A Forsyth County roofing company has come under fire in recent weeks after information came to light showing that liens had been filed against local resident’s homes for debts that the roofing company incurred in late 2018.
According to Forsyth County resident Jeffrey Ruder, when he hired Rock Solid Roofing, a company that until recently operated out of an office of Windermere Parkway in south Forsyth, he felt confident that the company could repair storm and hail damage to his home.
Ruder said that because his neighbors, friends and even his neighborhood HOA president had dealt with the company with no problems, he felt like he could trust Rock Solid Roofing with his home of more than 15 years.
But soon after hiring the company and giving them their first payment in October 2018, Ruder said that things went wrong quickly and the agreement was not as steadfast as he previously expected.
"I endorsed the check over to Rock Solid Roofing, to go ahead and get the materials ordered and they told me once the materials came in, they'd get me on the schedule," Ruder said. "About a week or so went by, I called and was still on the schedule ... that's when things started going downhill.”
He said that throughout the next month he kept checking in with Rock Solid Roofing’s owner, Terence "T.J." Bruss, to find out when work on his home was going to be done, but it wasn't until the end of November 2018 that work actually started on his roof.
When work began on Ruder’s home, he said that it went very quickly. Workers completed the project in less than two days.
A month after Ruder’s new roof was complete and his final insurance check had been sent, he said his troubles continued when he received a certified letter in the mail saying that an Atlanta-based supply company, Travis Roofing Supply, had filed a ”mechanic’s lien” against his home in Forsyth County State Court, along with several other homes in his neighborhood.
A mechanic’s lien is a legal document that guarantees repayment of debts to suppliers or contractors by holding an owner’s property and follows the title of that property until debts are paid.
"I was just devastated," Ruder said. "How can they put a lien on my house? I didn't order it, I didn't buy it. I paid Rock Solid. I hired them to do the job, and for the labor and materials.”
Forsyth County court records and statements from Travis Roofing Supply show that Ruder’s home was one of 14 properties to have a lien filed by Travis Roofing of North Atlanta for materials allegedly used by Rock Solid Roofing on the homes.
Lien documents obtained by the Forsyth County News show unpaid balances of between $544.35 and $2,870.11 for roofing supplies, debts that that were due to Travis Roofing of North Atlanta in November and December 2018.
In a statement to the FCN, Adam Sweeney, a spokesperson for Travis Roofing Supply, said their company has no issue with the homeowners affected in this incident.
Sweeney said they have followed Georgia law to file each of these liens and are ready to remove them once Rock Solid Roofing Pays what is owed.
“The dispute in these instances is always with the contractor, not the homeowner,” Sweeney said in an email. “Travis Roofing Supply plans to take legal action against any contractor who fails to pay for the supplies we provide, and we always observe and follow the adherence of state and federal laws when doing so.”
A Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office incident report obtained by the FCN shows that in January 2018, Bruss and Rock Solid Roofing were accused of deposit account fraud by a local building supplier.
The incident report states that on Jan. 8, 2018, a spokesperson for Division 7 Supply in Cumming contacted the sheriff’s office to report that on Dec. 4, 2017, Division 7 Supply received a check from Bruss in the amount of $8,000 for roofing supplies.
“On December 6, 2017, Division 7 Supply was notified by their bank United Community, that Bruss’s check was returned [non-sufficient funds],” the report states. “[The spokesperson] stated that they have contacted Bruss to try and resolve the NSF check, but Bruss has made no effort to correct the deficiency.”
Due to pending litigation, a spokesperson for Division 7 Supply said that they could not comment on the previous accusation of fraud against Rock Solid Roofing.
After the January 2018 incident report was filed, Rock Solid Roofing and Bruss Technologies LLC, a company registered with the Georgia Secretary of State to Rock Solid Roofing, was also sued in Forsyth County State Court by Roofing & Insulation Supply, an Atlanta-based building and supply company, who claimed that Rock Solid Roofing had incurred more than $18,000 in unpaid debts on a business credit “open account” with them.
The May 2, 2018 lawsuit by Roofing & Insulation Supply attorney James W. Hays states that Rock Solid Roofing’s owners, Terrence and William Bruss, entered into an agreement with their client for business credit on June 22, 2017, and purchased $18,025.16 in materials from the company in October 2017.
According to the lawsuit, in late September and early October of 2017, Rock Solid Roofing issued two payments to Roofing & Insulation Supply towards the debt, but in both cases the payments were either “dishonored” or returned by the bank for insufficient funds.
In an interview with the Forsyth County News, Hays said that when this suit was finally taken to a Forsyth County Court in 2018, neither Rock Solid Roofing nor Bruss Technologies responded to the complaint, leaving Judge Leslie Abernathy-Maddox to render a default judgement of more than $22,000 to Roofing & Insulation Supply.
He said that to this day his clients have not received any payment on this judgement.
Via text message, Bruss referred the FCN’s request for comment on these accusations to his attorney, who did not respond as of press time.
Just like Roofing & Insulation Supply, Ruder and his neighbors are now in limbo, left waiting to see what is going to happen with their liens and the agreements they made with Rock Solid Roofing.
Ruder said that he has plans to appealing his lien and is looking into retaining an attorney to find out what he'll need to do next.
"This is all new to me, and I just don't want this to happen to anybody else," he said.