Closing - An Open Letter To Denise McCreary

Dear Denise,

As one mother to another – I just need to know why. Why did you and your husband decide to ruin our lives? Your husband built us a defective home. Water poured in through walls, around window frames and through and under doors whenever it rained. The greatroom ceiling was collapsing, the master bedroom suite had wrong flooring installed, and the kitchen island with its 400 lb granite top rocked back and forth it was so unstable. Tell me honestly – would you have paid the last draw to a builder until all these things were corrected? Your husband had already received 91% of the money we owed him. What leverage would we have had– how could we force him to fix it if not this way? Yet your company (you are president of McCreary Homes) sued us. How are you sleeping at night? You must know in the depths of your soul how wrong all of this was.

You let lawyers run up bills that were more than double what it would have cost to fix the house. You let State Farm's lawyers run us into the ground. Those lawyers sent letter after letter, they refused to comply with settlement agreements, they stalled in turning over documents, and they stalled and stretched until the costs of proceeding ran us to the edge of financial ruin. When September 11th happened and the airline industry changed forever, so did our lives. Ray suffered substantial salary cuts. We could not handle both a lawsuit and a pay cut at the same time. You and your husband got off the hook – Not on account of justice but because of a lack of money to fight you, your lawyers and your insurance companies. We let the bank take the house back because no real estate agent would touch it with all the defects in it. When we gave the house back to the bank over 120 items still needed to be repaired – including the water running through the walls from the upstairs to the downstairs. Do you feel comfortable with leaving us in that situation?

For the first time in almost 20 years of marriage – we don't own property or a home. Our credit rating is ruined. You went home to your house didn't you? Did you have to pull your daughter out of her private high school because you couldn't afford to keep her in it? We had to take ours out of her college. I don't sleep well anymore because our lives have been so ruined. How I wish we had never met your husband – never trusted him. How I wish I could stop crying. Stop hurting. How are you doing? Why did you bilk us out of $78,000 and then sue us? Was it because the Van Dan Elzens and Compass Bank were breathing down your necks? Your family caused them to lose over $300,000. Has this become a habit for your family? Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and wonder how you could destroy a family like this? Do you ever wonder if your single minded pursuit of money – was worth what it cost? Do you ever wonder if selling Amway while letting others build our house so poorly was the right thing to do? Do you ever feel guilt or shame over what your family did to ours? Are you and LJ okay? Ray and I had to seek counseling to prevent our 24 year marriage from falling apart. We made it - barely. Do you have any comprehension of what your family's actions cost ours? Why did you try to ruin our family? Why? Why? Why?

We were already having the worst of years before all this happened. From May of 2000 through today the following things happened to us (keep in mind we were building the house during all of this – a stress in itself):

  • I was diagnosed with an immune disorder that causes severe joint pain whenever I am under stress and not sleeping well. (How do you think what you did is affecting me?)

  • May 2000 - Our oldest son graduated from High School.

  • May 2000 - My husdand's mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

  • June 2000 - I spent the month in New Orleans helping my mother-in-law recover from a mastectomy.

  • August 2000 - Our oldest son starts college.

  • August 2000 - We move into our McCreary Home.

  • Defects and problems with the house become immediately apparent.

  • October 2000 - water starts coming through the south wall of the garage and through most of the doors and several of the windows.

  • October 2000 - we begin filing Registrar of Contractors complaints when it became clear that your husband refused to fix our home.

  • January 2001 - You and your husband sue us.

  • March 2001 - Our oldest son became seriously ill. He was finally diagnosed with acute neurologic Lyme Disease in December of 2001 and was placed on 6 months of antibiotic treatment. He had shrunk to 120 pounds and slept 18 hours a day at the time of his diagnosis. We almost lost him. He had to medically withdraw from school for a year and a half. He finally recovered in July of 2002 and is finally back at school.

  • September 11, 2001 happened. My husband's occupation was profoundly affected by the events of that day are still reverberating within the industry. His job increased in stress and hours and pay scales fell dramatically over the next several years. He deals with the chance of terrorism everyday at work but doesn't consider that as stressful or bad as dealing with the corporate terrorism your company exhibits.

  • October 2001 - My mother-in-law takes a turn for the worse. My husband spends weeks at her hospital bedside and she dies from cancer in late October. Mom gave us our front door as her gift to us for the house. We are grateful that she didn't live long enough to see how poorly constructed the door was. It would have killed her sooner to see the defects. She lived through the Depression and understood the value of a dollar. She never would have understood your definition of quality.

  • My brother-in-law was visiting us at Christmas in 2001. On Christmas day he was walking around the property at the house when he fell and broke two bones in his leg and shattered his ankle. It took 16 screws and 2 plates to put his leg back together. He spent 6 months and had 3 surgeries while recovering at our home. I gave him daily injections, cleaned his wounds, took him to therapy and basically cared for him at the same time I was caring for our oldest son. It was a labor of love but still stressful. He was finally able to return home in June of 2002 but has had to have 2 more surgeries and has been on disability. We have been helping him all we can. He just recently returned to work. Since he has been on disability pay and has run through his medical coverage for therapy, we are helping him pay for his therapy sessions.

  • May 2002 - Our daughter graduates from high school.

  • July 2002 - I am stopped behind a bus and a car and another car trying to run a yellow light slammed into the back end of my car at 45 miles an hour. The rental car I was driving was totaled. I suffered severe whiplash and had to have medical care for the next several months.

  • August 2002 - Our daughter starts college in Washington.

  • December 2002 – My husband's salary was cut 35-40% in the wake of 9/11.

  • December 2002 - My husband and our youngest son have surgery to correct sleep apnea. He is off work for two months while recovering.

  • January 2003 - We had to pull our daughter from her out-of-state university and bring her home. She is now attending a local college. Disrupting her was one of the most painful things we had to do. She was a real trooper and did not complain once. She was strong and supportive and we have been truly blessed by our children.

  • February 2003 - We have the second settlement meeting where our attorney pushes us into a settlement agreement that nets him $15,000. We are so devastated we blindly sign.

  • May 2003 - We lose the house to foreclosure.

  • On the same day the house forecloses our youngest son graduates from high school.

  • Our youngest son leaves for college. We now have all three children in college together.

  • August 2003 - My husband and I move from Tucson.

We have had a hell of a three years and are struggling to keep it all together. Then yesterday I find out that I am being sued by the guy I was pushed into during the car accident a year and a half ago. Where is the justice? What did we ever do to deserve all this. Tell me what did we do to you?

All we ever wanted was the house we contracted for. We trusted your husband. We believed him that he would build us the house of our dreams. We trusted that the Christian values he espoused were what he believed in. We were wrong. Your husband lied to us. The one thing we have learned from all of this is that when it comes to money Don't trust anyone. That and the fact that those who are really Christians live it – they don't talk about it. LJ touted his Christian ethics – Are you both 60 minute Christians? You know, the ones who are pious for the 60 minutes church takes each Sunday and then abandon their faith the other 10,020 minutes of the week? How many times have you asked for forgiveness for what your family did to ours? We have spent many nights just praying for the strength to handle what happened to us. You have no idea what you both did. You couldn't.

So thanks for ruining a perfectly good American family. Did your husband serve in the military? Mine did for 12 years and sometimes he wonders what for. What was he protecting? The American Dream? He just doesn't feel that patriotic anymore. You and your husband took away more than a home. You killed our dreams.

Our kids remember a lot of their last years of high school being stressed out because of your actions. The term “family values” is nothing more than an empty concept when taken in context with the American corporation. Companies like yours hide behind Republican legislation that is enacted to protect the special interests. These so called “laws” are against the American consumer.

Attorneys are allowed to bleed people dry and justice goes out the window. Lawyers convolute the system by endless delay, bogus settlements, and using any method to increase billable hours. The truth does not matter. Justice is elusive – he who can last the longest wins. At least on earth. Someday you will be held to task for what you have done.

It used to be that when people behaved wrongly they were held accountable for their actions. There was a sense of shame. Society doesn't seem to mind the pursuit of money over all else anymore. Greed is good. Quality and what you promise doesn't matter. Your husband still insists he builds a quality home – still advertises that he has great client rapport – still sucks people in. Does he ever tell them about us? Does he ever tell them about the others he has taken advantage of? Does he ever think about it? Do you? Will Abigail have to switch schools because the next family you screw might be able to fight you? Will you ever be held accountable? Justice in this case was never served. It wasn't even consulted with. Shame on you. Shame on LJ. Shame, shame, shame.

Our children always had a place to call home... Until Now... Until McCreary Homes.

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