"I'm angry. I'm very angry," Kris Lydick said. In 2011, Lydick and her family needed help fixing hail damage on their Antioch home after a 2011 storm. They turned to trusted neighbors who operated a storm repair company, Perfect Restorations.
Lydick says she handed over her insurance company's check for more than $25,000 for the work. Months later, she discovered a lien on their home that was placed by a supplier to Perfect Restorations that apparently wasn't paid.
"Quite frankly, I was shocked," Lydick said.
Audrey Steele of Round Lake Beach said she had a similar experience with Perfect Restorations.
"It's just very, very upsetting. I would never want anybody to have to go through this," Steele said. Storm damage repairs to her roof and building ended up, she says, with a $3,000 lien on her home, also from suppliers who claimed they weren't paid.
"We needed to apply for some student loans. Well, no one is going to touch you with a lien on your home," Steele said.
"This is really an outright disaster, and it's unfortunately a trend that we're seeing more of," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said of so-called "storm chasers." Madigan says she is filing a lawsuit against Perfect Restorations after two dozen complaints surfaced over nearly $300,000 in work.
She says the company required homeowners to pay for repairs up front, did incomplete or shoddy work, and refused to give refunds to consumers.
"What got our attention was the number of complaints filed against Perfect Restorations, which turned out to be anything but. They're imperfect restorations at best," Madigan said.
The owner of Perfect Restoration, who lives around the corner from Lydick, told ABC7, "I have no comment." He asked his lawyer to tell ABC7 he terminated his role in Perfect Restorations in October 2011 because of internal issues with another partner after Lydick and others complained. That partner said he's "doing the best" that he can.
"If you can't trust your neighbors, who can you trust?" Lydick said.
"It's like that cloud hanging over your shoulder: it's there, it hasn't gone away yet, and we're still just trying to get through it," Steele said.