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Judge says contractor must give back $114,000 in ‘unearned payment’ to Rigby homeowners

Michele and Marc Bolleurs of Rigby with their middle-school-aged daughter. The couple has a legal claim on their former contractor’s business and personal assets due to alleged construction fraud. | Courtesy Marc Bolleurs
RIGBY — A Rigby couple who paid nearly $113,000 for a home remodel project that was never completed now have a legal claim on the contractor’s assets.
In court documents dated Dec. 14, District Judge Steven Boyce issued a default judgment against Brad Honken and HD Construction, explaining Marc and Michele Bolleurs have a lien on his assets because he didn’t provide payment within 30 days of the initial notice. A lien is a claim or legal right against assets that are typically used as collateral to satisfy a debt.
In a written statement to EastIdahoNews.com, Honken says he is working with his attorneys to have the judgment set aside. He says he was “not aware” of it because he was “never personally served with the complaint.”
“Based upon court records, it appears the Bolleurs served us by publication,” Honken writes. “The merits of this case have not been heard, but we are hopeful that we will have an opportunity to have our case heard by the court.”
EastIdahoNews.com did an in-depth story on this case last year. In 2020, the Rigby couple began a two-year search for the right contractor to remodel their 1,600-square-foot home. For years, they’d wanted a larger bedroom, a new deck, shop, driveway and mailbox.
During their search, they crossed paths with Brad and Brittney Honken, who own HD Construction and multiple property management companies in Rigby.
In March, Marc told us Brad initially presented himself as someone with 20 years of experience who could get the job done two weeks ahead of schedule at a much lower price than competing companies. The Bolleurs refinanced their home and paid him about $113,000 upfront. Brad allegedly left the completion date out of the written contract.
Marc said he didn’t see Brad until about six weeks later. No work got underway until June, which was their deadline for completion. By the end of the summer, Marc says the only thing they had to show for their investment was a bunch of holes in their walls and floors, a standing wood frame for the shop in their backyard, and an incomplete deck that wasn’t level.

The unfinished shop and deck at the Bolleurs’ home. | Courtesy Marc Bolleurs
At that point, Marc says Brad had only done about $35,000 worth of work but Brad claimed he owed him another $1,245 before he could move forward with the project. The couple fired Honken and used the remaining $20,000 in their account to finish the bedroom. This brought their total financial loss to about $133,000.
The Honkens have since filed a 12-page response and counterclaim to the Bolleurs’ complaint. In court documents dated Dec. 20, Brad denies “any and all allegations” and says he “never guaranteed completion” by a certain date because of “industry supply issues.”
“Exacerbating the problem were multiple change order requests and obstructions from the Bolleurs, including approving designs, fixtures, etc., only to have the Bolleurs argue that they had not agreed to the changes, as well as denying subcontractors and HD employees access to the property,” Brad says in court documents.
Honken claims Marc continued to demand changes and make threats while refusing to pay “an estimated $136,625 for the proposed work.”
“According to the terms of the contract … the Bolleurs (were) liable for any cost increase to complete the project,” Honken says.
Over the last several years, the Bolleurs have been working with attorney Donald Carey with Carey Law in Idaho Falls to try and get their money back.
The court sent its initial paperwork to Brad on Sept. 22, based on court documents filed on the Bolleurs’ behalf. The two-page document gave them 30 days to respond and pay up or a lien would go into effect. The Honkens never responded in that timeframe.

Courtesy Michele Bolleurs
A default judgement is now in effect, which means the Bolleurs have a legal claim on Honken’s business and personal assets, including his home and vehicles.
“He cannot (sell any of these things) until he pays us back,” Marc tells EastIdahoNews.com.
The debt now totals $113,834, according to court documents. It includes $112,643 in “unearned payment … for construction and remodeling” and another $1,193 for legal expenses. The ruling does not include a deadline for payment to be made.
Though they are happy with the court’s decision, Marc says the fact it does not include a deadline means it’s an outcome without any teeth, which is disappointing to him. Marc and his wife are not confident the Honkens will ever pay them back.
“There are so many stories out there of contractors not paying back (money they owe). They might find other ways of selling their stuff that’s (not addressed in the law),” says Marc. “The law only goes so far. There’s a 50% chance that I’ll (never see that money again).”

Courtesy Michele Bolleurs
Similar claims against the Honkens
The Bolleurs aren’t the only ones impacted by the Honkens. Others say they have been hit even harder financially, including Brad’s father-in-law, Steve Larsen.
Larsen, who lives in Texas, accuses Brad of stealing roughly $945,000 from him over several years on multiple investment projects. Larsen filed a 14-page lawsuit in June 2021, which is addressed in detail in a previous story.
RELATED | ‘He shattered our dreams’: Homeowners, investors accuse contractor of fraud
Larsen’s attorney advised him not to speak with us, but Larsen alleges in court documents only $300,000 has been paid back. He’s seeking “all money subject to any loan agreement at the agreed 15%” interest rate.

Brad and Brittney Honken of Rigby are at the center of a lawsuit accusing them of fraud. | Facebook photo
Brad denies most of the allegations in court records, saying Larsen has made defamatory statements about him in conversations with other people, which has negatively impacted his business.
“Honken and Larsen have since had a falling out and decided to end their business relationship,” Brad says in his 15-page counterclaim to Larsen’s lawsuit. “Since that time, Larsen has contacted multiple people to make accusations about Honken’s character and integrity, including Honken’s wife, Brittney Honken (Larsen’s daughter) and a religious leader.”
Court documents indicate a trial that was originally supposed to happen in November was vacated. The reason why isn’t clear, but a new trial is scheduled for March.
In 2023, EastIdahoNews.com spoke with several other parties with similar concerns about the Honkens and HD Construction. Some declined to tell their story on the record, citing pending civil litigation. Others are referenced in the previous story. So far, Larsen is the only one with an active court case against Brad.
‘I just don’t understand any of it’
In the 10 months since our initial report, much of the work on the Bolleurs’ home remains incomplete. Marc ended up putting some insulation in the addition that Brad started.
Still, they knew they wouldn’t be able to finish it alone. They looked to local companies for help, but asked lots of questions and didn’t take anything at face value.
“We wanted to see work they had done and asked for references. We told them we would only pay them when the job was done because I can’t trust anybody ever again,” says Marc.
Marc says all of them were sympathetic to their situation and respected their terms.
A local company helped them finish the insulation. Another local company owned by their neighbor did the electrical work.
They also worked with local companies to finish the bathroom, tile and carpet work.
All these projects cost them another $7,000, but Marc is pleased with their efforts.

Courtesy Marc Bolleurs

Courtesy Marc Bolleurs
“Marco Vargas with Modern Tile & Flooring charged us full price to put in a shower and then later on when we got the tub in there, he offered to do the tile work around it for free,” says Marc. “The carpet guy who owns Indirect Flooring … only charged us for labor.”
But the Bolleurs weren’t able to finish all of it. With no money left, the couple is still living with a lot of unfinished work on their property that is now starting to deteriorate.
“Up until this day, the deck is falling apart. The wood frame of the shop is warped and looks like crap, the mailbox is rotting and the driveway is still not paved,” he says.

The unfinished driveway at the Bolleurs’ home. | Courtesy Marc Bolleurs
With no guarantee the Honkens will ever pay them back, the Bolleurs are tired of looking at the construction mess on their property every day.
The couple recently listed their home for sale. They’re hoping to attract someone who has the means to take it off their hands so they can start over somewhere across town.
“We’ve had a few people looking, but I think because of the interest rates, nobody is really biting right now,” he says.
It’s been months since the Bolleurs have had any direct contact with the Honkens. After all they’ve been through, Michele says Brittney is now making additional claims to the court.
“They made up all these excuses saying the reason (the court) couldn’t get a hold of them is because they only check their mail once or twice a month, and that because of their kids’ church and extracurricular activities they couldn’t get served,” Michele says.
Brittney is questioning why the court didn’t come earlier or later in the day to ensure they’d be home, according to Marc.
“Our attorney tried for two months to serve them” paperwork in person and through a posting in a local newspaper, Marc says.
Since terminating their contract, the Honkens claim in court documents that “Mr. Bolleur has made a concerted effort to spread false accusations” about them, including accusations of stealing more than $20 million from Brittney’s father, uncle and “unrelated property management companies.”
“The Bolleurs have failed to pay amounts due under the terms of the contract and prevented, by their actions and interference, HD Construction from completing the contracted work in a timely manner,” the Honkens say in court records.
They’re seeking “compensatory damages, together with prejudgment interest in an amount to be established at trial.”
A hearing will be held on Jan. 22 to address the issue, according to the Bolleurs.
Marc says he’s at a loss to understand why the Honkens continue to fight when the court has already held them responsible. He wants them to just accept it and pay up.
“Why do they want to fight or ignore lawyers who are after them for what they owe us victims? I just don’t understand any of it,” Marc says.

Courtesy Michele Bolleurs
The post Judge says contractor must give back $114,000 in ‘unearned payment’ to Rigby homeowners appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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