Homeowners say Classic Communities left them ‘holding the bag’

Homeowners in central Pennsylvania say a local builder and developer promised them beautiful houses, but left them with ugly messes.

ABC27 has been investigating allegations the owners of Classic Communities misled home buyers and local businesses while living lives of luxury instead of paying the bills. After a report Monday night, calls started flooding in.

“I was in love,” Regine Klimek said as she described the first time she and her husband, Alan, walked into what became their Classic Communities home in Cumberland County. “It had everything I wanted.”

It’s been less than three years since the Klimeks moved into their house, but they’ve already dealt with their share of problems.

“You go to work every day and you work hard for it,” Alan Klimek said. “Then you got something like this.”

The Klimeks showed ABC27 problems with finishing on the walls, warped siding, faulty drainage, and separating walls. They fixed what they could.

“We shouldn’t be doing anything in a brand-spankin’-new house,” Regine Klimek said.

They say they started to get a better idea of what was happening when a valve burst in their basement. It was supposed to be an easy subcontracting fix because everything was still under warranty.

“They called me saying they weren’t coming out because they were owed money by Classics,” Regine Klimek said. “And I flipped out. How do you do this to people?”

Court paperwork tells a similar story. Local businesses claim Classic Communities owes them more than 20 million dollars total. Bankruptcy filings allege owners Jim and Doug Halbert drove the company further into debt while purchasing jet skis, boats, and vacation homes worth millions of dollars.

“You’ve got customers that you haven’t done right by, yet you’re going off and having the good life so to speak,” Regine Klimek said. “They’re living the high life, and we’re stuck.”

The Klimeks filed a claim in bankruptcy court, saying they have approximately $30,000 worth of damage. At this point, they’re not sure if they’ll ever see a dime.

“We’re kind of left holding the bag,” Regine Klimek said. “And I’m thinking OMG, what are we going to do? It’s very sad and disheartening. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

Attorneys representing Classic Communities and the local businesses who want their money say they’re close to a settlement deal, but homeowners say they’re not sure where that leaves them.

ABC27 is continuing to investigate allegations, including connections between current home building businesses and Classic Communities.

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