Family desperate to move mobile home onto property after filing lawsuit

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A family of four has been split up since November, and they say the man they hired to move their new home hasn't made good on his promises.

Leroy Miller's life has been reduced to rubble, ever since his home in Brown County went up in flames the day after Thanksgiving.

"I got out in my shoes, my wife had to go out in her bare feet. We lost everything we had," Miller said.

They thought they'd found hope when they connected with Gina Riggen, who had a mobile home in Bloomington she was looking to get off her hands. Riggen bought the property that the home is on and she even agreed to help the Millers pay to have it moved to their property in Trafalgar.

"They were wanting it by Christmas Eve," Riggen said.

Many of the companies the Millers tried could not move the home for months, so Riggen put an ad on Craigslist. She found a man named Michael Rodgers, who said he could help.

"He had given us a price of $2,200 to move it," Riggen said.

Riggen said she refused to pay Rodgers up front, but found out later the Millers ended up paying him $1,600 in cash.

"(He said) he had all the equipment to do it with and could do it before Christmas," Miller said. "We gave him half the money up front, then he came back in a couple days ... and wanted the other half."

"The day after he received all of the money, he did not show up," Riggen said.

Both Riggen and Miller said for the next month, they went back and forth with Rodgers, who did some work on the property but did not attach a new tongue to the home or, ultimately, move it at all.

As of February, the home was still on Riggen's property.

"We had no Christmas. We gave all our money to him," Miller said.

Miller ended up filing a small claims case against Rodgers, and CBS4 Problem Solvers set out to find him.

Rodgers wasn't at the last address he had on file, but he did answer a phone call. He said that the project had ended up being more than he originally anticipated.

"I didn’t realize what I was getting into when I got into it," Rodgers said.

Rodgers claimed he had the money for Miller, but he wouldn't pay it before their court hearing.

"I want it in front of a judge because I’ve got all my pictures, I’ve got all my witnesses, I’ve got all my receipts," Rodgers said. "I’ve worked for people, different customers and stuff, for 25 years. I’ve been to court like five times in 25 years."

Rodgers later said by text that he would meet with us, but that never happened.

CBS4 Problem Solvers found court paperwork that told a different story. In November, Rodgers and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Records show they owed almost $300,000 to debtors.

There are also at least six outstanding small claims cases against Rodgers in Morgan County alone, totaling almost $20,000. Those cases are all on hold due to the bankruptcy filing.

Still, Rodgers told us and Miller on multiple occasions that he intended to pay the money back. Miller said he hopes that will happen, but he's just as concerned about finding someone who can help move the home so that his family can live together again.

"We've just go to start over and build it back up again," Miller said.

If you have a problem you'd like us to consider, contact the CBS4 Problem Solvers at 317-677-1544 or ProblemSolvers@cbs4indy.com.

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