Finishing home projects ‘not likely’, RJ Construction customers told bankruptcy hearing
The hearing gave more than 190 creditors on Robert Jordan’s bankruptcy filing the opportunity to ask questions and hear Jordan’s side of the story.
Josh Usry, who says Jordan owes him $30,000, said the hearing lasted two hours when it would normally take 15 minutes. Turnout on Tuesday exceeded his expectations.
“I was very happy that the community decided to come together to demand accountability and justice,” Usry said.
KERA News has reached out to Jordan’s attorney, trustee and special counsel for comment.
Usry joined a group of former clients who alleged Jordan left them with unfinished projects, ranging from open roofs to torn houses and bare foundations.
Jordan filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on August 9 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. Usry and dozens of clients with similar stories of upended homes and unbuilt projects have organized to demand answers and learn how they can defend themselves during the bankruptcy process.
Usry says Jordan and his lawyers say the company won’t complete the projects.
“Any kind of repair from them at this point I think is either impossible or unlikely because they’re not interested,” Usry said.
Asked about the circumstances of the bankruptcy, Jordan reportedly said his business experienced a “cash flow crash” and a buyer decided to pull out, according to Usry.
Jordan had previously blamed the Arlington Independent School District for his company’s financial difficulties.
Jordan sued AISD in June 2021 because the school district failed to pay his company $1.24 million for the drying up of Sam Houston High School during the February 2021 winter storm.
“It was only after my team did what we were asked for that AISD then asked for documents and expectations that they had never demanded before, during or after the work was closed. If I had never taken this job, none of us would be in this situation,” Jordan wrote.
Arlington ISD officials disputed Jordan’s claim in a fact sheet released in early 2022. Arlington ISD officials claimed an insurance adjuster valued the job at $180,000 and Jordan didn’t had not offered a detailed estimate.
Arlington School District attorneys weighed in on the bankruptcy hearing.
Attorney Dennis Eichelbaum filed an objection in early September against Jordan’s trustee’s decision to hire Michael Hammond as special counsel. Eichelbaum argues that Hammond’s legal advice helped RJ Construction‘s financial situation.
“(Hammond) knew his client was facing imminent bankruptcy, but allowed his client to continue to go into debt and accept payment for services his client would never perform,” Hammond wrote.
Hammond in an email to KERA called the allegations baseless.
“Mr. Eichelbaum simply does not want me to represent the bankruptcy estate because he has already lost to me in the trial court and knows that I will be determined to hold AISD accountable for his conduct,” Hammond said. .
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