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Disabled veteran blames pool contractor for lien on home

Called for action out of fear of losing home
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 17:38:06-05

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A disabled veteran made a call for action to ABC Action News for the second time in the past year after fears he could lose his home over a delayed pool construction project.

The Pinellas County homeowner says his pool contractor never paid one of the subcontractors and now there’s a lien on his house.

Consumer Reporter Jackie Callaway first met disabled veteran Robert Cole and his wife, Lisa, in June after long delays with their pool contractor. According to the couple’s contract, they hired Coastal Pools and Spas to put in a pool, but eight months later, little work had been done.

“It feels like it is never ever going to end,” said Lisa Cole at the time.

Coastal Pools and Spas returned to the job days after ABC Action News asked about the delays, but when we returned earlier this month, the pool still wasn’t finished.

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Robert Cole said Coastal Pools and Spas never installed the backyard pavers included in their contract.

But he was more worried about a bigger issue: one of the subcontractors claimed the contractor never paid the bill for its work and filed a lien on Cole’s house.

“All of a sudden we get a certified letter saying a lien is going to be put on our house with foreclosure,” said Cole.

The subcontractor claimed Coastal Pools and Spas never paid the company the nearly $10,000 they owed for building the pool cage — even though Robert Cole said he already paid his contractor in full for that work.

“Losing the house is my biggest worry,” said Cole.

The owners of Coastal Pools and Spas did not return our calls and emails or answer the door at either of their listed addresses.

ABC Action News connected the couple with a construction attorney, who uncovered the lien may not be valid because it was not filed on time.

The Coles said they have filed a complaint against the contractor with state regulators and also plan to fight the lien.

“This was supposed to be a dream,” said Robert Cole. “It has turned out to be a nightmare.”