Local News

Dept. Of Insurance Working To Help Customers Of North Star Homes

Posted March 14, 2002

— The Lee County Sheriff's Office is investigating complaints against a manufactured home company that closed without warning last week. Now, the North Carolina Department of Insurance is also on the case.

Dozens of customers said North Star Homes of Sanford, Inc. took their money without delivering the goods. Despite a phone number written on a note on the company's front door, customers have not been able to contact anyone with North Star.

Instead, they have contacted the Department of Insurance, which has received 67 complaints so far. The agency said it can help complainants who have proof that they paid for a home.

"The good news is that an $85,000 bond could be used to take care of some of these complaints if they have paperwork to show us," N.C. Insurance Commissioner Jim Long said.

The bad news is that the $85,000 bond is not expected to cover all of the claims.

Craig and Crystal Rutland invested $10,000 in a land and home package plan. They said North Star kept putting them off when it came time to close on the deal.

Now that North Star is closed, the Rutlands are worried that they may lose everything.

"I will never put money down on anything again without having the final papers. If it means not having anything then we just won't have anything," Crystal Rutland said.

North Star closed its offices in Sanford, Dunn and Asheboro.

Consumers wishing to file a complaint should contact the Department of Insurance's Manufactured Building Division Consumer Hot Line at 1-800-587-2716.


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