their money back.
Davenport opened their doors in early 2019, but closed them in late 2022 because they ran out of money.
Some people had their money taken with no work to show for it. And some people not only have a hole in their wallet, but a hole on their property.
A statement from Davenport’s attorney said they sought bankruptcy protection as a last resort to stay in business. The statement goes on to say that the only way Davenport can finish its pool installations is if the bankruptcy is successful.
The Aspen Fiberglass pool is what Heather Pohlman paid for. Instead, she has a gaping hole in her backyard.
“It’s been hard,” Pohlman said. “My son is 11 years old, and I’m a single mom. So coming up with $85,000 to put a pool in the backyard was not easy.”
Pohlman signed the contract with Davenport on January 31, 2022. She said she was told that the pool shell had already been ordered by another customer who backed out, so she would get the pool sooner.
“So I thought about it for a little bit, exciting, my little boy was so excited to be able to swim this summer,” Pohlman said.
According to an invoice from the manufacturer, the order wasn’t made until March and only $4900 of the full $19,000 cost was paid.
“So it was May, then it was June, then it was July,” Pohlman said. “You’ll definitely have it by your little boy’s birthday. July turns into August, still no contact.”
Pohlman ended up paying $70,000 of the $85,000 of the full price. Now all she has to show for it is a hole in her backyard, a busted fence, and other damages to her property.
“If you look up there at the front, they ran into the fencing there on the right-hand side,” Pohlman said. “They tore of all this that I just had put in last summer. There’s other pieces in the back where that gates at, and they ran into the gate back there.”
On December 22, 2022, Davenport filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing says Davenport used customer deposits to run the business, but now there’s no money left.
They have a little over $900,000 in assets, but owe nearly $5 million.
In a statement, Davenport’s attorney said:
“Davenport Extreme Pools sought bankruptcy protection as a last resort, as it presented the only viable opportunity for the company to continue operations and satisfy its customer obligations. The company filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows it to continue operations under strict court supervision. Post-bankruptcy financing is being pursued to allow the company to begin fulfilling existing orders. I expect that process to take a few more weeks to sort out, as each piece requires court approval.
There is a ton of misinformation being circulated about the company right now, but the truth is Davenport Extreme Pools filed this bankruptcy in an effort to face its problems head-on and hopefully provide solutions for its customers. The individuals running the company are working hard every day to ensure this endeavor is a success. This is a difficult process for everyone involved, especially the customers. Only one thing is certain at this point, the fate of the company and the customers are intertwined. Davenport Extreme Pools wants to finish its pool installations, but the only way for that to happen is for this bankruptcy to be successful. I certainly intend to do everything within my power to see that occurs for the company and the customers.”
That means the chances of people like Pohlman getting their money back may have taken a dive.
“So I have to make a decision of do I fill the hole in and I lose at this point $70,000 or am I able to find another pool company that will come out here and be able to help me? But I have to make a decision that’s best for my family and can I afford to spend any more money when you’ve already spent such a large sum?” Pohlman said.
Davenport filed under chapter 11 bankruptcy which allows them to run the business while restructuring their debts. The US trustee has asked the court to force Davenport to liquidate, because they have no insurance and don’t have a required bank account.
EDITOR’S NOTE - Statement from Davenport’s attorney
Davenport does have insurance in place and a debtor-in-possession bank account as required by the court. This was not the case at the time of filing, which frankly is quite normal, but has since been remedied.
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