Family of 5 looking to build their dream home left high and dry, out $25K and living in an RV

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Dorval family stands on a lot where their new home was supposed o be built. Credit: WINK News

What should be a brand new home filled with children’s laughter is still an empty lot, all because one family says the builder they hired took their deposit and didn’t deliver.

“It was a big deal for us to have that piece of the American dream,” Roselyne Dorval said.

Instead of moving into their newly built dream home in Golden Gate Estates, the Dorval family of five is living in a cramped RV. And they’re just days away from giving birth to a new baby.

“I didn’t expect to be doing this right now at all, but this is our reality,” said Dorval.

Over a year ago, she and her husband, Terry, paid Jimmy Dean of J.D. Design Construction in Naples more than $25,000 to start on their dream home. Roselyne and her Terry chose the company because it was a family business.

“When we went into their office his granddaughter was there, his daughter was there, so it was just like OK – this is another person living out the American dream,” said Roselyne.

Now, instead of picking out furniture and paint colors, they’re fighting to get their money back. They say Dean gave excuse after excuse as to why he couldn’t start and selectively answered calls and messages.

“I personally wrote the licensing board through the state, I sent them a big packet of all the evidence,” Dorval said.

Despite filing a complaint with Collier County Licensing Department and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Dorvals are still waiting for justice. And now they have to wait even longer. That’s because Dean filed for bankruptcy. That means the investigation by Collier’s licensing compliance department is on hold until his bankruptcy case plays out in federal court.

The state does have a construction recovery fund the Dorvals could be eligible for, but that determination is also on hold because of the bankruptcy case.

LINK: Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund Information Sheet

The Dorvals are not the only people with an issue.

WINK News uncovered six other people who also have cases pending with the county. Between those people and a few more former clients on his bankruptcy filing, the claims total almost a half million dollars.

We reached out to Dean and he declined to go on camera. When we asked about him about the Dorvals, he claims they threatened violence. The Dorvals say that’s not true.

Dean added they received everything their money covered, and that a subcontractor the Dorvals recommended took money without doing any work. The Dorvals disagree saying Dean never got a permit nor sent the proper plans. They also say they never recommended any subcontractors.

WINK sent the plans the Dorvals did receive from Dean to Collier County and they said they’d need to be ‘signed and sealed by an engineer’ and that ‘the plans are missing some structural details.’

We couldn’t find a record of a permit for the Dorvals property either.

As for the other complaints, Dean says he didn’t commit any fraud and had two heart attacks preventing work from being done.

Meanwhile, the Dorvals are frustrated. They’re out $25,000 and running out of hope they’ll ever see a dime.

“He has a home, he has a family, he’s protected under some bankruptcy stuff where it’s like we worked hard, we gave this money and we lost this money. Who protects us?”

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